HYDERABAD: AFTER an eight-month long campaign to fight deportation orders against Indian students, including some 300 from Telugu states, for producing fake documents to obtain visas, the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) authorities, on Saturday, gave them four days to negotiate the conditions of their departure. The offer was made via Auckland Immigration lawyer McClymont.
The students had requested they be sent back home without a deportation stamp on their passports. Negotiations are on to also enable them to re-apply for student visas. INZ authorities had earlier ordered deportation of the students on grounds that they had produced fraudulent papers to get visa.
The students, ignorant of the process of attaining visas, were allegedly duped by unscrupulous education agents and the ‘lax approach taken by Immigration New Zealand prior to issuing visas’. The students have taken shelter at Auckland Unitarian Church seeking mercy and amnesty. Backed by support from activists and lawyers, the students have fought the deportation order for almost eight months. On Saturday, they received assurance that they would not be deported till February 22.
In an official release, the Migrant Workers Association of New Zealand on Saturday said, “INZ has undertaken not to deport these students until Wed 22 February. This enables the students’ lawyer and INZ to negotiate conditions of departure like no-deportation stamp, no bans on re-entry to New Zealand and character waiver... This would not have been an option if they had been deported or had already departed. Negotiations are currently taking place regarding their deportation status, bans on re-entry and the manner in which character issues are addressed in future applications.”