Deportation Appeals

Are you worried about being deported?

We offer timely, practical legal advice to clients facing deportation.

An appointment with our deportation lawyer Aaron Martin could provide the guidance you need to make a successful case to Immigration New Zealand (INZ). We understand the system and know what to do.

What are the criteria?

If you remain in New Zealand after your visa expires, you become unlawful in New Zealand and therefore liable for deportation. A variety of other situations may lead to your being deported but, either way, you will receive a deportation liability notice.

What can trigger a deportation liability notice?

In our experience, Immigration NZ will serve a deportation liability notice under the following circumstances:

  • Committing crimes while holding a temporary visa or within a certain period after being granted residence
  • Breaching visa conditions – for example, a Resident Visa under the Skilled Migrant category may require that you accept an offer of skilled employment within three months
  • Fraud, forgery or misinformation – if INZ finds out that you gave them false, fraudulent, forged or misleading information, or that you held back relevant information when you applied for your visa
  • False identity – if you’re holding your visa under an identity other than your own
  • New information about your character becomes known to INZ
  • Administrative errors – if INZ granted your visa by mistake, for example, your criminal record legally disqualified you
  • Security risk – if you’re a current threat to New Zealand’s defence or security, including security against terrorism, spying, and organised crime (This requires a certificate from the Minister of Immigration and an Order in Council from the government.)

What is the appeals process and how long does it take?

If INZ determines that you are liable for deportation, you have the right to appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, administered by the Ministry of Justice. Your appeal rights, and length of time you have to appeal, depend on the type of visa you hold as well as the grounds for deportation liability.

Note: You cannot appeal if the last visa you held was a limited visa.

Prior to making an appeal, you may request that your deportation liability be suspended or cancelled. Deportation liability may be suspended for up to 5 years, under conditions the Minister of Immigration sees fit.

In the event of a successful suspension, deportation will be cancelled once the suspension period has elapsed, provided none of the conditions have been breached. Deportation liability can be reactivated, however, if any of the conditions are breached during the suspension period or if new grounds for deportation liability arise.

  • If you become unlawful in New Zealand due to an expired visa, you must appeal within 42 days of becoming unlawful, or within 42 days of receiving confirmation that your last visa application was unsuccessful.
  • If you are liable for deportation for other reasons, you will have 28 days to appeal starting from the date you were issued your deportation liability notice.

As you can see, time is of the essence. With so much at stake, you need professional legal counsel to advocate on your behalf and help you stay in New Zealand.

When to get help

If you’ve been issued a deportation liability notice or are facing a situation that could jeopardise your future in New Zealand, we recommend that you seek professional advice immediately.

Deportation appeals are often challenging, requiring an in-depth understanding of New Zealand case law, legislation, and various Human Rights Conventions. Attempting to handle your case yourself, especially without guidance, may lead to a situation where it’s too late for a lawyer to take action on your behalf. Preparation takes time, so the sooner you get help, the better.

How we can assist

We’ll evaluate your unique circumstances to assess the likelihood of a successful appeal or request for suspension. We can also explore alternate solutions, such as other visa categories or criteria you can apply for to extend your stay in New Zealand.

NZIL has helped multiple clients who were:

  • Caught out when a low-level crime triggered a deportation notice
  • Made liable for deportation because the basis upon which their visa was granted disappeared, e.g., their partner relationship ended or they lost their job
  • Alleged to have submitted false or misleading information to INZ in a previous visa application

We can help you too!

Contact the expert team at NZIL or book an appointment to begin building your case today.

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Need immigration advice?

Feel free to call us with your concerns or make an appointment to see how we can work with you.

We have a fluent Mandarin speaker in our team if you need Chinese language assistance.

Case Review

Need a Review of your Case?

If your case is more complex, consider our 60-minute Immigration Clinic. In this one-on-one appointment with immigration lawyer Aaron Martin, you can talk through your specific issues and gain insight on the best approach.

Make an appointment or contact us to see how we can help.