Laurent Lore

February 2024

Good morning Simon,

Since our last instalment of this newsletter, the coalition government has taken over the reins of power. That has not so far resulted in a major shift in policy or approach to NZ immigration. It usually takes a few months for the Ministers to get their feet under the desk, unless an immigration initiative was a big-ticket item in the party's manifesto. It wasn't, this time.

There has been so much change in this space during the last 18 months that neither the politicians nor MBIE officials will have much appetite to shift many levers. Having said that, pressure may come upon the Minister to dial back migration inflows owing to the record volume of arrivals in 2023.

The spike in reports of migrant exploitation - an almost inevitable consequence of monetising "jobs for sale" under the Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme launched in mid-2022 - could (and should) cause a rethink of the whole scheme. Immigration NZ supposedly started a review in August 2023 but nothing has yet surfaced after 6 months, and the scams are still going on. The flawed ideology behind the idea of ringfencing the pool of employers who can support visas, and INZ's total lack of resourcing to properly scrutinise the employers who applied, is only part of the shambles that is now the landmark feature of the Work Visa landscape.

We continue to solve the difficult situations people bring to us. The best way to arrange a meeting is to use our website's online booking system for a video call or a face-to-face meeting.

Simon Laurent


Dealing with Bad Visa Decisions

Owing to our place in the professional immigration services market, a lot of our work involves trying to sort out situations that have already gone wrong.

Some of these (quite a lot, actually) arise out of unfair or just plain wrong decisions about applications for visas. The workload pressures faced by front-line staff, high turnover in that workforce, and the variable levels of training and experience, all combine to make this more common than it used to be.

In a recent blog, I have set out a roadmap to give insight into the options people have to deal with bad outcomes.

Guidance for Partnership Cases

James Turner at our office has been busy putting out content on various topics. We see a lot of inquiries about applying for Partner Work Visas or Partner Residence. The policy settings for this type of visa are not that easy to work with.

SUCCESS STORY - Family Saved from Deportation

A migrant family of parents and their children applied for Residence in 2019 which was granted about a year later in 2020. One of the teenage children included in the application had, in the meantime, started a live-in relationship with someone who had come over on a Work Visa. After Residence was granted, the child of the family supported the partner's application for a visa and supplied evidence of their relationship, which is when all the trouble started.

The reason is that, in order to be included in Residence, the child had to be "dependent" - which includes not being in a serious relationship. They got Residence under false pretences, although it was probably because the family didn't appreciate the importance of the change of status, rather than intending to deceive. The truly frightening part is that, as this was a single Residence application, this concealment of information put everyone at risk of being deported, including another child who had settled down to making friends and going to high school.

We represented them in what is often called a "pre-deportation" process by putting forward a case that, despite being deportable, the family should get to stay. They all had a lot to offer, including qualifications, work experience and employment, and achievements at school. It was sufficiently persuasive that a senior manager, using the powers of the Minister of Immigration, cancelled deportation liability for the entire family. The relief they must have felt can only be imagined.

We do a lot of these cases, and succeed with almost all of them. If you know of someone staring down the barrel of deportation, get in touch.

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