The opening fortnight of the 2021 Resident Visa has been an appalling failure after a totally predictable crash of Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) IT system and less than a hundred visas being processed to date, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
“Data on INZ’s website shows only 97 visas were processed in the first two weeks. With 10,833 visa applications currently lodged, it will take four years at the current rate to process the rest of them.
“With 110,000 applications expected to be lodged in total, INZ needs to process roughly 1,700 visas a week to meet their 80 percent target of applications processed within the first 12 months. Due to system failures they’re already 3,300 visas behind.
“The immigration system has become a shambles under this Government and is showing no signs of improvement.
“We’ve had unprecedented backlogs of residency applications, entirely avoidable labour shortages in some of our most crucial sectors, and valuable migrants leaving because they had no path to residency, or they couldn’t reunite with their families.
“Now this Residence 21 policy is looking to become another complete failure.
“The Immigration Minister announced the 2021 Resident Visa would fix the broken immigration system. After what we have seen in the first fortnight, the Government is no closer to fixing anything.
“The Minister has been quick to blame officials for the crash of the INZ website on opening day in response to Written Questions from me. However, the post incident review that is currently underway will show that this was a failure of poor MBIE system maintenance and poor design, and the Minister must take responsibility.
“He must ensure that processing rates start drastically tracking upwards. New Zealand cannot afford another huge failure on immigration.”