IMNZ is increasing the visa fees for all visa types from November 5th.
Immigration NZ is a mostly user-pays system, but lost $20m from work visas alone last year, suggesting the price paid for them no longer covered the cost of processing them.
The main increase will apply to the temporary work visa category which will increase from $380 to $580.
In a Cabinet paper, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said an increase in migrant trafficking and exploitation was to blame for increasing visa processing costs. Checks were becoming more rigourous, therefore taking longer.
Immigration NZ’s memorandum account was set for the $43m deficit by the end of the 2017 financial year.
That was despite investing $140m in technology to move visa processing online.
Immigration NZ deputy chief executive Greg Patchell said without the technology investment, its accounts would have been further in the red and the proposed increase on visas would be higher.
“The changes are actually making it more efficient to process visas, however the risk situation changes, therefore other things come on board at the same time.”
Mr Patchell said the increase in visa pricing would not necessarily reduce processing times.
Along with other changes, such as increasing the cost for employers to gain an accreditation from Immigration by 20 percent, that would balance Immigration NZ’s account within three years.
You can download the full list of fee increases here: New visa fees