The stated reason for the increase is to cover programs designed to enhance New Zealand’s border security and support the implementation of Vision 2015. Both of these initiatives are intended to provide further improvements to customer experience and border risk management. Other areas of increased expenditure will be enhanced marketing and attraction functions and also enhanced protection of migrant workers (including students) from exploitative employers.
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 be charged at the time of application; it will replace the current migrant levy, paid by applicants for residence after they have been approved in principle.
The fees will be lower for using Immigration Online, rather than paper which will experience an increase after a one year period.
Immigration New Zealand has stated that 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.
It is expected that the changes will take effect in December 2015 so if you are thinking of submitting an application the time to do it is now.
Here at New Zealand Shores we have no plans to increase our fees at all. We will continue offering the same high quality service at the most competitive pricing around.