Phase 1 of the One-off Residence Visa applications opened today December 1, and applicants' worst fears came true as the Immigration New Zealand website became inaccessible soon after it went live at 6am.

The website is plastered with "Sorry, something went wrong."

This is causing great anxiety as applicants are frantically trying to find a solution, fearing they will miss their opportunity.

Indian Weekender, is flooded with messages from irate and stressed applicants.

The common thread in their comments is that they expected better from the government and the stress is unbearable.

Today was going to be a significant day in New Zealand's immigration history. Applicants who have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories on or before September 29 2021, or have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included their dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on September 29' 2021, are eligible to apply under phase 1 which opened at 6 am today.

Under the One-off residence programme, which is expected to see 165,000 migrants getting residence, Immigration New Zealand expects about 15,000 applications in Phase 1. In Phase 2, which opens on March 1 2022, all other eligible applicants can apply, including those who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.

More to come.