Immigration New Zealand announces plans to attract more immigrants and simplify visa process

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New Zealand Immigration Minister Nathan Guy has given his support to Immigration New Zealand and their proposed plans for the department which it hopes will lead to further improvements in its operations over the next three years.

It is hoped that the plans, called "Vision for 2015", will enable the immigration department to focus more on attracting and keeping high value migrants, students and travellers. In order to achieve this the department said they need to create an organisation with better service, better systems and better outcomes so that they can:
  • Attract the best people
  • Make quality decisions quickly and efficiently
  • Support migrants to settle into work
  • Protect the integrity and security of the New Zealand immigration system
"Immigration New Zealand has put a lot of hard work into winning back the confidence and trust of the public and the Government. This plan is an important step towards building on these achievements," says Guy.

Guy stated that the immigration department now makes around 500,000 visa decisions a year. "In future there will be fewer visa types and application processes will be simplified, resulting in a better service for customers," he said.

Guy hopes that the Immigration Global Management System (IGMS), which was approved by Cabinet just before Christmas, will help the department work more efficiently and reduce the costs of visa applications. The NZD$75 million investment for IGMS will also allow more visas to be applied for online.

"Immigration makes a major contribution to New Zealand's economy. New migrants add an estimated $1.9 billion to our GDP every year, international students contribute $2.3 billion, and inbound tourists around $9 billion," said Guy. "We are competing with other developed countries for the same pool of potential migrants, students and visitors. This is why we need to improve how we operate."

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