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Protect Yourself from Immigration Scams

If you’re planning to obtain a visa to come to New Zealand, it’s crucial to be aware of potential scams that could steal your money or deceive you about job opportunities. This article will guide you in recognizing and protecting yourself from immigration scams or visa fraud. Remember, it’s essential to be cautious and seek official advice if you suspect any fraudulent activity.

Check for Signs of a Scam

You are asked to pay for your job

Be cautious if you are asked to pay fees for a job, such as ‘processing’ or ‘placement’ fees. It is illegal for New Zealand employers to charge you fees or make you pay their recruitment costs. If you are using a recruitment agency, ensure that any charges reflect the service they provide. If you are consulting an immigration adviser, you should pay a fair price for their services.

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Getting application priority and access to immigration officers

Beware of individuals who claim they can guarantee an outcome or expedite your application by using their connections. Remember, using an adviser does not give your application priority, as Immigration New Zealand assesses applications solely based on immigration rules.

You are asked to lie

Lying to qualify for a job or visa is illegal. If an adviser or third party suggests that you provide false information, it is a sign that they might break other immigration or employment laws. It’s crucial to provide accurate and truthful information as false statements can affect your current and future visa applications.

You are told you do not have the same minimum employment rights as a New Zealander

Everyone in New Zealand, including migrants, enjoys the same minimum employment rights. These rights include paid holidays, sick leave, and the ability to file complaints about unsafe work practices. Any person or entity claiming otherwise may be breaking immigration or employment laws.

You are offered a package deal with accommodation

While it is not common for jobs in New Zealand to include accommodation, some situations, like working on a farm or for an accommodation provider, may justify such arrangements. Be cautious of ‘package’ offers that involve excessive charges for accommodation, as scammers might try to take advantage of you.

You are promised residence

While New Zealand offers great opportunities for study and work, there are no guarantees that a temporary visa will lead to residency. Scammers often exaggerate the likelihood of obtaining residence. It’s important to note that pathways to residence require specific skills, experience, qualifications, or occupations.

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Promises on future earnings, house buying, or accessing government support

Decisions to move to New Zealand should be based on the opportunities offered, rather than future promises that may not materialize. In general, you cannot buy a house or access government financial support unless you hold a residence visa. Taking on additional jobs to earn extra money is also not permissible.

You are told you must use an adviser

Using an adviser to apply for a visa is not a requirement. You can apply for a visa on your own by referring to the information available on the Immigration New Zealand website. If you choose to use an adviser, ensure they are licensed or certified to provide immigration advice.

You are not getting application updates

If your adviser or a third party fails to provide updates on your visa application, you can visit the Immigration New Zealand website to find out the processing time for applications. If you have concerns about the lack of information, you can directly contact Immigration New Zealand to verify the status of your application.

Ways to Protect Yourself from Scams

  • You are not required to use an adviser, but if you choose to do so, ensure they are licensed or certified.
  • Compare prices from different advisers or recruitment agencies to ensure you are receiving a fair price for their services.
  • Confirm that your potential employer is accredited before accepting any job offers.
  • Have direct communication with your potential employer, such as through an interview, to ensure a good fit.
  • Seek advice from Immigration New Zealand to verify the accuracy and realism of any information you receive.
  • Connect with people from your country who have already made the journey to New Zealand for further insights and advice.
  • If accommodation is offered, request photos and compare market rents on the Tenancy Services website to understand your rights as a tenant.
  • Familiarize yourself with the cost of living and access to healthcare in New Zealand through the Live and Work New Zealand website.
  • Learn about your employment rights as a New Zealand worker on the Employment New Zealand website.
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FAQs

Q: Do I need to use an adviser to apply for a visa?
A: No, using an adviser is not mandatory. You can apply for a visa on your own using the information provided on the Immigration New Zealand website. However, if you choose to use an adviser, ensure they are licensed or certified.

Q: How can I protect myself from immigration scams?
A: Some ways to protect yourself include not paying fees for a job, verifying the accreditation of potential employers, seeking advice from Immigration New Zealand, doing further research, and familiarizing yourself with your rights as a tenant and New Zealand worker.

Conclusion

Preventing immigration scams is essential to ensure a smooth and safe transition to New Zealand. By recognizing the signs of scams and taking necessary precautions, you can protect yourself from potential fraud and deception. Remember to seek official advice and stay informed throughout your visa application process.

For more information and resources, visit iBlog, where you can find helpful insights and guidance on various immigration-related topics.

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