Govt spending $75m for immigration IT upgrade

Govt spending $75m for immigration IT upgrade

Moving away from 15 year old system, and bringing processing online

The government has announced it is contributing $75 million to upgrade Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) IT systems. Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says the upgrade will benefit New Zealanders economically by speeding up the approval process for skilled workers to live and work in New Zealand.

‘’We are competing worldwide to recruit skilled and talented people, and a new system will help speed up the processing of visa applications and allow applicants to do more online. Providing a fast and modern service is critical in attracting skilled migrants who can help grow the economy,” says Coleman.

According to Coleman, the current IT system is 15 years old and extending its functionality is difficult.

“The cost of even simple changes is high and cannot be maintained over the long term. It‘s also significantly impairing our ability to provide standards of service and security comparable to other nations,’’ says Coleman.

The new Immigration Global Management System (IGMS) will automate simple tasks for INZ staff, and allow users to conduct processing online, enabling access to data in INZ offices around the world.

The system will provide biometric information capability, which according to INZ will offer a higher level of identity management and security.

Customers applying for visas will also have their own individual online immigration accounts that will enable them to enter all their details online and track progress on their applications.

Implementation is scheduled to begin in early 2012.

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