The technical issues and crash of the Immigration website this morning have been frustrating and stressful for many migrants who hoped to have their application for Phase 1 under the historic One-Off resident program lodged today.

It may be noted the application process for Phase 1 opened today at 6 AM only for those 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. However, the INZ website faced technical issues, and hence many migrants were unable to get their applications through. In Phase 2, which opens on March 1, 2022, all other eligible applicants can apply.

Today’s crash once again highlighted the unpreparedness of Immigration New Zealand as Immigration New Zealand expected about 15,000 applicants to apply under Phase 1 and mostly today on the very first day.

Indian Weekender spoke to politicians who took expressed their frustration over the website fiasco:

Erica Stanford, National Party MP and spokesperson for Immigration

“The Government and the Immigration Minister seem to be making a habit of damaging the reputation of New Zealand's immigration system. Under their watch, we've had unprecedented backlogs of residency applications, entirely avoidable labour shortages in some of our most crucial sectors, and valuable migrants leaving because they had no path to residency or they couldn't reunite with their families. Today's embarrassment only adds more fuel to the fire. The Government and the Immigration Minister should have had a plan in place that would stagger applications overtime to ensure this didn’t happen.”

“This is another embarrassment for the Government and the Immigration Minister. Our immigration system has already been tarnished enough under the watch of this Government. The Immigration Minister must take immediate action to ensure this doesn’t happen again in March 2022 when 90 thousand applicants all try to lodge their resident applications.”

 

Ricardo Menéndez March, Green Party MP and spokesperson for Immigration

“It’s frustrating that the Government’s systems are not coping with the expected demand for the R21 visa. Migrants have been facing uncertainty and today is a day where many will hope to finally start a process to put down roots in their community. We are urging the Government to improve its systems to cope with the expected demand for the R21 visa, particularly as we head into the second batch of applications.”

“We continue committed to fighting to expand the eligibility criteria of the R21 visa to support all migrants who have had roots in the community, including those stuck offshore. The Minister still has time before the second batch of applications begins to expand the eligibility criteria, so we hope that he is actively reviewing the systems and settings to ensure they reflect the needs of migrant communities.”

 

James McDowall, ACT Party MP and spokesperson for Immigration

“As expected, the online application form for phase one of the 2021 Resident Visa, which opened at 6 AM today, has crashed. Now just imagine how phase two is going to go in March when the numbers are far higher! Hon Kris Faafoi MP, your website sucks.”