Permanent residents deported over crimes

Fraudsters and criminals are among those with permanent residence status who are being deported or facing deportation.

In the 2010-11 period, 57 of those with residence permits had their status revoked or had been issued with deportation orders because of criminal offences or failing to meet requirements imposed on their permits.

Last week, an Indian woman, Harleen Singh, 29, who came here on a false passport in 2002, which she subsequently used to obtain residence, citizenship and a New Zealand pass-port, became the latest to face deportation.

"People wishing to make their future here must meet immigration policy to become a resident, and that includes telling the truth and being who they say they are,'' said Steve Stuart, Immigration's general manager intelligence, risk and integrity.

Harleen Singh returned to New Zealand using a different name and a false passport after failing in earlier attempts to live here under her birth name.

"Identity fraud is a major challenge for Immigration and is not tolerated,'' Mr Stuart said. "We investigate and we prosecute because the integrity of our immigration is paramount, given its importance to New Zealand and our international reputation.''

Mr Stuart said residence often leads to citizenship and the issuing of a New Zealand passport.

Last year, 24 individuals who had held residence were deported.

Among them, two had their residence status revoked because they had been procured by "fraud, forgery, false or misleading representation'' and five were revoked because "requirements imposed on their residence permits were not met''.

Deportation orders under the Immigration Act 1987 were issued to 37 whose criminal offending made them liable for deportation, and 13 were issued with deportation liability notices under the Immigration Act 2009, which came into force in November 2009.

More than 30 have still not been deported because appeal processes have to run their course, and criminal offenders are also usually not deported until they have completed their prison sentence.

The UK was the largest source country for permanent residents last year, with 6549 or 16 per cent, followed by China 5262 (13 per cent) and India 4218 (10 per cent).

Out the door

Permanent residents being deported 2010-2011:

37 faced deportation orders under Immigration Act 1987.

13 faced deportation liability under Immigration Act 2009.

2 residence permits revoked because they had been procured by fraud.

5 residence status revoked because of failure to meet requirement.

24 of the above have been deported; others going through appeal process.

Source: Immigration New Zealand

- Lincoln Tan of the NZ Herald

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