Film NZ sent out the following commentary on a change to Immigration NZ's administration of its visa scheme in Los Angeles.

Immigration New Zealand has made changes to visa processing in Los Angeles, bringing the city in line with changes made by Immigration NZ in its other centres around the world, and in preparation for a shift to electronic processing. The biggest change is that a third party agency will now undertake the administration of visa applications, and that there will be a charge for this service per visa.

Some of these changes are linked to Immigration NZ's global policy and are non-negotiable. Film New Zealand has reinforced to Immigration the importance of LA to the New Zealand screen industry, and in particular, having effective relationship management - an experienced person - at the LA end when issues arise. Immigration NZ advises these current changes do not remove Cherry Hankins in LA, and in fact will free her up from manual form processing. Carl Andrews will remain the "go to" desk in New Zealand.

Immigration has agreed to make sure that if problems arise in the short-term, they will respond - so if you hit any specific complexities as a result of the changes, please contact Bradley Reid bradley.reid@dol.govt.nz and cc gisella@filmnz.com

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