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Section 61 request, Special Direction, effective PPI reply

Section 61 request

Sometimes a simple misunderstanding of the conditions of your visa may lead to its expiry while you are onshore. As a result, your immigration status will change to unlawful and you will lose a lot of privileges arising out of your visa-enabled stay in New Zealand, such as the right to apply for a further visa, the right to work and study in the country, to have medical cover in case of an accident, to visit New Zealand in the future.

What may be worse, INZ may have you deported, which will also make you liable for the cost of deportation and prevent you from being granted a New Zealand visa for 5 years. In such situations section 61 request may be your last resort.


Talk to us for free – book your 30-minute consultation today. Our immigration adviser can assist you in compiling and phrasing a well-worded section 61 request.

Quick action matters, as section 61 request may only be made by a person

  • who is unlawfully in New Zealand, i.e. his or her visa has expired; and
  • who has not been served a deportation order or has been excluded in some other way (for example, if a removal order is in force against that person).

The fact that your request under section 61 has been submitted does not protect you from a deportation order whilst you are waiting for the outcome.

Is section 61 request different from an application for a visa?

Requesting a visa under section 61 is dramatically different from applying for a visa as a lot of limitations and negatives apply. The three ‘negatives’ are 

  • There is no right to submit a section 61 request;
  • There is no obligation on the part of the Minister or a delegated Immigration Officer to consider such a request; however, if considered, the INZ staff have no obligation to apply any particular immigration instructions against it. They may, however, request additional information.
  • The Minister or the delegated offices do not have an obligation to provide any explanation whatsoever of their decision. So the unlawful requestor will receive a standard refusal letter, rather than the one listing the reasons for the decline.

What is the right way to phrase a section 61 request?

Each case will be assessed on its own merits, but those will be weighed against public interest and may also take into account international obligations. INZ will possibly consider such circumstances that will make it reasonable to grant a request, for example, the steps you have taken to rectify your status, as well as some sensible reasoning behind being unlawful. In other words, you should demonstrate that your circumstances are really special which requires strong advocacy from the person who is sending the request.

Our knowledgeable immigration expert will be happy to do it on your behalf. Book your free consultation straight away.

What kinds of visa can you request under section 61?

Actually, there is no limitation, so any type of temporary or residence class visa may be granted. The latter class, though, is a relatively rare incidence as a compelling argument should be made. Even if the applicant is likely to qualify for residence, a temporary class visa will most probably be granted, to enable a further application for residence in the normal manner.

For those otherwise ineligible for a visa, we can assist in applying for a “special direction’.

What is “special direction” and who may need it?

At the absolute discretion of the minister of immigration, a special direction may be given to those who fall under sections 15 and 16 of the Immigration Act 2009, that is, who have committed offences of a serious nature and therefore cannot be granted a character waiver.

Section 15 of the Act covers, for example, crimes which led to a prison sentence of 5 years or more. It also covers more recent convictions. Those which took place in the last decade and were for at least one year of imprisonment. Another example of when you may find yourself on a sticky wicket is a previous deportation history. No matter from New Zealand or any other country, it does not expire in the eyes of Immigration New Zealand.

Nevertheless, in this kind of situation you should not feel like the sky is falling, as, no matter how grave it may sound, it is not the end of the world. Special direction is the option you may wish to explore further.

With clear, logical explanation of your extenuating circumstances and focusing on the points that are essential to make a strong case in your favour, you may be able to overcome the stigma of inferiority. You can rely on our professionalism to represent your best interests with INZ. We prioritise genuine client care and we will leave no stone unturned in our bid to find a satisfactory solution to your issue. The sooner you start rectifying it, the higher the chances are for success. Book your free 30-minute consultation with our immigration consultant today.

Reply to PPI

What is PPI?

Potentially Prejudicial Information*, or PPI for short, is any kind of essential information or material INZ uses for assessing an application, that may have a negative impact on it, invariably leading to a decline if left unanswered.

INZ is guided in its approach by the principles of fairness and natural justice. This means the applicants will have a chance to comment on the PPI letter before a decision is made. Naturally, the information they were required to provide clarify will be taken into consideration . 

How can INZ ensure fairness in a PPI letter?

  • First off, INZ will tell you openly and in full what prejudicial information may hinder the progress of your application with reference to the immigration instructions that you do not meet at the moment;
  • INZ will also give you sufficient time to comment on the PPI or provide additional information or evidence;
  • The law requires INZ to keep an open mind towards all relevant evidence, refrain from pre-determining the matter and
  • consider whether the information or evidence you supplied adequately addresses all the concerns raised in their earlier letter.

Sometimes the applicants themselves will provide the information which will then evoke a PPI letter. For example, medical or police certificates of problematic nature. In this case, likewise, INZ will explain the problem and provide clear reference to immigration instructions.

Are there different kinds of PPI letters?

In fact, there are. Though not different officially and all warranting the same comprehensive explanation and effective advocacy, a PPI letter may be based on

  • adverse information that INZ received about the applicant;
  • an opinion of a third party (for example, a medical assessor);
  • discrepancies between the current application and the one(s) the person applying for a visa made earlier. For example, if the earlier application contained different family details;
  • allegations and assumptions;
  • evidence of convictions (as even official records may be inaccurate).

*PPIs for temporary entry offshore applications follow different rules and the PPI definition itself is also more restricted, including, for example, only the information that was not obtained from the applicant or the applicant’s agent.

How important is to reply to a PPI letter?

Most visa applicants underestimate the importance of an adequate response to a PPI letter. In reality, this request for something utterly immaterial at first glance, may overnight foil your life plans which you have been cherishing for years and which took so much effort and time of thorough preparations. We have made attention to our clients’ needs out top priority. Whilst assisting you with an effective reply to PPI letters, we will zoom in on the most important details. No matter how minor they may seem, they can still play a decisive role in the positive outcome of your matters. Book your consultation to talk to our professional immigration advisor absolutely for free

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Our adviser and director has been in the same boat with most of our valued clients who come to seek his counsel. He came to New Zealand as a migrant in 2002 and has been calling it home since then. It is our pleasure to serve your needs and provide professional immigration advisor services to help your dreams come true.
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