Any immigration advice provided herein is of a generic nature only.  Important exceptions or specifications that potentially relate to your particular circumstances might not be covered.  The answers provided here should not be used as a substitute for professional immigration advice that is provided in light of your specific circumstances.  TDA Immigration does not provide any warranty or guarantee for the information provided here and does not accept any liability for your use or misuse of this information.



1. How long will it take to process my visa application or appeal?


The processing time for any visa or appeal depends on the individual circumstances of the case.  Immigration New Zealand and the Immigration and Protection Tribunal provide an indication of the average time taken to process your application or appeal but they may take longer in some circumstances.  Refer to the links below for up to date processing time estimates:


Immigration New Zealand




Immigration and Protection Tribunal



2. What are the Immigration New Zealand application fees?


You can find out the appropriate fee to pay Immigration New Zealand and where to submit your application by using the "Office and Fees Finder" on the Immigration New Zealand website.  Please refer the following link:




3. Can I complain about how long it is taking to process my application?


You may be able to complain about the length of time it is taking to process your case if it is taking significantly longer than it would normally and there is no legitimate reason to justify the delay.  However, in general Immigration New Zealand reserves the right to determine the order and manner of processing and they are not required to adhere to any fixed processing time-frame.

4. I am unlawfully in New Zealand.  How can I go about applying for a visa?


People who are in New Zealand unlawfully do not have a right to apply for a visa of any type.  However, section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 allows the Minister of Immigration, at their absolute discretion, to grant a visa in a special case.  This is referred to as a “Section 61 request”.  It is important to understand that there is no automatic expectation that a section 61 request will be considered by Immigration New Zealand.  Whilst they may choose to consider your case, they may also reject it without offering any reasons to justify their decision not to give you a visa.

5. I have made a section 61 request for a visa, or have written to the Minister of Immigration.  Does this give me permission to wait in New Zealand while my situation is considered?


No.  People who are unlawfully in New Zealand without a valid visa are expected to leave the country immediately.  Making a section 61 request, or writing to the Minister, does not change your legal status and you may still be subject to compliance action against you.  If you wish to challenge the requirement to leave New Zealand you must file an appeal against your liability for deportation.  This can only be done within a short period of time once you become unlawful.

6. I have appealed my liability for deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.  Does this make my presence in New Zealand lawful?


No.  Appealing to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal does not automatically make your presence in New Zealand lawful.  However, if you have lodged an appeal against your liability for deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, Immigration New Zealand is not able to serve a deportation order on you or take you into custody to carry out your deportation while your appeal is being considered.

7.  I have applied for a resident visa but my temporary visa is about to expire.  Do I need to do anything?


Yes.  You need to maintain your immigration status in order to remain in New Zealand lawfully.  Applying for a resident visa does not automatically entitle you to remain in New Zealand beyond the expiry of your temporary visa.  If your resident visa is not approved in time, you must ensure you either leave New Zealand before the expiry of your temporary visa or make an application for a further temporary visa to ensure you remain lawfully in New Zealand.  If your temporary visa application is still processing when your current temporary visa expires Immigration New Zealand will likely grant you an interim visa while your application is processed (this is done automatically on expiry of your visa, you cannot apply for an interim visa).

8. Do I need a visa to be able to undertake voluntary work in New Zealand?


You do not need any particular visa to undertake voluntary work in New Zealand provided you are permitted to be in New Zealand.  “Work” is defined as any activity that is done for gain or reward, and includes any payment or benefit that can be valued in monetary terms (e.g. accommodation, food, clothing and/or other services).  Therefore, voluntary work cannot include any sort of gain or reward for the person undertaking the voluntary work.


TDA does not recommend undertaking voluntary work unless it is an obvious and genuine example of voluntary work and could not be mistaken for work.

9. I have a criminal conviction.  Am I able to obtain a visa?


Some serious convictions are automatically disqualifying and you will not be able to obtain a visa without a “special direction” from the Minister of Immigration.  Other convictions may mean you fail character requirements, however Immigration New Zealand may (at their discretion) decide to grant you a waiver as an exception.  Some very minor convictions may be outside the scope of immigration policy and you may not require any character waiver.   Details of the conviction, sentence and other relevant factors will be necessary to assess your eligibility.

10. I received a speeding ticket.  Will I be able to renew my visa?


Speeding tickets (and other types of regulatory infringements such as parking tickets) are not normally criminal matters and do not normally affect your eligibility for a visa.  Serious traffic violations that result in criminal liability (e.g. driving with excess breath alcohol or careless driving) may fail the immigration character requirements and require a character waiver in order for your application to be approved.

© 2017 TDA Immigration and Student Services Ltd