You’re here “unlawfully.” For example: if your visa has expired but you continued to stay in the country
You’re here lawfully on a current temporary visa or residence class visa, but you’ve done something wrong like breaking the law or breaching the conditions of your visa. For example: when you’re working but you’ve only got a visitor’s visa.
Deportation Data (July 2021 – April 2022)
When You Can Be Deported
If you were found to be staying in New Zealand unlawfully, you have a legal obligation to leave the country. You can also be deported after a certain amount of time if you haven’t left voluntarily. As a temporary visa holder, you can be deported for the following reasons:
Breaching visa conditions (For example: working while you only have a visitor visa)
Withholding information from Immigration New Zealand, and being found out that you held back relevant information when you applied for your visa
Providing a false identity upon applying for your current visa
If your situation no longer meets the rules or qualifying requirements under which your visa was granted
Being convicted of a criminal offence
“Character” problems or other similar instances. As long as Immigration New Zealand finds sufficient reason for deportation, including aspects of your character.
An “administrative error” made by Immigration New Zealand. These include mistakenly granting you a visa. (For example: if you were disqualified from getting a visa in the first place because of a criminal record.)
As the holder of a resident visa or a permanent resident visa, you can be deported for the following reasons:
Being convicted of criminal offences in New Zealand or other countries. But only if...
It’s an offence for which you could have been jailed for three months or more, and
You committed the offence while you were in New Zealand unlawfully–while you held an expired temporary visa–or during the first two years of your residence
If you’ve breached any of the conditions of your visa as mentioned above
If Immigration New Zealand find out you gave them false, fraudulent, forged or misleading information, or that you held back relevant information when you applied for your visa
If you’re holding your visa under a false identity
If, within five years after you obtained your first resident visa, Immigration New Zealand discovers new information about your “character” which they think would’ve gotten you disqualified the first time you applied
If Immigration NZ makes an “administrative error” for granting you your visa by mistake–meaning they may have overlooked a criminal offence you may have committed, or something similar.
If you’re a current threat to New Zealand’s defence or security, including security against terrorism, spying, and organised crime (but this requires a certificate from the Minister of Immigration and an Order in Council from the government
If you’ve been recognised as a refugee, you can be deported only if:
You’ve committed very serious crimes or are a threat to New Zealand national security; or
Your refugee status has been cancelled because you obtained it through fraudulent means or forgery.
Process and Time Limits for Being Deported If You’re Here Unlawfully
If your visa has expired, Immigration New Zealand doesn’t have to give you any notice that you may be deported. (This contrasts with deportation of visa holders, who must be given a deportation liability notice: see below.)
You have the right to appeal against your deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal (IPT) on humanitarian grounds. You have six weeks (42 days)–which starts from when your unlawful status begins–to appeal to the IPT. You can’t be deported unless and until you’ve appealed and lost, or until the time for appealing has passed if you don’t file it.
To deport you, Immigration New Zealand has to give you a deportation order. The earliest they can do this is 28 days after you lose your appeal (or, if you didn’t appeal, on the day after the six-week appeal limit has passed). Once they’ve given you the deportation order, Immigration New Zealand can take you into custody, which could mean holding you in jail, and then take you to an airport or port.
After they’ve made a deportation order, you can still ask Immigration New Zealand to cancel the order. They have a broad power to do this.
When will I be Notified if I’m Going to be Deported?
If you hold a current New Zealand visa and Immigration New Zealand wants to deport you, they have to start the process by giving you a “deportation liability notice.”
If they plan to deport you because you no longer have a valid visa and are now here unlawfully, they don’t have to give you a deportation liability notice.
The deportation liability notice will give you important information about your case, including:
Why you’re being deported and the particular section in the Immigration Act 2009 that Immigration New Zealand is relying on
The appeal rights you have
Whether you’ll be barred from returning to New Zealand after you’re deported, and for how long
Whether you’ll have to repay the New Zealand government the costs of deporting you.
What Happens after I’m Given a Deportation Liability Notice?
Getting a deportation liability notice doesn’t mean you can be deported straight away–it simply begins the process. You have various appeal rights (depending on what kind of visa you’ve got and why they’re deporting you) that you can use before you’re deported.
Immigration New Zealand should give you a chance to use your appeal rights. They will then hand you a deportation order and force you to leave the country.
After they’ve made a deportation order, you can still ask Immigration New Zealand to cancel it. They have a broad power to do this.
In the following cases, you’ll have two weeks (14 days) after you get a deportation liability notice to challenge your deportation by giving Immigration New Zealand a good reason why you shouldn’t be deported:
If you’re a temporary visa holder and Immigration New Zealand are deporting you because you breached your visa conditions, committed a crime, or for some other “sufficient reason”
If Immigration New Zealand made a mistake in giving you a temporary Visa or residence class visa
If Immigration New Zealand is claiming that you obtained your temporary visa or residence class visa with a false identity
You’ll also usually have the right to challenge your deportation by appealing to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, either on the grounds that Immigration New Zealand is wrong for legally justifying your deportation (called appealing “on the facts”) or on the grounds that there are exceptional humanitarian circumstances in your case.
However, if you’re being deported for being here unlawfully, you have six weeks (42 days) to appeal, counting from the first day your immigration status was unlawful (that is, the day after your visa expired).
Getting a Final Deportation Order
If you challenge your deportation and Immigration New Zealand turns you down, they can serve a deportation order on you the day after they tell you their final decision. They can take you into custody in a local jail, and then take you to an airport or port.
If you didn’t challenge the deportation, they can’t serve a deportation order on you until 15 days after giving you the initial deportation liability notice.
Once you’ve been deported, you can’t be granted a visa or entry permission for five years.