Immigration NZ bungle up notifications sent to migrants about visa extensions

Immigration NZ has made a significant administrative error on 23 December 2020 telling migrants their temporary Visas will be extended when in fact they were not eligible for the automatic visa extension.

This is far from ideal, especially if the visas held by the affected migrants have expired in the meantime or are about to expire. We are concerned that some migrants may not appreciate that they need to take urgent action to renew their temporary visas and could possibly become unlawful. It is also possible that some migrants may have become unlawful as their visas could have already expired due to the time it has taken Immigration NZ time to discover their error.

We understand that Immigration NZ is now in the process of contacting the migrants who received emails in error to clarify their eligibility for an automatic temporary visa extension. From the communications that we have received, Immigration NZ is currently not giving those prejudiced by their mistake any leeway. We don’t believe that this is good enough. Migrants are under incredible stress at the moment experiencing massive uncertainly. Significant errors of this nature from Immigration NZ add to that uncertainty.

If migrants have been told by Immigration NZ that they are eligible for an automatic visa extension, then Immigration NZ should honour their advice and issue the extensions.

Migrants should be able to rely on communications from Immigration NZ concerning visa extensions. That is especially the case if the migrant has relied on Immigration Nz’s advice and:

  1.  their Visa has expired so they are now unlawfully in New Zealand; or
  2. they have insufficient time to submit a well prepared application for a further Visa

 Get professional advice

If you’re unsure as to whether the automatic extension applies to you or your family members, get in touch with us at Pitt & Moore Lawyers for professional advice that will give you peace of mind.

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We offer an initial 15 minute free consultation to all new immigration clients to discuss your particular circumstances and what services we can provide.

What sets us apart is that we are experts in each step of the immigration process. This means that we can advise on all immigration and visa-related issues.

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We don’t just advise on the visa requirements, we can ensure that you receive comprehensive legal advice on all aspects applicable to your particular circumstances.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.

Topics: All Select

Mike McMellon

Position: Consultant
DDI:  +64 3 545 6710