25 Jun 2009

Lawyer regards NZ immigration criteria too restrictive for Pacific applicants

3:20 pm on 25 June 2009

A lawyer in South Auckland says Immigration New Zealand's criteria for issuing visas are too restrictive for many Pacific people to qualify.

Some people caught up in a passport scam have blamed the immigration service for failing them and making them more vulnerable to scams.

Bruce Stuart says investigations by immigration officials into the circumstances of overstayers he's working with seem to be in a shambles and many cases aren't decided on merit.

"Most of the people that I'm seeing just don't fit those categories. They may in some aspects of it and in other aspects of it they don't. And so you're trying to get them in on the basis that, or your trying to get Immigration to look at it and say exercise their discretion and depart from the standard procedure and look at it on its merits and say well these people look as though they are good solid people, they've been here for a while, they've been paying tax, they're contributing, they haven't committed any crimes etc etc."

Lawyer Bruce Stuart