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If you’re here illegally: Understanding your options

Appealing on special humanitarian grounds

Immigration Act 2009, s 154(2)

Although you can be deported if you’re in New Zealand unlawfully, you can appeal against this on humanitarian grounds. The appeal is dealt with by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, a court-like body that’s independent of Immigration New Zealand (see: “People without visas: Being deported because you’re here unlawfully”).

You have six weeks (42 days) to appeal. This is counted from when your unlawful status began (for example, the day your last visa expired). However, if you had applied unsuccessfully to Immigration NZ for them to reconsider their refusal to grant you another visa, then the six weeks is counted from when they told you they were turning you down, even if that was after your last visa expired.

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Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Immigration New Zealand

Immigration New Zealand is the government organisation that deals with visa applications and other immigration issues. It’s part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Website: www.immigration.govt.nz
Phone: 0508 558 855

The Operational manual contains immigration instructions that people who want to come to New Zealand must follow. While it is not a step-by-step guide, it will help you follow Immigration New Zealand’s processes. Access it here: www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual

See also Immigration’s policies and processes: www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/policy-and-law/how-the-immigration-system-operates

Immigration and Protection Tribunal

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal determines appeals on Immigration New Zealand’s decisions about refugee and protection matters.

Website: www.justice.govt.nz/Tribunals/immigration/immigration-and-protection

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