A complaint against an immigration adviser for allegedly creating false jobs to obtain work or residence visas for his clients has been upheld.
Wellington-based Peter Graham Ryan, sole director of Capital Immigration Services NZ Ltd, is accused of operating paper companies in the IT industry with no real employees, no work and falsely claiming to be linked to a real IT company in the United Kingdom.
Ryan's behaviour was found to have been "dishonest" and complaints against him were upheld by the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal.
Ryan has denied the allegations made against him but offered no explanation, evidence or submissions.
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One of his clients Karamjeet Singh, who arrived in NZ in 2014 as an international student, allegedly paid $35,000 for a job that didn't exist in order to get a work visa.
Singh's plight was reported in the media, which prompted an investigation by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers, and complaints against Ryan by both Singh and the Registrar were referred to the tribunal.
The Registrar's complaint concerned 17 predominantly Indian nationals, all of who were offered employment by Bite Consulting NZ, a company registered under the sole directorship of Ryan's wife Caroline Anne Ryan that claimed to have links with the Bite Consulting Group in the UK.
"They were all offered employment while Mr Ryan represented himself as the director and/or Asia Pacific operations manager of Bite in NZ," tribunal chair David Plunkett wrote in his decision.
"He had a dual role as he was also the immigration adviser acting for many of them."
It was also alleged that a person from the company that had been dealing with Immigration New Zealand, Peter Kerr, was not a real person, and that Ryan was the actual author of the emails.
Ryan had been twice asked by the tribunal to explain his conduct, but had chosen not to do so.
"He is aware...of the allegation that his companies...have no real IT business and he has chosen not to provide any evidence to the contrary. Mr Ryan is also aware...that the UK Bite companies have never had any relationship with him or his companies contrary to his claim," Plunkett wrote.
He found Ryan was the principal party in a scheme to present to INZ visa applications for foreign nationals based on fraudulent employment.
"In the dual roles of immigration adviser and/or employer, he [Ryan] is responsible for false employment documents being presented," Plunkett said.
"I find that Mr Ryan knowingly provided false information and evidence to INZ...he also knowingly provided false information and evidence to the Authority."
A separate complaint against Ryan by Singh, which was described by the tribunal as identical to the Registrar's, was also similarly upheld.
Plunkett dismissed Ryan's "bald denial" of both complaints as not credible.