20 December 2011

New Zealand visa system to receive major IT upgrade

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New Zealand immigration minister Jonathan Coleman has announced a substantial investment into the department’s IT system, with the aim of helping to attract skilled immigrants, reduce processing times and increase security.

New Zealand visa

The New Zealand immigration department's IT system is set to receive a major upgrade.

The government has announced they will be spending NZ$75 million on replacing the aging current system, which is currently 15 years old, citing the high cost of making even simple changes and claiming the outlay cannot be maintained in the long term. Service of the new Immigration Global Management System (IGMS) is scheduled to being in early 2012.

Some of the changes will include biometric capability, enhancing identity management and improving security. The move is designed to allow New Zealand visa applicants be given an individual immigration ‘account’ into which they can enter their personal information and keep track of the progress of their application.

The investment was first proposed by the previous Labour government in 2007. In 2008, a report from the auditor-general discovered weaknesses in the New Zealand immigration department’s ability to prevent and detect migrant fraud.

In a statement, Coleman said: “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.” 

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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