Immigration Accepts Flaws In Resident Visa Assessment

Immigration New Zealand is reviewing its guidelines on residence visas for Information and communications technology (ICT) professionals after accepting its assessments were flawed.

It said it strengthened its decision-making on ICT customer support officers last year but would be reviewing its systems. Immigration statistics showed there were 59 rejections of residence applications for that role in the last financial year, double the number the year before, with a further 27 in the last months of 2017.

The review comes after a group of 15 workers successfully appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

The group’s lawyer, Simon Laurent, told RNZ News last month that he suspected Immigration staff or the government developed a “slam-dunk” tactic to wipe out a whole tranche of immigrants viewed as low-skilled.

Mr Laurent said immigration officials said the call centre workers were merely pulling answers from a database and guiding customers rather than fixing IT systems themselves.

“Of course, almost any customer support role nowadays relies on its people leveraging institutional knowledge gathered in a knowledge database (KB),” he said.

“The appellants provided support for one of the world’s largest and most extensive IT hardware and software providers. Navigating its KB, which is constantly updated, is no walk in the park.

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