“At the moment it is hard to do…but we are certainly working to make it easier for people to engage, hopefully faster…(including) having a system where applicants could just login to the website, check their status, and that is probably couple of years down the track. We are also working towards getting information in more straight forward applications to free up our Immigration officers.”
“Obviously, there is more work to do,” he admits.
With regard to ending exploitation of temporary migrant workers, Lees-Galloway says:
“Exploitation of migrants is an area of real focus but changes that we’ve made, or are making to temporary migrant visa system, should help us to eliminate exploitation as well.We have actually just completed consultation on 10 proposals designed to prevent exploitation from happening.”
Asked whether liquor store owners could be barred from employing temporary migrant workers to protect their exploitation, Lees-Galloway says “(to do that) would be blunt, but we are identifying and bringing a lot more focus to what we think are higher risk areas.”
Immigration Minister Lees-Galloway asked visa applicants to bear with INZ.
“I just ask that they (non-priority applicants) be patient, and understand we are making changes that are designed to keep that queue moving (also).”