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Upgraded systems for better immigration service

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has allocated $75 million to create a new system, which promises better and faster services for processing applications from international students.

Immigration Minister Nathan Guy claimed that the new ‘Immigration Global Management System’ (IGMS) would transform INZ and help the department to gain competitiveness with other countries.

“The benefits of IGMS will begin to accrue next year when the first elements of the new system are delivered and students will be able to apply online for visas. The system will be fully implemented in 2015, allowing applicants to have their own personal online immigration account to track the progress of their applications,” he said, speaking at the annual conference of the New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment in Auckland on August 31, 2012.

He said the number of ‘visa types’ will also be reduced to simplify the application and assessment processes.

Family policy changes

Stating that the changes in family category process were designed to maximise the economic value that immigration delivers to New Zealand, Mr Guy said that the revision would be an important tool in attracting and retaining skilled migrants, while saving the taxpayer about $40 million a year.

“We want to ensure that the focus remains on giving priority to migrants who can make a real contribution to New Zealand. The new, two-tier process for parents of New Zealand citizens and residents who want to migrate will prove beneficial to all,” he said.

Applications from parents who have higher income sponsors, or who bring a guaranteed income or funds, will be processed faster than other applications.

“As a result, many skilled migrants who have residence here can sponsor their parents and will receive a quicker decision with less red tape,” Mr Guy said.

Investor category

According to him, the Investor Migration Scheme, revamped in 2009, has attracted about $1 billion in actual and potential investment funds.

“These policies are about being innovative and doing everything we can to address the fall in the number of migrants coming here, as a result of the global economic slowdown. We have to be smart, nimble and creative to ensure we stay ahead of our competitors in attracting the talent we want,” he said.

Attracting skilled migrants

Mr Guy said that the new ‘New Zealand Now’ website, has been a crucial part of marketing activity of INZ.

Its purpose is to attract people with the skills New Zealand needs, to capture their details, and from there to move them along the migration pathway, he said.

“The redeveloped website features videos of migrants telling their own stories, and uses technology to send targeted messages to people. In addition, the newly developed ‘SkillFinder’ helps prospective migrants to find work in New Zealand,” he said.

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