New Zealand offers many pathways for those seeking to visit, study, work or even live in Aotearoa. However, using these available options isn’t quite as simple as getting on a plane and travelling. There are different complexities that all potential visitors, workers or residents should understand before they begin the immigration process.

What To Know About The New Zealand Immigration Process

To legally work or stay in New Zealand, you must be granted an appropriate visa. Typically, this process is rather straightforward, and you’ll simply need to follow the right steps to do your part correctly.

To maximise your chances of success, it’s best to work with qualified immigration consultants and do your research beforehand.

However, complexities can arise during your stay, such as the following:

Overstayers And The Section 61 Immigration Act

An overstayer is someone who remains in New Zealand even after their visa has expired and is, therefore, staying in the country unlawfully. When you get your visa, it’s imperative that you understand its duration and prepare for when you have to leave. 

Overstaying can lead to serious consequences, including deportation and major difficulties in obtaining visas in the future. However, there is one thing you can do – submit a Section 61 request. 

Section 61 of the Immigration Act allows individuals who are unlawfully staying in Aotearoa to apply for a visa. This process is at the discretion of the Minister Of Immigration, and there are three possible outcomes of this request:

  • No Consideration At All: The request is not considered at all, automatically being denied. 
  • Denial: The request is considered, but ultimately the visa is rejected.
  • Approval: The request is considered, and then the visa is approved.

Please note that not all unlawfully present individuals are eligible to apply for a Section 61 request. Those with the following qualities are not allowed to apply: 

  • Those who have a deportation order.
  • Those who have previously had limited visas.
  • Those who are refugees whose applications have already been declined.
  • Those who fall under Section 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act.

Those dealing with the confusing and often stressful details of an S61 request should consider working with experienced immigration consultants to simplify the process and improve the chances of success. 

Deportation And Appeals

There are several factors that can trigger deportation liability, such as the following: 

  • Overstaying a visa. 
  • Having a visa that was granted incorrectly or obtained under false pretences. 
  • Breaching visa conditions.
  • Criminally offending.
  • Concealing relevant information. 

The Minister Of Immigration has the authority to determine deportation based on these grounds. Individuals facing potential deportation are strongly encouraged to research and understand the legal framework of it and to seek professional guidance to improve their chances of a positive outcome for them.

There are available options for appealing deportation decisions. Most decisions made under the Immigration Act 1987 can still be appealed, providing a critical avenue for those seeking to overturn or change deportation orders. 

It’s vital to note that the deportation appeal process requires thorough preparation and an understanding of immigration law. If you are someone who is dealing with deportation, it’s essential to get help from the right people, such as experienced NZ immigration consultants.

The Role Of Ministerial Discretion

The Minister Of Immigration must have absolute discretion regarding certain immigration decisions, particularly under Section 61. This means that the Minister can choose whether to consider a request and is not obligated to provide specific reasons for their decision, with some exceptions. This discretion is meant to balance legal requirements with humanitarian considerations, allowing for a nuanced approach to the often complex immigration process. 

As each case is unique, it’s of utmost importance for the Minister to strike a balance between upholding immigration laws and addressing the humanitarian aspect of an individual’s situation. They must weigh the legalities against the potential social impact, ensuring that justice is served while also considering each applicant’s individual circumstances. 

What To Do When Navigating These Challenges

If you find yourself struggling with any situations similar to those detailed in this article, here are a few steps to consider:

Engage With Professionals. Immigration challenges can be complex, and their outcomes can significantly affect those who are involved. To improve your chances, consider working with immigration specialists who can assist you with their skills. 

Stay Informed. Understanding your rights and obligations under New Zealand’s immigration law is crucial. When applying for your visa or when handling issues, be sure you do your research and understand applicable laws. A skilled immigration consultant’s help can be invaluable during this step. 

Stay Prepared. Whether you’re applying for a standard visa or appealing a deportation order, thorough preparation is key. Work with your immigration consultant to ensure you are fully prepared. 

Staying Informed And Prepared For The Immigration Process In New Zealand

For expert immigration help, consider us at Auckland South Immigration Consultants. We understand that visa challenges can be stressful, and we wish to help. 

To learn more, you can contact us on 0800 16 8472 or use our website.

Immigration issues require thorough preparation and support, and we at Auckland South Immigration Consultants are here for you.