N.Z. Immigration explains visa fee increase

Increasing cost pressures on Immigration New Zealand resulted in the price hike on visa applications earlier this month, a spokesperson has confirmed.

Notices circulated locally informed citizens it now costs T$305 for a visitor visa to New Zealand, up from $285 just last month.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (M.B.I.E) responded to questions on the increase over email.

Operational Policy Manager Alejandra Mercado said a changing operating context, increasing traveller volumes and increasing complexity of the risks that the immigration system manages all justify the increase.

“Immigration fees and levies should fully recover the costs of providing services and managing costs associated with immigration. 

“However, prior to this year’s review the fees and levies no longer reflected the actual time and resource needed to process visas - fees were too high for some visa applicants and too low for others, resulting in cross-subsidisation.”

The last price review was 2015, she said, and prices should be reviewed often to charge appropriately for services.

Ms Mercado said fee and levy revenue changes yearly according to migrant and visitor numbers, but last year contributed around NZ$200 million.

“The increase in visa fees and levies are a small part of the total costs of visiting, working or studying in New Zealand,” she continued.

“New Zealand charges remain competitive compared to other countries such as Australia, UK and Canada.”

Student visas have been reduced this round, costing $395 down from $420, while work visas have increased by $220.

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