New Zealand Struggling with Visa Processing Targets

Some visa applications in New Zealand have not been allocated to case officers who will handle them for five months and running. Immigration New Zealand is focusing on meeting new set targets by the government.

New Zealand Struggling with Visa Processing Targets

Later this year, ministers in New Zealand will take a decision on whether to place a cap on some of the visa categories or not.

In the interim, the government has given family applications a strict 38% slot out the entire applications coming under the residence category.

According to Immigration New Zealand, residency applicants who have partners who already have the New Zealand residence permit, take the top position on the priority list of family cases.

Applicants in this category have to wait for four months before a case officer starts working in their application. But the four-month wait is only applicable for online applications. For paper applications, it takes five-and-half months. In general, 90% of the entire applications are completed in 11 months.

Richard Small, an immigration lawyer, feels that it’s wrong to put some of the applications on hold to process others in order to meet targets set by the government for those categories.

He felt that it will not be good if the public finds out that the government was manipulating the rate of visa approvals to arrive at an already fixed number at the end.

In February, the Cabinet decided to bring down the figures for the country’s residency program to somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000. The cut-down will be applicable from July 2018 to December 2019. Initially, the figures were between 85,000 and 95,000 visas.

Allocations for the visa categories will come by year end

By December, the government will be stating the specific figures for each of the categories. But until then, the government has allotted 50% of visas issued each year to a business or skilled applicants; 38% goes to applicants under the family steam while the remaining 11% will be used for humanitarian purposes such as the refugee program.

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