13 June 2024

Six unlawful Indonesians located in Auckland, incl. one after 10 years

Six Indonesian nationals who were in New Zealand unlawfully, including one who had been in New Zealand for more than a decade, have been located by Immigration officials in Auckland.

The longest over stayer located, arrived in New Zealand in 2013 on a 12-day Limited Visa to attend a business symposium in New Zealand.

Immigration Compliance officers located the unlawful migrants on 27 May following an investigation after the individuals failed to depart New Zealand in accordance with their visa requirements.

Three of these individuals arrived between 2018 and 2022 on Visitor Visas. Another arrived in 2022 with a Maritime Crew visa to allow him to join a vessel in New Zealand as a crew member.

The sixth individual absconded from a maritime vessel in 2023 when it paid a scheduled visit to New Zealand.

Most migrants leave country before lapse of their visa, but some overstay

When interviewed by Compliance Officers, the six migrants acknowledged that they were aware they did not hold valid visas and had failed to depart New Zealand or regularise their immigration status. The individuals will remain in immigration custody until their deportation takes place. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will make the necessary travel arrangements and ensure they depart safely from New Zealand to their home countries.

Steve Watson, General Manager Immigration Compliance and Investigations, says the legal obligation to leave New Zealand before a temporary visa expires is clearly communicated on visas.

“Temporary visa holders must ensure that their visa is current. People who overstay their visa are expected to leave New Zealand. Wherever possible, we contact people who overstay their visas through texting, email and – if they fail to depart – Compliance staff may undertake enquiries and if there are no special circumstances to consider, will locate and deport them.”

These individuals all indicated to Immigration Compliance officers that they were undertaking casual work in Auckland, including work in the construction sector.

Immigration Compliance and Investigations is now making inquiries into who may have employed these individuals. As of mid-April this year, Immigration can issue employers with infringement notices if they employ migrants in breach of their work-related visa conditions, or who are not able to work in New Zealand.

Employers who have been issued with an infringement will be required to pay a fine, will be stood down and published on a public standdown list removing their ability to support visas for migrant workers, and have their accreditation revoked or Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) status rescinded.

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