Temporary migrants using student visa to extend stay in New Zealand

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Wellington, Mar. 10 (ANI): More and more temporary migrants are applying for student visas to extend their stay in New Zealand because of a new law.

The sharp rise is believed to be fuelled by out-of-work temporary migrants, rather than new student arrivals, applying for student permits.

"Becoming an international student has bought us time, and a second chance at becoming New Zealand residents," The New Zealand Herald quoted Filipino Danny Ninal as saying.

A new legislation to be implemented from May would require anyone who gives immigration advice to be licensed, but exempts those who provide immigration advice for overseas student.

Overseas advisers are planning to get around the law by directing clients to use the student permit as their pathway to New Zealand.

"New Zealand is not a top migration destination choice and we don't specifically provide advice solely on New Zealand, so it is not worth it to pay thousands of dollars every year for the licence at the moment," said one South Korea-based adviser.

"We will be advising anyone who wants to migrate to New Zealand to apply for a student permit instead," he added.

International students can gain points for their qualifications after graduating from selected courses and apply for permanent residence as skilled migrants.

But Immigration New Zealand says international students would not get an automatic right to residency even after graduating from a New Zealand school.

"International students who have studied the right courses will find that they improve their employability and chances of success under the skilled migrant category," said Steve Cantlon, the agency's service delivery group manager.

"But to obtain permanent residence on the basis of qualifications and a skilled job offer, they need to apply separately for residence under the category," he added. (ANI)

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