The closure of the Dunedin branch of Immigration New Zealand
should not affect the Queenstown branch and its service for
overseas visitors applying for work visas, the department
The Dunedin branch will be replaced with a ''visa application
centre'', the first outsourced to a third party in the
country. It will manage administration related to visa
applications submitted both in person and by mail.
Visa applications submitted via the centre will be processed
by the Christchurch branch.
The closure of the Dunedin branch, in October at the
earliest, in favour of a centre with a reduced capability,
will leave the branch in Remarkables Park Town Centre the
only dedicated Immigration New Zealand office in the South
Island outside Christchurch, the city which continues to
process resident visa applications.
People from 84 countries applied for temporary visas at the
Queenstown branch from 2010 to 2012. In the same period, 74
nationalities applied for temporary work visas.
Inquiries by the Queenstown Times were prompted by anecdotal
comments from British, Irish and European ex-pats living on
visas in the resort, who had reservations about leaving their
employment and lifestyle and returning home to an uncertain
job market and economic recession.
The top five countries applying for temporary work visas are
citizens of the United Kingdom, Brazil, Ireland, the
Philippines and Japan, according to Immigration NZ. The UK is
also the top source country for working holiday-makers.
An Immigration NZ spokeswoman said last week the total number
of applications received in 2012 was similar to 2011. The
number of student, working holiday and visitor visa
applications has been slowly increasing, following a drop
from a peak in 2010.
There were 3151 visa applications decided across all
temporary categories in 2012. The total was slightly down on
3691 applications in 2011 and down significantly from 4202 in
''Queenstown branch has a relatively steady inflow of
applications throughout the year. However, there are two
seasonal peaks for work visa applications - September-October
for the summer season and June-July for the winter season,''
In the period from July 2, 2012, to 11 January 11, 2013, the
Queenstown branch completed 90% of all visa applications
within 25 days.