Allegations of Racism against Immigration New Zealand worry migrants from India

he larger migrant community from India who are either permanent residents or citizens or who dream of gaining permanent residence in New Zealand are worried at the rumours being spread by few incompetent Immigration Advisers or lawyers alleging bias and racism against competent and honest Immigration Officers in Immigration New Zealand.

It was reported in a section of the media in New Zealand few days ago that Immigration Officer declined a work visa application of an Indian applicant on the ground that his employer had not made genuine attempts to recruit local workers from New Zealand for the job offered to the foreign worker, because the employer advertised the job of a beauty therapist in an Indian Radio station Tarana which a majority of local migrants don’t listen to.

I would like to highlight that the majority of applications under Skilled Migrant Category which are being approved by Immigration New Zealand are of Indian applicants. Work visas and student visa applications of a large number of Indian applicants are decided impartially and in a quicker manner by the Immigration New Zealand onshore as well as off-shore. It is absolutely immature and unwarranted comment from a New Zealand lawyer to allege racism from the most honest and competent officers of Immigration New Zealand.

Every applicant for a work visa under Essential Skills work instructions must know that following conditions have to be fulfilled before a work visa application can be approved under this category:

  • (a) The job offer must be relevant with the recognised qualification;
  • (b) the applicant must be suitably qualified by training and experience to do the work offered; and
  • (c) there are no New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders available to do the work offered; and
  • the job offer is for genuine, sustainable and full-time employment for the duration of the period for which employment is offered, as specified in the proposed employment agreement;

Under Immigration Instructions, the employer has to establish by way of evidence that he has made genuine attempts to recruit local workers for the job offered to the applicant. It is essential that the employer must write to the Work & Income and request for a suitably qualified worker who is New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand, apart from advertising in New Zealand Herald or internet websites like trademe or Seek.

Even if the job requires knowledge of Indian culture, language or other things dealing with Indian community, still the above test applies to every job, irrespective of what requirements are necessary for the job tasks.

It is no secret that there are thousands of skilled, experienced and committed workers from Indian origin still unemployed in New Zealand who are either New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and ignoring them and giving job offer to a foreign worker without local knowledge and reference would be unjust and against the interest of the labour market in New Zealand.

Lawyers and Immigration Advisers must understand the perspective under which the Immigration policy for labour market test is developed. Making false and baseless allegations against Immigration New Zealand does not help Immigration department nor competent Immigration lawyers or advisers, except sensationalising a non-issue which ultimately makes the new migrants worried about their future in New Zealand.

The foreign workers or students who are in New Zealand must make sure that the Immigration Adviser or the lawyer they are engaging is competent to deal with the requirements of Labour Market Test and other requirements under particular Immigration Instructions so that their application may not be at risk of decline.