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Blog - Category: Immigration

Facing deportation? What are your options?

  1. Grounds for deportation

    If your visa has expired, you have to leave New Zealand. If you do not leave voluntarily, you are here unlawfully and are liable for deportation. If you currently hold a visa and are in New Zealand legally, you can only be deported on the grounds stated in the Immigration Act (The ‘Immigration Act 2009‘ is the fundamental source of New Zealand immigration law). This includes reasons such as breaching visa conditions, withholding information, false identity, being convicted of a criminal offence or other character-related issues, change in your situation or being granted a visa by mistake.
  2. Deportation Liability Notice

    If your visa has expired and you do not hold a valid New Zealand visa, you are liable for deportation and Immigration New Zealand doesn’t have to give you any notice that now you may be deported.If you are a visa holder and Immigration New Zealand wants to deport you, they have to start the process by giving you a “deportation liability notice”.

    The deportation liability notice will give you important information about your case, including:

    • why you’re being deported
    • what appeal rights you have
    • whether you’ll be barred from returning to New Zealand after you’re deported, and for how long
    • whether you’ll have to repay the New Zealand government the costs of deporting you.
  3. Your options, Instructing a deportation lawyer

    In some cases, you will have two weeks (14 days) after you get a deportation liability notice to challenge your deportation by giving Immigration New Zealand a good reason why you shouldn’t be deported.You’ll also usually have the right to challenge your deportation by appealing to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. How much time you have to appeal your deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal will depend on why you’re being deported.

    Appeals to the Tribunal are made either on the grounds that Immigration NZ are wrong that they’re legally justified in deporting you (called appealing “on the facts”) or on the grounds that there are exceptional humanitarian circumstances in your case. The ‘humanitarian grounds test’ is a very difficult test to overcome as you will need to satisfy the Tribunal that all of the following is true:

    • there are exceptional humanitarian circumstances in your case, and
    • those circumstances would make it “unjust or unduly harsh” for you to be deported, and
    • letting you stay wouldn’t be against the public interest.

    It is really important to contact an immigration lawyer and seek good legal advice as soon as possible as your immigration lawyer will be able to discuss all your options and time-frames with you. It takes a lot of time to prepare your appeal, submissions and evidence.

Immigration – Foreign Investment visa influx

New Zealand has begun to focus on reopening its borders for overseas investors. According to, “Immigration New Zealand has now approved visas for 32 people who agreed to invest $10 million each in New Zealand, and a further 76 who agreed to invest at least $3 million”*. This surge of visas is in an attempt to aid in the economic rebuild of New Zealand by circulating more money into the economy.

Immigration NZ has a dedicated unit promoting the country to wealthy foreigners willing to invest when they could get into New Zealand.”* And this unit has allowed for Immigration New Zealand to begin making decisions again. According to Nicola Hogg – Immigration New Zealand general manager – “…decisions were once again being made on whether to allow in wealthy investors.”*


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Government announces new one-off resident visa

On 30 September 2021, the Government announced a one-off resident visa. The 2021 Resident Visa is intended to be a ‘simplified pathway to residence for around 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand’. It will be available to most onshore (in New Zealand) work visa holders and their immediate family members.

According to the minister of immigration, the key points for this new resident visa are:

  • One-off resident visa for up to 165,000 migrants provides certainty for New Zealand businesses so they can plan into the future
  • Visa creates residence pathway for over 5,000 health and aged care workers, around 9,000 primary industry workers, and more than 800 teachers
  • Streamlined application process requiring health, police and security criteria to be met
  • Majority of applications to be granted within a year of the category opening

The full policy has not been released yet, therefore some details are still missing and some details are subject to change. Immigration New Zealand has indicated that more information will be available in late October 2021.

We’ve added a page to this website where we will keep you up to date with any new developments on this new residency visa:

2021 One-off Resident Visa Information »

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).

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Rupert Ward Immigration and Criminal barrister explains how drinking and driving (DUIs) can harm your Immigration status

Can I be deported for a DUI offence?

I am an Immigration and Criminal barrister so I see the impact of DUIs and Immigration frequently.

Have you got a work visa or are you a fairly new resident?   New Zealand takes a strict approach to drinking alcohol and driving (a DUI).  Immigration also takes this very seriously – If you have been convicted of driving under the influence this can greatly impact on your Immigration status.

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Relationships and Immigration – A view from Rupert Ward, Immigration Barrister

Relationships and Immigration  – A view from Rupert Ward, Immigration Barrister

Recently my office has seen a large volume of people involved in relationships with New Zealand citizens or residents being denied visas.   One of the hurdles applicants face is that Immigration must be convinced that a relationship is genuine and stable.

I see many people who have failed in their applications for a partner work visa (or for residency based on partnership) because they have not considered properly the amount of evidence they need to prove a relationship is genuine and stable.  A marriage certificate is simply not enough!  Immigration does helpfully provide a list of items which might be supplied and this requirement should not be taken lightly.

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Immigration changes bring important changes and will open doors for some applicants – South Island Contribution Visa and Skilled Migrant route to residency – Rupert Ward – Immigration Barrister

Immigration changes bring important changes and will open doors for some applicants – South Island Contribution Visa and Skilled Migrant route to residency

Very recently Immigration have announced new changes to Skilled Migrant residency rules.

They bring exciting new opportunities for residency for those people who have been committed to the South Island – such as those helping with the Christchurch rebuild.  You can read more about this new visa here. The changes will also change the points available to a number of Skilled Migrants.

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South Island Visa may help those with Christchurch rebuild and beyond – South Island Contribution Visa – Rupert Ward – Immigration Barrister

South Island Visa may help those with Christchurch rebuild and beyond – South Island Contribution Visa

Very recently Immigration have announced new changes to residency rules.

The South Island Contribution Visa brings exciting new opportunities for residency for those people who have been committed to the South Island – such as those helping with the Christchurch rebuild.

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Section 61 – What can you do if you are unlawfully in New Zealand?   What if there is no visa for me? – Rupert Ward – Immigration Barrister

Section 61 – What can you do if you are unlawfully in New Zealand?   What if there is no visa for me?

Sometimes a person can find that they are unlawfully in New Zealand.  Immigration can deport people unlawfully in the country and this can have an important effect on future visas (not just in New Zealand but elsewhere for other countries as well).  Therefore, in many situations it will be best to leave and return, if possible, on a new appropriate visa. However, in some circumstances as section 61 visa may be obtained.

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Brexit – Making a move to New Zealand?

Brexit: The UK has voted in favour of exiting the EU . It is a shock to many and one does wonder if those voting to leave understood the stability that the EU has progressively brought to Europe since the mid 20th century …  This will have many implications for the UK’s economy, immigration and its place in the world.

My office has already had queries from people from Britain who are disgruntled and disappointed and feel that the decision to leave will bring austerity.  They are already starting to make queries to my office about the possibility of emigrating to New Zealand.

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Check it and check it again – make sure your forms are correct

When completing any immigration visa form it is very easy to skim over some of the basic questions. For example, the questions such as whether you have been removed from a country before or whether you have ever had a visa refused. However, many people do not know that answering these questions correctly is vitally important.

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Wealthy Chinese investors may find their route to residency easier

I have helped a number of people emigrate from Asia. There is good news for wealthy individuals from China. The Chinese Government is planning on relaxing its control on the RMB to make it easier for overseas investment. As well as opening up new ways to manage wealth it may also bring new opportunities for emigration to New Zealand.

At the moment Chinese individuals are limited by the amount of RMB they can use to buy foreign currency. The current limit on individual cross-border investment is presently $50,000 per year and this limits foreign investment.
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Areas of Practice

Immigration Services

Rupert Ward Barrister

phone: 03 310 8103
mobile: 021 877 441