Nine Indian students facing deportation have had ample opportunity to leave the country voluntarily, Immigration New Zealand says.
The students are refusing to leave the country] after an appeal to Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse was declined.
They say being deported would ruin their lives, and plan to seek sanctuary at an Auckland church.
Immigration NZ general manager of visa services Steve Stuart said each student’s application to appeal was considered individually on its merits.
The students’ initial case was centred around their Indian-based education agents submitting fraudulent documents.
Mr Stuart said in all cases the students had declared on their applications that information and evidence supporting their application was genuine, and Immigration NZ stood by the deportation decisions.
He said the individuals had been subject to a fair process, which had included having their appeal considered.
He said there was no timeframe on when they would be forcefully deported but he encouraged them to leave the country voluntarily.
The students have said they will seek sanctuary at an inner-city church in Auckland from Monday until their deportation is dropped or they are forcefully deported.
Deportation Liability Notices or Deportation Orders have been issued to 191 Indian students since May 2016 and 125 have left New Zealand. Source: radionz