New Zealand Government to probe visa denials to Indian delegation

November 14th, 2007 - 2:52 am ICT by admin  
According to the Stuff.com.nz website, immigration officials based at the Embassy of New Zealand in New Delhi refused to issue visas to several people who were part of a 30-member business team due to have arrived in Auckland on Tuesday night.

India New Zealand Business Council President Fergus McLean said 30 businesspeople, some “senior business leaders”, were due to meet with their New Zealand counterparts at a joint meeting on Wednesday.

Only 13 made it into the country, he said.

“I believe some pulled out because they were too busy or hadn’t got the appointments they wanted in New Zealand.

“But we have been told that some people were refused visas. Members of the Indian delegation that did arrive have told us this, but they had no idea why the decision was made,” the website quoted McLean, as saying.

While some might have been declined for legitimate reasons, the large number struck him as odd, Mclean said.

“We, as a business council, are very disappointed. If this is true, it is certainly not a good basis for developing a strong relationship with what is an economic giant.”

A spokesman for Immigration Minister David Cunliffe confirmed an investigation was underway in New Delhi. He did not believe any complaints had been received from those denied visas.

In announcing the investigation, Goff said the Indian Government was aware of the declined visa applications before the delegation flew out and had made no approach to New Zealand about the decisions.

“I have discussed the question of denial of visas to some members of an Indian business delegation to New Zealand with Minister of Immigration David Cunliffe. He has undertaken an inquiry within his department to determine the reasons for the denial of visas,” Goff said.

“Until we have received the facts from New Delhi, where the decision was made to deny the visas, it would be premature to reach any conclusions about whether the visa denials were or were not justified.(ANI)

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