Thousands of Indian students denied New Zealand visas
Wellington: Tertiary institutions are trying to enrol thousands of Indian students that Immigration New Zealand does not believe are really intending to study while in New Zealand.
Figures provided under the Official Information Act show 51 institutions, including half of the country’s polytechnics, have visa decline rates for Indian students of more than 30 per cent.
More than half the applicants turned down At most of the institutions more than half of applications are being turned down and at one the decline rate is 86 per cent. The figures cover the six months from the start of December 2015 to the end of May 2016 and are only for institutions with at least 10 visa applications from Indian students. They show that Immigration New Zealand turned down 3864 visa applications for the institutions, and approved 3176 during that time. Immigration New Zealand told RNZ’s Insight programme that most of the declined applications in the first four months of this year were because it did not believe the applicant was really coming to study, or because it did not believe they had enough money to support themselves.
High refusal rates could cause problems In 2014, Immigration New Zealand warned New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) that high refusal rates could indicate problems with tertiary institutions.
“For the purpose of prioritisation INZ believes that a provider who has an average decline rate of 30 per cent or above warrants urgent attention. Such a high decline rate would give INZ serious cause for concern that the provider does not have adequate systems and processes in place to control the quality of the offers of place being issued, or that business practices are flawed.”
Immigration said it had increased its audits of providers with high decline rates and was now assessing information obtained from the 10 establishments it had visited so far.
It also had other tools, such as extra verification of visas applications for providers with high decline rates. NZQA said it was assessing what it should do about the providers, but noted it recently gained new powers for dealing with rogue institutions. Auckland International Education Group spokesperson Paul Chalmers said the vast majority of the declined applications were not cases of fraud, but were simply not up to Immigration’s specifications. Immigration was sometimes turning down bona fide students, he said. Radio NZ