25 May 2016 at 9:00 am
Notice: Brief shut down of INZ’s online client accounts in late May
Online applications for many visa types will be shut down for four days in late May to allow deployment of ‘IDme’, Immigration New Zealand’s new identity management system.
This means that education agents and providers will not be able to access their online client accounts for four days, from 8am NZT on Saturday, 28 May.
New online applications will not be possible during this period, except for working holiday visas and skilled migrant category expressions of interest. Hard copy paper applications will still be accepted.
IDme will significantly improve INZ’s ability to confirm a person’s identity, making it a vital new protection against identity fraud by visa applicants.
The system will enable biometric information (face photographs and fingerprints) from visa applicants to be uploaded online and automatically matched against personal information already held by INZ.
IDme will be released in two tranches – the first release, from 31 May, will enable automated matching of all biographic details (personal data), fingerprints and a small volume of facial photographs. The second release, in the last quarter of 2016, will allow automated matching of all photographs.
IDme is the latest in a series of business changes known collectively as Immigration ONLINE. Better customer service is a key aim of these changes, which include:
online applications for student, work and visitor visas
third party “apply on behalf” for INZ partners such as immigration advisors, and
eVisas (passport-free and label-less visas).
The next new service will enable families and tour groups to apply online using a single form. Once this happens, 80 percent of visa types by volume will be available online.
Sitting behind these new services are business changes that standardise best practice and apply consistent, measurable quality standards across INZ. Traditional visa processing tasks will reduce as customers increasingly go online to apply for visas and check their visa status.
New acceptable photo rules
Photos can still be submitted online along with application forms, but they must now meet strict approval guidelines to avoid rejection by the system. INZ recommends that applicant photos be taken by a professional photographer or a business set up to take passport-quality photos.