Home | Browse Topics | Immigration & refugees | Immigration | Appealing on special humanitarian grounds

Immigration & refugees

Chapters in this topic

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” in the section “Deportation: Being made to leave New Zealand”.

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.

Did this answer your question?


Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

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.


You can read Immigration NZ’s Operational Manual at www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual

Immigration and Protection Tribunal


Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life. It’s for people living in Aotearoa New Zealand (and their advocates) to help themselves.

Buy The Community Law Manual

Help the manual

We’re a small team that relies on the generosity of all our supporters. You can make a one-off donation or become a supporter by sponsoring the Manual for a community organisation near you. Every contribution helps us to continue updating and improving our legal information, year after year.

Donate Become a Supporter

Find the Answer to your Legal Question

back to top