The number of calls and emails received by INZ in November totalled almost 180,000 – about a 45 percent increase from the same period in 2017.
Roy Chowdhury and family are an example of those who will likely be negatively influenced.
Chowdury has been planning to bring family members from around the world together for their first Christmas reunion in more than 10 years.
“This is supposed to be a watershed moment for me and my family who have been eagerly waiting for this reunion for months,” Stuff quoted Auckland’s Chowdhury as saying.
“My sister and my nephew are absolutely heartbroken that his dad cannot join us. Days away from Christmas we are sitting here with a heavy heart. It feels like we lost all energy to even plan for Christmas as a result of this tremendous letdown by Immigration New Zealand.
“INZ’s response that this is a busy time as a result they cannot process the applications on time is simply not good enough.”
INZ assistant general manager Karen Bishop added: “We apologise for the delays and understand this can be difficult for applicants. While an increase in call volumes was anticipated, it has taken us longer than expected to recruit additional contact centre staff.
“Due to the high volumes currently being received, we strongly recommend applicants submit their applications as early as possible prior to their intended travel date.
“As is usual for this time of year, visitor visa processing times may be longer given this is peak summer season.”