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Immigration New Zealand exceeded its budget for deportations in the first part of this year and required an additional injection to the budget. They have since obtained a further $500,000.

It has been reported that given the financial circumstances, at one point this year it was determined that INZ could only deport certain named individuals, including 22 inmates due to be released from prison, 48 alleged criminals and 14 individuals whose refugee claims had been rejected. The cost of deporting these people alone would amount to $564,883.

The total budget for deportations was $1.2 million for the 2017/18 year, a $500,000 cut from the $1.7m the previous year. The reason for this decrease was unknown, even to Alistair Murray, a senior Immigration NZ manager in Auckland, considering they had spent nearly $1.8m the previous year, and $1.6m the year before that.

Assistant General Manager, Pete Devoy the assistant general manager, guessed the reason for the cut was that deportations were viewed as an area where the budget could be cut and not have a visible impact on INZ’s business. He said the budget shortfall posed several risks to Immigration New Zealand’s reputation “in particular for those migrants who are considered the highest harm”.

There was concern about INZ having to reduce deportation activity to only high-risk individuals. They mentioned the impact reduced budget would have on their compliance work being done in the Bay of Plenty where a number of unlawful Indians were being deported.

Instead of actual deportation of illegal migrants, compliance officers were working on enforcing voluntary departure, requiring overstayers to leave at their own expense.

Part of the increased costs were due to airlines demanding more security – up to three escorts – and deportations to more expensive parts of the world to travel, such as Africa and the Middle East.

In March 2018, the compliance manager Nicola Hogg successfully obtained a further $500,000 for the deportation budget, allowing deportation activities to continue as before.

Deportations Statistics

  • 2012/13 – 791 deportations cost $1,532,091
    • 2013/14 – 660 deportations cost $1,229,294
    • 2014/15 – 523 deportations cost $1,317,707
    • 2015/16 – 529 deportations cost $1,611,130
    • 2016/17 – 727 deportations cost $1,778,196
    • 2017/18 – INZ had budget of $1,278,000 but spent $914,000 by January. Only had $363,868 to last until the end of June. Received an extra $500,000.

Source: New Zealand Herald

Some basics about deportation liability

If your visa expires  and you do not have an interim visa or application is declined, you become unlawful. You become liable for deportation, generally 42 days after becoming unlawful and do not have to be served a further deportation liability notice. You can be arrested and taken into custody at any time and put on the next available flight to your country.

If you are unlawful, you have no right to stay or apply for a visa, but can request a visa under special provisions of the Immigration Act, most commonly under Section 61. This does not technically give you the right to stay and prevent deportation but gives you a chance of staying if visa granted. We have assisted many clients in these circumstances.

Other grounds for deportation include:

  • Criminal offending (including drink-driving, assault etc) – for residents for offences for which imprisonment can be imposed even if it were not)
  • Breach of visa conditions (eg working while on a visitor visa)
  • Visa granted in error
  • Visa held under false identity or fraud, forgery etc
  • Concealing relevant information in an application

The exact grounds depend on whether you are on a temporary or resident visa.

Permanent residents can also be liable for deportation in some circumstances.

In cases where you hold a visa, a deportation liability notice would be issued and you would have 14 days opportunity to give reason why deportation should not take place

You may also appeal to the Immigration & Protection Tribunal against deportation on humanitarian grounds, but must lodge this within 28 or 42 days depending on the type of deportation liability.

Note that being deported does not just give you a free trip home! You would be required to repay the costs, sometimes at your home airport or at least if you want to return. You would then have a ban on returning to NZ for 5 or 10 years.

If you are unlawfully in New Zealand and believe you have grounds to stay or have been served a deportation liability, please contact us as soon as possible to see if we can help.