14 Jan 2010

Fijian community warned over immigration 'scam'

6:44 pm on 14 January 2010

Officials are warning people about an immigration scam that is exploiting the Fijian community in Auckland.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says the alleged scam involves offers of residency permits under the Pacific Access Category.

However, Mr Coleman says Fijians have not been eligible to apply for residency permits under that category since 2006.

He says anyone offering a visa or permit to a Fiji national under the Pacific Access Category is providing misleading information and acting illegally.

Mr Coleman says anyone who receives an offer should contact Immigration New Zealand.

The acting head of Immigration New Zealand, Lesley Haines, says the existence of the scam only came to light on Thursday after it was mentioned on an Auckland radio station.

Ms Haines says details of the scam are sketchy and there may be more than one scam operating. Police have been notified.