Are you an immigrant seeking refuge in a new country? Beware of making false refugee claims, as you may end up like the woman convicted of immigration fraud in New Zealand. Her case highlights how serious consequences can await those who make fraudulent refugee applications. So if you're thinking of making a false claim, be sure to weigh the risks first.
This week, Nurul Syahirah Binti Noor Azman was found guilty of five counts of supplying false or misleading information under the Immigration Act for lodging fake refugee claims following an Immigration New Zealand (INZ) investigation in the Bay of Plenty in 2020.
As per Karen Bishop, INZ Manager, some migrant workers in the horticulture industry were being encouraged to falsely claim refugee status for a fee of up to $600 per person, to obtain work visas and other privileges. Azman, whose case was heard in Auckland, is sent to be sentenced in February 2023.
Although the exact details of her case are unclear, what is certain is that immigration fraud of this kind can have serious consequences. Not only does it put genuine refugees at risk of being denied entry based on suspicion, but it also sets a dangerous precedent in which people can feel entitled to lie and manipulate the system for their own gain. It also sets a poor example for those who consider engaging in illegal immigration activities, thereby creating an environment where acts of misconduct go unpunished.
In light of this news, it's important that we stand against such fraudulent behaviour and demonstrate that honesty is always the preferred option when dealing with matters as important as immigration.