A new year with new challenges and new opportunities.

2015 is the year of the sheep in the Chinese horoscope, which is perhaps appropriate considering that it is 145 years since the first sheep meat exports from NZ to the UK started.  That event was the foundation of what has become the basis of our economy, with exports ranging from Milk, in which Fonterra is one of the world’s largest producers, to Logs, premium wines, IT and education.

On the immigration front; we are noticing an increasing number of people being advised by INZ that they are liable for deportation because they have been convicted of what some consider to be a ‘minor’ offence; frequently a conviction for drunk driving.

Any conviction which carries a potential penalty of 3 months imprisonment or more, even if prison is not imposed, automatically makes the defendant liable for deportation.  It also prevents Resident Visa holders from applying an Permanent Residence (that is, with no travel conditions) if you are convicted within the first 2 years after you got your first Resident Visa.

Depending on the circumstances, deportation can probably be avoided, but the process is complex and expensive.  We have been successfully getting deportation liability suspended for an increasing number of clients in the last 6 months.

The message is, even if you hold a Resident Visa, unless you are willing to face deportation, do not drink and drive.