Students at a private training institute have been left in the lurch after it asked the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to cancel its registration.
The authority said it ended the registration of the Kiwi Institute of Training and Education (KITE) last Friday.
The institute has two campuses in Auckland, one in Hamilton and a fourth in Christchurch.
Students will not be able to continue their studies there.
About 20 students arrived at Immigration lawyer Alastair McClymont's office to say the school they'd been studying at had been deregistered.
Mr McClymont said most of the students had finished their study and were waiting for their qualifications to be awarded, but that was all on hold now.
He said the institute wasn't given the NZQA stamp that the students had paid for "because the teaching and the marking has been substandard".
It is now being investigated and students are expected to know more on their situation next week.
But, if NZQA find that the marking isn't upto scratch, the students will lose their qualification.
"They [the students] may be offered the opportunity to do the subjects again at another school, or the whole course again ... we don't know. These guys are worried, they don't know what's going to happen to their investment and their future."
One of the students affected said he'd lost about $35,000 to $40,000 over the last four years.
He told Checkpoint the certificates he'd been issued weren't good enough to secure him a work visa.
"I'm just waiting for my level 6 results, I've already submitted my assignments."
The institute has told him his results would be out next week - if he passes, he will get his diploma level 6 certificate. However, if he fails, he will be refunded his fees and he will have to enrol with another provider.
NZQA acting deputy chief executive for quality assurance Eve McMahon said in a statement the welfare of students was paramount.
"We appreciate this is a difficult time for the affected students and our priority is to support them as much as possible. We are committed to working with students over the coming weeks to provide whatever practical support we can."
"We will be communicating with affected students to provide further information on the situation and advice on their next steps. We will also continue to liaise with other government agencies to achieve the best outcomes for students."
Students that are affected are asked to contact NZQA by emailing KITEstudent@nzqa.govt.nz.
KITE has been approached for comment.