Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has requested that the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) speed up national security checks that have been pending for over nine months. This comes amid a surge in residence visa checks, which has increased by almost 200 percent. Half of the fast-track green list residence applications are currently awaiting security checks, which typically take about six months.
The SIS declined to disclose its average processing time but confirmed that it is working on a service level agreement with INZ to formalize timeframes. The SIS also stated that it was not consulted on green list visas, which were launched last year with the aim of being processed within six weeks.
SIS aims to complete 90% of residence applications within six months, and 90% of temporary visas within two weeks. However, delays often occur due to incomplete applications that need to be returned to INZ for additional information.
Despite these challenges, the SIS reassured INZ that it will be able to meet the expected number of Resi21 NSCs within the agreed timeframe, provided certain conditions are met.
These include successful recruitment to replace departing staff, full integration of INZ/SIS systems, and minimising the number of incomplete applications.
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.