Immigration fraud is breaching, or attempting to breach, New Zealand’s immigration laws. Some broad examples are:
The Immigration Act 2009 provides penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment and a $100,000 fine for immigration fraud.
If residence status was obtained through immigration fraud a person risks being deported.
A person who has procured citizenship on the basis of immigration fraud can be deprived of their citizenship.
Immigration New Zealand does not tolerate immigration fraud, because it undermines our immigration system. It can also contribute to situations where vulnerable people find they are being exploited.
The integrity of our immigration system is paramount, given its importance to our country and our international reputation.
We have a team of investigators dedicated to investigating and, where appropriate, prosecuting people for immigration fraud.
Wide-ranging other anti-fraud measures are in place, including:
In addition to border controls, we pay particular attention to the horticulture/viticulture industries, and the export education sector.
Fraud in the horticulture and viticulture sector (i.e. the exploitation of unlawful foreign workers) has reduced significantly since the introduction in 2008 of a Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, whereby approved employers are able to engage workers from various Pacific countries to assist them with seasonal work. For more information on requirements, see the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.
Reflecting the importance of the education sector to New Zealand’s economy – at $2.3 billion annually, it is among our top five export earners – we work closely with the Ministry of Education and New Zealand Qualifications Authority to ensure the integrity of education providers for international students. If we are dissatisfied with the operation of a provider from an immigration perspective we apply sanctions that can include suspending or terminating the processing of applications for study there.
New Zealand law prohibits foreign nationals on temporary visas working in the sex industry. Immigration New Zealand is vigilant in identifying sex workers attempting to work illegally, and action is taken against those who employ them or facilitate their entry into New Zealand. Sex workers working illegally also risk deportation and restrictions on returning.
Anyone who has suspicions of immigration fraud should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. More information on immigration fraud:
New Zealand is a member of the Five Country Conference, a forum for immigration and border security. Anti-fraud information involving New Zealand’s partner countries is available at:
Want to report immigration fraud?
Note: The online form link above takes you to the main Crimestoppers web form in the UK, who will quickly determine the information is from New Zealand and send it to the Crime Reporting Line in New Zealand over a secure internet connection. You and your computer are anonymous. Their call handlers read what you have sent them and will take out any information that might identify you before forwarding it to the relevant authorities.