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Immigration & refugees

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Residence Class Visas: Living in New Zealand permanently

Challenging residence decisions

Right to appeal to Immigration and Protection Tribunal

Immigration Act 2009, s 187

If Immigration New Zealand refuses you a Residence Class Visa, you can appeal their decision to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. You have six weeks (42 days) to appeal.

Residence appeals to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal take about seven months to be decided.

On what grounds can I appeal a residence decision?

Immigration Act 2009, s 187(4)

There are two types of residence appeals to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal:

  • Meeting the official policy – If you think you qualified for residence under Immigration New Zealand’s residence policy, then you can appeal on the basis that Immigration NZ should have followed that policy.

Case: See for example [2016] NZIPT 203384

  • Exceptions – If you don’t meet the relevant residence policy, but you think there are good reasons why you should be granted residence, you can appeal on the ground that your special situation justifies Immigration NZ making an exception to their policy.

In your appeal, you can argue both of those grounds so that you cover both options. The Tribunal might decide, for example, that Immigration NZ was correct in how they applied the policy to you, but still recommend to the Minister of Immigration that special circumstances justify making an exception to the policy in your case.

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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


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