Shifting immigration policies speak volumes about a country's desire to embrace change for its economic growth. New Zealand is the latest country to join the bandwagon.
The plan has been published in the form of its Vision for 2015 document. New Zealand's immigration minister, Nathan Guy, welcomed the blueprint and voiced that "Immigration New Zealand has put a lot of hard work into winning back the confidence and trust of the public and the Government." He expressed that the plan was an important step towards building on these achievements.
Additionally, he said that to benefit New Zealand visa applicants and staff at the visa offices, the immigration department has greatly reduced visa decision-making times. Some 500,000 visa decisions are made every year by the department, according to Mr Guy. Part of the Vision for 2015, Global Visas report is the simplification of the application process. An example of how the systems will be improved is the rolling out of Immigration Global Management System, which will allow more applications to be made online.
These changes in immigration policy aim at benefiting not only outsider applicants but also the country. Guy explained that, "Immigration makes a major contribution to New Zealand's economy. New migrants add an estimated $1.9 billion to our GDP every year, international students contribute $2.3 billion, and inbound tourists around $9 billion."