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Complaining about INZ, reviewing Temporary Visa Decisions and IPT Appeals

What can you complain about?

You can use the Complaint and Feedback Process to complain about:

  • any service you received from Immigration New Zealand — for example providing information that was incorrect or misleading in forms or on their website


  • any service you received from a panel physician or clinic

  • any process failures, where INZ did not follow their own instructions or processes — for example, when:

    • they did not communicate with you clearly

    • you were not treated with courtesy or respect


  • any response to previous complaints that you believe did not fully answer your complaint.

What you cannot complain about?

You  cannot use the Complaints and Feedback Process to:

  • enquire about individual visa applications

  • make a general immigration query

  • dispute a decision INZ has made about a visa application, or

  • complain about New Zealand's immigration policy, including new policy decisions.

Appealing a visa decision

There are different processes for appealing visa decisions, depending on whether you applied for:

  • a temporary visa as a visitor, student or for work, or

  • a residence visa — you must appeal within 42 days of the decision.

Reviewing a Temporary Visa Decision

If your application for a work, student, or visitor visa was declined, you can only ask INZ to consider it again if:

  • you are in New Zealand when you make your request

  • you still hold a valid visa — this could be an Interim Visa, and

  • INZ receives your request no more than 14 calendar days after you received their decision to decline your visa.



INZ reviews your visa application and looks at any further information you provide. The review is not done by the immigration officer who declined your application originally.

If after the review, INZ determines that their first decision was wrong, you will be granted a visa. If they determine that their first decision was correct, then, you will not be granted a visa.


Asking INZ to review their decision about a visa application does not stop your current visa from expiring. You would still be breaking the law if you stay in New Zealand without a valid visa, but INZ will not deport you if they are still reviewing their decision about your application.


You cannot ask INZ to consider their decision a second time. If you have a valid visa you can submit an application for any visa that fits the purpose of your stay in New Zealand. If your visa has expired you must leave New Zealand.

The Immigration & Protection Tribunal hears and determines appeals concerning:

  • decisions about residence class visas

  • decisions about the recognition of a person as a refugee or protected person

  • liability for deportation

  • decisions to stop recognising a person as a refugee or protected person

  • decisions to cancel the recognition of a New Zealand citizen as a refugee or protected person.

Things to note:

  • Appeals can only be accepted if the correct Appeal form is properly completed, the payment is included and it has been received in time.

  • If your appeal has not been accepted, they will write to you and explain why.

  • For an appeal to be accepted by the Tribunal, it has to be made by a person who has the right to appeal.

  • Residence appeals are generally determined within 3 to 6 months after the Tribunal receives them.

  • Deportation non-resident (Humanitarian) appeals are generally determined within 2 to 4 months after the Tribunal receives them. 

How Immigration New Zealand processes your request

If your visa expires while you are waiting for a decision

If INZ confirms their decision to decline your visa application

Making an Appeal | Immigration and Protection Tribunal

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