Malaysians most frequently refused visitor visas at NZ border

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have the most visitor visa waiver refusals at New Zealand border since 2011.

More than a thousand people were refused visitor visas at the border in the past year, according to the Immigration Department of New Zealand.

The department said Malaysians were refused more than any other nation in the 50-country visa waiver programme, mainly because they weren't considered genuine visitors.

Figures released under the Official Information Act by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) showed the refusal numbers have almost doubled from 646 in 2012/13 to 1049 in 2016/17.

Of the 4,877 foreign nationals unable to enter New Zealand under the visa waiver programme since 2011, 517 were Malaysian passport holders, according to a report in a New Zealand portal.

Malaysians were refused entry over 100 times more than any other nationality. Hong Kong was the second-highest with 412 refusals, followed by Australia (336), Great Britain (334) and Taiwan with 333.

The NZ Immigration's Year at the Border report said one Malaysian national was refused entry because he did not meet New Zealand's health requirements.

The passenger had previously been declined a work visa as the partner of a student because he suffered from communicable diseases and had failed to declare these matters on previous visa applications, the report said.