Wellington – Visa applications using paper is set to be phased out in New Zealand as part of the government NZ$ 80- million plan to overhaul its visa application system.
Reports said the major changes will be implemented to make the system more secure, more efficient and more user-friendly. The program is expected to be completed by 2017,
This means all visa applications to the country can be done online using the new Immigration Global Management System (GMS), which will be fully operational by 2015. As an initial step, visa holders and applicants can now inquire and search about the status of their applications online.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said that applications to the student work visa and other temporary visas can be available online starting November this year.
The new system was first introduced in 2007 after the government found out about corruption in one of its immigration branches in Thailand. The minister said that with the new paperless system, corruption can be prevented and the visa process becomes more efficient and faster.
The major changes would also allow third parties such as educational institutions and immigration consultants to connect with the government online visa system. In addition to this, immigration advisers and consultants are also required to secure a license from the immigration Advisers Authority.