Immigration New Zealand has given early warnings to clients that the recent terrorist attacks at Christchurch can affect the processing of visa applications by causing delays.
There are over 190 visa applicants who have been granted visitor visas to New Zealand. This number represents applicants who are family members of the victims of the Christchurch shootings. As on Monday morning this week, the numbers were at 174. These visas were practically granted within 24 hours of applying.
INZ has staff now at the agency that is responsible for handling matters of family members.
Priority placed on the family of Christchurch victims could cause delays
Michael Carley, who is the manager of Immigration New Zealand, has said that because of the priority placed on visa applications coming from the family members of the Christchurch attack victims, other applicants may have to experience delays. He also added that those affected had been provided with a face to face service which will be available in Christchurch.
According to him, bringing this service to Christchurch is in a bid to enhance the other adjustments made to quicken the processing of visa applications.
Carley remarked that these adjustments were coming at a time that the INZ already has so many delayed applications, mainly since this was the busiest season for the agency, a season that has seen a record number of visitors.
He also revealed that INZ has also taken on a lot of recruits and is handling a restructuring project.
This busy season for the INZ is coming at a time when the INZ has commenced the transfer of the handling of visa processing from offshore centers to hubs in New Zealand.
The INZ manager went on to reveal that this new model is designed to enable INZ to deliver applications in a faster, more accurate fashion — and be consistent in making decisions.
The agency has taken on more staff who base in New Zealand into its workforce. With time, the staff will gain more experience which will, in turn, boost productivity and curb delays.
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