13 September 2017 at 9:00 am

Immigration proposes visa processing changes

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is proposing changes to its visa processing around the world.

Immigration photo

Immigration New Zealand is proposing changes that will see more visa processing done in fewer, strategic locations, and to specialise visa processing by customer sector, i.e. business, education, tourism.

Visa Services is currently consulting staff as well as seeking feedback from stakeholders on the proposals.

INZ General Manager of Visa Services, Steve Stuart, says the investment in INZ’s technology and the popularity of online visa applications provides the opportunity for a new approach to ensure more accurate, timely and consistent visa decision-making. Latest figures show about half of eligible applications are now made online.

“We are proposing that over the next three years, our offshore presence would reduce from 17 locations to five. There will be processing centres in Beijing and Mumbai, with our three offices in the Pacific also remaining,” Mr Stuart says.

“We will have a greater presence in New Zealand with more jobs and processing moved out of central and west Auckland into Manukau and the regions – Hamilton, Palmerston North, Porirua and Christchurch.”

Eight offices would close altogether – Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Bangkok, Moscow, New Delhi, Pretoria and Shanghai. Processing would also cease in four other offices – Manila, Washington DC, London and Dubai. However, a presence would be retained to gather market intelligence, manage risk, carry out verification activities and maintain relationships with key partner countries.  

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson says INZ is a close partner and will be keeping ENZ informed of its proposed changes and the impact they may have in our key markets. 

“We will be providing feedback on the proposed changes and working closely with INZ as decisions are made.”

A decision is expected by the end of the year.

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