Appeals: What you can do if you’re refused refugee status
How can I challenge the decision if I’m not recognised as a refugee?
If Immigration New Zealand rejects your claim for refugee status, you can appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.
You have 10 working days to lodge your appeal after you’re told your claim has been rejected (but if you’re being held by Immigration New Zealand, which could be at the Māngere Refugee Resettlement Centre or in prison, the time limit is only five working days). However, you can ask the Immigration and Protection Tribunal to give you longer to lodge your appeal if there are special circumstances.
When you appeal, you can represent yourself or you can use a lawyer or an immigration adviser (see: “Immigration advisers: Your rights when getting advice”). If you can’t afford a lawyer, you’ll be able to get a lawyer under the Legal Aid scheme (see: “Legal Aid”).
To download the appeal forms, and for more information about filling them out, go to the Ministry of Justice website, here (or go to: www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/immigration, then go to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, go to “Make an appeal” and then go to “Forms & fees”).
How will the Immigration and Protection Tribunal make its decision?
When you appeal against your refugee claim being turned down, the Immigration and Protection Tribunal carries out a full investigation of your claim, considering it again from scratch. The Tribunal isn’t limited to considering information that you or Immigration New Zealand put before it – it can also choose to investigate on its own. It’s your responsibility to establish your case and give the Tribunal all the information you want it to look at.
Can I challenge the Immigration and Protection Tribunal’s decision if they reject my appeal?
Appeals from the Immigration and Protection Tribunal on refugee status issues are very limited. You can appeal to the High Court only on the ground that the Tribunal made a legal mistake when it decided your appeal. You can also apply to the High Court for judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision, in which case the judge will mainly be looking at whether there was something wrong with the process the Tribunal followed in making its decision.
Legal Aid is available for appeals to the High Court and for judicial review.