Immigration New Zealand to implement new online visa system

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Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman announced a significant government investment in Immigration New Zealand's IT system will help attract more skilled immigrants and boost security.

Coleman said the New Zealand government would be contributing NZ$75 million towards the new IT system.

"The existing IT system is over 15 years old and is reaching the end of its technological lifespan. The cost of even simple changes is high and cannot be maintained over the long term. It's also significantly impairing our ability to provide standards of service and security comparable to other nations," said Coleman.

The new Immigration Global Management System (IGMS) will provide a secure system that enables more online processing and automation of simple tasks for visa applicants and employers. The new immigration system will also provide biometric capability and allow all data to be accessed by Immigration New Zealand offices worldwide.

''This IT initiative is a major step up in INZ's ability to provide timely, responsive and secure immigration services,'' said Coleman. ''We are competing worldwide to recruit skilled and talented people, and a new system will help speed up the processing of visa applications and allow applicants to do more online. Providing a fast and modern service is critical in attracting skilled migrants who can help grow the economy."

Applicants applying for New Zealand visas will also have their own individual online immigration accounts that will enable them to apply online and track their applications.

Implementation of the new immigration system is scheduled to begin in early 2012.

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