The Lawyers at Laurent Law have a lot of experience in dealing with not only ‘run-of-the-mill’ immigration situations, but also those situations which are complicated and unusual. The Immigration Act 2009 and associated Immigration Instructions are confusing and difficult for the uninitiated to navigate in many respects. To properly assist clients through the legal framework that applies to Visa applications a sound understanding of Immigration laws is required.
We recently had a successful outcome with a client’s application for Residence under the 2021 Special (one-off) category, where the client was also facing exclusion from New Zealand under section 15 Immigration Act 2009. If excluded from New Zealand, this would make our client ineligible to be granted a Visa, unless a Special Direction was granted by a senior immigration officer. See my vlog on exclusion from last year to know more.
The reason for the exclusion from New Zealand was because the client had been found ‘inadmissible’ from Canada, owing to ‘misrepresentation of documents’. Section 15(1)(f) Immigration Act 2009 states;
No visa or entry permission may be granted, and no visa waiver may apply, to any person – …
who, at any time, been removed, excluded or deported from another country.
The words used in section 15(1)(f) make it clear that a visa applicant who has been excluded from another country, will also be excluded from New Zealand. But the question arising in our client’s case was whether Canadian Immigration’s finding that our client was ‘inadmissible’ to Canada translated into being ‘excluded from another country’ in terms of s 15(1)(f) and therefore an exclusion from New Zealand.
Our knowledge of New Zealand Immigration law provided us with an argument to pursue.
In the High Court decision, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment v EM  NZHC 1966, the Judge stated at ;
To be excluded from another country contemplates a prohibition on re-entry into that
country. If a person has committed some transgression that adversely affects their rights to re-enter a foreign country but it does not remove those rights, they will not have been excluded. In many cases the position will be clear. But in some it may be necessary to make a detailed assessment on whether the curtailment amounts to exclusion. Whilst that may amount to a difficult and detailed factual assessment in such cases, that seems to me unavoidable.
The effect of this decision is that under New Zealand law, a person will only be ‘excluded from another country’ where their ability to re-enter that other country is complete and total, and there is no other pathway by which they may secure a Visa in that other country.
We researched Canadian immigration law to find that our client did in fact have an alternative pathway by which he could secure a Visa in Canada, meaning his prohibition on re-entry to Canada was not complete and total. We therefore had a credible argument that our client was not excluded from New Zealand either.
To further ensure our client’s success, in addition we also made the argument that if our client was in fact excluded from Canada and therefore New Zealand, they should be granted a Special Direction. The Special Direction submission involved providing our client’s reasonable explanations regarding the ‘misrepresentation’ found by Canadian Immigration, and his level of connection to and potential contribution to New Zealand.
Our client’s application was approved. While we cannot tell from the decision letter whether INZ accepted our argument that our client was not excluded, or granted the Special Direction, our ‘two-pronged’ approach was strong, convincing and gave our client the best chance of success.
The 2021 Residence application was otherwise relatively straightforward, being based on time spent in New Zealand, over which there was little room for dispute. The key to our client’s approval was detailed knowledge of New Zealand immigration law, flexibility to step outside our comfort zone and research Canadian immigration law in addition, and prepare sound and well-reasoned submissions.
There is some truth in the statement that ‘there is never any simple immigration situation’ – because even in what may seem a ‘run-of-the-mill’ and relatively simple situation, problems and challenges can arise. But these can be successfully navigated if you receive the right immigration advice. It is some of the most challenging cases which are the most satisfying for us to win. See our blog on the benefits of expert immigration advice here.
Our client was very happy with the outcome we secured for him.
If you have a simple or a complicated immigration problem, whether involving an exclusion issue or something different, then Laurent Law is your go-to for help. Please feel welcome to contact us, and to book an online or in-person consultation.