Residence Appeals Authority

The Residence Appeal Authority ("RAA") is based in Wellington. You may appeal to the RRA within 42 days of being notified by the New Zealand Immigration Service that it has declined to approve your residence application. You have very narrow rights of appeal with the RAA. You may only appeal against a refusal on the following grounds:

1. The refusal was not correct in terms of the Government Residence Policy;
2. Your "special circumstances" are such that an exception to the Government Residence Policy should be considered.

An actual case involving "special circumstances" is as follows:

A person wanted to apply under the General Skills Category, however as he was 56 years old, he could not apply as the maximum age limit is 55 years. The appellant had a Master of Arts degree in Psychology and over 20 years of experience in the area of alcohol and drug treatment and prevention. He held a number of senior positions in his field that involved managing specialist alcohol and drug programmes in his home country. He had several awards. The appellant held a senior position in the field of alcohol and drug addiction treatment in the New Zealand Health Sector.

The RAA held that due to the appellant's special circumstances and also if he had been under 56 years of age, he would have obtained more than the 25 point pass mark, the RAA recommended to the Minister of Immigration that he be granted residency.

If you are not satisfied with the RAA decision you can apply to the High Court for a 'judicial review' of the decision. The High Court may decide that the RAA's decision was affected by bias, prejudice or the decision was unreasonable. If the High Court decides this, the application is referred back to the RAA for a decision. If you are dissatisfied with the High Court decision you may appeal on a point of law to the Court of Appeal.

Apart from appeals to the RAA the Immigration Act allows the Minister of Immigration to grant a Residence Visa/Permit at his discretion. However it is important to realise that should you apply to the Minister and he declines your application you cannot then apply to the RAA. It is therefore preferable to appeal to the RAA first, and if the appeal is declined to then appeal to the Minister of Immigration.

Temporary Permits

Unlike Residence Visas/Permits there is no right of appeal to a Review or Appeals Authority if NZIS refuse to issue you a Temporary Visa/Permit such as a Work Visa/Permit or Student Visa/Permit. However you may apply for a "reconsideration" of the NZIS decision.

You can have the NZIS decision not to grant you a temporary permit 'judicially reviewed'.

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