As of September 2020, the Suva post has taken over the processing of Australian visa applications for applicants who are based in NZ. This means the Department of Home Affairs arm of the Australian Consulate in Auckland has closed.

The main concern with this is the loss of years and years of experience that the staff at the Auckland post had dealing with nationalities from all around the world.

It may also have a big impact for subclass 461 applicants that are in NZ.

The Suva office has confirmed that they will be assessing 461 cases for those in NZ. I suspect that processing times will lengthen significantly given they will have little or no experience in assessing 461 applications. The Auckland post was consistently assessing 461 applications within 6-9 months. Prior to Covid, the Sydney office was taking anywhere up to 30 months to assess cases.

The TT Service run Visa Application centre should still continue to operate in NZ to provide paper based application lodgement services as well as biometrics.

It seems an Integrity Unit will also be retained in NZ and will be based at the Australian High Commission in Wellington.