New Zealand Gets Tough With Fake Qualifications By Applicants To Secure Immigration: Authority Tightens Screening

By @diplomatist10 on
Construction workers build scaffolding at the site of a new apartment tower in Sydney
Construction workers build scaffolding at the site of a new apartment tower in Sydney November 30, 2012. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

New Zealand is taking a serious view of some people faking themselves as technicians, plumbers, engineers and business administrators, by using bogus credentials to enter the country.  According to New Zealand Qualifications Authority or NZQA, many applicants are attempting to lie their way into the country, using false documents.

According to the information released by the authority, the number of fraudulent qualifications used for gaining entry to New Zealand has been exposed by NZQA and an average four cases are getting caught every year, especially since 2012. 

The authority’s chief executive Karen Poutasi said the silver lining is that despite attempted frauds, New Zealand has the systems in place such as quality assurance, regulatory frame works and qualification evaluation practices to provide protection. Also strong, effective networks of information and intelligence are maintained across all countries and within agencies to combat the issue, she said.

According to details made available under the Official Information Act, there were 12 people, who claimed they had a degree, diploma or certificate, which they did not. Most of the offences were noticed in Fiji based applicants. 

Forged Documents 

The NZQA has applieed its mechanisms to detect the veracity of qualifications to confirm whether they are fake or genuine. The authority cited some specific examples, where a conscious effort was made to dupe the authority.

For example, one applicant from Malaysia claimed to hold a diploma in electrical electronics engineering from Institut Teknologi Negeri. But investigations proved that the qualification was never issued. Another applicant from Pakistan claimed to hold a business degree from Hamdard University in Karachi, which turned out to be fake. Yet another aspirant from Fiji claimed a trade certificate in refrigeration from a local training authority. But that person never attended the training centre.

There were also instances of some applicants having forged signatures and seals on qualification documents. They tried to furnish certificates with zero resemblance to originals. An applicant from Israel claimed to possess a technology degree from ORT Braude College. But investigations showed the transcript was fake. A Fijian claimed credentials as plumber with diploma from Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji, using a fake certificate.

Labour Shortage

Meanwhile, Immigration New Zealand relaxed rules to bring more workers to Queenstown as a temporary move to ease the pressure on operators to fill up the vacancies during the peak tourism season. Chair of the Tourism Industry Association's hotel sector in Queenstown, Penny Clark, said. "Well it's all good news because of the pressure we are under in Queenstown to find good staff. However to some degree it doesn't really alleviate the problems because we've still got core staff, where we need to get cleaning staff for example, where we're still struggling to find them," Clark added.

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