Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has told The Indian Weekender that he will be personally visiting Mumbai office early next year to get a better understanding of the causes of the delay in processing of partnership visa applications and personally supervise the implementation of his new instructions to ameliorate the plight of thousands of applicants caught-up in the prolonged visa processing delays.

In an exclusive interview with The Indian Weekender this morning Mr Lees-Galloway confirmed his impending visit to Mumbai office of Immigration New Zealand and said, “I am personally going to Mumbai office in January next year.”

The Minister revealed this when asked about what specific steps he has taken or was taking to ensure that the prolonged delays of partnership visa processing primarily from INZ’s Mumbai office was going to get fixed.

“I am going there to get an understanding from them [Mumbai office] about the challenges that they are dealing with and to see the way they work from my own eyes, so I can get a greater understanding of what’s going on for them,” Mr Lees-Galloway said.

“But also to take with me the messages that I am hearing from the community here about the need to improve those processes and to get much more certainty a clarity on the visa processing times 

Mr Lees-Galloway also told the Indian Weekender was working behind the scene to bring more consistency in their decision making as people were getting different results for the same applications, depending upon which Immigration Office was dealing with their respective case.

Mr Lees-Galloway was speaking with the Indian Weekender on Tuesday, November 26 on a range of issues around partnership visas and the newly announced culturally arranged marriage visas and the parent visa category.