China top nation for visitors to New Zealand
China is the number one nation for visitors to New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that it processes around 1000 visa requests from Chinese citizens every day. According to Asia’s deputy director of visas, Bruce Ballast, China is currently the main source for new arrivals to the country whether exchange students, tourists or those applying for permanent residence.
Over the past three years there has been an 80 per cent increase in immigration applications from China, according to Ballast, and each year the rate grows by around 30 per cent. During 2013, Immigration New Zealand processed some 304,475 applications for visas from China. This equates to 1000 per day barring days off and holidays.
Of the 800 visa application personnel employed by INZ, 180 are now dedicated to processing applications coming from China.
In November 2014 visitor arrivals from China hit a record 27,200 people. This was up nearly 50 per cent on visitor numbers for the same month a year earlier.
In previous years there has been a dip in Chinese arrivals. This is mainly attributed to new tourism laws that caused a fall off in the booking of package holidays. In 2014 New Zealand experienced a 5 per cent jump in visitor numbers to 2.84 million.
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