New Zealand Deports 2 Filipinos in Crackdown Against Fraudulent Visa Applications

Amid shortage of foreign labor, the government of New Zealand deported two Filipino workers in its crackdown against those involved in acquiring working visas through fraudulent means.

It is believed that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will deport more, as a group of farmers lament that the country’s dairy industry still needs foreign labor.

Between September 2015 and February 1, the INZ had received 639 work visa applications from Filipino dairy workers — 397 of which were approved, 87 were denied and 25 withdrawn. It was noted that the rate of declined applications has risen from 40 in the 2010-11 period to 110 in 2014-15.

Federated Farmers spokesman Andrew Hoggard said despite the dairy downturn, it was still difficult for farmers to find people with experience and skills to fill positions, according to a report by Stuff.

This observation was confirmed by industry recruiter John Fegan of Fegan & Co.

Hoggard said he understood that if Filipinos provided fake details in their CVs but admitted to doing so, they would be granted leniency and allowed to stay.

The Government has deported two Filipino farm workers and more will follow, but Federated Farmers says the dairy industry still needs foreign labour.

INZ said in a statement there were new rules for Filipino dairy workers who may have provided incorrect information relating to their qualifications and experience with their original work visa applications.

“Under the changes this group of workers can be granted further work visas, provided the worker meets normal work visa requirements, has not provided any further false information, such as lying about their work experience in their subsequent visa application, and does not have any other character concerns such as criminal convictions,” the statement said.

Fegan said that although there is a desire from Filipinos to come to work in New Zealand, and the same desire from New Zealanders to employ them, conditions set by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration such as employers picking up the tab for all expenses including airfares, makes the recruitment untenable.

“Our company has withdrawn from bringing them in. They are good workers, but you can get an Indonesian who is also a good worker,” Fegan said.

He cites the stronger command of English and better fit within New Zealand culture made Filipinos a preferred choice.

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