New Zealand visa overstayers at new low

New Zealand’s Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, has welcomed new figures that show the number of visa overstayers in the country is the lowest this century.

Latest estimates put the number of overstayers at 10,848 – a considerable decrease of more than 1,300 on the previous estimate of 12,162 in October 2014. The estimated rate of overstaying (the number of overstayers compared with the number of temporary arrivals) is very small by international standards at around 3.5 in 10,000.

“The latest figures show the Government’s focus on improved security at the border and decisive action to deal with overstayers continues to pay dividends,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“The current estimate is 45 per cent lower than the overstayer estimate a decade ago of more than 20,000. At the same time, removal and deportation costs have more than halved from NZ$3 million in 2005/06 to NZ$1.3 million in 2014/15.”

The Minister continued: “Better risk profiling during the visa application process, combined with an increased focus on encouraging overstayers to settle their affairs, pay their own costs for departure and leave New Zealand voluntarily has also contributed to the significant decrease in numbers.

“I congratulate Immigration New Zealand on the work they are doing alongside other agencies in ensuring that those who do become overstayers, leave quickly.”

Article by David Fuller