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Immigration advisers warn of Cricket World Cup visa scam

Illegal immigrants out to exploit easy entry during cricket comp!

The visa arrangement was aimed at providing ease of movement for cricket fans.

Travellers with no intention of attending Cricket World Cup games are taking advantage of a trans-tasman arrangement allowing visa-free entry to New Zealand for the event.

The visa arrangement, announced last September, was aimed at providing ease of movement for cricket fans following their teams here and in Australia.

Fans and supporters who have an Australian visa can also obtain a three-month visitor visa to New Zealand on arrival.

It means people from countries for which visas are usually required do not have to provide the same evidence to back their reasons for visiting, meet health requirements or prove that they have enough money to support themselves.

An immigration adviser said some people were treating the arrangement as a “loophole” for easy entry into New Zealand.

The Herald has been told of one person, a Chinese passport holder, who was allowed in after showing that he had a $20 e-ticket for the Bangladesh-Scotland game in Nelson.

But the man told an immigration adviser he had no intention of going to the game, and had used the ticket only to support his case for entry.

The adviser, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the man had a restaurant job waiting and had inquired about ways to stay in New Zealand permanently.

Another adviser, Tony Tse, said the price in China to fraudulently obtain a New Zealand visa was 100,000 ($21,800) to 120,000 renminbi. The price of a World Cup ticket was therefore “a bargain” for would-be rule-breakers, he said.

Mr Tse said there were fears some bogus cup “visitors” could be coming with plans to work and overstay.

As of Wednesday, 94 people had travelled to New Zealand under the arrangement but some had been stopped from boarding their flights.

Immigration New Zealand spokeswoman Rachel Purdom said several Chinese nationals were denied boarding in Australia on Monday.

“The passengers [said] that they would be attending the games and provided Cricket World Cup tickets as evidence. However, the tickets were for games scheduled to take place after the dates of [their] planned departure, which called into question [their] intentions.”

The New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment said people coming under the scheme should be “risk assessed”.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse was not available for comment yesterday.

The Cricket World Cup runs from February 14 to March 29, but the visa arrangement gives extra time for fans to visit before and after the event.

World Cup visa special

  • Holders of most eligible Australian temporary visas can travel to New Zealand without applying for a New Zealand visa
  • Those who meet requirements will be granted a three-month visitor visa
  • Arrangement is open for travel from January 26 to April 5
  • Holders of New Zealand visas must still apply for an Australian visa to enter Australia

 Courtesy of  NZ Herald