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Changes to Immigration Instructions for the Visitor Visa Applications on the New Immigration Online Systems

Changes to Immigration Instructions for the Visitor Visa Applications on the New Immigration Online Systems

Immigration New Zealand (INZ)has announced that theimmigration instructions have been updated to allow the migration of visitor visa applications from the current processing systems to the Immigration Online system. The changes have been implemented from 31 January 2022. These modifications include measures that specify when an electronic system may decide that the criteria for granting a visitor visa under instructions at V2 and V3 have been satisfiedand when the case will be sent to an immigration officer for further review.

The changes also specify:

  1. when the sponsored persons or their sponsors must submit a relevant form; and
  2. if an online system does not require a medical certificate or chest x-ray certificate, an immigration officer may request one if it is necessary to determine whether the applicant is in good health.

General Instructions regarding Visa Processing Procedures

Under section 26(4) of the Immigration Act 2009, a new general instruction on the sequence and method of processing visa applications has been introduced for immigration officers. This general instruction outlines how immigration officers will handle applications submitted once improvements to Immigration Online have been implemented.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Performing tasks given by the improved Immigration Online system;
  2. Performing tasks related to the final collecting of information, evaluation, and decision; and
  3. Pre-decision quality checks.

Automated processing and granting

Under the following immigration guidelines, an automated electronic system may decide whether an application meets one or more of the requirements for a visitor visa:

  • V2 General visitor • V3.5 Business visitor • V3.25 Children entering New Zealand for adoption • V3.30 Children adopted overseas before their New Zealand Citizenship is confirmed • V3.35 Culturally arranged marriage • V3.40 Entry to New Zealand for the purpose of medical treatment or consultation (and/or escorts of patients) • V3.45 Applicants wanting to obtain occupational registration in New Zealand • V3.50 Persons associated with a Contracting Party to the Antarctic Treaty and other Antarctic travellers
  • V3.55 Visiting Media Programme • V3.60 Pitcairn Islanders • V3.65 Conference delegates • V3.70 Crew members joining vessels for aircraft • V3.80 Visitors arriving by yacht or private aircraft • V3.81 Owners and crew of super yachts • V3.85 Sports people, support staff, match and tournament officials and media and broadcasting personnel associated with sports events, tours or tournaments • V3.95 German law students and graduates • V3.115 Work visa holders dismissed during a trial period • V3.130 Visiting academics • V3.140 Approved arts or music festival • V3.145 Short-term live entertainment acts • V3.155 Persons departing New Zealand during COVID-19

Automated grant of temporary entry class visa:

An applicant who satisfies the requirements of the immigration instructions may be granted a visitor visa using an automated electronic system for the following:

  1. General visitor
  2. Business visitor

Regardless of the above, an automated electronic system will not grant a temporary entry class visa to a person who:

  • has particular alerts or warnings; or
  • does not appear to meet health or character requirements; or
  • has an active appeal; or
  • is liable for deportation; or
  • has an open case or appeal with the Deputy Secretary or the Minister; or
  • is a student funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the New Zealand Scholarship Programme; or
  • is the subject of compliance action; or
  • is the holder of a visa issued by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal under section 210 or 216 of the Immigration Act 2009

In circumstances where the above applies, a manual examination of the identified concern will be conducted and an immigration officer will decide whether to issue or deny a visa.

Note that when a decision is made by an automated electronic system, it must be treated as if it were made by an immigration officer who is authorized to make the decision under the Immigration Act 2009.

To gain a better understanding of the above changes to the immigration instructions and to learn more about them kindly get in touch with us.

Please do not hesitate to contact Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd. at contact@nzimmigration.info or call on +64 09 3790219.  Our experienced team of Licensed Immigration Advisers will be happy to guide you.

Author Details

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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