New fees and levies as of Monday, 5 November 2018. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has adjusted their fee structure claiming increases in volumes, and costs associated with managing risk and process improvements make this a necessity. Jeremy outlines these changes below.
INZ is also currently changing their footprint closing offices on and offshore with more reliance on online services and channelling different visa types into specific offices. Nils provides an update below.
The continuous examples of individual or systemic fraudulent behaviour appear neverending. We must accept that immigration fraud won’t end as long as we have hard borders and huge volumes of people living below the average New Zealand norm. The stakes are high and the temptation to mislead, produce false documentation or engage in any number of dishonesty activities to gain a visa is huge. It is about managing the risk and taking decisive action once the crime has been discovered.
Foremost we must not lose sight of the critical need for the timely grant of visas to fill skill and labour shortages and New Zealanders should be able to expect that their overseas partners and children are able to gain the necessary visas.
INZ Fee Updates
The fee changes include removing the $20 discount for using the online system. A decrease for business applications by a modest 1%, student applications by 6.5% and group visitor visa application by a large 45%.
Increases include 20% for employer accreditation and the huge increase of 54% for a number work visas. The new fee for many applicants lodging applications Essential Skills Work Visas in New Zealand under the Essential Skills category is $440, while the Work to Residence Talent (Arts, Culture, and Sports) Work Visa in New Zealand is $580.
Fees can differ depending on the applicant’s nationality and the current location they are in at the time of visa submission. Levies which are not included in the Immigration New Zealand fee are required to be paid by most applicants have also increased. The levy is the applicant’s contribution to pay for settlement costs with the work visa levy being raised to $55.
Don’t hesitate to contact me on 021 793 981 for more specific advice on this or any other immigration matter.
INZ Footprint Updates
INZ Visa Services is currently moving more visa processing onshore and reducing the total number of physical offices worldwide. The objective is to bring the high risk and high-value decision making back to New Zealand and create offices which specialise in certain visa types.
Offshore offices are being reduced from 17 to 5 with Apia, Beijing, Mumbai, Nuku’alofa and Suva offices being retained. Onshore, the Auckland region has been reduced to one office in Manukau, the Wellington region has an office in Porirua and while Christchurch, Hamilton and Palmerston North will remain, all are growing to take over from their offshore colleagues.
This does mean a great reduction in the number of offshore staff and a loss of valued expertise. In the most part, my interaction with offshore staff has been helpful and I have particularly been impressed with their language skills and ability to work cross-culturally.