Offshore SMC Application

Anamika Banerjee made this Official Information request to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

The request was successful.

From: Anamika Banerjee

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,

As I understand from several discussions in this forum, the Offshore SMC applications have been put on hold due to the Covid-19 border restrictions. Hence there is a backlog of Offshore SMC applications from Jan 2018 to Jan 2021.
My question or a humble suggestion is:
1. Since a visa grant cannot be provided to an applicant residing outside NZ, NZ has stopped processing the applications.
Instead, INZ can process the offshore applications and make a decision whether the application is Accepted or Rejected. If it is Accepted, then the Visa grant can be put on hold until the border restrictions are lifted.
Perhaps, this approach would give the applicants who are waiting for years, some amount of relief and ascertain the outcome of their application. And it will also reduce the growing backlog of applications.

Please let me know your response if this is a feasible approach or not and why?

Yours faithfully,
Anamika Banerjee

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From: Dongrui Pang
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Kia ora


Thanks for your email of 5 April 2021. As it is not a request under the
Official Information Act 1982, we are responding to it as a general
correspondence instead.


As you are aware, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is unable to grant visas
to offshore applicants who do not meet border exceptions, because the
Immigration Act prohibits INZ from granting a visa to anyone who is
unlikely to meet entry requirements. We note your suggestion of processing
the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) applications to the point where they
are decision-ready. While we appreciate your suggestion, the government is
not currently considering starting processing offshore SMC applications.
This is because the New Zealand border is unlikely to reopen to all
travellers in the foreseeable future. When the border reopens, a
significant amount of time will have passed and the applications will
require further assessment due to either personal circumstance changes or
changes to immigration policy.



Border & Visa Operations - Immigration New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

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