Want a work permit? Apply in Sydney

Published: Mon 8 Nov 2004 09:09 AM
Want a work permit? Apply in Sydney
Skilled people wanting a New Zealand work permit should fly to Sydney to apply, says National’s Immigration spokesman, Tony Ryall.
“The Government’s administration of work permits is incompetent,” he says.
“Employers are crying out for staff, but the Government is taking too long to process applications.
“Sydney can issue a New Zealand work permit within a week, but in Hamilton it takes eight weeks! In Wellington it takes five weeks. Even in London they can be processed within seven days. This difference is scandalous.”
Mr Ryall says that in the Finance and Expenditure Committee last week the Labour Department “wrung its hands and gave a list of excuses”.
“The fact is, it takes longer today to get a work permit at many immigration offices than it did a year ago.
“National will ensure that processing times are improved for skilled people who will add to our economy. These applicants aren’t refugees with no skills – they are people who will add value to New Zealand.
“We will prioritise their applications.
“If the Government was serious about growing the economy we wouldn’t have these delays,” Mr Ryall says.

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