Immigration New Zealand advisers' survey

Immigration New Zealand undertakes an annual survey of immigration advisers and lawyers to help evaluate and improve its customer service.

This report provides a summary of the key findings from the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Advisers survey 2017 conducted among licensed immigration advisers, immigration lawyers and offshore student advisers who apply for a visa on behalf of others. The survey reports on their experience of dealing with INZ.

The survey was conducted by Gravitas Research & Strategy for the Migration Evidence and Insights team.

Survey methodology

Survey invitations were emailed to licensed immigration advisers, immigration lawyers and offshore student advisers who had received a visa decision on a client’s behalf in the three months previous to the survey, providing a link to an online questionnaire in English.

A total of 454 completed responses were received in 2017, equating to an overall response rate (excluding ineligible responses) of 31%.

The response data is not weighted.

Survey period

The survey covered advisers who had application decisions made between 16 July and 15 October 2017. The survey was online between 1 and 30 November 2017.

For more information on this report, please email MBIE Evidence and Insights.

Summary of key survey findings 2017

Satisfaction with the overall experience of applying for a visa was:

  • 47% among lawyers
  • 54% among licensed immigration advisers
  • 71% among offshore student advisers.

Qualitative research conducted prior to the survey identified consistency of processing and decision-making as the most important aspects of service for advisers. Advisers called for greater consistency – in the application process, in decision-making and between INZ offices. Only 44% agreed that the process for reviewing and deciding on the outcome of applications they submitted was consistent.

Of all the channels used, the Adviser Line at the Immigration Contact Centre was viewed most positively (70%).  It was perceived as friendly, willing to help and having a positive attitude to problem solving. However, there were concerns about accuracy, consistency, and lack of specificity, leading to suggestions for improved staff training and more experienced staff on the line.

Around three-quarters of advisers had used Immigration Online (on behalf of), with use significantly higher among onshore advisers. There was little dissatisfaction with this channel. Off-shore advisers said they were more likely to use it if technology problems were resolved, as the benefits were a reduced need to use Visa Application Centres (VACs) and the ability to lodge applications at any time.

Almost all advisers had worked with at least one INZ office in the last three months. They had mixed views of the experience of dealing with INZ offices, with offshore advisers more positive than onshore advisers. Generally, advisers were most positive about how they were treated by staff (over 60%), and least positive with regard to accessing and getting help when needed (48%). Improved communication was the most frequently citied suggestion to enhance the experience of dealing with INZ offices.

Around half the advisers perceived the website experience positively. They called for enhanced ease of website navigation including a better search engine, and more detailed information.

Of all the channels, advisers were least positive about their experience of dealing with VACs, with a quarter expressing dissatisfaction.  They were unhappy with the time taken by VACs to submit completed applications, and their treatment of advisers as professionals. Suggested enhancements related to the need for improved communication between VACs and advisers, and keeping advisers updated on applications submitted through them.