Staggering Number of Requests to Travel to New Zealand Declined

As of 16 April 2020 Immigration New Zealand has received 3,469 requests from people who believe they meet the criteria to be granted an exception to the border closure. Of the 3,157 requests processed to date only 639 have resulted in an invitation to apply for a visa. This staggering 80% decline rate indicates that most requests are failing to adequately demonstrate to Immigration New Zealand that they meet one of the exceptions.

How to request an exception to travel restrictions

A request for an exception to the border closure can be made by any person outside of New Zealand who believes that they are eligible. To make a request (an “Expression of Interest”) the person seeking an exception, or their Immigration Advisor, must use the request form available on Immigration New Zealand’s website.

The Expression of Interest online form only allows for one exception to be selected. This means that if a person is eligible for an exception on more than one ground they need to select the option which gives them the greatest chance of success.

Timeframe to process an Expression of Interest

Once an Expression of Interest is received by Immigration New Zealand they aim to make a decision within three working days. However this time-frame will depend on the number of Expressions of Interest Immigration New Zealand receive at any given time and their capacity to process them.

What happens when an Expression of Interest is successful

If Immigration New Zealand considers that the person’s circumstances are exceptional and justify travel to New Zealand for a critical purpose, or that the person is the family of and travelling with a New Zealander, the person will be invited to either:

1. apply for a visitor visa; or

2. vary their existing visa to allow them to travel.

Applications submitted following an invitation to apply will be given priority by Immigration New Zealand.

What to do if an Expression of Interest is declined

If an Expression of Interest is declined there is no right of reconsideration or appeal.

Pitt & Moore can provide advice on decisions by Immigration New Zealand and the options following a decline decision.

We also suggest that immigration advice is sought if an Expression of Interest is declined where a person appears to meet one of the exceptions to the border closure.

How Pitt & Moore Lawyers can help

Pitt & Moore Lawyers can provide tailored advice on seeking an exception to the border closure, and assist with preparing an Expression of Interest. In addition we can provide advice on the options available where an Expression of Interest has been declined.

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

Talk to us

For professional legal advice that will give you peace of mind contact our Immigration Team today.

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

Heather Collins

Position: Associate
DDI: +64 3 545 6702