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New Immigration and Tourism NZ Office opens in Shanghai

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Immigration
Associate Minister of Tourism
2 August 2011
Media Statement

New Immigration and Tourism New Zealand office opens in Shanghai

A new joint Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and Tourism New Zealand office in Shanghai is an important development in facilitating Chinese visitors to New Zealand, says Immigration Minister and Associate Tourism Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Dr Coleman says it signals the Government's response to meeting demand from one of New Zealand's fastest growing tourist markets which is worth around $365 million a year.

"We are seeing more tourists and business visitors from China," says Dr Coleman.

"Chinese tourism in New Zealand is booming with 131,000 visitors in the year to June 2011 - an increase of 25 percent. Business visitors have also increased by 10 percent over the past year.

"Chinese students account for a quarter of the 90,000 international students who study in New Zealand each year.

"It's important that INZ is able to keep up with demand for visa services. INZ has also taken steps to remove as much bureaucracy as it can from visa processing in China.

"The Shanghai office reflects our increasing commitment to meet growth in the China market," Dr Coleman says.

INZ is now issuing multiple entry visas for Chinese citizens as standard practice. Previously such visas were the exception rather than the rule. This allows holders to enter New Zealand as many times as they like for a maximum stay of six months in total.

"This will remove a real source of frustration for Chinese who wish to visit New Zealand regularly at short notice," Dr Coleman says.

The visa application form itself has been reduced in length and is user-friendly with both Chinese and English language used.

INZ is also establishing visa application centres in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. This will make the application process easier and quicker.

"What this also highlights is the important link between immigration and tourism and how better collaboration between both sectors can help boost New Zealand's tourism industry," Dr Coleman says.

ENDS

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