New Zealand is the only country in the world to have more people applying to the visa lottery than the total number of visa applications processed by the country’s visa office.
The total number processed by Auckland Immigration has surged to 1,743 people in the past year, a jump of more than 250% from the 1,400 people who applied last year, according to figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The Department says the number of applications from New Zealanders has also grown by about 70% in the year to September.
It is a significant increase from the 4,500 people who submitted a visa application in 2017.
The visa lottery was created by the New Zealand Government in the late 1990s to provide an alternative to a long-established visa application process.
It allows people to apply for an extension of their stay in New Zealand and gain a temporary work permit or a tourist visa.
The Government has announced the lottery will run for eight years and is expected to generate up to $5 billion in revenue.
The lottery has attracted about $100 million in sponsorship, and about $25 million from businesses in the tourism industry, according the department.
It also attracted about a billion dollars in other sponsorships such as hospitality, hotels and sporting venues.
In 2018, the number was down by more than 100% to 1.713 applicants, a rise of more like 700 people.
Auckland Immigration has been operating the lottery since 1996.