Immigration News

INZ Website Crashes Causing Delays to Visa Applications

Immigration New Zealand’s online application system crashed as soon as it opened on Wednesday morning.

The one-off simplified residency pathway through the government’s “2021 resident visa” is available to migrants who have lived in New Zealand for the last three years or who work in skilled or scarce jobs, and were in the country on September 29.

The government has had months to get this right

It was widely anticipated that it would be difficult to login to the new visa system to lodge Phase 1 applications for the 2021 Resident Visa.

It’s not uncommon to have trouble logging in when demand is high, but nothing like this. It’s felt like a total collapse. I had a client refreshing their screen for seven hours today trying to get in.

Erica Stanford, the National shadow minister for immigration, claims that Minister Faafoi was made aware of this problem and was advised to develop a strategy to deal with it, but he did nothing.

If that is correct, it shows the ongoing contempt of this minister for the migrant communities of New Zealand. It appears he does the bare minimum for good publicity – create a policy designed to assist people – but does not bother to deliver a usable customer experience for applications to be made.

No doubt he will say there was no ability to limit access to the system. That simply isn’t true. Invitations to make the applications could have been staggered based on the date a person made their original Residence Visa application that brought them within Phase 1.

But this doesn’t prejudice just those people trying to apply in Phase 1.

The inability to access RealMe means anyone who has a temporary visa expiring (such as a work visa) today, or in the coming days if this continues, is going to potentially become unlawful for not filing a new temporary visa application because of the system failure.

People deserve better. Perhaps Minister Faafoi forgets that those obtaining residence will be voters in the 2023 election – voters on whom he will need to rely on to keep his job.