Today, the absent Minister of Immigration graced the Select Committee with his presence and utter arrogance!
His proudest moment was a “pat on the back” for having the paper-based Variation of Conditions applications now available for online lodgement. Let’s see, that’s been a 18 month [or longer] process! MBIE’s IT systems must be as archaic as the Stone Age!
After been through 2020 pandemic, decisions are still been made on whether MBIE staff can work at Alert Level 3 and 4. Only now, has the complacent Faafoi made a decision to have some staff deemed as “essential workers”! Another “pat on the back”!
MBIE are now distributing applications to other regions around New Zealand as the highest Alert Level still remains in the Auckland region where majority of the applications are processed.
He attributes split- families [from visa waived countries] are due to MIQ spaces. Acknowledges some 3000 critical medical staff are in the frozen EOI Pool but said the government has to look at “all sectors” to make a decision on the EOI Pool re-opening. Just remember, these critical medical workers (ICU Staff) are being shipped around the country to care for the covid-19 patients in hospitals [due to the shortage].
Faafoi said he “understands people need certainty” but will make an announcement “soon” – word of the day! While the National Party made proposals to fast-track critical occupations to residence, Faafoi said, he is “working on a government proposal”
Faafoi did not affirm if visas will be automatically extended as his Powers only allow him to do this for six months. He also made a “Public Service Announcement” to contact the INZ’s Contact Centre if you end up with your visa expiring due to the paper-based application remaining unattended for the last 17 days – an issue of becoming unlawful and been unable to work.
As for the decisions on the Pathways to Residence, he is “working on the issue for sometime”. However, he said a lot of “policy work is been done at Residence Level”. Young adults [school leavers left in limbo] will also be addressed “soon”.
The word “soon” has been given new meaning today! Frustrated much!