Enhancements to Immigration Online

On 31 January 2022, Immigration New Zealand started delivering enhancements to its Immigration Online system. Paperless visa processing technology is being phased in. This will make applying for a visa easier and improve visa processing times.

Changes coming to Immigration Online

Applying made faster and easier

  • Applicants are told what evidence they need to submit at the time of application.
  • Medical certificates are requested, if needed, after an application is made.
  • Visa sponsors and supporting partners can submit declarations online.
  • New tools help ensure correct and complete information is provided, including a global address finder, photo quality checker, and in future a passport eChip verification mobile app.
  • Fewer follow-ups mean an applicant’s visa can be processed more quickly.

New application progress updates and email notifications

  • The online dashboard now shows the status of an application in real-time.
  • Email notifications are now sent to applicants when further action is needed.
  • Applicants can apply for reconsideration or a variation of conditions, if their original application was made through the enhanced Immigration Online system.

New workflow approach for quicker processing

On 31 January 2022, Immigration New Zealand began transitioning to a new processing model.

  • Immigration New Zealand staff from any location can undertake processing tasks for an application made online.
  • Processing starts the moment an online application is submitted.
  • Time is saved through administrative tasks becoming automated.
  • Multiple staff can work on an application at the same time, rather than waiting for tasks to be undertaken one after the other, by one person.
  • More efficient processing means quicker decisions for most applications in the future.

Timings

Visa products began moving onto the enhanced Immigration Online system on 31 January 2022. Immigration New Zealand is monitoring external events that may affect this timing, such as changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Date Visas

31 January 2022

The following visitor visas:

Visitor Visa (General)
Academic Visitor Visa
Arts and Music Festival Visitor Visa
Business Visitor Visa
COVID-19 Short-term Visitor Visa
Crew joining a Ship or Plane Visitor Visa
Dismissed Worker Visitor Visa
Escort of Medical Patients Visitor Visa
German Law Student Visitor Visa
Medical Treatment Visitor Visa
Occupational Registration Visitor Visa
Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa
Pitcairn Islander Visitor Visa
Private Yacht or Plane Visitor Visa
Short-term Entertainment Act Visitor Visa
Super Yachts Visitor Visa
Visiting Media Visitor Visa

1 March 2022

Phase 2, 2021 Resident Visa

23 May 2022

Employer accreditation applications for Accredited Employer Work Visas

20 June 2022

Job Check applications for Accredited Employer Work Visa 

4 July 2022

Accredited Employer Work Visa

31 July 2022

Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa
Adoption Visitor Visa
Antarctic Traveller Visitor Visa

2022 and beyond

Over time, more visa types can be applied for using the enhanced Immigration Online system


Until all visas are moved to the enhanced system, there will be three systems operating. People will be guided to the right system, depending on the visa they are applying for.

  • Existing Immigration Online system
  • Enhanced Immigration Online system
  • Paper application channels.

Immigration advisers and agents

Features of the enhanced system are designed to support high-volume users of the immigration system like licensed immigration advisers and immigration lawyers.

  • Apply on Behalf feature: Immigration advisers and others exempt from licensing can continue to submit visa applications online on behalf of clients.
  • Sharing feature: Applicants can share their applications with trusted third parties. Trusted third parties can share applications with their clients.
  • Email notifications: Email notifications are sent to the primary contact listed in the application.
  • Networks: Immigration professionals can create a ‘network’, so others in their business can collaborate on applications.

Resources

Enhancements to Immigration Online — a guide for users PDF 4MB

Video – Enhancements to Immigration New Zealand’s online application system

Video – Enhancements to Immigration New Zealand’s online application system(2:06)

View transcript

It’s now faster and easier to apply for a visa online, and keep track of your application during processing.

Before you start, you’re told exactly what evidence you need to provide based on your visa type, your nationality and where you’re travelling from. Providing this information helps us to understand what requirements your application must meet.

New online tools help you complete your application form quickly and accurately, so we can make a decision about your application faster.  

Smart forms mean we only ask you relevant questions, based on the answers you give and the visa you’re applying for.

Then, all you need to submit your online application is a passport-style photo and a credit or debit card.

You don’t need to provide a medical certificate upfront anymore. Once you’ve submitted your application, we’ll assess whether any health evidence is required and we’ll check this against any records you might have provided to us as part of a previous application. If we need new or updated health evidence, we’ll request this from you. No more guesswork.

While you’re waiting for a decision on your application, you can check its status on your Immigration Online dashboard.

And don’t worry, we’ll send you an email notification if anything changes, or if we need more information from you.

It’s also easy to share your online application with someone else if you need a little help. Some organisations, or a friend or family member, can help you to complete the online form. Or you can get immigration advice from an immigration lawyer or licensed adviser.

And it’s not just visas. Employers can apply for accreditation and job checks using Immigration Online too. 

Online enhancements also mean multiple Immigration New Zealand case officers may be working to process your application at the same time. This will speed things up, meaning you’ll receive a decision sooner. 

To get started, visit immigration.govt.nz today.

Video – Demonstration of INZ’s enhancements to Immigration Online

Video – Demonstration of INZ’s enhancements to Immigration Online(5:11)

View transcript

In the enhanced Immigration Online system, people can quickly and easily apply for and manage their applications.

Maria needs to apply for a visa.

On the Immigration New Zealand website, she can click the ‘I want to’ options to guide her to the right smart application form. Or she can log into her Immigration Online dashboard, using her RealMe login.

Maria can easily follow this link to create a RealMe account if she doesn’t have one. Her account doesn’t need to be verified so she can get started on her application straight away.

Once logged in, Maria is taken to her dashboard.

Maria has a unique sharing ID. She can use this to share her application with others, like a friend or family member, or a professional like an immigration adviser.

Professionals like immigration advisers can use networks to share applications with others in their organisation, and collaborate on applications.

Maria clicks ‘My Visas’ to start her application.

These are all the applications Maria has made, including those that are in draft or submitted, and any visas issued.

Maria clicks here to apply for a visa.

Maria is applying for a Visitor Visa. Answering these questions before she starts her application helps her check she’s picked the right visa type and will minimise any potential delays when INZ starts processing her application.

Maria is the principal applicant so these are her details. She can add her partner or children, if the visa type allows.

This is the first page of the smart application form.

First, Maria must complete her identity details. After that she can move around the application using the progress bar.

Not all tabs, sections and fields will appear for all applicants. For example, the purpose of visit tab only appears for the principal applicant. Some appear or disappear depending on the previous responses.

If Maria is working with a licensed immigration adviser or an exempt person, they will need to state they are providing immigration advice in the ‘immigration assistance’ tab. Licensed advisers will need to provide their licence number.

If Maria had any help completing her application, she will need to complete a declaration form which authorises for someone to assist her. This will need to be uploaded under the ‘supporting documents’ tab.

When the application is complete, including all mandatory fields, the progress bar turns dark blue.

The form lets Maria know if she’s missed a mandatory field or made a mistake when she clicked submit. This means Maria can feel confident she has provided everything required. Her application will be ready for assessment and reduce the likelihood of INZ asking for further information.

When Maria submits her application, she’s prompted to pay a fee and the application enters the system for processing.

Once submitted, Maria can keep an eye on her application’s progress in her dashboard. She can also view a summary of her application – or of any other application she has submitted.

If Maria needs to provide further information to INZ, she will receive an email telling her to log into her account.

Maria can click to read the letter, which outlines what she needs to provide. She can then upload her evidence by clicking ‘respond’.

Once Maria’s application has been fully assessed, she will receive an email to let her know if her visa has been approved. She can log into her dashboard and check the ‘My Visas’ section to view her issued visa.

That’s the end of the application process. It gives Maria an easy to use form where she always knows where she’s at in the process. And it gives INZ assessment ready applications that are complete and correct, and should reduce the need for customers to call our contact centre.

Webinar – Changes coming to Immigration Online, recorded 22 October 2021

Video — Enhancements to Immigration Online Webinar(27:44)

View transcript

My name is Brendon Gardner, I'm a relationship manager with Immigration New Zealand based in Tauranga and very shortly I'll be delighted to introduce my fellow panellists to you today, Dan Smidt and Jeannie Melville but before we get started I'd like to open our session with a karakia.

Tāwhia tō mana kia mau, kia māia

Ka huri taku aro ki te pae kahurangi, kei reira te oranga mōku

Mā mahi tahi, ka ora, ka puāwai

Ā mātau mahi katoa, ka pono, ka tika

TIHEI MAURI ORA

So yes, good morning everyone welcome and thanks very much for joining us this morning. For those that might have joined in the last 30 seconds or so my name is Brendan Gardner, I'm a Relationship Manager with Immigration New Zealand based in Tauranga and it's my pleasure to welcome my fellow panellists this morning to you. Dan Smidt who's the manager of our Sector's team and Jeannie Melville who's the national manager of allocation and support.

I'd just like to invite first Dan to introduce yourself to the crew. Yes hello and good morning everyone my name is Dan Smidt as Brendon said and I'm the manager for Sectors in the Strategy Engagement and Education Team.

Well thanks Dan and Jeannie.

Good morning everyone I'm Jeannie Melville, I'm currently the National Manager in the Allocation Support Team in verification and compliance and I'm one of the business owners for the enhanced Immigration Online system.

Cool thanks very much Jeannie. So this is the crew that will be taking you through the slides today and some of the question and answers at the end. On behalf of Immigration New Zealand we'd really like to thank all of you for joining us today and especially acknowledging that many of you are joining us from situations in Alert Level 3 and potentially working from home at the same time, and also acknowledging some of our panellists working from home so if at any stage my cat intervenes please bear with us, and also to acknowledge the work that you are doing with communities and with the tourism sector at this time.

We appreciate that for many of you and for all of us we're all trying to juggle our home and personal situations with the Covid alert level situation while also helping many people in the communities and across the sector at the same time, so thank you very much for the work that you're doing. I'd also like to recognise the border settings and the pressure and the uncertainty that brings for people.

I guess one of the caveats today is that the improvements we're introducing to Immigration Online have been long planned and well planned so what we're presenting today is about improvements to the system but it's not a signal about any imminent changes at the border or anything around that. Those are decisions for the government of the day and Cabinet and Prime Minister to make so while we appreciate the difficulties that the border does present for people unfortunately we don't have any further updates for you or direct information on that today so looking at our agenda for today so very shortly Dan's going to take you through the current state of Immigration Online and what the transition process is likely to be over the next 6 to 12 months. I then get the fun part of taking you through some of the changes that are happening to Immigration Online, some of the new technology and also how it will work for people who are applying on behalf and sharing applications. Jeannie will then work through the changes to Immigration New Zealand and the improvements and processing times and similar that we're expecting and then we'll move to questions and answers so just a couple of things before we start about questions and answers. I guess when many of you registered you've submitted a question, we have grouped a lot of those and we've got some answers to frequently asked questions as we go, and we'll cover a lot of them as we go, through. If you've got any specific questions as we go through the session please feel free to use the Q&A a box. I think you can up-vote questions as you go if you see something that someone else has asked I guess there's two things with that. One is that today the focus is on Immigration Online so for those that have questions about, say the 2021 Residence Visa, you know, please keep an eye out for other webinars on that topic and the second thing is I think so far today we have about 100 registrations for this webinar so please don't put any personal information into the chat that you're not prepared to share with other people who may not know you, so I guess that's the way the session will run today and without further ado I'll now hand over to Dan to really take you through immigration online today.

Yes hello again everyone, and Immigration New Zealand is pleased to advise that we are introducing enhancements to Immigration Online and these changes will ensure a better experience for the people who deal with New Zealand's immigration services currently, so just to give you a brief overview as to the Immigration Online system today, we do have an Immigration Online system currently and it can be accessed via our website at immigration.govt.nz, but at the moment not all visa types can be applied for using Immigration Online and some visa types can only be applied for using the paper-based application forms. It can also be difficult for applicants to understand what supporting evidence they must provide, for example applicants are currently required to submit health evidence up front and that can lead to people getting health test or exams that they might not need which can be quite costly and time consuming.

Free text fields lead to typos and errors and our immigration staff do often spend time checking and correcting errors in the pretext fields and once submitted, applicants have no visibility over the progress of their application and that often means our contact centre is handling a huge amount of calls. Around 40 percent of the 1,000,000 calls they get per year from people just asking about the status of their application and at the moment most applications are also sent to a single Case Officer for assessment and this can cause delays. It is difficult to distribute work across different teams and office locations when there are peaks in applications or backlogs to be cleared.

So the Immigration Online enhancements will have a number of benefits applicants will be guided through the process by a smart form that will tell them only what evidence they need to provide depending on the type of application they are applying for.

Applicants will have more visibility of the progress of their application thanks to email notifications and enhanced Immigration Online dashboard showing the status of their application in real time.

There will also be automation of administrative and previously paper-based tasks which will give INZ more time to process visas, rather than spend time on administration work. Just to give a few details of the transition, like any big change this is going to take us some time, so I will give a broad overview of the transition guideline, the timelines excuse me. Different visa types will start being transitioned across to the enhanced Immigration Online system from late 2021, (note: in November 2021, Immigration New Zealand confirmed the transition will begin on 31 January 2022.) and over time all INZ products will move across to the new system and this includes employer products like employer accreditation. Until all visas are moved to the enhanced Immigration Online system there will be three systems for processing visas operating simultaneously so we will have the existing immigration online system, we will have the enhanced Immigration Online system that we are talking to you about today, and we will have paper-based applications. Applications submitted using the enhanced Immigration Online system will immediately enjoy the benefits of the new system which we will be talking about over the course of today's webinar. Visa submitted under the old Immigration Online system or using a paper form will continue to follow the existing application process. Applicants will still be able to login to their old Immigration Online account to view applications submitted under the old system, and during the transition the website will guide applicants to the right online system depending on what they are applying for and in what time period they applied for it.

Here is the transition plan as it currently stands. Obviously this is slightly subject to change and we are closely monitoring any number of external events, the most obvious being COVID-19 lockdowns which does impact our ability to devote staff to our these enhancements, but by the end of 2021 (note: in November 2021, Immigration New Zealand confirmed the transition will begin on 31 January 2022) around 15 types of visitor visa will move to the enhanced Immigration Online system. At this stage this won't include the Critical Purpose Visa, please be aware.

In the first half of 2022 student visas will launch onto the enhanced system, and the new Accredited Employer Work Visa will also launch on the enhanced system in around mid-2022. The timings for other products, that will be moving on to the enhanced Immigration Online system will be released in the future. The full benefits of the enhanced Immigration Online system will only be realised once all products have made the move. As you should note, it will take some time for that to occur. Just to anticipate a couple of common questions that have come up in your registration forms, as Brendon has stated, these changes do not give any signals around when the borders will open up and when applicants offshore will be able to apply for visas, as a matter of course.

Visa processing is currently suspended for most individuals who are outside New Zealand unless they meet the strict border exception criteria or are currently in a COVID-19 quarantine free travel zone. So why are we choosing to do this now? Well, because New Zealand's current border settings mean application volumes are low for both Visitor Visa and student visas, and just to give an example of some of the numbers here, so in June 2021 Visitor Visa applications were around about 3500, mostly from people already on shore here in New Zealand. That compares to around 60,000 per month which we received two years ago in June 2019. So this decrease in the volume of applications provides us a great opportunity and a strong base for testing while minimising the impact of any disruption at launch. It also allows us to ensure the system is working effectively before other visa types are moved into the enhanced Immigration Online system.

So, I hope that gives a good overview of our transition plan and timings. I will now introduce you back again to Brendon that will give an overview of some of the technology and what's changing for some of our applicants - Brendon. Well thanks very much Dan, so I now get to talk through some of the new tools that will make life easier for everyone throughout the process, so yes so the enhancements will take place across all stages of the application from submission by the applicant to processing by Immigration New Zealand and to the final outcome.

Now the look and feel of Immigration Online won't dramatically change but it will feature some smart new technology that's going to improve the experience for all users of the immigration system so now over the next few slides we're going to take a closer look at some of these new capabilities.

So smart online forms will tell applicants what they need to complete the form, so help text and clear instructions will guide applicants through the process. Error messages will alert people to issues as they go. Dynamic questions are going to surface further questions based on the applicant's previous responses so what that's going to mean is applicants will only be asked the questions that are relevant to their individual circumstances and the visa they're applying for and not questions that aren't. And importantly applicants can't submit the form until all fields are completed correctly, so this is going to ensure that a lot more applications are assessment ready and will reduce the time going back and forth between the applicant and Immigration New Zealand and will result in quicker decisions.

Now there are some new tools coming to help with this so this will help ensure that the data submitted during the application process is correct and of high quality up front this will allow for more time and efficient visa processing and less manual rework. So there'll be an address finder that will validate an applicant's address against a global address reference database which would be particularly helpful for the tourism sector. The photo quality checker tool will instantly assess the quality of the photo the applicant's provided to check, does it meet the standards for evidence of identity or is there, do they need to try with a different photo - and there is mental manual intervention if that doesn't go a hundred percent correctly.

And for passports we will check the applicant's information against the machine readable zone of their passport to ensure that everything is correct. And one of the really exciting things in the future, applicants who have an e-chip passport will be able to scan their passport using a mobile app, so this will save applicants from having to post their passport away to a visa application centre to manually validate that information, so that's always great if people can hold on to their passports.

So often one of the challenges is the supporting evidence required - the enhanced system is going to tell applicants what evidence they must provide up front like police certificates and then what evidence they must provide after the submission. So this is because their system will now automatically detect what further evidence is needed based on the answers that an applicant gave during their application and based on the visa that they're applying for and this is going to be a particularly big change for health and sponsorship, so currently applicants are often unsure how the health requirements apply to them, but they have to submit their health results up front, and visa applicants have also responses, have to ask sponsors and partners to fill out a paper form, get this verified by a Justice of the Peace and submit this with their application. So what's going to change around that? So the enhanced Immigration Online system will be fully integrated with the Immigration Health System for the health results. Once an application has completed their visa application the enhanced Immigration Online system will identify if they are required to complete any health tests or examinations.

What Immigration Online will do is check against the immigration instructions for the visa they're applying for to see what further evidence is needed based on the applicant's answers and their intended stay and also check it against the existing records we hold on the Immigration Health System for example if the applicant does require a health certificate the system will check, maybe there is a valid one already on file or maybe there's only some other tests that they need. It may not be a full medical perhaps. Then if the applicant needs to carry out a health test or an examination they'll be automatically notified by the system after the visa application has been submitted, and if they are required to provide a health test or examination, they'll be issued with a letter with a specific type of test or examination, so they can find this by logging into their enhanced Immigration Online account. Applicants will be supplied with a reference number to give to the approved panel physician who will then complete the health test or examination. Using that reference number and their passport details provided the test results from the approved physician will be automatically recognised thanks to the new integrations between the health system and the enhanced Immigration Online system.

So I guess for changes for sponsorship in the new system applicants will be asked for their sponsor's details when they apply for a visa. Now the enhanced system is going to enable sponsors to submit their sponsorship declaration directly and securely into the online system using RealMe and there's a couple of really big benefits of that, one is that it means Immigration New Zealand actually has greater confidence about the authenticity of the sponsor information provided and also from a privacy point of view the sponsor doesn't have to provide personal financial information to the person who they sponsor anymore, and partnership support forms will also follow this process and the enhanced Immigration Online system, so in terms of keeping in contact, once an applicant has submitted the application there are going to be benefits too. Applicants will receive email notifications if they're required to take action so for example they might have been asked for more information about health and sponsorship like we've just talked about and they'll be directed to log in to Immigration Online to find more information about exactly what is the action that they need to take. And applicants will also get an email to let them know when a decision has been made on their application and to log in to check.

So this is an example screen that you might see and I think you will see down the bottom right of the screen - this is a sample it's not the final screen but this is how it will probably look. Tracking the status of an application will now be much easier so when an applicant logs into their enhanced Immigration Online account they'll be able to view in the dashboard any draft saved or submitted applications, a summary of their applications, what the current status is and any action they need to take, and as Dan has said about forty percent of the core volume for Immigration New Zealand is for a status update on their applications so hopefully this will dramatically reduce that and reduce core waiting times for a lot of people.

So what if you're applying on behalf of someone and sharing applications? Licensed Immigration Advisers and people who are exempt from licensing such as Citizens Advice Bureau Community Law or MP's offices among others can continue to submit visa applications on behalf of their clients.

And trusted third parties since the ones I've mentioned will experience the same benefits as applicants if they are the person responsible for completing and submitting the form so, now ready to go a little bit more about how this will work. If you are applying on behalf of someone again this is how the screen might look for you. The system will ask for the details of the person who's applying on behalf and will ask in what capacity you're completing this form, so again sometimes people may assist with applications but obviously if you are providing advice you need to show that you are licensed or exempt.

And if you're applying on behalf of someone or maybe you are a friend or a family member who's supporting someone with their application you can set up your own Immigration Online account and share your application with the other person, or they can create the application and share it with you, and what you'll see on the screen is an example of a sharing ID. For how that will work for friends and families or immigration practitioners so, hopefully some improvements and some pretty exciting new tools for the system so, we're conscious we've covered a lot of information so far already so again if there are questions you've got as you go please feel free to pop those into the Q&A and we'll endeavour to answer those at the end as well, so I guess one of the things is a lot of these enhancements going to mean a lot of improvements to how we process visas within Immigration New Zealand and will speed up visa processing times for many applicants so, now I'm very pleased to hand over to Jeannie Melville who is our National Manager of Allocation and Support to tell us more about that.

Brilliant, thanks Brendon and I'm really excited to be here today to talk about how these technology changes will also enable a change in the way that Immigration New Zealand processes visas. Before I get started on how Immigration New Zealand will change I want to talk to you about why and why are we making these changes, and it's really about building for the future. The enhancements to Immigration Online will support us to become a much more agile organisation in the future. The enhancements will allow us to respond more quickly to demands on the immigration system, for example changes to immigration policy settings and peaks and lows in visa application volumes, and many of you will be familiar with the peaks and troughs that we had a couple of years ago which caused a lot of backlogs to build up in the tourism and education sector in particular. It's going to be much faster and easier for us to make changes to application forms when the policy settings change. In addition work can be directed to staff at any Immigration New Zealand location. This flexibility means that we're better equipped to handle fluctuating application volumes, distribute work around our network and clear backlogs fast. People will be encouraged to apply online using smart forms with information feeding directly into our visa processing system. For example, during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4 paper applications were very difficult to process because for information security and privacy reasons we couldn't remove them from the offices. The enhanced Immigration Online system enables the automation of some tasks giving us much more time for visa processing, and looking at the applications that we really need to engage with.

As more Immigration New Zealand products move into the enhanced Immigration Online system in the future, visa processing time frames will be improved and the backlog of work will be reduced. So let's talk more about that automation, as I'm sure that's something that all of you are interested in. Some of the tasks we'll be looking to automate are, as Brendon mentioned, requesting a sponsor to complete a sponsorship declaration to be submitted using their own immigration online account. Another example is establishing or verifying identity using biographic and biometric information from the visa application and INZ records, for example also using data from the machine readable zone, the MRZ, of an applicant's passport. We'll also be assessing whether additional information is required from an applicant, for example, medical information and automatically sending a request for that information to the applicant. The other thing that will be more automated is notifying the outcome of a decision and issuing visa related documentation. The automation of administrative tasks means frontline Immigration New Zealand staff will have more time to focus on processing activities that need an expert manual review, like for example, someone's purpose in visiting New Zealand and whether they're bona fide and genuine.

That automation will enable faster visa processing. That's because the enhanced system starts processing an application from the moment it's submitted. The system performs some automated checks to check the information submitted against our business rules and the relevant visa assessment criteria. If an application meets our business rules it will automatically move on to the next step for processing. This means that activities that require an INZ staff member to review them will be flagged but low-risk administrative tasks can pass through the system with no delay.

These changes enable us to move to a new way of processing visas internally at Immigration New Zealand. Instead of giving an application to one person to process end-to-end, an activity will be created for each task in the visa application that requires a manual review from an expert INZ staff member. Activities for manual review can be looked at concurrently. Multiple things can happen at the same time rather than waiting for one Immigration Officer to look at one piece after another. Basically, that means that multiple people can be working on a visa application at the same time it also means straightforward visa applications can progress through the system more quickly and don't get held up in a queue behind more complex applications. This does mean that applicants and advisers won't necessarily have a single point of contact all the way through the visa application, but they will have better visibility of the progress of their application through the status updates in their Immigration Online dashboard. As you can imagine, it will take some time for these benefits to be realised and that will actually happen as more visa products move on to the enhanced system. Remember, to begin with it will just be visitor visas on the enhanced system in 2021, (note: in November 2021, Immigration New Zealand confirmed the transition will begin on 31 January 2022) and in the first half of 2022 Student Visas. In the future this means that we'll be able to process visa applications faster and more easily than before.

Once all of the activities for an application are complete, a decision can be made and the system will send an applicant an email to let them know that the decision has been made. The number of activities that need to be reviewed for a particular application will vary from application to application. Immigration New Zealand staff will be able to assess tasks from anywhere in New Zealand. This is a change because at the moment specific offices specialise in processing specific visas. Enabling staff to operate from any of our offices enables work to be flexibly distributed across Immigration New Zealand network and we can better react to changes in immigration settings or peaks and troughs in application volumes. Applicants and advisors will still be able to contact us about an application through the Immigration Contact Centre. That's all from me over to you Brendon.

Thanks very much Jeannie, so as I mentioned earlier we've received many questions through your registration process and I see we have about four questions in the Q&A so far which we'll also get to, but now I'm going to ask Dan to go through some of the  common questions that we see very shortly that we grouped and themed then after that we'll start to move into Q&A, so as you're listening through to these FAQs again maybe your questions answered or if you don't see it there please pop it into the Q&A and we will go through shortly and just as a very brief acknowledgement as well if we do get a lot of questions today that we can't answer, we haven't got time to answer, if there's something we haven't got an answer for yet, we will be keeping a record of the general questions and using it to update our website and future communications as well, but also over to you Dan now for some FAQs.

Great, thank you Brendon, yes so as Brendon said I'll just run through some common questions that we've received in communicating with you and inviting you to the event - so the first is are application forms available in multiple languages? At launch forms will only be available in English, multiple language forms are being considered for the future, however in all cases the answers will need to be provided in English as they are currently.

Next question that we've talked a little bit about today - what will happen to previous applications? People will still be able to view applications submitted under the old system, so they'll still be able to log in under their current RealMe account in order to see those.

Is it possible to still apply for a visa using a paper form? So this is a question we are getting a lot and yes, paper based applications will still be accepted and processed in the usual way, however we would strongly encourage people to apply via the enhanced Immigration Online system where possible, because they will receive a much better and faster experience. Processing paper visa applications will be slower than applications submitted using the enhanced Immigration Online system.

Question about will police certificates also be able to be provided after submission? So we have spoken about health evidence being requested after submission there is a slightly different process for police certificates - they will still need to be provided up-front when an applicant starts an application however, the system will tell them what supporting evidence they need to provide, so they will be told straight away at the start of the process that a police certificate will be required before the submission can be completed.

Will users in China face any issues accessing the enhanced Immigration Online system? The answer to that question is no -  the network that allows people in China to access the system as it currently is remains in place, so there will be no issues with our Chinese-based applicants using the enhanced Immigration Online system. And are application fees changing as a result of these enhancements? The answer to that question is no - Visitor Visa and Student Visa fees, and just a reminder those are the first two categories that will be rolling out in the enhanced Immigration Online system will not change in fees at this time.