Information RELEASED UNDER THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT by IMMIGRATION NZ this day exposes the extent of the abuse of EDUCATION LOANS option by Hyderabad based agencies. The information details several bank managers and their involvement and then also lists 57 agencies (in the factsheet towards the end). The document also lists agencies from North India including a few ENZRA agents (though indicating only 1-2 cases to have slipped through their hands) to have submitted such forged education loan disbursal letters. It is possible that 1-2 such documents may slip through the system and it is also possible that the agent is not involved in this fraud even if the lodged application is through them. However, if the instances are repeated and if there is a trend, it is a major area of concern. Thus the factsheet lists about 8 agencies with significant number of cases. I note that the investigations is ongoing in all the previously lodged applications of all agents.
Education Loans are used by 80% of Indian students desiring to study overseas and it will be unfair to generalise the observations from Hyderabad across India. The modus operandi followed in the information released indicates:
THE FRAUD TACTIC
The tactic used by all involved agents was to obtain a genuine education loan sanction letter from a bank (which passed verification), then after visa approval-in-principal (AIP) to submit a fraudulent education loan disbursal letter ostensibly from the same bank. Funds from another (hidden) source would then be transferred to NZ to pay tuition fees. It is likely that these sources wound not have been acceptable had they been presented because they did not link to the evidence previously verified as genuine, and as claimed for the intended use in NZ.
Read the full details in the documents attached in this blog.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 9:21 am
Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party I
MP for Palmerston North
22 June 2016
15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.
“Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act show bank managers doctored genuine information which was then used by education agents to prove students had the funds to pay for their New Zealand tuition (see INZ No Surprises Factsheet attached).
“This fraud is so widespread, Immigration NZ officials say “there has been no agent we’ve looked at that hasn’t been using it, to some extent or another’ (see INZ Fraud Penetration Email attached). There are more than 1000 education agents operating in India.
“The Government was warned in 2012 that New Zealand’s international education sector was rife with rorts. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse continue to turn a blind eye to this fraud because the sector is so lucrative.
“These documents confirm hundreds – possibly thousands – of students have arrived in New Zealand with these fraudulent papers.
“These people are desperate for a New Zealand education to better the lives of their families back in India. They are vulnerable and being preyed on by unscrupulous education agents and bank managers who are making money out of them.
“Now hundreds of students here face mass deportation if they can’t prove they have the money they claimed to have on their original study applications.
“The Government must take urgent action to protect these students from being exploited and protect New Zealand’s international reputation as a fair and honest country,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.
The above media release states that “This fraud is so widespread, Immigration NZ officials say “there has been no agent we’ve looked at that hasn’t been using it, to some extent or another’ (see INZ Fraud Penetration Email attached). I read this to refer to the agents under investigation and from the Hyderabad region and not referring to all agents in India.
Information RELEASED UNDER THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT can be found on links below:
Thank you for sharing this. I think the industry and the relevant authorities can no longer bury their heads in sand and instead deal with this widespread corruption. Further, I hope providers and the High Commissions/ Immigration/ departments stereotype the Indian market. Unfortunately, there is always a tendency to take the easy way out!
I think all stakeholders have to take responsibility here and not just the agent community.
Thank again Ravi for sharing this information – a timely reminder for all of us to uphold ethical practices in a profession that touches and changes so many lives.
Dipu: The fact is that the total number of “genuine students” from India is grossly exaggerated. Large chunk of students heading to smaller institutions in Australia, NZ or Canada are often not students at all. It is wrong to put the blame solely on agents. Institutions too have been allowed to recruit without much check and for them they knowingly encourage waivers of english language tests too even when they know that the students are just not proficient. After my blog, one of the institutions shared that the student is paying the tuition fees and so why are we fretting whether it is from the loan or otherwise. They have a point too. Sometimes the visa mechanism is made so rigorous unnecessarily… that students push out fake documents. When agents get involved in encouraging the fake, the blame does rest with the agent for sure as they are meant to be weeding it out.
Sir immigration of nz has to be accept the gold loan.because there are number of applicants who took gold loan by legal way. If they willnot accept the gold loan then our future get spoiled ..please accept the gold loan as a fund and you can verify the the account.
INZ Mumbai has concerns with gold loans, in which gold is used as collateral to obtain a loan to pay tuition fees/living expenses. The gold used is untraceable and it is not possible to satisfactorily confirm who it belongs to. INZ has confirmed instances of gold loans being used as “show money”, often put up by the education agent and returned once the visa is approved.
INZ Mumbai will only accept gold loans as evidence of funds and financial ability to study in New Zealand where the money from the loan has been held and available for six months or more.
Dear ravi ,
this is called insane what the immigartion consultants are doing with the career of the innocent students who are seeking a bright future over the destination such like newzealand which has a great uniqueness since i came to know it . it the one country which has always brought a fact among the students with a logical consequences .
However , my concern is know about the fact whether NEW Zealand high commission will black list indian market when they have found a huge corruption of education agents who were renowned
the high commission will provide AIP over the application and supporting documents or they will consider the education agents name which will be described in the application form as a negative pint whether the documents are all true and verifiable ?
My self Jagdeep Singh kang from Punjab.sir I want to that I have ready all the documents and have done medical so now am concern about my funds sir I have 19.5 lack 7 month old rupees into my father and grandfather accounts and 9 lack 5 month old into my mother saving account so sir please tell me can I apply for approval to embassy or should be wait still 9lack whould not be 6 month old .
Please use a reliable education agency recommended by your educational institution.
Its been nice to read your blogs which are more focused on quality & transparency in immigration. process. Also its gives good latest update.
I had for PG option in NZ too & received offer from 2 institutions.I would like to know whether fund received by selling SRA (Slum rehabilitation Authority ) property located in Mmmbai is acceptable? bcoz legally we cant sell SRA property for 10 years after possession & i cant get registration done if want to sell my 1 property located in SRA project.Also that peoperty is on mothers name & i will be using that money once we sold out it.
pls guide me as thats d only source i have otherwise i have to go for education loan but already have home loan so dont want go for that option.
awaiting your reply.
I believe if you can show the genuine-ness of the funds and the source of the funds, it should be acceptable. Please have a word with the representatives of the institution that you wish to study at.