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Communtity Law Manual | Refugees | Who qualifies as a “refugee”

Who qualifies as a “refugee”

Overview

Who is a “refugee”?

Immigration Act 2009, s 129; United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951, Article 1

You will be recognised as a refugee if:

  • you’re outside your country of nationality or habitual residence because you have a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of your race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion, and
  • you’re unable, or because of that fear, unwilling, to return to that country.

Who is a “protected person”?

Immigration Act 2009, ss 130, 131

You will be granted “protected person” status if you’re in danger of being killed, tortured or ill-treated if you’re deported from New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand will decide your claim on the basis of whether you should be recognised as a protected person under either of the following international conventions:

  • Convention Against Torture – You’re a “protected person” under this Convention if there are substantial grounds for believing you’d be in danger of being tortured if you were deported back to your country of origin
  • Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – You’re a “protected person” under this Covenant if there are substantial grounds for believing you’d be in danger of being arbitrarily killed or subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment if you were deported back to your country of origin.

    Immigration Act 2009, ss 130(3), 131(3)

When Immigration NZ is deciding whether you should be recognised as a protected person, they have to take into account whether in your country of origin there is a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

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