Court & Tribunal Cases

Read some of our New Zealand Immigration success stories as told through Court and Tribunal cases in which we have fought, and won, for our clients. From refugee appeals and residence appeals to court injunctions and judicial reviews, our client’s victories help tell our story.


SF (Skilled Migrant) [2021] NZIPT 206105

INZ declined our client’s SMC residence application because it concluded that he did not perform the ANZSCO core Tasks of a Marketing Specialist and, importantly, that the job was not sufficiently skilled to equate to “skilled employment” for the award of points. Following a thorough review and extensive research, we identified that INZ failed to consider the relevant Core Tasks properly. INZ did not engage with the evidence presented, and placed too much emphasis on a telephone interview with the applicant. We provided arguments to show that INZ did not apply the Residence Instructions properly. The IPT found that INZ acted unfairly in their assessment by overlooking the evidence that had been provided. The IPT also found that INZ’s focus on the information given at the interview did not respect the purpose of the letter of concern process. The IPT ordered the application to be returned to INZ for reassessment.


SMC Group Appeals – PJ (Skilled Migrant) [2021] NZIPT 205187

In March 2021, we secured the approval of 9 almost identical SMC Residence Appeals for a group of employees of a major insurance company in New Zealand. Almost all of them work in the same large call centre. INZ was not satisfied that their employment substantially matched the ANZSCO description, including Core Tasks, of an Insurance Agent. It also was not satisfied that they qualified for points for skilled work experience. The IPT identified many defects in the decisions and accepted almost all of the arguments we presented to show that INZ was wrong. These included its reliance on a generic site visit; the failure to consider the job in the context of the working environment; assumptions made about the job which coloured its conclusions about whether the employees performed certain Tasks; and mistakenly importing a “skill level” to the performance of those Tasks. The IPT returned the group of cases to INZ for reassessment with a strict set of guidelines to follow.


KZ (Partnership) [2021] NZIPT 206285

Our New Zealand citizen client was unable to support her overseas partner for Residence because she had supported Residence applications for two overseas partners in the past. The Immigration & Protection Tribunal found that Immigration New Zealand was correct to decline the partner’s Residence application. However, it accepted our argument that the couple had special circumstances which warranted a recommendation that the Minister of Immigration grant Residence as an exception. In doing so the Tribunal noted the New Zealand citizen’s close connection to New Zealand which made it impractical to live in her partner’s home country. The Minister granted the overseas partner Residence.


NX (Skilled Migrant) [2020] NZIPT 205483

Our client had applied for Residence under the Skilled Migrant category but could not provide a Police Certificate from the United Arab Emirates, because strict criminal laws there prevented this. INZ declined the Residence application because the Police Certificate was not provided, even though our client had taken all possible steps to obtain it. On appeal the Immigration & Protection Tribunal found that INZ was wrong to decline the application, and ordered that the application be re-assessed. The Tribunal ordered INZ to accept a statutory declaration of no criminal record instead of the Police Certificate.


OA (Skilled Migrant) [2020] NZIPT 205848 (16 December 2020)

Successful appeal against the decline of Residence for the manager of a liquor store in rural New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand was wrong to conclude that the mere existence of a franchise system took away the appellant’s ability to control key features of the business. It ignored substantial evidence to the contrary, including statements from the Bottle-O franchise itself. It also failed to understand or apply figures provided to it about the proportion of stock and sales which were dictated by Bottle-O, compared to those which the appellant was free to choose.


Bong v R [2020] NZCA 94 (8 April 2020)

Court of Appeal decision to grant an application for discharge without conviction for a Korean national charged with Male Assaults Female. Simon Laurent’s affidavit of expert opinion about the immigration consequences of conviction was cited extensively throughout the judgment, and with approval, by the Court.


FZ (Partnership) [2020] NZIPT 205723 & BX (Afghanistan) [2020] NZIPT 504941

Our client’s further partnership-based work visa and residence application declined by INZ on character grounds for intentionally providing a forged police certificate. INZ focused on the forged evidence and concluded that it outweighed the positive factors that existed. The IPT found that the provision of the false document was serious; however, INZ’s Character Waiver assessment was flawed for conducting a “cursory” assessment of the positive factors. The IPT also criticised INZ for failing to weigh and balance all relevant factors that existed in its assessment. The residence application was referred back to INZ for re-assessment. The humanitarian appeal was also successful as the IPT accepted that there were exceptional circumstances for our client to remain in NZ on temporary basis to await INZ’s reassessment of the residence application.


DG (Partnership) [2019] NZIPT 205493

Our client was declined Residence under partnership because she would have been eligible to be included in her husband’s EOI under the Family (Parent) category. IPT took into account our argument that she was misled by INZ in her husband’s previous application, leading her to believe she could reapply for residence with her health being the only obstacle to her eligibility. As a result, she had no other pathway to residence. IPT accepted that there were special circumstances through her strong familial nexus to NZ and the best interests of the grandchildren.  Minister granted our client Residence.


EM (Deportation Appeal)[2017] NZIPT 600437

Our client gained Residence as a dependent child in 2002. Fifteen years later, she became liable for deportation as INZ claimed that she gained residence visas by fraud by concealing her marital status. This was a successful “on the facts” appeal. The Tribunal accepted that she had not concealed her marriage at all, and that her first Residence Permit was mistakenly issued on arrival after the Residence Visa had already expired.  As a result, she retained her Permanent Resident Visa.


RB (Skilled Migrant) [2018] NZIPT 204798

This appeal resulted in our client’s Residence application being referred back to Immigration New Zealand for reassessment.  The IPT concluded that INZ had not properly considered the financial evidence provided by the employer that its business was sustainable.  It criticised simplistic calculations and assumptions about business viability which led to the original decline.  The client has since secured Residence successfully.


Singh v Corporate Energy (Employment Relations Authority)

The ERA found that Mr Singh was the subject of “contemptible conduct” including coercion into working for little or no pay, resulting in him working in breach of his Work Visa.  He was awarded significant sums of unpaid salary and compensation for hurt and humiliation.  However, as the employer had gone into liquidation it is unlikely that he will ever see any of that award.


JU (Skilled Migrant) [2017] NZIPT 204254

This is one of 16 successful Residence Appeals which we brought in a manner similar to a class action.  Immigration would not recognise the work of IT staff at a call centre as skilled.  We showed that its method of assessment was fatally flawed in many ways.  This led to Immigration publicly announcing that it was changing the way that it would assess such applications. On reassessment, and despite a further misguided attempt by INZ to derail these applications, they were all ultimately approved.


Refugee Appeal AF (Afghanistan) [2011] NZIPT 800057-66

We successfully ended a campaign by Immigration New Zealand over more than 10 years to cancel the refugee status of an Afghani family. This appears to be the first Refugee Cancellation matter decided by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal established in November 2010.


Si Jong Park & Ors v Chief Executive, Department of Labour

Immigration wrongly applied the law and Policy when it declined a family’s request for reconsideration of their permit applications. It was ordered to re-do the case, and the permits were later granted.

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