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Character Waivers

Character waivers – The importance of strong and persuasive submissions to Immigration New Zealand
When applying for a work or residency visa an applicant has to be of good character. In some instances it may be necessary for an applicant to obtain a character waiver.
A character waiver is essentially when Immigration need to consider whether an action you have done in the past (for many applicants this is a crime regarded as reasonably minor – such as a DUI) can be excused (to enable you to obtain the type of immigration status you have applied for).

Whether you need a character waiver depends on the type of application you are making and the nature of the past infringement which has been committed by the applicant. For example, you may find that you do not need a character waiver for a work visa but later find that you will need a character waiver for a residency application. Some applicants with more serious offences may even find that they need a special direction from the Minister of Immigration.
It is important to get professional help when it comes to a character waiver because if you do not satisfy Immigration New Zealand of your good character your visa application may be declined. I have helped a large number of applicants with their character waivers and these have enabled them to obtain both temporary and residency visas.
When considering whether to grant a character waiver Immigration New Zealand will consider all the circumstances including the seriousness of the offence (looking at the fine or term of imprisonment as an indicator); the number of offences; the credibility of explanations given; how long ago the event occurred; the ties the applicant has to New Zealand (such as immediate family as well as physical and emotional ties) and the potential contribution of the applicant to New Zealand . A good character waiver will often be supported by a range of documentation as well as references to support the applicant – they can come from a variety of sources such as friends, family and even their employer.
It is important to make any application for a character waiver strong – supporting documentation is vital. I advise my clients on character waivers very frequently and while success cannot be guaranteed (only Immigration can make the final decision) I work with my clients to produce strong and persuasive submissions for any required character waiver giving the applicant the best possible chance.