Had a client who was UNLAWFUL for more than 5 years. We worked together for several weeks then submitted Section 61 application to INZ.
On Tuesday we got an email from Immigration NZ that it granted him a work visa. It means his status is legalised and now he can work and plan for his future with his wife.
If you are currently physically resident in New Zealand but do not have a valid visa, then you may be eligible for a Special Visa under Section 61 (s61) of the Immigration Act 2009. By law, all persons in New Zealand must have some form of valid visa, and persons without such visas are considered “overstayers,” and are here unlawfully.
Those people can make a request under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 to the Minister of Immigration to legalise their visa status in New Zealand. Immigration officer above the delegation 3 powers has the right to decide section 61 applications on the behalf of Minister of Immigration.
During the consideration of a s61 request, an immigration officer is not obliged to request any further information or to seek comment prior to an adverse immigration decision being made. A decision can be made solely on the basis of the facts available and the submissions provided with the request. However, this does not preclude an immigration officer requesting further information (such as a medical or police certificate) or comment to assist him or her in considering the request.
In considering a s61 request immigration officers should also consider whether or not the matters put forward for the grant of a visa are best dealt with by the applicant exercising one of their rights under the Act; for example, by way of an appeal on humanitarian grounds against the requirement to leave New Zealand to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal (if such appeal is available).
Decisions under s61 are still subject to the general requirement of fairness that is derived from public law principles. However, what fairness requires in a particular case must be determined having regard to all the circumstances including the particular statutory provisions under which the decision is made, the overall statutory scheme, what is known of the requestor’s circumstances and the consequences of the decision.
Notes: There is no right of review of a declined invitation to apply for residence or a request made under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009. Therefore, it is crucially important that your application is prepared by immigration experts.