Our intentions: Immigration New Zealand and skilled residence visas

31 January 2024: We are looking at how well Immigration New Zealand is managing its process for skilled residence visas.

Attracting skilled migrants is a strategic priority for New Zealand in a globally competitive market for people with particular skills. Skilled migrants fill areas where skills are in short supply and are vital to keep New Zealand’s economy working well.

This system requires careful management. Migrants’ experience of the immigration system matters because it can be a factor in determining whether they connect to, and decide to settle in, New Zealand. People with the skills the economy needs for the longer term can be in high demand in many countries. At the same time, visa decision-making processes have to support New Zealand’s safety and security.

Balancing all these interests is easier if everyone understands how well the system is working. Migrants, their advisers, and employers need to be confident that visas are being processed fairly, speedily, and consistently. It is important for the public to be confident that the immigration system is being monitored effectively using reliable information.

What we are focusing on

We will focus on how effectively Immigration New Zealand is managing its decision-making process for applicants for skilled residence visas.

This will include how effectively Immigration New Zealand uses information internally to improve its performance and externally to show how the skilled residence visa system is working.

We will not be looking at the merits of any individual decisions.

The difference we expect to make

We aim to highlight the strengths in Immigration New Zealand’s process for making decisions about skilled residence visas and, where appropriate, suggest where improvements can be made.

We anticipate that our work will influence more meaningful and useful reporting by Immigration New Zealand on its performance. This is critical to building and maintaining confidence in the immigration system and part of our wider work to influence the quality of performance reporting in the public sector.

This audit will result in a report to Parliament, which we will also publish on our website. We expect to complete this work in the second half of 2024.

Please use the feedback form on the right if you would like to speak to a staff member about this performance audit, make a suggestion, or ask a question.