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Immigration New Zealand to investigate visa processing times

Ongoing student visa delays have prompted Immigration New Zealand to investigate ways to improve processing times, after an Education New Zealand briefing document raised concerns the delays may hinder its ability to meet its economic value goals.

Visa delays have turned away some students, according to stakeholders. Photo: Agus Dietrich/UnsplashVisa delays have turned away some students, according to stakeholders. Photo: Agus Dietrich/Unsplash

The delays also appear to be the result of INZ’s efforts to consolidate visa processing in 2017

According to the briefing document, ENZ has received complaints from agents, students and providers with concerns that further delays will negatively impact market perceptions of the country.

“If there’s a barrier, it encourages people to look more closely at other options”

“Serious concerns about visa processing times are held by the sub-sectors in New Zealand,” the briefing paper said.

“ENZ is concerned that visa processing delays… may hinder New Zealand’s ability to meet the goals of the New Zealand International Education Strategy, including the target value of $6 billion by 2025.”

Submitted to education minister Chris Hipkins in late March, the comments from the briefing document have led INZ and ENZ to collaborate on a joint working program to look at how to improve processing times.

“INZ is committed to ensuring that education providers have confidence in our systems and processes,” said Jeannie Melville, INZ’s assistant general manager, education and tourism.

“We want to support education providers and students to use the immigration system effectively, efficiently and appropriately.”

According to Melville, the delays have been created by a substantial increase in both complexity and volume of student visa applications, with India growing 42% and China seeing a 21% jump.

“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,” she said.

While the volume of applications has increased, the delays also appear to be the result of INZ’s efforts to consolidate visa processing in 2017, when it closed several of its offshore and onshore branch offices. Student visas are now processed in three locations.

In a statement, ENZ general manager, stakeholder and communications, John Goulter said his organisation would begin working with INZ across several priority areas as part of its joint work program.

Those include information sharing, the development of visa application checklists, early communication of concerns and risks, as well as the co-development of market reports.

“ENZ is working with INZ to find ways to help providers through the current situation,” he said, adding “high level deliverables have been agreed and detailed planning is underway”.

The severity of the delays has led to several students deferring their enrolment or choosing to study elsewhere, according to some stakeholders, while Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics estimate a potential $33.36 million loss in revenue for the sub-sector.

“As with any major reorganisation, this has not come without some speed bumps along the way and the country has felt an overall slowdown in processing times for student and other visas,” said Brett Berquist, director international at the University of Auckland.

“Visa processing delays…may hinder New Zealand’s ability to meet the goals of the strategy”

“This has led to some students needing to defer their start date but overall our enrolments are up again this year. There has been frequent communication with INZ leadership, our peak bodies, and individual universities.”

Kim Renner, executive director of English New Zealand, meanwhile urged INZ to increase staff numbers to meet processing demands, especially for priority markets, including Brazil, Colombia and Taiwan.

“If there’s a barrier, and a significant amount of additional administration is created because of delays, it encourages people to look more closely at other options,” she told The PIE News.

“Enabling students to experience the high-quality education we have on offer is a priority and the work of Immigration New Zealand has a huge impact on that.”

She added some agents had expressed frustration by the changed model of using three main offices to process students visas.

New Zealand’s international education industry is currently valued at $5.1 billion, according to the latest figures from ENZ.

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49 Responses to Immigration New Zealand to investigate visa processing times

  1. 😂😂😂😂…. NZ is delaying student visas and Austalia is delaying 476 skilled graduate temporary wok visa… it’s been 12 months and 15 days and still i don’t received my visa even the processing time is 7 to 11 months… and i am not the only one, hundreds of applicants are aslo waiting too. This is a moment of shame for these countries that they are wasting our time. I wish someone also raised this 476 visa delay issue as well.

  2. They are just telling this to different media that they’re improving the process but they are not. I’m the affected student and I know that. I applied on may 3 and still waiting to get an update.Another student with same institution same level as me, applied on may 12, she got visa on June 5/6. This is the process they’re following. No system nothing. Student like us getting frustrated.

  3. Process visa fast but also check if it is a genuine case n most agents are attaching false certificates to let fraud students enter New Zealand so better check and also issue fast visas for honest students. This will improve the image of your reputed country.

  4. Not only student Visas also partner ship too my son got married 3 years ago still not getting Visa to come nz n his wife is nz moari my son is in fiji n my dota in law is still with us under one roof people who harm nz they get Visas n my son has not broke any rule or his not done any crime as a mother nz immigration is not doing fair I need my son here so that he can start his lovely famliy they want kids but HOW HOW
    Please I bet nz immigration to look my sons case n grant his Visa will be appreciated.

  5. Why is immigration just concerned about student Visa? Why not Partner Visa ? I guess Family is equally important. Immigration website shows partner visa wait time is 5 months which is not true it is actually taking 7 months to even get case officer allocated. Does immigration New Zealand feel it is good and acceptable to keep family a part for 7 months? They cant even imagine what kind of trauma families have to go through and the stress level. Partners from 2018 December are still waiting on Visa which is feel is totally unacceptable.

  6. I am also experiencing long delays, I have in Feb 2017 made an application through my migration agent and applied for my residencey and that I recieved 6 month later. Know I am ready to submit for permanent residencey which I have submitted. My application for Permanent residencey was submitted on the 8 March 2019 INZ and they received my application and then took the money from my account.
    After waiting so long for my outcome, I contacted them sevral times.I am still have had not one person that could not give me answer to why and how long will they take with my application.
    Two weeks ago I finally got my case officer email address and I ask the question why is this is taking so long? I Still have had no response from him.
    I contact my agent who help me to see if he had some information why this is happening with my residencey application is taking so long? He just said INZ is completely in a shambles and people and agents are all Experiancing the same thing.Visa applications and permanent residencey application are taking extremely long and in my case permanent residencey application is also taking extremely long.
    My agent said that a permanent residencey should have be completed in 10 days, how ever under the new goverment it has been scheduled to take 24 days as per INZ website.

  7. my child is taking care of his student nz visa … he applied for a visa pathway. the file was entered in February 2019 and until now the visa has not yet been issued while we wait, we are asked for many new requirements such as asset assets that we have and balance sheets. I have given them all. until I was almost desperate my child is 6 months old and takes English worldwide … 6 months at foundation and 1.5 years at eagle training school for the info that can make us relieved … thank you my child’s name is mif. alif jinan nugraha

  8. I think we must raise an issue everyday that’s what they want us to do.. This government is not able to make their commitments.

  9. Its just not student Visa even work visas are also delayed..Jst dont know why false information are given on websites such as the time frames of Visa processing were as its take such a long time to processed..
    Even going through Visa Advisors Yet it’s taking time.

  10. NZ system is very boring. They always say construction industry is booming but they do not hire skilled overseas engineers. I think it is the same for students. It is just media .

  11. My daughter has applied for new zealand tourist visa in the month of mar, 2019.. She is still waiting for the same..
    they do not respond to our emails / phone calls.. Dont know whom to contact.. Anyone can plz help..

  12. I have Applied Partnership work visa in December 22 and got assigned a visa officer on 8th of June. Still waiting for the result.

  13. I applied my partnership visit visa in December 18 still my file is not allocated and when I call immigration nz and Mumbai office too they say they don’t have any information

    • Me too! I applied on feb8th 2019… Its been 7 months I am married but away from my spouse! He is in NZ and Im in India… Its mentally disturbing alot.. Dnt knw how long its gonna take more
      .. Left job and career for marriage… Thought I would move to NZ soon… But its been disaster…

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