To get a residence class visa, work, student or visitor visa, you must be of good character. If you have a criminal history or could be a risk to New Zealand, INZ can decline your application.
Your visa application will be declined if you have the following character issues:
Convicted at any time of any offence against the immigration, citizenship, or passport laws of any country;
Convicted at any time of any offence involving prohibited drugs;
Convicted at any time of any offence involving dishonesty;
Convicted at any time of any offence of a sexual nature;
Convicted at any time of any offence for which they were sentenced to a term of imprisonment (whether the sentence was of immediate effect, was deferred, or was suspended in whole or in part);
Convicted (whether in New Zealand or abroad) of an offence committed at any time when the applicant was in New Zealand unlawfully, meaning they overstayed while holding a temporary entry class visa or temporary permit under the Immigration Act of 1987, or was exempt under that Act from the requirement to hold a permit. Being an offence for which the court has power to impose imprisonment for a term of three months or more;
Convicted at any time of any offence involving violence;
Convicted at any time during the last five years of any traffic offence involving dangerous driving, or driving while under the influence of excess amounts of alcohol or drugs;
In the course of applying for a New Zealand visa (or a permit under the Immigration Act 1987) and you have made any statement or provided any information that was false, misleading, forged, or withheld material information; or
In a public speech or public comments, or public broadcast, or publicly distributing or publishing a document at any time;
Arguing that one race or colour is inherently inferior or superior to another race or colour;
Using language intended to encourage hostility or ill will against any person or group of persons on the basis of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that person or group;
A member of (or adheres or has adhered to) any organisation or group of people which (at the time of the person's membership or adherence) had objectives or principles based on:
Hostility against people or groups on the basis of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins;
An assumption that persons of a particular race or colour are inherently inferior or superior to others;
In support of any application by another person for a New Zealand visa (or a permit under the Immigration Act 1987), has made any statement or provided any information, evidence or submission that was false, misleading, or forged.
An immigration officer must not automatically decline residence class visa applications on character grounds.
An immigration officer must consider the surrounding circumstances of the application to decide whether or not they are compelling enough to justify waiving the good character requirement. The circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following factors as appropriate:
If applicable, the seriousness of the offence (generally indicated by the term of imprisonment or size of the fine);
Whether there is more than one offence;
If applicable, the significance of the false, misleading, or forged information provided, or information withheld, and whether the applicant is able to supply a reasonable and credible explanation indicating that in supplying or withholding such information they did not intend to deceive INZ;
How long ago the relevant event occurred;
Whether the applicant has any immediate family who’s lawfully and permanently in New Zealand;
Whether the applicant has some strong emotional or physical tie to New Zealand;
Whether the applicant's potential contribution to New Zealand will be significant.
If your case falls into any of the above cases and you receive a PPI (Potentially Prejudicial Information) letter from your case officer, you must prepare to meet the character requirement by applying for Character Waiver. Immigration Trust will be happy to assist you if you decide to engage with our firm.