Immigration News

Help with a declined visa application

Man sitting in car, happy after receiving help with a declined visa application

Our client came to us after a declined visa application, due to criminal activity. The ‘criminal activity’ was only a traffic offence, but immigration had marked it against him. We challenged the charge and the visa was approved – he was allowed to stay in the country that had been his home for six years. Here is his story.

Aaron first helped me in 2015. I had been in New Zealand since 2012 on a student visa, studying IT at university. After I graduated, I was offered a role at Spark, and I began the process of applying for an Essential Skills visa.

The application was quite tough. I knew a lot of guys who were also migrant workers at other companies who had been offered similar contracts but had their visas declined. A friend of mine told me Aaron had helped him get his work visa approved. I didn’t want to take any risks with my application, so I got in touch. Thanks to Aaron, my application was successful.

By 2016 it was time to renew my visa. I was in a stable relationship, so I was able to get a partnership visa for the next two years. But when I reapplied for the partnership visa, this time with residency, Immigration New Zealand declined my visa application because of ‘criminal activity’. Shortly before I applied for my Essential Skills visa back in 2015, I had got convicted for a traffic offence. I hadn’t thought about it since, and it hadn’t affected my Essential Skills application. I decided to try applying again for the Essential Skills visa, with residency. But I wanted help to make sure it was approved.

I didn’t want to muck around with other lawyers. I had built trust in Aaron. So, I called him again for help. I knew he was familiar with the process and could tell me then and there whether my application could get approved. I told him about the criminal charge and he advised me that even if this visa was approved there was a 90% chance the conviction would come up later – if the charge was as I described I may face deportation.

Aaron advised me to apply for the Work to Residence visa instead of the Essential Skills visa to save time. In my application Immigration wrote again advising that I did not meet character requirements because of the conviction.

As a common person, I just accepted what the immigration officer said. The officers are supposed to know their job – they studied to do this. If Aaron hadn’t told me I would have left the issue there because I believed Immigration was right.

We had to fight back a bit. Aaron began to investigate the exact nature of the charge. I got some information from the Ministry of Justice and Aaron discovered it was not as I or Immigration had thought, and the type of charge did not create a character issue.

We sent off the application with the required proof and a letter from Aaron that directly challenged the immigration officer’s belief the conviction created a reason to decline my application.

Immigration agreed with Aaron and concluded that they were wrong, and in less than two weeks I had my visa!

Aaron is the lawyer I recommend for any immigration issue. I don’t trust any other lawyers. Aaron’s knowledge is vast, and he knows all of the rules and regulations of immigration. And not only is he knowledgeable but his dedication to his clients is impressive. He is focused because he loves his work and he puts all his effort in for his clients.


If you need help with a legal matter or visa application, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the NZIL team here.

If you are planning to meet with the team, check out our guide: “How to prepare for your appointment with an immigration lawyer“.