With continued border restrictions in place, the Immigration New Zealand has decided to close their offices in Mumbai, Manila and Pretoria by March 2021 and bring more visa processing onshore. Visa processing from INZ’s Beijing office is also being withdrawn.
The office closures will affect 329 staff, who are locally employed in each city.
With continued border restrictions, incoming visa volumes from people who are offshore have decreased significantly across a number of visa categories, including visitor and student visa applications which are primarily processed offshore.
The reduction in visa volumes, combined with new technology capabilities, has provided INZ with the opportunity to future-proof and change the way they work.
Deputy Head of INZ, Catriona Robinson says that INZ has a responsibility to adapt to the changing environment.
“As a result, INZ has made the difficult decision to close our offices in Mumbai, Manila and Pretoria by March 2021 and bring more visa processing onshore…These offices have been closed since March 2020 and with no certainty about when visa volumes may return to normal, INZ has had to make some tough decisions,” Robinson says.
“In addition, INZ is also planning to withdraw visa processing from our Beijing office, while strengthening our risk and verification presence.
“The Beijing office reopened in September 2020 and is currently processing visa applications for individuals who are already in New Zealand. The timing of withdrawal of visa processing from Beijing will depend on a number of factors including visa volumes and changes to New Zealand’s border restrictions. INZ will continue to monitor this over the next six months,” Catriona Robinson says.
Catriona Robinson says she is confident that INZ is well placed to increase our onshore processing capacity. “The roll out of new technology functions aims to improve efficiency and resilience throughout INZ, which will help to us to better manage peaks and troughs in visa volumes while giving users of the immigration system a better customer experience.”