JUNE 2012

The Immigration Law Challenge

Navigating the Process - Part 1 - Visas

The intricacies of navigating through the constant changes in Immigration Law are a challenge for us. They can be a nightmare for those who seek Immigration Visas or wish to appeal decisions made.

There is a range of such Visas for different purposes:

Limited Visa Applications

These Visas are granted offshore to enter New Zealand on a Temporary Visa for a specific purpose or special event such as reunion, birthdays, weddings, funerals, visiting a family member who is ill etc. This visa cannot be extended unless there are very good reasons to do so and the purpose for which the visa was issued has not occurred. We can assist you with the filing of offshore applications for family and friends.

Visitor Visa Applications

These Visas (previously known as Visitor Permits) are granted offshore and allow a visitor to be granted a visa as a tourist, to visit family and friends, play sport or perform cultural events (without pay), to get married or undertake short term study or similar activities. We can assist you to extend your visitor visas to a particular limit or even change to another type of visa, such as a student or work visa where appropriate.

Student Visa Applications

These Visas (previously known as Student Permits) can be made offshore or once in New Zealand. You do not need a Visa to study for a course of up to three months approved by NZQA. Fulltime study is defined as studying up to 20 hours per week or studying at primary, intermediate or secondary school for one school term or studying at least three papers or the equivalent each semester at a tertiary institution other than a private institution. If you only study part time (fewer hours and fewer papers) and you hold a visitor visa or work visa, you may apply for a variation of conditions to allow you to study longer. We can assist you with such applications.

Work Visa Applications

These Visas (previously known as Work Permits) allow you to work in New Zealand for a limited period and can be applied for offshore or in New Zealand. The Visa will state the expiry date of the Visa, travel and any other conditions which may include type of employment, the employer’s name, or where in New Zealand you work. You may receive a single or multiple entry Visa. Work is an activity undertaken for gain or reward and therefore considered to be employment. Work Visas can be granted for a maximum period of three years except for highly skilled persons which can be granted for five years but there is no limit for further visas to be granted in the future. A person must comply with New Zealand employment and immigration law. We can file your application for a Work Visa either offshore or in New Zealand and also for further extensions if required. We can also advise you on the path to residence from a work visa.

Residence Visa Applications

We can advise you on how to obtain resident status in New Zealand and file your application on your behalf whether offshore or from New Zealand under any of the following categories:-

  • Skilled Migrant;
  • Entrepreneur Migrant;
  • Migrant Investment;
  • Employee of a Relocating Business;
  • Family (partnership, parent, sibling/adult, child, dependent child, inter-country adoptions);
  • Pacific Access/ Samoan Quota Scheme
  • Refugee Family Support;
  • Work to Residence; and
  • Talent (arts, culture, sports).

As can be noted, there are a range of Visa Applications to suit various circumstances. We can assist you with such applications. In Part Two of this article we will comment on the immigration appeal processes and Judicial Reviews, which we specialise in.