Immigration New Zealand is urging migrant workers in New Zealand to educate their family and friends overseas on how to spot potential immigration scams.
Immigration staff are in regular contact with ethnic community leaders, and one common question is what advice they can give people, so they don’t get taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals looking to profit off peoples’ desires to work in New Zealand.
Senior Investigator Helen Garratt says immigration scams are nothing new but with the rise of social media including apps like WhatsApp it’s easy for people to get pulled into a scam.
Garratt says the general rule is if someone is offering a job in New Zealand and it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
However, Garratt says there are a few hallmarks of scams that people can look out for to protect themselves.
She says an employer or a recruiter can’t charge individuals for a job.
She is warning people to beware of offers asking them to pay a large sum of money in return for a visa and a job.
Garratt says paying a sum to have your visa application fast-tracked is another sign the offer could be a scam.
INZ’s advice, for people who wish to work in New Zealand, is to apply through approved pathways rather than via third-party agents using apps.
Garratt says all visa fees are on the immigration website and are far below the cost they are seeing scammers ask migrant workers to pay for the same visa.