Immigration

Getting a visa – Dealing with Immigration New Zealand – Being deported

What this chapter covers

In this chapter, we explain how New Zealand’s immigration system works, including:

  • when you’re allowed to apply for a visa and when you’re not (see “Accessing the immigration system: Who can apply for a visa and who can’t”)
  • the different types of visa, and what each type allows you to do (see the two main sections in this chapter “Temporary Visas: Working, studying or visiting for a limited time” and “Residence Class Visas: Living in New Zealand permanently”)
  • some special visas available to migrants in cases of domestic violence or human trafficking (see “Family violence and vulnerable migrants”)
  • what your options are if your visa has expired and you’re now here unlawfully (illegally) (see “If you’re here illegally: Understanding your options”)
  • when and how you can be deported from New Zealand (see “Deportation: Being made to leave New Zealand”)
  • when and how you can challenge decisions by Immigration New Zealand (see “Challenging a Temporary Visa decision”, “Challenging residence decisions”, and “Appealing against deportation”).

Note: Many of the immigration rules explained in this chapter are contained in policies issued by the government, rather than by laws passed by Parliament. Because of this, immigration rules can be changed more easily and more often than, for example, rules around tenancy agreements. Please check for any changes since we published this edition of the Community Law Manual.

You can find all the current immigration rules (including both policies and laws) in Immigration New Zealand’s “Operational Manual”, available online at: www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual . If a particular immigration rule we cover in this chapter is from government policy rather than law, we include a reference so you can find it in the Operational Manual – for example, “INZ Operational Manual: Temporary Entry, W2.15” for rules about funds requirements for Work Visas.

For this chapter, we have relied on the version of the Operational Manual that’s dated 1 June 2018. You can check if a particular policy has been changed since we published this chapter by looking at the date note (in orange, on the right hand side) at the end of each section of the online Operational Manual. For example, the section W2.15 currently has the note “Effective 21/11/2011” at the end, which tells you that the rules in that section of the Manual haven’t been changed since 21 November 2011.

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