Indian national too qualified for New Zealand?
Staff Report / 4 May 2014
Kiran Kumar Kalamraju, 38, was denied the opportunity to apply for residence in the skilled migrant category for the occupation of computer network and systems engineer.
|Kiran Kumar Kalamraju.|
Accusations of racism have erupted on social media after an Indian national was denied residency in New Zealand despite exceeding the standards required by the South Pacific country in an industry in which it is trying to fill a skills shortage.
Kiran Kumar Kalamraju, 38, was denied the opportunity to apply for residence in the skilled migrant category for the occupation of computer network and systems engineer. Kiran holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master’s degree in Computer Applications from Bharathidasan University.
Immigration New Zealand said Kiran lost points for not having a bachelor’s degree in computing and had "work experience in a labour market that is not comparable to New Zealand", which had immigration professionals in New Zealand crying foul.
New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment chairwoman June Ranson said the decision was illogical and the Immigration's list of countries deemed to have comparable labour markets with New Zealand's was "seriously out of date".
"To further state the applicant is from a labour market not comparable to New Zealand is correct," she said sarcastically. "India is in fact far more advanced in IT than NZ."
Kiran talked to local media about his frustrations, saying he was “absolutely gutted”.
"New Zealand is a beautiful country and I believe I could contribute positively to Kiwi society by working in an area where there is an identified skills shortage," he told The New Zealand Herald.
In Kiran’s initial application he stated he had 140 points, which would make him automatically selected and invited to apply for residence. The total amount of points needed to apply is 100. Immigration New Zealand gave him a total of 85 points.
Many social media users went online to express their opinion. The majority said that New Zealanders should be offered jobs first.
“Give New Zealanders the jobs over any race. Australia gives to theirs first. It’s only fair. Stop complaining. People who belong get first priority. This should always be the way,” one Facebook user said, a comment which got 140 likes.
“We need to take care of our own people before we worry about what migrants we let in,” another said.
Others questioned whether India’s IT industry was really superior to New Zealand’s and questioned the legitimacy of qualifications from the subcontinent.
“They work in huge teams with very narrow job roles and they struggle in the NZ environment, where we have to be versatile due to our small size,” one user said.
“The main perpetrators of (education fraud) … nationals from the subcontinent,” another said.
“Work experience in the Indian market does compare but only to some extent. Reputed universities in India wouldn't let a Commerce grad pursue a PhD in I.T. He would need to have an I.T. degree,” an Indian user said.
But others expressed embarrassment and disappointment at the decision to exclude Kiran.
“What if a kiwi doesn't have the skills? Who is going to train them? Experience and knowledge has to come from somewhere.”
“Seems like NZ has a bigger racism issue than I thought.”
Others criticized the system, saying it was obviously flawed if such a skilled person was denied residence.
“This sucks, a man with qualifications turned away when he has something to offer our country… Not fair at all.”
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