INZ’s head of visa services Steve Stuart Stuart insisted the closures won’t negatively affect customers, with less face-to-face applications the only major change.
“We estimate that as a result of these changes there will be a net reduction of between 250 and 300 jobs offshore, mainly locally engaged staff,” Stuart was quoted as saying by Business Tech.
“This has been an unsettling time for our staff and I do want to take this opportunity to acknowledge their professionalism, dedication and commitment.
“Even for customers who don’t apply online there is no need for visa applicants to physically go into an INZ office to lodge their applications.
“Visa Application Centres (VACs) have been operating effectively all over the world for more than five years and provide services on behalf of INZ, including receiving applications.
“Using VACs to undertake administrative tasks allows INZ staff to focus more on managing risk and making decisions on visa applications. This improves services for customers and leads to quicker decisions on visas.”
The changes will happen in early April 2018.