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Online application system temporarily unavailable Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Online applications for many visa types will be unavailable for a few days from June 11 to allow for the deployment of IDme - Immigration New Zealand’s new identity management system.

New online applications will not be possible for Work, Student and Visitor visas during this period, and applicants and third parties assisting them will not be able to open online accounts. Online applications will still be possible for working holiday visas, as well as skilled migrant category expressions of interest.

What does this mean for employers?

  • Employers will not be able to help people submit Work visa applications online during the shutdown, for about four days from early on Saturday 11 June. 
  • Applicants who are part-way through the application process will not be able to open their online accounts – so, for example, employers will not be able to help them upload supporting documents during the outage period
  • Hard copy paper applications will still be accepted at Immigration NZ offices (within New Zealand) and Visa Acceptance Centres (outside New Zealand).

How employers can avoid problems during the online application shut-down

  • Plan ahead to avoid the shut-down, by working with applicants to submit new applications or upload additional information before or after the shutdown period
  • If you can’t avoid the shut-down period, submit a hard copy application or supporting document at an Immigration NZ office (within New Zealand) or Visa Application Centre (outside New Zealand)

IDme background

IDme will significantly improve INZ’s ability to confirm a person’s identity, making it a vital new protection against identity fraud by visa applicants.

The system will enable biometric information (face photographs and fingerprints) from visa applicants to be uploaded online and automatically matched against personal information already held by INZ.

IDme will be released in two tranches - the first release, from 11 June, will enable automated matching of all biographic details (personal data), fingerprints and a small volume of facial photographs. The second release, in the last quarter of 2016, will allow automated matching of all applicant photographs.

IDme is the latest in a series of business changes known collectively as Immigration ONLINE. Better customer service is a key aim of these changes, which include:

  • online applications for student, work and visitor visas
  • third party “apply on behalf” for INZ partners such as immigration advisors, and
  • eVisas (passport-free applications and label-less visas).

New acceptable photo rules

Immigration New Zealand has introduced new quality requirements for photos accompanying online visa applications. The change is required for the new identity management system, IDme. Photos submitted online must meet the new approval requirements to avoid rejection by the system. The approved photo requirements are similar to those in place for hard copy paper applications.

INZ recommends that applicant photos be taken by a professional photographer or a business set up to take passport-quality photos. Guidance is available on how to respond to specific error messages accompanying rejected photos. 

Acceptable photo requirements