Migrant workers’ scam uncovered in New Zealand

Wellington, Sep 28 (IANS) Immigration New Zealand have uncovered a migrant workers’ scam where multiple Filipinos provided false and misleading information when applying for visas here, the media reported on Monday.

Peter Elms, Immigration New Zealand’s assistant general manager said the department started scrutinising visas more closely after discovering multiple issues, relating to work experience and qualifications, Radio New Zealand reported.

The department has not confirmed the number of cases, but the Philippine government said it was investigating at least 30 cases.

The Philippine government’s Overseas Employment Administration is also looking into the claims.

Reports from Manila said the workers might have paid an amount of 15,000 New Zealand dollars ($9,571) for false documents.

Spokesperson at the Philippine embassy in New Zealand, Glenn Obach, said that some of the workers questioned the authenticity of the documents they had used to apply for visas to work here and would need to re-apply their visas.

Obach said the workers had the option of returning home voluntarily.

The Philippines has just signed a bilateral agreement with New Zealand to improve the protection of Filipino workers from illegal recruiters.

About 40,000 Philippine citizens work in New Zealand currently.

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