Family Law Christchurch

Unlawful status, deportation &


Family Law Christchurch
Family Law Christchurch

Unlawful status, deportation &


Family Law Christchurch
previous arrow
next arrow

Unlawful Status, Deportation and Appeals

If you have had your visa declined and you are facing deportation, contact us today and we help assist you in preparing a response to Immigration New Zealand.

Unlawful Status

If your visa application for New Zealand has been declined while you are in the country or your current visa has expired, it means you are now in the country illegally or ‘unlawfully’. If you have unlawful status you are unable to apply for another visa and will face deportation.

If you find yourself in this situation it is important to seek the help of an immigration lawyer who may be able to assist you in reversing your unlawful status in New Zealand. You can submit a Section 61 request to Immigration New Zealand who may grant you a visa to allow you to stay in New Zealand. There is no standardised application process for this and under the Act Immigration NZ do not have to provide reasons for their decision.

Get in touch with us if you are unlawful in the country so we can provide advice and discuss your options. We can assist in preparing submissions or doing the necessary liaison with Immigration New Zealand to address any ongoing issues.

Deportation Liability Investigations

There are a number of reasons why you can become liable for deportation, including:

  1. Staying in New Zealand past the expiry date of your visa
  2. Breaching other conditions of your visa
  3. Being convicted of a criminal offence
  4. Immigration NZ discovering false or misleading information had been provided, or information was withheld, in a previous application that you had submitted or in which you were included

There may be other reasons for your deportation, however regardless of the reason, Immigration NZ will issue you with a deportation liability notice.

If you are found liable for deportation, you will have the opportunity to appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

Suspension of Deportation Liability Request as a Resident Visa Holder

In some cases, you may be able to request a suspension of your deportation. This means that if successful, your deportation will be delayed by a set time period.

How we can help:

  • Gathering information and documents to apply for suspension on your deportation liability
  • Drafting submissions to Immigration NZ to suspend your deportation liability
  • Liaising with Immigration NZ to represent you

Appeals at the Immigration and Protection Tribunal

If your application for residency has not been granted, or you are facing deportation, you may be able to approach the Immigration and Protection Tribunal (IPT) for an appeal.

The IPT is an independent body that falls under the Ministry of Justice and is not a part of Immigration New Zealand.

You can approach the IPT for appeals regarding:

  • Decisions about residence class visas
  • Decisions about the recognition of a person as a refugee or protected person
  • Liability for deportation
  • Decisions to stop recognising a person as a refugee or protected person
  • Decisions to cancel the recognition of a New Zealand citizen as a refugee or protected person.
Residence visa appeals
  1. You can appeal to the IPT if:
    1. Immigration New Zealand has made a decision denying your residence visa application
    2. An Immigration New Zealand decision revoking a residence visa granted while you were outside New Zealand due to non-compliance with the residence instructions applicable at the time of your visa application
    3. An Immigration New Zealand decision prohibiting your entry into New Zealand despite already holding a residence visa
    4. A Minister of Immigration decision disallowing a residence visa based on classified information (information withheld for security reasons that you are not permitted to access).
  2. You may contest these determinations solely under the following circumstances:
    1. If you believe the Immigration New Zealand decision is incorrect because you indeed meet the residence instructions in effect at the time of your visa application.
    2. If you can demonstrate special circumstances warranting the Minister of Immigration to consider an exception to those instructions.
Deportation appeals

If you have been given a deportation liability notice, you may be able to appeal your deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

Whether you can appeal the decision and how long you have to make an appeal will depend on the type of visa that you hold and your circumstances. It is important to know that you cannot appeal if the last visa you held was a limited visa.

If you are in New Zealand unlawfully and would like to appeal, it is essential to do so within 42 days of either becoming unlawful or receiving confirmation of the rejection of your last visa application. If you face deportation for reasons unrelated to being unlawfully present, the standard timeframe for initiating an appeal is typically 28 days, commencing from the moment you receive a deportation liability notice.

The IPT cannot issue visas but following the appeal can contact either Immigration New Zealand or the Minister of Immigration if they believe the decision was incorrect or was correct, however there is new information or special circumstances. They may also turn down your appeal if they agree the decision made by INZ was correct.

While awaiting the outcome of the appeal, you may only remain in New Zealand if you hold a current visa.

How we can help with appeals:

  • Advising you regarding appeal rights at the IPT
  • Gathering documents, completing relevant forms, and submitting appeals within the given timeframe
  • Liaising with IPT to represent you
  • Drafting submissions for appeals
  • Attending pre-trial conferences for resident deportation appeals
  • Appearing before the tribunal to examine and witness, and to provide oral submissions for resident deportation appeals