Although INZ often act like they are the final authority on all things visa related, it is not true.There is an appeal body known as the Immigration and Protection Tribunal (IPT) which has the power to assess certain decisions made by INZ and if they disagree to on a residence application they can even overturn these decisions.
This is a very good thing for some clients as INZ often stick to their guns and refuses to reconsider their opinion on a case no matter how hard we try to convince them. The IPT mainly deals with appeals against residence decisions and appeals against removal or deportation from New Zealand. Although it sounds expensive and very formal, the process is actually quite straightforward and the cost is roughly the same as a review by INZ or making another residence application. The process just involves us assessing the entire case and making a case as to why INZ have not followed the correct procedure or in some cases arguing that there are exceptional circumstances in your case that warrant an exception to instructions.
IPT is especially useful if there are humanitarian reasons why it is harsh or unjust for you to leave NZ such as family or human rights issues. This has to be more than that you will miss your life here as it is only for legitimate humanitarian reasons. The added bonus of an IPT appeal is that unlike an INZ application or a ministerial appeal, this appeal gives you the right to remain in New Zealand until the decision is made. You cannot work or study unless you still have a valid visa but at least you will not be removed. We were very happy this week to receive back from the IPT a successful decision for one of our clients who had been refused residence by INZ earlier this year. When he received this decision this client was very upset, however we assured him we would do our best and he was able to remain in NZ despite not having a current visa. Finally the IPT agreed with us that INZ did not follow their own policy when deciding this residence application and they have ordered that the application is re-opened and assessed again under the correct policy.
The moral is this; INZ decisions are not final, there is always a possibility to have a higher body assess it. Not every case will be successful, however given the consequences it is surely worth trying. It could be the smallest of administrative error by INZ which will invalidate the entire decision. One note – you have to act quick for these appeals as there is a very limited and definite time period for making such an appeal. Once you receive a residence decision from INZ or a notification you will be removed then you have a very short timeframe to lodge an appeal.
Consider that it will take us a while to assess and make a case and you will realise how important it is to have a good representative involved in your case from the beginning. So If you have received a letter from INZ about your residence or think your visa may be declined or expire soon then the time to act is NOW. call us on 0800 967 584 you will receive your first appointment FREE. Our service is totally confidential and we can guide you to take the right steps to avoid the need for an appeal or if necessary we can put forward a strong case. I will be writing more helpful article in the future solike our Facebook page and be informed.
Until next time,
Jig Patel | Director | Immigration Centre