Educate families, NZ tells seasonal workers

By Shalveen Chand 13 February 2024, 8:00AM

Samoan seasonal workers in New Zealand have been urged by Immigration New Zealand to educate their family and friends overseas on how to spot potential immigration scams.

According to Immigration New Zealand one common question they are asked by community leaders is what advice to give people, so they don’t get taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals looking to profit off peoples’ desires to work in New Zealand.

Senior Investigator Helen Garratt said immigration scams are nothing new but with the rise of social media including apps like WhatsApp it’s easy for people to get pulled into a scam.

“The general rule is if someone offers you a job in New Zealand and it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. However, there are a few hallmarks of scams that people can look out for to protect themselves,” she said.

“An employer or a recruiter can’t charge you for a job. So, beware of offers asking you to pay a large sum of money in return for a visa and a job. Also, paying a sum to have your visa application fast-tracked is another sign the offer could be a scam.

“Be careful around job offers promising you will earn an unrealistically high wage or that the job will be a pathway to residency in New Zealand. If they can, people should check directly with the employer that the job offer they have received is genuine.”

Immigration New Zealand NZ’s urged people is to apply through approved pathways rather than via third-party agents using apps.

“All visa fees are on the immigration website and are far below the cost we are seeing scammers ask migrant workers to pay for the same visa, for instance an Accredited Employer Work Visa for someone applying from India is $750,” said Ms Garratt.

Samoans have been advised to seek legal help provided by their government or contact relatives in New Zealand who can seek advice from Licensed Immigration Advisers who have specialist expertise.

The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) issues licences to people who are fit and competent to give immigration advice.

Any person providing New Zealand immigration advice, anywhere in the world, must be licensed by IAA or be exempt. Licensed Immigration Advisers have met competency standards and are required to follow a professional Code of Conduct (the Code). Amongst other requirements, the Code requires advisers to have a written agreement with the person seeking recruitment setting out the services they will provide and the cost of those services.

“Avoid the pitfalls of receiving illegal immigration advice. Unlicensed people may not be honest with you or INZ. INZ may not accept a visa application from unlicensed people acting illegally,” said Immigration New Zealand.

By Shalveen Chand 13 February 2024, 8:00AM
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