You may have applied for a temporary or residence visa. Months later you received a letter from your immigration officer. Your officer had some concern about your application. He or she was asking you to provide some more information.
Your immigration officer did NOT make his or her final decision yet. How you respond to this letter will determine whether your visa application will be approved or declined.
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What is a PPI letter? The letter from your immigration officer is called Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) letter. It is a notice from Immigration New Zealand identifying information which may negatively affect a submitted visa application. Immigration Trust noticed that under the new government, there had been many PPI letters issued for Post Study Work Visa - Employer-assisted, Essential Skills Work Visa and SMC resident visa.
One of the main causes for this decline was not responding to PPI letters properly.
Why did I get the PPI letter? There are several reasons for your immigration officer to issue the PPI letter. For example, he or she may question whether your intention to stay in NZ is genuine according to the specific visa's purposes or perhaps he or she was concerned about your employment arrangement with your employer.
Immigration New Zealand is forbidden from denying a visa application upon uncovering any potentially prejudicial information. The PPI Letter does NOT mean that a visa application has been denied yet, but that the Immigration New Zealand holds specific concerns regarding the application.
Hence PPI Letters are issued for Immigration New Zealand to comply with its requirement for “fairness" and "natural justice”. It means an applicant should be granted an opportunity to address any potential problems or concerns regarding their visa application.
However the exercise of this "fairness" and "natural justice" can be applied differently whether you are currently located in New Zealand or offshore.
Currently in New Zealand (Onshore application). PPI is defined as any information, data or material which may adversely affect the outcome of the lodged visa application.
Currently outside of New Zealand (Offshore application) PPI is defined as any material, data or information that: • was not obtained directly from the applicant or their representative, and; • is not publicly available, and; • may adversely affect the outcome of the application, and; • the applicant has not previously had an opportunity to comment on.
It is important to recognise that the definition of potentially prejudicial information is much narrower for offshore applicants. If your application was made offshore, your immigration officer has NO obligation to send PPI letter to you. PPI letters will only be sent if the new potentially prejudicial information meets all the criteria. If the prejudicial information is uncovered within the application but outside the scope of potentially prejudicial information for an offshore applicant, it may result in a decline of visa without an opportunity to address the problem.
What should I do when I received the letter from Immigration New Zealand? We have found many applicants relied on free advice from their friends or "hearsay" or even partial information from the internet. However, this is a matter you should not rely on free advice and hope for the best outcome.
It is critical that you must respond to the PPI letter in a very logical, clear and complete manner with justification & evidence to back up your case. Otherwise, your visa application can be declined. If you are on an interim visa when your application is declined you suddenly become unlawful. When you are unlawful, you can be deported.
Immigration Trust knows how to respond appropriately on behalf of our clients promptly. If the time frame given to you to respond to the PPI letter is not long enough, we will request an extension to your immigration officer.