More than 10,000 people are waiting for news on their resident applications. Caroline Ryan, licensed immigration adviser said ‘Immigration figures show one in ten will wait more than 13 months and a quarter more than nine months’.
An increase in applications has caused the residence visa category
to be oversubscribed Immigration New Zealand has said.
Adding to this, Residence visas need greater scrutiny than most
applications. 120 officers were working on residence visas, but it could not
say how that compared to previous years.
Latest figures show the Government has slashed resident visa numbers
to the lowest seen in the last two decades. Compared with temporary visas which
are at their highest point ever. An increase in applications has caused the
residence visa category to be oversubscribed.
However, numbers remain at 12,000 under its already-lowered maximum
target of 60,000 new residents by the end of the year resulting in the number
of residence visas to hit a 10-year low.
This seems to be a result of Immigration New Zealand being “ordered”
to cap residence numbers as reported in previous media articles. The sharp dive
in residence numbers started with changes made by the previous National
government. It was harder for people to
become residents when Immigration New Zealand increased the number of points
that skilled immigrants needed to get to become residents.
A restructure at Immigration New Zealand, coincided with visa volume
rises compounded this. Delays in processing has also contributed to this.
Almost 35,000 residence visas and 246,705 work visas were approved
in the year to September. While the number of residence visas being approved
hit a 10 year low in the 12 months to September, the number of work visas hit a
10 year high.
Although residence and work visa approvals have shown strong trends
up or down, student visa approvals have remained generally consistent at around
100,000 a year for the last ten years. International education is still a big
Higher rates of pay are now one of the reasons officials are
fast-tracking some applications.
However, with the latest announcement opening up lower-skilled
occupations, this will create more of a backlog.
Australia is to ‘fast-track’ permanent residence for highly-skilled
A newly established permanent migration scheme called the Global
Talent Independent Program (GTIP) for highly-skilled technologists will target
seven “future-focused fields”, including cyber security, fintech and quantum
computing, in a bid to maintain Australia’s competitiveness.
New Zealand needs a scheme like this where highly skilled migrants
have pathway choices. The program’s aims to lure up to 5,000 high-income
earners working “at the top end of their field” to Australia between July 2019
and June 2020 with the offer of a ‘fast-tracked process to permanent
In May of this year Immigration New Zealand created a process to
respond to escalation requests for urgent allocation for employment related
visas (and associated family members) for both Temporary Work Visas and Skilled
Resident visas. A mailbox was set up for this new initiative Employment Visa
Escalations (EVE) to be monitored and actioned by a team of dedicated
Immigration Managers who will assess these requests for escalation. A request
for escalation will be assessed by the following criteria: compelling personal
circumstances, humanitarian factors, and matters of national interest.