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Offshore temporary visa changes

Media release
November 2011

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is streamlining the decision-making process for offshore temporary entry visa applications.

Currently INZ seeks comment from all applicants likely to be declined but from 21 November 2011, comment will only be sought when instances of Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) arise.

Current approach v new approach

The current approach requires an immigration officer to invite an applicant to comment on any aspect of their application that may be unfavourable to the likely success of the application (i.e. ‘PPI’), even if the applicant has supplied all relevant information themselves.  The following issues have arisen out of the current approach:

As a result of this change, a potentially negative decision that does not involve PPI will not generally be put to an applicant for written or formal comment.  This will avoid unnecessary processing delays for applications where a decision can be made on the basis of the information supplied (i.e. where there is no PPI). 

Guides updated

INZ has made amendments to its temporary entry guides (visitor, student, work, limited visa, temporary retirement, recognised seasonal employer) to explain the requirement for applicants to be bona fide, and to ensure that applicants clearly understand the need to submit all relevant information with their application at the outset

These updated guides will be available at www.immigration.govt.nz/forms from early November 2011.

How visa applications will be processed

Immigration officers may proceed to a decline decision where their assessment has determined that an application does not meet immigration instructions on the basis of information supplied with the application.  This does not alter the following requirements, as set out in immigration instructions:

Immigration officers will continue to be reasonable in their approach and engage with applicants where appropriate.  For example, where information simply needs to be clarified in order to make a decision, officers will contact applicants to obtain information on an informal basis.


If an offshore applicant for a temporary entry visa is not satisfied with the decision on their application they are able to access INZ’s Client Complaints Resolution Process.  An applicant may also lodge a further application with INZ for consideration. 

Further information

Contact your local INZ branch for more.

Further information can be found in an Internal Administration Circular, due to be published early November.  Answers to common questions can also be found on the INZ website.

Notes to editor

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to promote and protect the interests of people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

We do this by:

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are exempt. Exempt people include lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff among others.

The Authority is independent of Immigration New Zealand and cannot give immigration advice or influence a visa application.