New Australian Visa Application Centres Open in New Zealand
November 22, 2011
Two new Australian Visa Application Centres (AVAC) will open in New Zealand making it easier for people applying for visas and citizenship to Australia.
The Auckland AVAC opens on November 28 and all Australian visa and citizenship lodgements in New Zealand, regardless of nationality, will need to be lodged there. A second AVAC will open in Christchurch early next year.
Australian Consulate-General Principal migration officer Jenny Bell said there were about 30,000 applications for Australian visas from New Zealand each year, and that number was increasing. Previously, people would have to apply for their visas from the Australian Consulate-General in Auckland, which could be a lengthy process.
"The centres will have longer opening hours and will be focusing on those client services and administrative side of that process so it should be a much easier and much more straightforward process," Ms Bell stated.
New Zealand citizens do not need to apply for an Australian visa prior to travel, unless they have a criminal conviction or health issue. However, permanent residents of New Zealand do need to apply for visas and present the necessary documentation. "I'd say it would make it easier to apply for their visas but there still needs to be the actual decision process, and that won't change," said Ms. Bell.
New Zealanders moving to Australia has become an important election issue, with Labour Party leader Phil Goff attacking Prime Minister John Key over the 106,050 who have made the move since the National-led Government took office three years ago.
"John Key has been given a resounding vote of no confidence with 100 Kiwis leaving New Zealand for a brighter future in Australia each day over the last month," Mr Goff said today. "Not only are wages better across the ditch but unemployment is consistently lower, meaning there are more jobs up for grabs. The whole process will be made even easier with news today that the Australian Government has opened two immigration offices in New Zealand to fast track visa applications."