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Immigration Consultants Condemn Marriage Scams

Immigration Consultants Condemn Marriage Scams

The umbrella body for New Zealand’s immigration consultants has sharply condemned “marriage for residence” scams.

The New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment describes as highly disturbing reports that New Zealand women are being paid thousands of dollars to marry men who are seeking the right of residence in this country.

“Combating this sort of abuse is one of the prime reasons for our existence. Instead of scams, we want a transparent, orderly and honest immigration process,” says NZAMI Chairman, Bill Milnes.

“Reports of marriage scams are, of course, grist to the mill of unscrupulous politicians who would like nothing more than to suggest that our entire immigration system is scam-ridden. In fact, such cases represent a tiny proportion of the total numbers seeking permanent residence in New Zealand,” he adds.

Mr Milnes says that, between them, the police and the New Zealand Immigration Service have the powers needed for investigating and combating large-scale marriage rackets.

“We would, however, be delighted to assist government in ridding our immigration system of such abuses. We believe that our members’ experience of dealing lawfully and in good faith with tens of thousand of potential immigrants could be of use when it comes to identifying abusers of the system.

“A just, fair and humane approach needs to distinguish between obvious scams and the many genuine marriages between New Zealanders and would-be immigrants. Marriages in this second category deserve as much respect as any others entered into by responsible adults,” he says.

The NZAMI represents nearly 200 members throughout New Zealand, including immigration and investment consultants, banks, business specialists and financial advisers. The association seeks consistent, fair, reliable immigration policies of long-term benefit to New Zealand.

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