Otago Daily Times

Alleged residency for cash


AUCKLAND: The Immigratio­n Advisers Authority is investigat­ing an alleged scheme at an Auckland Tongan church, which promises residency for cash.

Meetings have been held at the ’I Laumalie Mo Mo’oni church in Mangere and there have been claims it is promoting the unauthoris­ed scheme.

Overstayer­s and those wanting residency are said to have been told if they join the church and pay about $500, a judge will sign off on their residency.

Immigratio­n Advisers Authority spokesman Duncan Connor said anyone who felt they had, or knew someone who had, been given unlicensed immigratio­n advice was encouraged to contact the authority or police.

Mr Connor said anyone giving immigratio­n advice must be licensed by the authority unless they had been given a special exemption.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio is urging Pasifika families to beware of unofficial residency schemes.

Mr Sio said people who had lost money over passports and citizenshi­ps should notify his office, or the police.

He said there were community law centres and local MPs willing to provide the correct informatio­n to people seeking permanent residency.

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