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Fiji jobs warning shows need for advisors' bill

9 February 2006

Fiji jobs warning shows need for advisors' bill

Fiji citizens should think twice before handing over their hard-earned savings to a company reportedly promising jobs picking apples in New Zealand, says Immigration Minister David Cunliffe.

News reports in Fiji this week said Pooz Travel World was promising Fijians work in New Zealand picking apples – and charging $2000 for the service. People were quoted in the article as saying their life savings had been used as payment.

The Immigration Advisors Licensing Bill, to regulate immigration agents and provide greater protection to those who use their services, is currently before a parliamentary select committee.

Until it is passed, people concerned about their immigration application or the agent they are advised to contact Labour Department immigration staff.

Mr Cunliffe says he is concerned if people are paying substantial sums for a service that has no guarantees.

New Zealand immigration officials in Suva are advising Fijians to be cautious about using this company.

"It doesn't matter if people have someone acting on their behalf or not, they need to meet immigration criteria before they are granted a New Zealand visa," Mr Cunliffe said.

All decisions to approve or decline a visa are made by the Department of Labour's immigration staff.

People seeking visas can apply to the department personally or through an agent. Many choose to use immigration agents to help them with the process. The majority of agents are legitimate.

"However, there are some unscrupulous immigration agents who leave people out of pocket and disappointed," Mr Cunliffe said.


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