All You Need to Know About New Zealand Immigration Process

A lot happens between when you submit your visa application and the time of decision from the INZ. Here is a rundown on the New Zealand immigration process.

Have you ever wondered what happens between the time you submit your visa application to the INZ (Immigration New Zealand) and when you get the final verdict? We bring you a rundown of the New Zealand immigration process here, so you know what to expect.

So, let’s jump right in and take a peek.

How does INZ process visa applications?

The New Zealand immigration process involves scrutiny of your visa application, and INZ may ask you for additional information when they take up your case.

Here is what INZ looks for when processing your visa:

  • Do you meet the criteria and regulations for the visa as per immigration instructions in the operation manual?
  • Are you a legitimate applicant?
  • Can they verify the documents and information you’ve provided?
  • Confirmation of the relationship status of the applicant for family-based visas.

If the immigration officer processing your visa application believes you have not provided enough information for him/her to reach a decision, they may ask you to submit:

  • Other photographs, information or documents
  • Evidence of onward travel – such as tickets
  • Medical examination reports for any more tests INZ may require
  • Appear for a personal interview

In such cases, you will be getting a PPI (Potentially Prejudicial Information) letter from the INZ – it is critical to respond to it quickly, or your New Zealand immigration process may not move forward.

Professional Visa Solutions hires licensed immigration professionals who know all about the New Zealand immigration process. Do not risk delay or rejection of your visa – respond timely and correctly if INZ asks you for any information. Our experienced immigration consultants can help you succeed – book a consultation now.

What happens if you are outside New Zealand?

The New Zealand immigration process works a bit differently if you are not in the country when you file your visa application.

INZ is NOT under any obligation to ask you to provide additional information before the immigration officer reaches a decision on your visa – this means that you do not get the opportunity to provide any further details to the INZ to tilt the balance in your favour.

The best you can expect is INZ letting you comment on any information they find out about you that is not in the public domain. They will not ask for your comments on something already included in any of your visa applications (in case you have applied before).

If INZ rejects your visa application and you still wish to come to the country, you will need to apply all over again.

It becomes your responsibility to provide all the supporting information you want INZ to consider upfront. Our qualified immigration advisers have been working with international clients for many years and helping them achieve their New Zealand dream. You can depend on us to get you to New Zealand on a visa that suits you the best – contact us for a complimentary session.

How can you prevent visa delays?

Be sure to include all the documents and information INZ asks for – make a note of what needs originals, certified copies and photocopies.

Submit English translations for everything you furnish as supporting documents for resident visa applications.

For temporary permits, such as visas to study and visitor visas, INZ will need English translations for police certificates and medical certificate. All other key supporting documents must also be presented in English translations accompanied by certified copies or originals.

Planning ahead and being prepared will help you avoid delays in your New Zealand immigration process. Check all documents and read the application guidance carefully – any mistakes you make may lead to delays or outright rejection. Out Auckland-based team of experienced immigration experts knows how to create foolproof visa applications for all situations – book a consultation to discuss your case.

What else can you do to avoid delays in your New Zealand immigration process?

Besides having your documents in order when making your visa application, there are some other things you can do to avoid delays in your New Zealand immigration process.

Plan ahead, keeping your long-term immigration goals in mind. For instance, if you are visiting New Zealand on a temporary visa but plan on applying for residence down the road, it will help you save time and money later if you make a note of the documents you may eventually need. Also, check if the residence visa application will need you to bring certified copies of your documents or require originals.

Ensure that your passport does not have an expiration date within 3 months of your planned departure. If you lose your passport or if it expires, you won’t be able to request a visa till it gets replaced.

INZ takes time to process visa applications. Allow sufficient time to see the visa outcome when deciding travel plans or requesting a further visa if you are already in New Zealand. Expiration of your visa, while you are in the country, can make you liable for deportation – a serious immigration mess only an Immigration Appeal can help you with. If you wish to apply for a different visa, you have to allow sufficient time for your new visa application to be processed, before you run out of time on your existing visa.

If you want your passport to be sent back urgently, make a direct request with the immigration officer working on your visa application, including your client/application number, your contact information and the reason why you need the passport.

In case you are in the country on a temporary visa and need another one, it is recommended that you apply at least 2 weeks before the expiration date on your existing visa, so you do not lose your lawful status. INZ may grant you an interim visa if you make a Section 61 request.

What about the visa fees and processing times?

Time taken by the INZ is different for various categories and keeps changing based on the country you are coming from and the number of applications INZ receives. It also depends on personal circumstances – for instance, situations like Medical IssuesCharacter Issues or ones that need a Special Direction may introduce delays.

You also have to shell out an immigration levy on top of the visa application fee for some temporary and resident visas – protected people, refugees and refugee claimants are exempt from both these charges; the same holds for domestic violence victims.

Irrespective of whether they request an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) or apply for a visa, nearly all international visitors coming to New Zealand are required to pay an IVL (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy) of NZ $35 – this charge is not refunded even if the application is denied.

So, this was the long and short of the New Zealand immigration process. As you can see, there is a lot of action involved, and it may not be wise for you to risk your time and money by going through your immigration journey on your own. Have our highly qualified and experienced immigration experts by your side when you go through your New Zealand immigration process. Book a consultation session to explore our cost-effective and efficient immigration services.

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