10 May 2012

Computer glitch gives migrants lucky break

7:51 pm on 10 May 2012

A computer error at Immigration New Zealand has resulted in 306 would-be migrants being mistakenly granted skilled migrant visas.

The mistake was made when their applications were considered last Friday.

Officials were considering applications under the Silver Fern Job Search scheme that allows people aged 20 to 35 to enter New Zealand without a job and gives them nine months to find work.

The Silver Fern Job Search scheme is normally restricted to 300 people annually but the mistake meant an additional 306 people were also approved.

Immigration New Zealand says it has reviewed the applications granted in error and as a gesture of good faith will accept them.

The Immigration Minister Nathan Guy wants to know what went wrong and has asked for a report.

Simon Laurent of the Association for Migration and Investment agrees it is not a good look but says there are deeper concerns.

He says he hopes the fall out from the error is not too severe and encourages the continuation of online systems, saying it is the way of the future.