Minister reveals immigration investigation

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement which relates to a report to be published in a weekly newspaper tomorrow.

Mr Barker said he was issuing the statement in response to questions from the media about the circumstances in which Mr Yang Liu was granted residency and citizenship.

"There is an ongoing investigation into the possibility of immigration fraud in this case," Mr Barker said.

"That may result in a prosecution and/or revocation of residency status.

"Where a case for revocation is established, this may provide a basis to deprive a person of their citizenship."

Mr Barker said he did not want to jeopardise this process and there would be no further comment from ministers.

He did set out some facts regarding Mr Liu's circumstances.

* Mr Liu applied for permanent residency in January 2002 and it was granted in June 2002. The decision was made by an immigration officer.

* Mr Liu applied for citizenship in May 2005 and it was approved on August 6, 2008.

* Mr Liu swore the oath of allegiance on August 11.

"All citizenship decisions are made by the Minister of Internal Affairs, except where there may be an actual or perceived conflict of interest," Mr Barker said.

"In that circumstance, a decision on a citizenship application is made by another minister acting under delegated authority. A general delegation to the Hon Shane Jones was in place."

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