Expect substantial delays to work visa applications

The Associate Deputy Chief Executive of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has released a statement advising there will be substantial delays with work visa applications due to a reallocation of internal staff.

As many readers will be aware (based our recent article circulations), INZ’s Beijing office has temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak in China and this has resulted in a significant backlog of temporary visa applications allocated to that branch. The Beijing Branch normally holds 130 visa processing staff. INZ has therefore made the decision to reassign a significant number of their case officers from the work visa teams to alleviate this backlog.

INZ has also now indicated that the processing timeframes for work visas are likely to be quadrupled, which could see certain work visa applications taking several months to process. For example, this could mean that “standard” Essential Skill work visas could take 4 – 6 months to process.

Due to this development we would recommend that temporary visa holders, who hold visas that are expiring in the next six months or less, submit their next work visa application as soon as possible to reduce risks associated with delayed processing timeframes.  This is especially so for individuals applying for visas for new roles (promotions) or those who travel internationally for their work.

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