INZ announce big increase in visa fees

Immigration visa fees and levies are going up significantly for most visa types as of July 31st. The increase also comes just weeks after applications open for the Accredited Employer visas.

The government has announced its new processing fees and there is a big increase in the majority of visas. Some individual visa increases are very high, and this will another cost to bear for migrants and their families, on top of the expense of moving to another country. This includes the family categories and parent retirement categories, all which increase by more than $1000, and the Skilled Migrant visa will cost an extra $1,580 – when it’s open again, that is. 

They have also increased the cost of the newest visa designed to make it easier to hire skilled migrants, only three weeks after applications open. The cost of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is going up from $595 to $750 on 31 July, and applications only opened on 4 July. The costs have also not increased for employers, with no changes to fees for accreditation or job checks, it’s all falling on the applicants. It’s simply a slap in the face to those wishing to move to New Zealand, and bring their families with them.

See the full table of fee increases here.

If Immigration New Zealand could also guarantee faster processing times, I think every visa applicant would happily pay the extra fee, especially if we could get better service from Immigration New Zealand. But I doubt that this will happen.

With the move to automation and online processing, costs should be going down, rather than increasing, though the Government has largely justified the costs by saying it’s keeping them competitive with other comparable countries, and that they subsidise some visas.

If the Government is serious about wanting to fill labour shortages with skilled overseas workers, every added cost like this is a barrier, instead of an incentive to moving here. There is no evidence of what this cost will go towards, such as improved services or reduced waiting times. It is simply money-making at the expense of migrants. 

If you have more questions about the increase feel free to contact us here.

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