New Zealand simplifies visa process for Chinese nationals

10:54, August 03, 2011      

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New Zealand has taken the first step in making entry for Chinese nationals easier with the opening of a joint immigration and tourism office in Shanghai, New Zealand Immigration Minister and Associate Tourism Minister Jonathan Coleman said Tuesday.

The joint Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and Tourism New Zealand office in Shanghai signaled the New Zealand government's response to demand from one of the country's fastest growing tourist markets, which was worth around 365 million NZ dollars (318.49 million U.S. dollars) a year, said Coleman.

About 131,000 Chinese visitors came to New Zealand in the year to June, an increase of 25 percent year on year, while business visitors increased by 10 percent, and Chinese students accounted for a quarter of the 90,000 international students studying in New Zealand each year.

"It's important that INZ is able to keep up with demand for visa services. INZ has also taken steps to remove as much bureaucracy as it can from visa processing in China," said Coleman.

"The Shanghai office reflects our increasing commitment to meet growth in the China market."

INZ was issuing multiple entry visas for Chinese citizens as standard practice, allowing holders to enter New Zealand as many times as they like for a maximum stay of six months in total, he said.

"This will remove a real source of frustration for Chinese who wish to visit New Zealand regularly at short notice," Coleman said.

The visa application form had been reduced in length and was in both Chinese and English.

INZ was also establishing visa application centers in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong to make the application process easier and quicker.

"What this also highlights is the important link between immigration and tourism and how better collaboration between both sectors can help boost New Zealand's tourism industry," Coleman said.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
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