Last updated 12:32, February 26 2016
Concern about rogue immigration agents blamed for misleading foreign students is driving a new campaign against "education trafficking".
The Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG) is launching the campaign, as a local researcher says at-risk students are commonly exploited when finding jobs, with some forced into prostitution.
UNEMIG co-ordinator Dennis Maga said a "syndicate" operated with impunity abroad, promising students jobs and permanent residency in New Zealand.
Maga said unlicensed agents used local contacts in business and some Private Training Establishments (PTEs) to profit at the expense of migrants.
"We have to look at the entire chain in terms of the recruitment," Maga said.
Maga said some unlicensed agents in South Asia and the Philippines claimed any tertiary course could guarantee work and permanent residency.
Wellington immigration adviser Wiebe Herder said unlicensed "education agents" tricked probably hundreds of migrants each year.
"They're giving additional advice in regards to work and residence for which you need to be licensed for, to help them sell the student visa."
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