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INZ fees increasing and new levy to be introduced

NEWS: November 12, 2015

According to a 9 November 2015 Immigration New Zealand media release, following a 2015 review of immigration charges, Cabinet has agreed to increase immigration charges by 8.3 per cent overall.

States the release, "Most of the additional funding will give effect to Budget 2015 decisions to enhance New Zealand’s border security and support the implementation of Vision 2015.  Both of these initiatives provide significant benefits to New Zealand in respect of making further improvements to customer experience and border risk management.  Some additional funding will provide for enhanced marketing and attraction functions and also enhanced protection of migrant workers (including students) from exploitative employers.  This funding will directly support the government’s objectives to fill skill gaps, attract investment, grow export education and reduce migrant exploitation.

INZ argue that they have saved costs over some time and that they have exhausted that avenue... "further cost savings would not be possible without compromising on the level of service delivery.  Immigration fees were last reviewed in 2012, when they were increased by an average of 16.7 per cent.   

"The proposed changes include an increase to application fees and the introduction of the immigration levy on applicants for temporary visas (work, student, visitor), limited visas and some resident visas (unless the applicant is exempt). The immigration levy will therefore be charged at application; it will replace the current migrant levy, paid by applicants for residence after they have been approved in principle. 

"Generally, there will be a lower fee for applicants who use Immigration Online, rather than paper.  There will be no cost increase for a visitor visa or student visa made using Immigration Online.  Certain work visa applications made using Immigration Online will also benefit from a lower fee.  The total cost for paper-based visitor visa applications will not change from the current cost for an initial one year period.  This gives tourism markets time to adjust to the move to online applications.  From year two, fees for paper-based visitor visa applications will increase but not for visitors that have moved to online applications. 

"Even with the proposed increase, New Zealand’s charges will remain broadly comparable to competitor countries, and it is important to note that around 80 percent of visitors will not be affected by the proposed increased charges as they travel visa free. 

"Immigration regulations need to be changed before the proposed increases can take effect.  It is expected that the changes will take effect in December 2015.  An updated guide outlining the new fees and levy rates for all applications will be made available once the necessary changes to regulations have been approved."

Back to Border

INZ's New fees: pushing visa applicants away from paper to online applications.

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