1 Feb 2011

Immigration New Zealand trying to refund excess charges on Samoa permits

8:21 pm on 1 February 2011

The head of Immigration New Zealand, Nigel Bickle, says his department's making every effort to return money to Samoans overcharged for residency permits.

The Treaty of Friendship between the two countries means Samoans are exempt from the 90 New Zealand dollar information settlement fee but a website error meant up to 750 applicants were overcharged.

More than 50 thousand dollars is still to be returned to about 600 applicants and Mr Bickle says they've been trying to refund it ever since the problem was discovered eighteen months ago.

"We've fixed the problem. We've retrained our staff. We've made attempts to contact those we think are affected and continue to try and get the refunds to them."

Nigel Bickle says Samoans who applied for residency between November 2005 and June 2009 should check with his department whether they're eligible for the refund.