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No need for queues at Christchurch branch

No need for queues at Christchurch branch

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel today announced a new Immigration Service approach aimed at reducing unnecessary queues at its Christchurch branch.

"Offering same day service to a limited number of people has led to the queues. The only way to effectively stop unnecessary queues is to remove the cause.

"It is on that basis that as of Monday, 7 April 2003, the NZIS Christchurch office will no longer offer 'same day' service for dealing with students' permit applications. Students are still able to mail in their applications as they can at present. In addition, they will be able to leave their applications in the drop-box at the Christchurch branch or hand them in at the reception desk.

"It is not acceptable that people are queuing merely to hand in applications when they could achieve the same result by using the drop box.

"Students can expect to be without their passports for up to six weeks while their applications are processed. However, where students can show they have purchased tickets to travel overseas within that period, their application will be given priority. Where a student must sit an IELTS English language test their passport will be temporarily released to them."

Lianne Dalziel urged students from overseas to lodge their applications through the drop-box and to lodge their applications early with all the necessary documents, with emphasis on early lodgement. It is not possible to issue permits any more quickly at present due to the extraordinary volumes of student permit applications.

"I am aware that some individuals from certain countries feel uneasy about not having their passports for any period of time. The New Zealand system of government is internationally recognised as corruption-free and people do not have to carry identity documents as is required in some countries. Many international students have overcome these fears by trusting the system and finding that it does work," Lianne Dalziel said.

In the first three months of 2003, the Christchurch branch has processed more than 4700 student applications in addition to the normal flow of other immigration applications.

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