Deportation is in Fashion

In the last few weeks we’ve seen an upswing in the number of people coming to us after they have been served with Deportation papers.  Others in the industry have reported the same trend.  It’s clear that Immigration is finally starting to use its new compliance tools in earnest.

By my calculations there are 15 different ways that people can become liable for deportation.  These range from being in NZ without a visa, to being convicted of an offence within the first few years of getting one’s first Resident Visa; and a catch-all provision “if the Minister determines that there is sufficient reason to deport . . .”  This last one is one is being used a lot when Immigration believes that someone has given misleading information while applying for their temporary visa.  Although they can’t say that someone has committed fraud, it allows them to decide that the person might not have got the visa if that information had been provided in the first place.

The current deportation system began in November 2010 under the new Immigration Act.  There are two key stages:

  • The Deportation Liability Notice tells you why you risk deportation and sets out your rights of appeal – if you have any.  Your ability to appeal depends on why you face deportation.  In some cases you can write to Immigration within 14 days to argue why they should cancel the Notice; and in almost all cases you can put in an appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal within 28 days of the Notice.
  • The Deportation Order which allows Immigration to send someone out of New Zealand as soon as it has been served on them.  The worst thing about getting an Order served on you is that it will prevent you from re-entering NZ again for several years.  The length of the ban depends on the reason why you are being deported.

If you are here unlawfully (without a visa) they can serve the Notice and the Order at the same time and arrest you right away.  If you have been here unlawfully for more than 6 weeks then you have no right of appeal at all.

We often have to tell overstayers who have got a Notice and/or an Order that they should not simply try to stay in New Zealand at all costs.  This could land them in prison (or keep them in prison longer) and Court action to stop deportation usually doesn’t work.  Sometimes the best option is to get out of the country and apply to come back.  If you co-operate with Immigration they will even write favourable notes on your file to help you to return.  This happened in a recent case where the overstayer had a partner and children, and the Compliance officer could see that the family was strong and genuine.

There are some exceptions where it is possible to convince Immigration to cancel deportation action.  This could be where young children are involved or the person holds a mission-critical job.  However, we only recommend this line of action if we can be sure that it will not make things worse for the client later.

Beware of some consultants and lawyers who promise to get you a visa if you pay a bag of money to them.  Losing that money on hopeless efforts to apply to the Minister of Immigration and so on could be the least of your problems if you follow that strategy.

About Simon Laurent, Lawyer

Principal of LaurentLaw Barristers & Solicitors. NZ immigration law specialist.
This entry was posted in Immigration Appeals, Immigration Problems, Immigration Visas and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Deportation is in Fashion

  1. Garry says:

    Hi Simon,

    I totally agree with your this blog as me myself is facing deportation at this moment. I am an Indian national of 26 years of age arrived here to study in Lincoln University. After finishing my studies i got caught in two drink driving offence in dec 2010 and march 2011. Immigration officers served me a deportation liability notice in sep 2011 and then a deportation order in feb, 2012. I was in constant touch with immigration officers during this and they told me that they might allow me to apply for further visa. My visa is expiring in one week and right now I have send an application to Minister of Immigration regarding this to cancel my deportation. I have job offers but i can not apply for visa. They might arrest me soon as well. I came to this country to make a career in wine industry and paid around 20000 nz $ to study. I earned nothing and struggled a lot. And now they want me to go back as a deported person. Only thing which upsets me is this that they could simply deny my further visa and ask me to leave. Now i am on deportation order and this would be like a curse for me as i was planning to travel europe to learn about winemaking and study further in US. Immigration department just spoiled my whole career just because of drink driving 1 year back. And people like Kim Doctom who have committed bigger crime than me are allowed to get residency and then arrested later. All this is about money. They wanted me to come here to pay university fees and work here and pay taxes, pay court fines, do community work and after all this they want to spoil my career. They wanted money from Kim Doctom so they gave him residency and now they want money from America and other big companies from America so they arrested him. I am trying to fight against my deportation but no one cares. I lost everything and gained nothing in New Zealand because of drink driving. I didn`t steal, didn`t` sell drugs, didn`t hit anyone and never done other unlawful thing in this country but nobody cares. I am really disappointed with immigration department of New Zealand. Atleast people like you are still giving honest advise to people. Cheers.


  2. Mitch Santell says:

    Simon, thank you so much for representing my family here in New Zealand over the past five years. I would sincerely recommend you and your firm to anyone interested in a work permit and in attaining residency in New Zealand. Your blog is great. You are a talented man and I so respect and appreciate your attention to detail in all immigration matters.

    One day I remember being in your office and seeing passports from many countries around the world.

    My view is that with the high levels of radiation in the Northern Hemisphere from Fukushima you are going to see more and more people wanting to be in New Zealand and in Australia.

    God bless you and your team at Laurent Law and best continued success in maneuvering the changing waters of NZ immigrations.

    Please use me as a reference anytime. You really played a positive role in saving my family here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucy hammond says:

    Hello my names lucy hammond
    My forma husband is a tongan overstayer he came to nz when he was 5 went to school here has a tax code and paid taxs immgration nz only found him years later after becoming a over stayer he has had a few work permits but they have run out he does have some bad history including a short period of time in prison in the last two years he has manage to stay out of trouble and we have recently married i am a nz citizen and we have a 6yr old and he has a teenage son
    We had our last partner permit turned down due to the fact we had split up and he applied with another female witch his lawer faild to metion, so now immgration want to deport him
    Would pur marrige stop this i know it cant but would it help they have been so slow at catching up with him it makes no sense


  4. hardik says:

    Hello Simon : i was applied lots of time to immigration office About
    A guy from Anand Gujarat India committed immigration fraud &marriage scam.. married with a girl to get an undue benefit of PR in NZ, he married with a girl who is already got married in India. he is on Resident visa since 2013 i have all the evidence to expose him and each and every detail about both but i am in india so can you tell me how do i go on for this and immigration officer is not upadte me because of privacy reason but as per privacy legislation they will also not surve me outcome of investigation so how do i know that the investigation is still in progress or it was finish


    • There may be no way for you to find out the result of the investigation, especially if they are taking some kind of action against him to cancel his Residence or make criminal charges. You should be able to ask whether the investigation is finished, but not what the final result was.


  5. Nipuna says:

    HI Simon,

    I am currently a new Zealand residence and I got caught drink driving in 2014. I haven’t completed my 2 years on residence visa when this incident happen.This is my only conviction. Once I applied for a permanent residence visa, they issued me a deportation liability notice. I have been in new Zealand for 10 years and currently working in IT and worked over five years in new Zealand. what will be my chances of issuing deportation order. I really appreciate any advice.


    • If you have been issued a Deportation Liability Notice already then all you can do is to appeal, and the chances of success are limited because that you have “exceptional circumstances” that justify you keeping your Residence. However, if you have only been sent a letter warning you about deportation liability, then you should get legal assistance to reply to this.


  6. Fotofili Esau says:

    Hi there Simon my name is Fotofili Esau my wife already has a deportation order but we have applies few times and its decline than we had a lawyer that help us to apply again to the Minister and ask to remove her deportation order but it decline again but we have two sons. Me and my sons are New Zealand citizen. If my wife volunteer to live the country without being deported is there any chance we can remove her deportation order so we can apply for her papers from the Island ? Because no one will look after our kids cause i have a fulltime job. What will be the case ? Thank you


    • She may have more chance to get her Deportation status cancelled if she leaves New Zealand. However, this will be difficult because she has already been declined several times before.
      She will need professional help to apply, and the application must be made after she leaves NZ.


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