Why choose a consultant/advisor

Immigration Service wrong in 36% (44%) of residence appeals - Media Headline August 2006

The Residence Review Board reported that in the 12 months to 30 June 2010, Immigration New Zealand made incorrect decisions or assessments in 44% of cases. http://www.residencereviewboard.govt.nz/Pages/RES_Annual_Reports.aspx

Figures are not available for the number of declines where the applicant did not know how to appeal, could not afford the cost of an appeal, or who simply took the decision of the Service as final.

Nor is information provided about how many appeals that potentially had merit, were declined because the appeals were inadequate or did not address the real issues.

Amongst the many benefits of using an immigration specialist are:

  1. Your consultant is trained to ensure that all applications meet criteria or that where special circumstances exist, they are raised with Immigration New Zealand
  2. During the immigration process, Immigration New Zealand is required to advise of any information which could be prejudicial to your application. We know how to respond to what can be quite confusing (or incorrect) charges by Immigration NZ and we have the skills to address those issues in a manner which will maximise your success
  3. At Access Immigration, we are frequently called on by failed applicants who were not clients of ours, to advise whether or not an appeal is likely to be successful. Our success rate is 100% but over ½ of appeals submitted by others are not successful and there is no point in wasting money on an appeal which cannot succeed. But with 44% of appeals being successful, it would be a major mistake to accept the decision of Immigration New Zealand as final.

In over 13 years of operation, we have only had one appeal declined, but we have been instrumental in having dozens and possibly scores of negative decisions overturned, where applications have been lodged by others.

How the immigration process works

New Zealand Immigration Policy is interpreted by Immigration Officers on the basis of the Immigration New Zealand Operational Manual. This 900 page manual details immigration instructions as stipulated by the Immigration Act 2009. New interpretations are confirmed by circulars issued by Immigration New Zealand and can be influenced from time to time by decisions of the Immigration & Protection Tribunal and Judicial Review decisions of the High Court.

Therefore, the successful preparation of an immigration application requires a comprehensive knowledge of immigration law, policy interpretation and decision precedents. Simple descriptions of policy, whether issued by Immigration New Zealand or provided by immigration professionals such as ourselves, cannot communicate the complexity of how an individual case may interact with Policy.

Any person may lodge his or her own application without the assistance of a professional adviser. Persons considering doing so should, however, be aware that there are risks involved. Under New Zealand Government Policy it is the obligation of the applicant to meet all of the requirements of policy, including providing full details of all relevant matters, whether previously requested or not. Your consultant has the experience to identify the information which will best support your application. It is the responsibility of your consultant to identify the information required and to exclude that which could compromise the application. Applications which do not meet the required level are declined. Immigration New Zealand is not an advisory body and neither does it have any obligation to help applicants. Its role is to decide cases on the basis of information given to it, and according to Policy and the Law.

There are strict requirements on the age of some documents at date of lodgement; many qualifications that applicants believe to be acceptable do not have the equivalence to a New Zealand qualification that the applicant expected; in the case of Business Policies, there is a need to provide evidence of "asset linkage"; work experience must be "relevant"; and "consistent" within strict technical definition of these words and must relate to occupations that may be on "approved" or "not-approved" lists; these are all examples of situations in which skilled experience and interpretation is required. In some Immigration New Zealand offices, up to 70% of all applications that have been lodged by individuals who believed they were qualified, have in fact been declined. Statistics from the Residence Appeal Authority show that nearly 50% of declined decisions are overturned on appeal.

If an applicant believes his or her case may be strong or clear cut, that is all the more reason to obtain professional advice to ensure the outcome that is deserved. The cost of failure is too high.