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Thread: Ombudsman complaint re: cherry-picking of SMC applications

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    New Zealand
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    837

    Default Ombudsman complaint re: cherry-picking of SMC applications

    I'm planning to write a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman regarding INZ's priority allocation criteria. It's not permitted by the Operations Manual (A16.1 states that first priority for processing will be given to SMC applications with job offers, says nothing about a certain type of job offer and only allows for according urgency to an application when the individual circumstances warrant it) and recent communications with INZ demonstrate that they have no plans to stop doing it (even after the NZRP renews at the end of this month) and there is no strategy for them to clear the backlog. In fact, they have admitted that wait times are likely to increase and the backlog get even bigger. This is incredibly unfair and wrong on so many levels.
    The main points of my complaint will be:

    1. Instructions don't allow for mass prioritisations (as per A16.1)
    2. All applicants have a right to be allocated on a first-in, first-out basis given that all applicants meet the required threshold (160 points or above) to even be in the queue in the first place
    3. Applicant's details can change significantly in the 12+ months it's currently taking to be allocated - job details change, not to mention addresses, relationships, health issues - and it's onerous and unfair of INZ to request "updated" supporting evidence once they finally allocate an application, when the applicant did what was required of them at the time of lodgement and it's not their fault that INZ have taken so long to assess things
    4. The cost of getting new temporary visas to be able to "tide applicant's over" while their Residence application sits in an unmoving queue is prohibitive and the process is onerous

    I'm keen to hear how the current 12+ month wait time of getting your SMC application allocated to an Immigration Officer is affecting you personally, as I'm sure there are other angles I can add to my submission to the Ombudsman. No names will be mentioned in my submission - it's just a chance for you to get your perspective heard - I can't promise that my lodging a complaint will change anything, but I feel it's time for INZ to be held to account and answer some questions and believe that the Office of the Ombudsman is the organisation to do that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    philippines
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    20

    Default

    Totally agree with you. Its not fair to everyone who's been waiting months and months and some more than a year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    New Zealand
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    232

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    Just sent you a private message Erin. Happy to help however we can with this to try and put an end to the unfair processes being employed.

    Just a suggestion, I know there's a lot of readers on this board as there seems to be an issue with approving accounts where only some get allowed so they can't send you anything. So it might be worth supplying an email address if you need more evidence so those who aren't approved can get in touch as well.
    Last edited by deverett; 1st December 2019 at 08:48 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
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    Welcome back Erin! Our visas expire in June 2020, and so will need to apply for a visa to cover us until SMC processed. Lodgement date is 18/12/2018, and at the time, communication from INZ was that a decision was expected by 18/10/2019. Based on this, my partner took a job which is waiting on him to get residence before sending him for training which will result in an increase and promotion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,608

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    Sorry, deverett, ENZ rules https://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=40236 don't allow emails and other personal details to be shared on open threads. LIAs' details can be found on the IAA website - go here https://iaa.ewr.govt.nz/PublicRegister/Search.aspx to search.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    New Zealand
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    232

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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    Sorry, deverett, ENZ rules https://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=40236 don't allow emails and other personal details to be shared on open threads. LIAs' details can be found on the IAA website - go here https://iaa.ewr.govt.nz/PublicRegister/Search.aspx to search.
    All good, I wasn't sure if it was ok or not, just aware from when we had the spreadsheet there was a lot of names on it with notes saying they were awaiting approval to post on the forums that wouldn't be able to contribute if they wanted to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    68

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    Welcome back Erin. Trust you and baby are doing well.
    Although, i got CO assigned after 6 months. Lodgement date 3rd Dec, but i haven't heard from them since 20th August,
    that was the day of my phone interview. Stress took the toll on me and i was on anti-anxiety medication because of all this stress. I want to change my job and look for better opportunities,
    but i can't when i have my application
    in this process as i don't want to go through the whole process again. I work with registered nurses,
    some of them got the job at the time when i just got the CO assigned and they got residence visas in like 1.5 months and have already moved on and here i am still waiting for one; which wasn't any help dealing with my stress.
    Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by EGoodhue View Post
    I'm planning to write a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman regarding INZ's priority allocation criteria. It's not permitted by the Operations Manual (A16.1 states that first priority for processing will be given to SMC applications with job offers, says nothing about a certain type of job offer and only allows for according urgency to an application when the individual circumstances warrant it) and recent communications with INZ demonstrate that they have no plans to stop doing it (even after the NZRP renews at the end of this month) and there is no strategy for them to clear the backlog. In fact, they have admitted that wait times are likely to increase and the backlog get even bigger. This is incredibly unfair and wrong on so many levels.
    The main points of my complaint will be:

    1. Instructions don't allow for mass prioritisations (as per A16.1)
    2. All applicants have a right to be allocated on a first-in, first-out basis given that all applicants meet the required threshold (160 points or above) to even be in the queue in the first place
    3. Applicant's details can change significantly in the 12+ months it's currently taking to be allocated - job details change, not to mention addresses, relationships, health issues - and it's onerous and unfair of INZ to request "updated" supporting evidence once they finally allocate an application, when the applicant did what was required of them at the time of lodgement and it's not their fault that INZ have taken so long to assess things
    4. The cost of getting new temporary visas to be able to "tide applicant's over" while their Residence application sits in an unmoving queue is prohibitive and the process is onerous

    I'm keen to hear how the current 12+ month wait time of getting your SMC application allocated to an Immigration Officer is affecting you personally, as I'm sure there are other angles I can add to my submission to the Ombudsman. No names will be mentioned in my submission - it's just a chance for you to get your perspective heard - I can't promise that my lodging a complaint will change anything, but I feel it's time for INZ to be held to account and answer some questions and believe that the Office of the Ombudsman is the organisation to do that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    141

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    Hi Erin, good to hear that you are up and running again. I trust everything went well with the baby!

    I think your points pretty much add up to what is going on. Thanks for doing this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    153

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    Quote Originally Posted by EGoodhue View Post
    I'm planning to write a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman regarding INZ's priority allocation criteria. It's not permitted by the Operations Manual (A16.1 states that first priority for processing will be given to SMC applications with job offers, says nothing about a certain type of job offer and only allows for according urgency to an application when the individual circumstances warrant it) and recent communications with INZ demonstrate that they have no plans to stop doing it (even after the NZRP renews at the end of this month) and there is no strategy for them to clear the backlog. In fact, they have admitted that wait times are likely to increase and the backlog get even bigger. This is incredibly unfair and wrong on so many levels.
    The main points of my complaint will be:

    1. Instructions don't allow for mass prioritisations (as per A16.1)
    2. All applicants have a right to be allocated on a first-in, first-out basis given that all applicants meet the required threshold (160 points or above) to even be in the queue in the first place
    3. Applicant's details can change significantly in the 12+ months it's currently taking to be allocated - job details change, not to mention addresses, relationships, health issues - and it's onerous and unfair of INZ to request "updated" supporting evidence once they finally allocate an application, when the applicant did what was required of them at the time of lodgement and it's not their fault that INZ have taken so long to assess things
    4. The cost of getting new temporary visas to be able to "tide applicant's over" while their Residence application sits in an unmoving queue is prohibitive and the process is onerous

    I'm keen to hear how the current 12+ month wait time of getting your SMC application allocated to an Immigration Officer is affecting you personally, as I'm sure there are other angles I can add to my submission to the Ombudsman. No names will be mentioned in my submission - it's just a chance for you to get your perspective heard - I can't promise that my lodging a complaint will change anything, but I feel it's time for INZ to be held to account and answer some questions and believe that the Office of the Ombudsman is the organisation to do that.
    I applied for my residency in March 2019 and do not meet criteria for prioritizing. My visa is expiring in 8 months from now. My employer is not accredited and I am the only employee in work visa (among around 50 employee) and they will not bother being accredited to hire me once the new rules for hiring foreign worker come in. So, I am quite lost at the moment.

    A delayed process not just means visa issues, but affects our life in other ways too. The banks and finance companies here have limited financing options esp. when buying household items, many do not finance to work visa holders or do at expensive cost. Because of temporary work visa, my partner has been struggling to get a job that matches her skills. But more than this, its the uncertainty that is impacting us, the stress that we are going through, life decisions that we are postponing, such as planning a baby.

    There are two things that I don't understand in prioritizing and process:
    a) If they have backlogs, why do they continue accepting application from those without job offer?
    b) How can someone applying in November 2019 get prioritized to someone applying in December 2018 when both meet the same criteria, except the salary?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Welcome back Erin. Hope all well with you and the baby..

    My application was lodged in Dec 2018. Completing a 12months on the 20th. The call centre has people mentioned nothing could change till the end of Jan 2020. Even after that, there is no specific date for the allocation of a case officer.
    My LIA mentioned things cant be expected to move till nearly Mid next year.

    Stuck all sides after investing so much time and money in this country. I had my case rejected during the last election time as a lot of people from IT sales were rejected saying Job profile dint match.

    My fear is we nearing the election again and they are playing with our lives.

    Hope we get some form of justice...

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