Pre-election tightening of student visas starting to kick in

One of the ways to ease the housing crisis:  stop importing so many students.

Immigration New Zealand has issued half as many new study visas to Indian students in the past five months as in the same period last year.

Between the start of July and the end of October it approved 3102, just 48 percent of the 6462 approved in the same period last year.

The fall was due to tighter rules for, and monitoring of, study visa applications from India because too many students were arriving with too little money to support themselves and too little English to study here.

Sounds sensible to me.  But the whining has started.  

The Auckland International Education Group, which represents 16 private tertiary institutions, said the government had gone too far.

Spokesperson Paul Chalmers said Immigration New Zealand’s Mumbai office was turning down too many potential students.

“It’s a matter of loosening up in Mumbai and saying ‘this is now a catastrophic collapse’,” he said.

“Rather than just trying to cut the shonky providers out of the market and the poor students who are filling in application forms incorrectly, they need to see if we can improve visa approval rates.”

Mr Chalmers said the government was right to tighten English language requirements, but in some cases it was not clear why students were being refused visas.

“It’s a wider-sweeping broom that is starting to block students for, from what we can see, no reason whatsoever. Students that would have previously been given visas are being declined.”

Exactly.  Marginal “students” who were being cynically milked for money are now finding it harder to get in because we have infrastructure issues and a government trying to get some indicators pointing the right way for the 2017 election.

Many of these “students” have also considered this visa the Trojan Horse into permanent residence.  They get a job to ‘prove’ they are a functional part of New Zealand society, and they go through the process.

Winston Peters has been hammering on about this for ages to the point of getting some traction, so it’s no surprise to find the Government doing what it always does:  make small adjustments to take the wind out of any other party’s sails.




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