What if my Visa Has Been Declined?

If your visa application has been declined by Immigration New Zealand you are facing a complex visa situation, potentially even deportation.

Why has your visa application been declined?

There are a number of possible reasons why your visa application might have been declined:

  • Your application has not been lodged in a prescribed manner
  • Your application has not been prepared correctly or is missing information
  • You may not have applied for the most suitable visa for what you intend to do in New Zealand
  • Immigration New Zealand has identified health or character issues that make you ineligible.

Once your visa application has been declined, you have to decide whether you want to accept that decision and potentially even return to your home country, or whether you think that the decision is not based on the actual facts of your case or immigration policies have not been applied correctly.  

Lodging an Appeal is a complex immigration law matter

In order to have the decision to decline your visa application checked by another authority, you might want to lodge an Appeal.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal (IPT) is the body in charge of appeals against visa and deportation decisions. It now replaces the Residence Review Board (RRB), the Removal Review Authority (RRA), the Refugee Status Appeals Authority (RSAA) and the Deportation Review Tribunal (DRT).

Talk to our experienced Licensed Immigration Adviser Dr Carsten Hallwass about your options.

He will assess your chances of achieving a positive outcome and allow you to make an informed decision on how to best proceed. If he is confident that an appeal might provide a favourable outcome for you, he will prepare and lodge your appeal in the prescribed manner and represent your case in your name.  

Are you potentially liable for deportation?

The Immigration Act 2009 defines the term 'deportation' as comprising all processes for requiring a foreign national who has no right to remain in New Zealand to leave.

Who is liable for deportation?

In summary, deportation liability is triggered by:

  • Staying in New Zealand unlawfully (i.e. beyond a visa expiry date)
  • Staying in New Zealand on a visa granted in error  
  • Staying in New Zealand on a visa obtained under a false identity  
  • The Minister of Immigration determining there is sufficient reason to make a temporary entrant liable for deportation, including:
  • Breach of visa conditions  
  • Criminal offending  
  • Matters relating to character  
  • Concealment of relevant information in relation to the person’s visa application  
  • Where the person’s circumstances no longer meet the rules or criteria under which the visa was granted.
  • Obtaining a residence class visa through fraud, forgery etc  
  • Breaching conditions of a resident visa  
  • New information prejudicial to the character becoming available that, if known at the time a residence class visa was granted, would have meant the visa would have been refused  
  • A residence class visa holder being convicted of certain criminal offences  
  • Cancellation of refugee and/or protection status where the person is not a New Zealand citizen  
  • Being a risk or threat to security.

Residence class visa holders remain liable for deportation for 10 years following liability for deportation arising.

Read more about character:

Read more Visa FAQ's:

Read more about Visas for New Zealand:

Read more about the Skill Shortage Lists:

Which Visa is Right for You?

Read more about the Points System:

Read more about health:

Read more about Critical Workers:

The Skill Shortage Lists

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