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Section 61, Visa Declines, & IPT Appeals

For those who find themselves unlawful or in another challenging immigration situation.

Section 61

You cannot stay in New Zealand after your visa expires. You are obligated to leave New Zealand and are liable for deportation if you don't. Also, you can't submit another visa application as long as you are unlawful.

Regardless of whatever the reason for your staying unlawfully in New Zealand may be, if you find yourself in such a situation, you need to take corrective measures as soon as possible.


You can either leave the country immediately, or you can make a request for a special temporary or resident visa under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 if you believe you have a special case.

If you would like to appeal against your deportation liability, you must do so within 42 days of becoming unlawful, or within 42 days of receiving confirmation that your last visa application was declined. If you are liable for deportation for other reasons, you will normally have 28 days to appeal starting from the time you are given a deportation liability notice.

Section 61 of the Act provides the Minister of Immigration the power, to grant a visa of any type to a person unlawfully in New Zealand. However, the Minister is under no obligation to consider the request.

Section 61 is usually for those who have humanitarian reasons and who would be able to contribute to the New Zealand economy if allowed to stay.  

Making a successful Section 61 request

When making a Section 61 request, one of the main challenges one faces is the lack of an official guideline from INZ. Unlike for a visa application, there is no in-depth description of the criteria available that explains which evidence should be presented to INZ to make a request successful.

That being said, there is some information that has been shared by INZ from time to time with Immigration Professionals like ourselves.


One of the main instructions shared is about the significance of highlighting the SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES of the case. A section 61 request is a last resort and explaining the exceptional elements of the case is crucial.


We are available to assist you with this as we have assisted many migrants who found themselves in a similar situation as you may be in now. We have years of experience helping migrants to obtain visas through successful Section 61 requests.

Reviewing a Temporary Visa Decision

You can ask INZ to reconsider your declined work, student, or visitor visa application 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.

You can provide more evidence supporting your application at the time of the request for reconsideration.  INZ reviews your application and looks at any further information you provide.


If after the review, INZ determines that their first decision was wrong, you will 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.

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Immigration & Protection Tribunal

Immigration & Protection Tribunal (IPT) is an independent body set up to hear appeals made against the decisions taken by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

The tribunal is governed by the Ministry of Justice set up by the New Zealand government. A District Court judge is appointed as the head of the IPT.

You can appeal to the IPT Tribunal against:

  1. decisions about residence visas

  2. decisions about the recognition of a person as a refugee or protected person

  3. liability for deportation

  4. decisions to stop recognizing a person as a refugee or protected person

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

Immigration Appeals are your golden opportunity to pull out of the immigration mess that you may find yourself in. The IPT Appeal process is not an easy one and needs a lot of hard work and tact to succeed. 

If you are unsure whether you stand a chance in an Immigration Appeal or don't know how to start the process, we are here to help. We would be more than happy to provide you with a free initial consultation to go over your case and give you our expert advice.

IPT Appeals take a few months to reach a verdict, depending on the nature of the appeal and case specifics. We are experienced in these matters and know what is needed for a favorable decision in the fastest time possible, and at the least cost.


Immigration consequences not only affect a defendant but that person’s innocent children and families. Consequences can include deportation or removal from the country of a parent or family member, or the denial of immigration benefits, such as citizenship and lawful permanent resident status. 


We are experienced in these cases and can work with Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and Immigration and Protection Tribunal (IPT) on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome, considering immigration consequences.

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