Immigration Minister Nathan Guy says the 'state-of-the-art' system will reap dividends much earlier than its completion date.
03 September 2012
New Zealand visa system to offer early improvements
A new, NZ$75 million (£38 million) IT system which will be used to process New Zealand visa applications could start producing dividends as early as next year.
The new Immigration Global Management System isn't due for completion until 2015 but Immigration Minister Nathan Guy says other factors of the system, such as being able to track applications online will be ready as early as next year.
The new system was first proposed in 2007 after one Immigration New Zealand (INZ) was caught stealing government money in 2003 in an investigation which uncovered numerous flaws in the existing system.
However, it wasn't until former Immigration Minister Johnathan Coleman warned that New Zealand risked falling behind the rest of the world in economic terms due to the sophistication, technological and security aspects of their immigration system that the plan was moved forward.
The contract was awarded to Datacom in January and is expected to be implemented in 2015.
It is understood that the new system will be heavily inspired by a similar system in Australia known as SkillSelect which allows applications to be handled more online.
Jodie List, casework manager at the New Zealand Visa Bureau, says the new system should allow for a greater degree of transparency in an application's progress.
"Applying for a New Zealand visa can often feel a little left in the dark, hopefully the new IGM system will allow everyone to keep better track of where their application is upto and what, if anything, they will need to do next," said Ms List.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.