We know it comes as a shock when an application for a New Zealand temporary visa or residence application is declined. It is a worrying time so let our team help alleviate the stress through avenues to gain your stay in New Zealand.

What You Need to Know

Declined Temporary Visa Application

If you have received a letter from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) declining your application, you do have rights, depending on your existing visa status mostly. All decline letters outline options which are applicable to you. It is important to read these carefully.

If you are outside New Zealand, the only real option is to apply again for the same or different type of visa. No right of reconsideration of a declined decision exists for offshore applications, although INZ may consider such a request if new and compelling information is provided for promptly.

If you are in New Zealand, and still hold a current specific temporary visa, a right of reconsideration of the decline decision does exist if made via hard-copy submission to INZ within 14 days of receipt of decision, which is usually from the decision date shown on the letter.An application fee applies, currently NZD220 with the INZ processing timeframe being up to three months.

Reconsideration Application

The important aspects of a reconsideration application are to provide all information which was submitted in declined application again, provided the information can positively contribute to possible favourability, and provide any new compelling information which was readily available during handing of the declined application matters but not provided for. Any other newly formedinformation following decline decision can be presented although INZ are less inclined to consider this.

Interim Visa Holders

If you hold an interim visa (also commonly referred to as a bridging visa), no reconsideration case can be made. Although, with assistance from our Advisers, depending on your circumstances, a case can be presented to INZ requesting reconsideration acceptance for processing. Alternatively, our Advisers may suggest pursuing the grant of a visa of any typevia submission of a “Section 61 request” which pertains to those deemed unlawful in New Zealand due to expired or cancelled visas. For information on this avenue, please refer to our earlier article here:

Apply for Visa of Another Type

If you hold a valid specific temporary visa at the time of decline, a visa application of another type can be made. Our Advisers will take a holistic approach in discussing your situation with you in this instance to determine any other viable visa avenues which may exist. It may be that we seek to gain a lesser level visa (eg. a visitor visa) to allow time to compile a more desirable visa (eg. work or student visa).

Health, Character and Bona fide Matters

If your application was declined on health and/or character grounds, or if your bona fides were seriously doubted, your matters are considered complex and specialist advice should be sought from our experienced team without hesitation.

Liability for Deportation

All INZ temporary visa decline letters for those in New Zealand contain a clause regarding liability for deportation. Simply the word deportation invokes fear in most. You do have rights regarding deportation, and avenues can be sought to avoid this event occurring and dealing with it if invoked by INZ. It is worthwhile knowing that a person cannot be deported until the outcome of any reconsideration application made is known.

What You Need To Do

The most important thing to do if your specific temporary visa has expired or is about to expire, or, if you are currently in New Zealand holding an interim visa, is to speak with our Advisers who will provide you with a best course of action to suit your situation.
It is considered extremely important to seek professional assistance from our Advisers if a reconsideration application is possible to ensure the best case possible is presented because only one reconsideration application can be made following a declined visa decision, meaning no subsequent applications can be made.
As soon as you are informed of decline of your temporary visa application, whether you are a visitor, worker or student, you need to contact Professional Visa Solutions promptly so we can alleviate your worries and commence rectifying your situation.
Give us a call or book a free initial consultation here:

Declined Residence Application

The right of appeal exists for all residence visa application types and is the first option to consider following the disappointment of a decline decision. Any appeal made must adhere to firm guidelines, including a tight timeframe for submission. A non-refundable appeal filing fee is payable, currently NZD700. The appeal submission must be made in hard-copy format and is decided based on the papers, there is no option to personally present before the Tribunal. You do not need to hold a current temporary visa in order to appeal a declined residence application, therefore you can seek to appeal whether in New Zealand or overseas.
Declined residence application appeals are determined by a separate entity to that of Immigration New Zealand, thus ensuring impartiality in decision making. The Immigration and Protection Tribunal is tasked with hearing appeals. An appeal against a declined residence application can be made only once.

Appealing a declined residence application is a complex matter, and is worthwhile getting-it-right in the first instance to avoid further stress and significant future costs associated with any subsequent Court submissions, and fighting any compliance removal action instigated by INZ.

An appeal can only be made if the decision was seen as incorrect because it can demonstrate INZ internal instructions criteria can be satisfactorily met or was procedurally unfair, and/or you feel special circumstances exist warranting an exception to immigration instructions.

Outcome Of Appeal

The Tribunal, in its decision, has the power to either:

  • confirm the decline decision was correctly made thus upheld,
  • acknowledges the decision made was correct although determines special circumstances exist warranting an exception to immigration instructions thus allowing for the grant of residence,
  • agrees the decision was correct, but refer back to INZ because new information about a particularly event which occurred post-decision should be considered,
  • reverse the decision made as having been incorrect, in which case the grant of residence is allowed outright, or, the application be referred back to INZ for re-assessment with directions as it sees fit as to how to correctly assess the application with instructions for carrying this out.
  • acknowledges the decision made was incorrect, although is not satisfied the person would have been entitled in terms of immigration instructions to the grant of residence regardless.

Grounds For Appeal

Good reasons to appeal can include:

  • if your circumstances have changed since the decline decision and you are now clearly eligible for residence(a good example of this is a skilled migrant category applicant receiving a pay increase or job promotion after the decline decision which was based on their offer of skilled employment - a case could be made that such a change warrants re-assessment by INZ as a new application),
  • evidence was readily available which existed at the time and could have led to a favourable decision but was not able to be provided for because of genuine reasons,
  • if your health or character situation needs to be reviewed so as not to adversely impact any future application made.
  • if you have special circumstances which you wish to have taken into consideration for an exception to immigration instructions to be made (this option allows for entirely new information or evidence to be presented for consideration),

Poor reasons for appealing include:

  • a desire to present new information of little evidential substance,
  • a desire to present new information which could be seen as clearly dubious and/or manipulated to fit with immigration instructions post-decision,
  • insufficient handling of the residence application either by the applicant or a representative,
  • insufficient evidence presented to INZ impacting their ability to make a correct decision,
  • not meeting INZ imposed deadlines,
  • emotions of rudeness or bias felt in dealing with INZ.

Important: Lodgement Timeframe

If you desire to make an appeal, the most important aspect is to be very mindful of the non-negotiable timeframe to make appeal submissions. This is 42 days, from date of notification of the decision, which varies depending on whether notification was deemed received by the affected person(s) by electronic or postal means. It is recommended that as soon as you are notified, don’t wait worrying about what to do next – contact our team of licenced immigration professionals to discuss your situation as soon as possible. Appeal submissions take considerable time and effort to compile and make, so give yourself the greatest chance of putting together a strong submission with compelling evidence through early contact with our Advisers.

Special Circumstances

“Special circumstances” criteria is not defined. It is an opportunity to present your situation holistically with accompanying strong evidence advocating your ability to be a good New Zealander, particularly through contributing to New Zealand’s human capability and/or social fabric factors. It is worthwhile in any instance to present matters in both fundamental areas allowed for if able to – reasons why immigration instructions can be met and special circumstances which exist.

Temporary Visa Status Whilst Awaiting Outcome

It should be noted that lodging an appeal against a declined residence application does not automatically mean that a person can remain in New Zealand or be granted a temporary entry class visa whilst awaiting the appeal to be heard. It would need to be demonstrated in any request to remain in New Zealand though temporary visa application that the person (and any included immediate family) that there is good reason for remaining in New Zealand, including meeting criteria applicable to visa type applied for, satisfying health and character requirements and satisfying bona fide applicant requirements.

It can take months for the outcome of an appeal to be known. In most instances a person desires to remain in New Zealand if here whilst awaiting the outcome, so it is worth seeking guidance from our experts to ascertain your prospects for remaining temporarily in New Zealand.

What You Need To Do

Having your residence application declined is perhaps the worst thing that can happen in your life – dreams are often crushed. It is unfortunate that, for whatever reason, your residence application was declined. However, never fear, help is here!

You will have the opportunity to remedy this through working closely with a dedicated Adviser from our team at Professional Visa Solutions. We have a superb track-record with successfully gaining the grant of residence to many families following a debilitating application decline decision.

Give us a call or book a free initial consultation here:

Further Information

For more detailed information on making a residence visa appeal, please consider viewing the official guide provided by Immigration and Protection Tribunal (link below). This should give you some idea on just how complex this area of immigration law is. Let us handle your affairs so you don’t have to worry about the detail!