Surge in fraudulent eVisas sparks Immigration New Zealand investigation | Newshub

Two Filipino workers, duped and confused. WORKER: “Please help us…” “Because we don’t even know that it could happen.” Part of the problem is this… Physical work visa stickers imprinted into a passport… Are no longer used. Instead, Immigration New Zealand is now issuing electronic visas. This involves sending international students, tourists or workers… These A4 pieces of paper… Which detail the applicant’s immigration details. The problem is, they are easily forged. DEVOY: “The system that we’ve got now…” “If it is shown to be too open to exploitation…” “Then it will be changed.” Figures released to Newshub show a big spike in fraud… Since the new system was introduced in July last year. Two fake visas were identified in 2016… Eight in 2017… But that shot up to 52 last year. Another 33 were found in the seven months to July this year. All of them were picked up at airports overseas. 25 of the counterfeit visa letters belonged to Chinese applicants. RANSON: “eVisas can be changed so easily… “And that’s with dates…” “And it can be used quite fraudulently.” It’s not just an issue overseas. Newshub has discovered eVisa letters are being faked right here… In an attempt to dupe unsuspecting foreign workers. MAGA: “This is an emerging problem and it could be widespread…” “And it could actually affect the reputation of Immigration New Zealand’s system…” “If it is not addressed.” This worker, a concrete pump operator… Says he and three of his colleagues were given altered visa details from their employer. This is the copy his employer gave him… With a visa expiry of September 2020. Then, just recently, Immigration sent him this version… Showing his work visa would actually expire this month. WORKER: “I figure out that this one is tampered and fake document.” MORRAH: “That’s been tampered with?” WORKER: “Yes.” It’s believed that altering the letter… Was an attempt by the employer to keep him working… And not ask questions. Immigration New Zealand confirmed: “The details on that document do not correspond…” “With immigration records for that individual.” “We are investigating.” MAGA: “In my opinion…” “This was actually a deliberate act by the employer.” “It was a fraudulent act.” The worker’s colleague claims the same employer told him to keep working… Even after his visa expired. WORKER: “Employer said you can still work..” “Because your visa is still in processing, so…” “No need to worry.” Peter Devoy agrees the letters are easier to modify… Than the previously-required physical visa stamps. DEVOY: “There are vulnerabilities there.” But he warns anyone overseas trying to fake eVisa letters will get caught… As they can compare details on the letter to their own computer records… Before someone boards a flight.

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