SMC/WTR plans due to new 2021 resident visa

Adam Berman made this Official Information request to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Currently waiting for a response from Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Adam Berman

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,

On behalf of myself and other applicants that have applied for NZ residence and are currently sitting in the Skilled Migrant Category queue, I request the below information under the official information ACT1982:

According to the Skilled Residence Data as at 22 November 2021, published on the immigration NZ website, there has been no allocation from the general onshore queue since the 16th of August 2021. The current reason is due to the level 3 lockdown. New Zealand has moved on the 3rd of December to the new Covid framework.

Important: While the below questions are directed to the skilled migrant category queue, the writer of this request assumes it is relevant for work to residence queue (as both are the same queue). If any question below demands a split between SMC and WTR, kindly mention this in the answer provided. Should such mention not be provided the assumption is that the answer applies to both SMC and WTR.

1) When will INZ staff return to work at full capacity on SMC paper-based applications?
2) How many staff members are allocated to work on SMC applications?
3) What is the legal justification that paper-based applications cannot be scanned by INZ staff to allow working from home under Covid conditions?
4) Does INZ have a plan in place to continue to process the SMC applications that have not applied for the 2021 one-off residency visa? If so, please detail this plan including allocated staff numbers and timeframes of when INZ expects to complete assessments of remaining SMC applications.
5) Will INZ provide an interim visa to SMC applicants similar to the one provided to the One-off 2021 resident visa applicants while they await the decision. Should the answer to the question be “no”, kindly justify the reasoning for this when some applicants are waiting over 29 months?
6) Is INZ going to give successful applicants from the SMC queue permanent residence status (instead of a residence class visa with restrictions) on approval to compensate for the unjustified long wait for case officer allocations?
7) To fully eliminate the backlog and queue, what is the reason INZ does not allow all SMC lodged applications to move to the new 2021 residency visa?
8) Of 12,123 SMC/WTR applications in the queue as of November 22nd, how many are eligible for the new 2021 resident visa.
9) Of 12,123 SMC/WTR applications in the queue as of November 22nd, how many have withdrawn their SMC/WTR application due to approved 2021 resident visa.
10) How many offshore applications are currently waiting for allocation to a case officer?
11) Will the offshore unallocated applications join the general onshore queue? If the answer is yes, will this be based on the date of application or will they join the end of the queue?

Yours faithfully,

Adam Berman

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From: Ministerial Services
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment


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Ref: 2122-1249

 

Dear Adam,

 

On behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment I
acknowledge your email of 7 December 2021 requesting under the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act), the following:

 

‘According to the Skilled Residence Data as at 22 November 2021, published
on the immigration NZ website, there has been no allocation from the
general onshore queue since the 16th of August 2021. The current reason is
due to the level 3 lockdown. New Zealand has moved on the 3rd of December
to the new Covid framework. Important: While the below questions are
directed to the skilled migrant category queue, the writer of this request
assumes it is relevant for work to residence queue (as both are the same
queue). If any question below demands a split between SMC and WTR, kindly
mention this in the answer provided. Should such mention not be provided
the assumption is that the answer applies to both SMC and WTR. 1) When
will INZ staff return to work at full capacity on SMC paper-based
applications? 2) How many staff members are allocated to work on SMC
applications? 3) What is the legal justification that paper-based
applications cannot be scanned by INZ staff to allow working from home
under Covid conditions? 4) Does INZ have a plan in place to continue to
process the SMC applications that have not applied for the 2021 one-off
residency visa? If so, please detail this plan including allocated staff
numbers and timeframes of when INZ expects to complete assessments of
remaining SMC applications. 5) Will INZ provide an interim visa to SMC
applicants similar to the one provided to the One-off 2021 resident visa
applicants while they await the decision. Should the answer to the
question be “no”, kindly justify the reasoning for this when some
applicants are waiting over 29 months? 6) Is INZ going to give successful
applicants from the SMC queue permanent residence status (instead of a
residence class visa with restrictions) on approval to compensate for the
unjustified long wait for case officer allocations? 7) To fully eliminate
the backlog and queue, what is the reason INZ does not allow all SMC
lodged applications to move to the new 2021 residency visa? 8) Of 12,123
SMC/WTR applications in the queue as of November 22nd, how many are
eligible for the new 2021 resident visa. 9) Of 12,123 SMC/WTR applications
in the queue as of November 22nd, how many have withdrawn their SMC/WTR
application due to approved 2021 resident visa. 10) How many offshore
applications are currently waiting for allocation to a case officer? 11)
Will the offshore unallocated applications join the general onshore queue?
If the answer is yes, will this be based on the date of application or
will they join the end of the queue?’

 

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

 

Please note that the days from 25 December 2021 to 15 January 2022
(inclusive) are defined as non- working days in the Act and are not
counted in the calculation of the maximum timeframe for our response to
your request. This will affect the time period for responding to your
request.

 

If you have any enquiries regarding your request feel free to contact us
via email [1][MBIE request email] or using the contact details below.

 

Nâku noa, nâ

MINISTERIAL SERVICES

 

Ngâ Pou o te Taumaru

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

15 Stout Street, Wellington 6011 |  P O Box 1473 Wellington 6140

 

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

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