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Re: Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa Processing

Renoh Chalakkal made this Official Information request to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

This request has an unknown status. We're waiting for Renoh Chalakkal to read a recent response and update the status.

From: Renoh Chalakkal

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,
I had applied for an SMC category visa for myself and my family on Sep 09, 2019. To date, the application has not been allocated a case officer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the immigration offices were closed, which is expected to affect the processing further.

Can I get an idea about the current status of the applications that are taken from the queue? What is the submission date of the applications (with no priority) that is currently being taken up by the Immigration office and being allotted a case officer?

Thanks.

Yours faithfully,
Renoh Chalakkal

Link to this

From: Renoh Chalakkal

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,
Continuing from my previous question, I found that in response to a few previous questions, Immigration NZ has responded that the oldest application from the general queue is dated 11 Dec 2018.

But this date (11 Dec 2018) has remained the same for both the responses dated 2 Dec 2019 (File No: DOIA 1920-0826) and 11 Feb 2020 (File No: DOIA 1920-1065) from MBIE.

Does this mean that from 2 Dec 2019 to 11 Feb 2020, no application was taken up and allotted a case officer from the general queue? If so what is the reason for this (other than the Christmas holidays in December)? Are there any government policies that relate to this non-uptake of the applications from the general queue during this period?

Yours faithfully,
Renoh Chalakkal

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From: Ministerial Services
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ref: 1920-1553

 

Dear Renoh,

 

On behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment I
acknowledge your email of 5 May 2020 requesting under the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act), the following:

 

“I had applied for an SMC category visa for myself and my family on Sep
09, 2019. To date, the application has not been allocated a case officer.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the immigration offices were closed, which
is expected to affect the processing further.

 

Can I get an idea about the current status of the applications that are
taken from the queue? What is the submission date of the applications
(with no priority) that is currently being taken up by the Immigration
office and being allotted a case officer?

 

AND

 

Continuing from my previous question, I found that in response to a few
previous questions, Immigration NZ has responded that the oldest
application from the general queue is dated 11 Dec  2018.

 

But this date (11 Dec 2018) has remained the same for both the responses
dated 2 Dec 2019 (File No: DOIA 1920-0826) and 11 Feb 2020 (File No: DOIA
1920-1065) from MBIE.

 

Does this mean that from 2 Dec 2019 to 11 Feb 2020, no application was
taken up and allotted a case officer from the general queue? If so what is
the reason for this (other than the Christmas holidays in December)? Are
there any government policies that relate to this non-uptake of the
applications from the general queue during this period?”

 

 

Your request is being processed in accordance with the Act and a response
will be sent to you in due course.

 

Please note, due to ongoing COVID-19 response work, requests are currently
being triaged and those relating to Covid-19 processed as a priority.
Remaining requests are being assessed as per the Ombudsman’s guidance
(which can be found here:
[1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/chief-ombudsmans-statement-official-information-response-times-during-covid-19-emergency)
and processed accordingly.

 

If you have any enquiries regarding your request, or its urgency, feel
free to contact us via email at [2][MBIE request email].

 

Nâku noa, nâ

MINISTERIAL SERVICES

 

Corporate, Governance and Information

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Level 4, 15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140

NZBN 9429000106078

 

 

[3]www.govt.nz - your guide to finding and using New Zealand government
services

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/...
2. mailto:[MBIE request email]
3. http://www.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Lester Deane-Royce
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear Renoh,

 

Thank you for your request dated 5 May 2020. In order to determine your
eligibility to make a request under [1]section 12 of the Official
Information Act 1982, please confirm and provide evidence that you are:

 

(a)    a New Zealand citizen; or

(b)    a permanent resident of New Zealand; or

(c)    a person who is in New Zealand.

 

If you do not wish to provide this information via the FYI website, you
can email it to me directly at [2][email address].

 

Please provide this information by 13 May 2020. If no response is
received, your request will not be processed.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Lester Deane-Royce

BUSINESS ADVISOR

 

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations

Immigration New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

 

[3][email address] | Telephone: +64 (0)4 896 5079

[4]www.immigration.govt.nz

 

NZBN 9429000106078

 

[5]www.govt.nz - your guide to finding and using New Zealand government
services

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References

Visible links
1. http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/19...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/
5. http://www.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Renoh Chalakkal

Dear Lester Deane-Royce,

Hi,
I can confirm that I am currently residing in Auckland, New Zealand and I am currently on a 3-year post-study work visa. I am not able to view your email in the previous reply.

I have my work visa copy that I can email you. I am not sure how I can send you the proof of this document through FYI. I had requested FYI to help me to make your email visible on May 08, 2020. But they have not replied to me yet. I have also left you a voice message on May 12, 2020, on your contact number given in your reply, regarding the same.

Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Renoh Chalakkal

Link to this

From: Lester Deane-Royce
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

As a result of the COVID-19 response, Immigration New Zealand’s head
office is currently working at a reduced staffing level. I may have some
access to emails remotely, and will respond to you if I am able.

If your query is urgent, please call our Contact Centre on 0508 55 88 55.

Kind Regards,

 

Lester Deane-Royce

BUSINESS ADVISOR

 

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations

Immigration New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

 

[1][email address] | Telephone: +64 (0)4 896 5079

[2]www.immigration.govt.nz

 

NZBN 9429000106078

 

[3]www.govt.nz - your guide to finding and using New Zealand government
services

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/
3. http://www.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Lester Deane-Royce
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear Renoh,

 

As discussed over the phone, your Official Information Act request has now
been closed.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions that cannot be
answered by the information on our website.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Lester Deane-Royce

BUSINESS ADVISOR

 

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations

Immigration New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

 

[1][email address] | Telephone: +64 (0)4 896 5079

[2]www.immigration.govt.nz

 

NZBN 9429000106078

 

 

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Link to this

From: Renoh Chalakkal

Dear Lester Deane-Royce,
Thanks for the call back regarding the question.

According to your answer, I understood the following things about the current status of SMC visa processing:

1. Still, the oldest application from the general queue is dated 11.12.2018 and no further application is taken and allotted a case officer from the general queue to date (12.05.2020). That means there is a current allocation delay of more than 17 months from the general queue.
2. Some applications from the general queue might be able to jump the queue under compassionate grounds.
3. No processing of SMC visa is being carried out during lockdown since it is a paper application-based process and immigration officers are not able to access those files until they return to their office.
4. Still, the applications are only taken up from the priority queue who have double median income or if the application based on registration required occupations.

I have the following additional questions:
a). Does the government have any strategies in place to reduce this delay? And if there is a priority-based allocation on the run from 2018 that only selected applications from the priority queue from Dec 2018 to May 2020, why the government allowed the non-priority applicants to submit the SMC resident visa application in the first place during that period?

b). Does the priority information was made available to all applicants who applied during Dec 2018 and Dec 2019, who applied by themselves without the support of any immigration advisers?

c). If someone has to wait for more than 17 months due to this prioritized processing and if they lose their job during this COVID-19 pandemic, does it make their SMC applications invalid? If so does Immigration New Zealand have any policies in place to consider the applications of such people on compassionate grounds?

Kindly help me with a response to the above questions if possible.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Renoh Chalakkal

Link to this

From: Lester Deane-Royce
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear Renoh,

 

Thank you for your email. To correct myself in relation to your first
point, the oldest application currently in the general queue awaiting
allocation was received on 9 January 2019 – not 11 December 2018 as we
discussed on the phone.

 

The situation regarding prioritisation of applications has also changed as
of 13 May 2020; onshore residence applications are now prioritised ahead
of those offshore, with the SMC prioritisation criteria (high
remuneration, occupational registration) being further prioritised within
this group. Information on this can be found on the INZ website:
[1]https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us...

 

In relation to your questions:

a)      Prioritisation criteria have been refined, meaning a smaller
number of applications are prioritised and more non-priority applications
are able to be allocated. This should result in more of the oldest
applications in the queue being allocated. INZ will be able to review this
approach again once the New Zealand Government makes further decisions on
the New Zealand Residence Programme. INZ does not have the ability to
prevent applicants from submitting visa applications.

b)      INZ has made information available where it has been requested,
but recognises that some applicants may not have been aware of the
situation when they submitted their applications. INZ has now formalised
the prioritisation criteria and published information on current processes
on our website.

c)      The majority of applicants will be unable to be approved a
resident visa under this category without an acceptable offer of
employment. INZ is currently considering options for affected individuals,
but applicants should seek a new offer of employment and provide this to
INZ if they wish to continue with their application.

 

I hope that has addressed your queries.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Lester Deane-Royce

BUSINESS ADVISOR

 

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations

Immigration New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

 

[2][email address] | Telephone: +64 (0)4 896 5079

[3]www.immigration.govt.nz

 

NZBN 9429000106078

 

 

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Link to this

AC Wei Jun left an annotation ()

The information provided in INZ website have stated different date in the FYI response.

Please see the link below

"As of 26 May 2020, INZ is allocating:

non-prioritised SMC and Residence from Work applications received in December 2018, and
prioritised SMC and Residence from Work applications received in November 2019."

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us...

Link to this

From: Renoh Chalakkal

Dear Lester Deane-Royce,
There was a recent update on the Immigration NZ website that the oldest application in the general queue is still dated December 2018, which contradicts your reply to my previous query.

Can you give clarification regarding this?

Thanks in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Renoh Chalakkal

Link to this

From: Lester Deane-Royce
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear Renoh,

 

Thank you for your email. My apologies – I had misinterpreted the data
when responding to your previous email. I have now confirmed that the
oldest applications in the queue are in fact from 17 December 2018.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Lester Deane-Royce

BUSINESS ADVISOR

 

Operations Support, Border and Visa Operations

Immigration New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

 

[1][email address] | Telephone: +64 (0)4 896 5079

[2]www.immigration.govt.nz

 

NZBN 9429000106078

 

 

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Link to this

From: Renoh Chalakkal

Dear Lester Deane-Royce,
1. What are the oldest application currently in the general queue and priority queue that has not been allocated to a case officer yet (an on the date this request will be answered)?

2. Also, on average how many applications from the general queue are allotted case officer post lockdown when the immigration officers were able to return to work in May?

3. Whether the case officer allocation time is included in the average processing time given on the Immigration New Zealand website (which is currently 17 months)? If not why? Isn't this violation of customer rights, by giving misleading information?

4. Can Immigration advertise on their website two separate processing times (including the allocation delay time) for SMC visas? One for the general queue and one for the prioritized queue. This could help future applicants.

Expecting a reply soon. Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Renoh Chalakkal

Link to this

From: Ministerial Services
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ref: 2021-0185

 

Dear Renoh,

 

On behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment I
acknowledge your email of 23 July 2020 requesting under the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act), the following:

 

1. What are the oldest application currently in the general queue and
priority queue that has not been allocated to a case officer yet (an on
the date this request will be answered)?

 

2. Also, on average how many applications from the general queue are
allotted case officer post lockdown when the immigration officers were
able to return to work in May?

 

3. Whether the case officer allocation time is included in the average
processing time given on the Immigration New Zealand website (which is
currently 17 months)? If not why? Isn't this violation of customer rights,
by giving misleading information?

 

4. Can Immigration advertise on their website two separate processing
times (including the allocation delay time) for SMC visas? One for the
general queue and one for the prioritized queue. This could help future
applicants.

 

Your request is being processed in accordance with the Act and a response
will be sent to you in due course.

 

Please note, due to ongoing COVID-19 response work, requests are currently
being triaged and those relating to Covid-19 processed as a priority.
Remaining requests are being assessed as per the Ombudsman’s guidance
(which can be found here:
[1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/chief-ombudsmans-statement-official-information-response-times-during-covid-19-emergency)
and processed accordingly.

 

If you have any enquiries regarding your request, or its urgency, feel
free to contact us via email at [2][MBIE request email].

 

Nâku noa, nâ

MINISTERIAL SERVICES

 

Corporate, Governance and Information

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Level 4, 15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140

NZBN 9429000106078

 

 

[3]www.govt.nz - your guide to finding and using New Zealand government
services

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/...
2. mailto:[MBIE request email]
3. http://www.govt.nz/

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