New Zealand’s immigration industry has called for an audit of Immigration New Zealand’s lethargic processing of the 2021 residence programme applications.
Exasperated members of the immigration industry also urged a root-and-branch probe of Immigration New Zealand’s operations, which has been dogged by IT troubles.
Immigration New Zealand’s operations and slow processing times were also labelled as ‘shambolic’ by migrants and members of the immigration industry.
June Ranson, chairwoman of New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI), expressed concerns about Immigration New Zealand’s slow processing times and the consequent uncertainty surrounding the 2021 residence programme.
She called for an auditor-general investigation and slammed Immigration New Zealand for not enlisting the help of third-party IT advisers.
She also revealed that NZAMI and the immigration industry had offered to help Immigration New Zealand numerous times in online testing and preparation of the application form for the 2021 residence programme, only for their help to be refused.
According to Ms Ranson, Immigration New Zealand had reassured the immigration industry that they had things under control, and proceeded with the 2021 residence programme alone.
She also said that Immigration New Zealand’s latest failing of the 2021 residence programme indicated the government’s stipulation barring any involvement by the immigration industry.
Ms Ranson went on to blame Immigration New Zealand’s lack of transparency and accountability for the technical issues that went wrong with the processing of the 2021 residence programme applications.
Immigration advisers in New Zealand also urged for Immigration New Zealand to be held accountable for the loss of revenue, time, and extreme stress suffered by migrants trying to work out a ‘broken system.’
The immigration industry also suggested that Immigration New Zealand, being a government organization, often escapes the scrutiny that would have been applied towards other institutions.
Moreover, Immigration New Zealand has already lost the trust of the masses and will continue to do so if they go down this road, New Zealand’s immigration industry said.
Geoff Scott, general manager of Immigration New Zealand, acknowledged the frustration experienced by applicants in the first few days, but said that migrants had no trouble in submitting their residence programme applications.
Moreover, he said that Immigration New Zealand established a focus group with representatives from the immigration professionals community, business sector and migrant communities, and that regular group meetings are held regarding feedback and advice.
Mr Scott also revealed that it is a priority for Immigration New Zealand to deliver the 2021 resident visas, and preparations are underway for phase two applications opening from March 1, 2022.