Laurent Lore
February 2022
Things are starting to move again in the New Zealand visa space. The border entry rules will progressively loosen during the year. The one-off 2021 Resident Visa scheme started in December, although it has hit some technical bottlenecks. If you are interested in this, subscribe to our special 2021 RV newsletter.

Meanwhile, the much-delayed Employer Accredited Work Visa programme is meant to start in May with employer applications for accreditation, and visa applications from July. The detailed policy has not been published yet, and the online application portals have not been opened for us to trial. So there's not much to tell you yet. Tune in to our fairly regular blog posts to learn about this - when we learn about it ourselves, that is.

Simon Laurent
Character and Breach of Visa Conditions
In the last few weeks we've seen an upswing in questions from people who are at risk of having their visa applications declined because of something they did - or failed to do. That's good business for us, but usually it means a lot of anxiety for people whose future in NZ is under threat.

Several common themes have emerged:

  • Criminal Convictions: Any offence which can result in 3 months' prison time can disqualify you from getting a visa. That is so even if you only get a fine. The classic example, and the most common one, is drink-driving. For a temporary visa application you must show that your situation is "compelling enough" for you to get a visa. That can be quite a tough test to meet. We deal with these cases frequently and with a fair bit of success;
  • False Information: Failing to declare that you were declined a visa in another country, or claiming to still be with your partner on your Partner visa when you split up a long time ago, is a risky game. I am continually surprised at how Immigration finds these things out. They also routinely check with other countries on an applicant's immigration history. Once they find out that you may have been dishonest, either in your present application or in a previous one, it can be hard to repair the damage. As with criminal offences, you will need a Character Waiver. See our vlog on this topic to learn more;
  • Breach of Visa Conditions: Someone on a job-based Work Visa is not allowed to run their own business on the side. We have seen several such cases recently, and they can be messy to untangle. While it is not a crime to violate the terms of your visa, it becomes a "bona fides" issue - that is, when you apply for your next visa, how can Immigration be sure that you genuinely intend to do only what the visa allows you to do? The other danger is becoming liable for deportation. In many cases there is only so much that can be done to save someone in this situation from being thrown out of the country.

If someone you know faces one of these scenarios, then they need professional help from us, or from an experienced immigration adviser or lawyer. Usually there is only a limited time to act, and a lot to do, so it helps us to get instructions without delay.
Supporting More Than One Partner
The policy on relationship-based visas is two decades old. It has not kept up with the more fluid partner arrangements that people move through these days. It assumes traditional domestic and financial commitments which are no longer universal. For instance, many couples keep their finances separate, but that doesn't mean their bond is any less genuine. Even immigration officials have admitted that the rules they must apply are no longer fit for purpose.

A frequent problem is the ban on supporting a second partner for a visa within 5 years of sponsoring a previous significant other. Another is Immigration's absolute limit of two relationships in a lifetime.

Read James Turner's blog on this topic to find out what can be done to untangle these painful real-world situations.
Our Profiles
Believe it or not, lawyers are people too. We recently decided to put our faces and voices to the names you see on the website. It will only take a minute to view the intro videos now uploaded to the profile pages of

Over the last couple of years we have also recorded numerous vlogs on practical "how to" immigration topics. In this way, we want to add value out of our extensive experience in the field.