-- March 2012 ~ Travel and Immigration 101

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Zealand Plans Simplification of Visa Application Process

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."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Parent and Grandparent Super Visa Increased

More than one thousand Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applications have been approved in less than three months since the Super Visa program took flight, for an overall approval rate of 77 percent, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“I'm pleased that the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is working as intended and giving large numbers of eligible parents and grandparents an opportunity to spend extended periods of time with their families in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. The process for getting a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is simple and straightforward. Applicants for the Super Visa must submit proof that the host child or grandchild meets a minimum income, demonstrate that they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance and undergo the Immigration Medical Examination. Almost 99 percent of Super Visa applicants who met these requirements also went on to meet all other standard admissibility criteria which are required for all visa applicants.

In the days following its announcement, Abbotsford-based writer Manpreet Grewal said that “few would argue the wisdom of the new parent and grandparent super visa.” She added that “the super visa will allow parents and grandparents to follow a natural flow between Canada and other countries without creating an unnecessary burden on the Canadian taxpayer or spinning families into unnecessary stress.”

As of February 26, 80 percent of the finalized Super Visa applications were processed to a final decision within 41 calendar days, well below the target of eight weeks. As application volumes ramp up, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will continue to aim for a Super Visa processing time of eight weeks or less.

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