5 June 2019

INZ working to improve immigration outcomes for international students

In keeping with New Zealand’s International Education Strategy 2018-2030, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is placing greater emphasis on striking the right balance between facilitating migration and protecting migrants and New Zealand.

In keeping with New Zealand’s International Education Strategy 2018-2030, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is placing greater emphasis on striking the right balance between facilitating migration and protecting migrants and New Zealand.

Jeannie Melville, Assistant General Manager, Education and Tourism says, “INZ is committed to ensuring the right level of scrutiny is applied to visa applications to ensure the right decisions are made for New Zealand. INZ is processing visa applications as fast as practicable and we generally do a good job; however, processing times will always depend on the complexity of an application.”

Since the start of the peak student visa processing season in November 2018, INZ has seen an increase in applications from students who require a greater level of assessment and verification. These applications take longer to process and, as a result, people have not received visas within the period of time they expected.

In terms of application numbers, there has also been a noticeable increase in the volume of student visa applications. From India alone, there was a 42 per cent increase over the peak period of November 2018-February 2019, compared to the previous year, and applications from China increased by 21 per cent.

INZ has been engaging regularly with education providers, sector peak bodies and Education New Zealand to update them on processing times and the reasons why some student visa applications are taking longer to process than expected.

“INZ is committed to ensuring that education providers have confidence in our systems and processes. We want to support education providers and students to use the immigration system effectively, efficiently and appropriately,” says Jeannie.

“We are taking action to address the increased time required to process some applications. INZ’s Mumbai office is the primary hub for first-time student visa applications, and is boosting processing capacity to manage the increase in volume, with additional staff already recruited.”

INZ will continue working with peak bodies to improve guidance for students around the documentation requirements for student visa applications.

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