About 30 Chinese students returning to New Zealand after the Lunar New Year holiday were denied entry to the country because they failed to meet academic requirements at their schools, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported on Monday.
Immigration officers at Auckland Airport stopped 32 student visa holders and denied entry to at least 14 of them. Visas were cancelled and some students were put on flights back to the mainland, according to the paper.
One of the students from the New Zealand Institute of Studies was turned away because he “could not speak or write proper English” during an interview by border control officers.
A spokeswoman from Prime International College said one of their students enrolled in the business programme had been deported back to China because he “failed to make sufficient progress on his course”.
"The main reason for the students being denied entry was doubtful bona fides, and Immigration was not satisfied that they were coming to New Zealand for the stated purpose of study," the Herald quoted her as saying.
The newspaper said the immigration agency was assessing 28 applications; 35 students have been granted further visas.
An immigration official in Auckland told SCMP.com she was “aware” of the incident but declined to comment further.
According to the Herald, 24,000 visas a year are approved for Chinese students to study in New Zealand
In 2011, New Zealand immigration officials discovered nearly 300 fraudulent student visa applications during random checks at their Beijing office.