New Zealand immigration has announced changes to the application process for most temporary visa applications from the UK and Ireland. With the exception of the Skilled Migrant Category applications should now be submitted to the Immigration New Zealand Visa Application Centre (VAC) in London.
Applications can be submitted to the London VAC by mail or in person, a spokesman said and once checked will be forwarded to Immigration New Zealand for processing. Final documents are then sent back to the VAC and customers are able to either pick up their documents from the VAC or pay the courier fee to have them returned directly to them.
The VAC is run by a third party provider, TT Services New Zealand Limited, which manages other VACs for Immigration New Zealand in Asia, Europe, Russia, the South Pacific, Canada, and in Washington DC in the US for Central and South America.
Skilled Migrant Category Expressions of Interest (EOI) are made online and clients who are invited to make an application under the Skilled Migrant Category will receive specific instructions in their Invitation to Apply. The spokesman confirmed that the New Zealand Embassies in Brussels, Berlin, Geneva, Paris and Rome now no longer receive and process visa applications on behalf of Immigration New Zealand.
Quote from ExpatForum.com : “I am in NZ and i am not sure what to do as my 3 month visitors visa will expire and i will need to renew showing an enormous amount of cash in my account…..for survival..I knew nothing of this as my so called advisor did not inform me…..”
Immigration New Zealand is, however, planning to open a VAC in Germany soon but until then applicants living in Germany can either send their visa applications directly to the VAC in London or use the visa application drop box service at the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin. Customers choosing the drop box service can drop off, post or courier their visa applications to the drop box address and the applications will be sent to the London VAC and returned directly back to the applicant. Customers will still be required to pay the VAC service fee, but do not need to pay courier costs to send their application or receive their passport back.
Meanwhile, a university professor has called for the arrangement between New Zealand and Australia to allow its citizens to live and work in each other’s countries without the need for visas to be reviewed, claiming it can lead to back door immigration. Dr Bob Birrell of Monash University in Melbourne said that the problem with the current arrangement, which allows citizens of either to cross the Tasman Sea without the need for visas, leaves potential for those who have been refused an Australian visa to move to New Zealand instead, gain citizenship there and then move back to Australia.
‘People not born in New Zealand account for about a quarter of the New Zealand citizen flow to Australia,’ said Dr Birrell.