10 June 2009

Audit into New Zealand work permit case shows failures

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An audit into a New Zealand work permit case has shown that mistakes were made in their approval by the New Zealand immigration department.

According to The Press, New Zealand work permit applications were granted to overseas workers without having proper medical assessments or job offers from an employer during a project designed to clear a massive backlog of New Zealand visa applications.

New Zealand immigration rules require a New Zealand visa application for a New Zealand work permit to have a job offer and proof of good health and character; however, according to an investigation into the New Zealand immigration department lead by Auditor-General Kevin Brady, during the 'Project Crusade' in April last year the New Zealand work permit grants did not follow New Zealand immigration policy.

The New Zealand work permit grants were apparently accepting work experience claims "on face value", meaning that the New Zealand visa applications were not assessed to the usual standards of the New Zealand immigration department.  Further, claims that applicants could support themselves financially and that they were medically sound were also sidelined in importance.

The auditor's report placed the blame on the New Zealand immigration department's managers, saying that they deviated from normal practice and that as a result one-fifth of New Zealand visa application grants during this time were "questionable or poor".

It also found that overseas New Zealand visa application processing branches had the best results for quality in visa grants.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.

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