Last Updated: 03 August 2016

You may have received an unfavourable decision on the outcome of your residence application from Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Perhaps an Immigration Officer from the Compliance Unit of INZ recently served you with a Deportation Liability Notice (DLN) for whatever reason. Maybe you have humanitarian circumstances that needs to proven in order for you to remain in New Zealand legally.

If you are considering making an appeal to the Immigration Protection Tribunal (IPT), chances are you have endured a lengthy and stressful hurdle in presenting your case to INZ.


Section 187 of New Zealand’s Immigration Act 2009 (the Act) gives you a right of appeal for residence visas under certain situations. Appeals under this section are made to the IPT, a body independent from INZ.

The IPT has jurisdiction over the following type of appeals:

  • decisions about residence visas
  • decisions about refugee claimants or protected person
  • liability for deportation
  • decisions about non-recognition of a former refugee or protected person
  • decisions to revoke New Zealand citizenships of former refugees and protected person

The IPT is administered by the Ministry of Justice and does not issue or deal with immigration matters other than appeals.

Appealing a Residence Visa Decision

If any one of the above criteria applies, you must then meet one of the criteria below in order for your residence visa appeal to be heard by the IPT:

  • Your residence visa application was declined;
  • Your residence visa was cancelled prior to entering New Zealand; or
  • You were refused entry into New Zealand at the border despite holding a residence visa (very rare)

No right of appeal for the following situations:

a. A decision to not grant a residence visa (unless classified information has been relied on in making the decision, see section 187(2)(a))

b. Decline of residence visa (or entry permission) to excluded persons as defined under sections 15 and 16 of the Act. They are usually those considered to pose a risk to public order, safety or security and those with convictions or have previously been deported.

c. A refusal or failure to issue an invitation to apply for a visa or those who received an invitation to apply but were subsequently declined

d. A refusal to grant a residence class visa where you were invited to apply, where you:

  • failed to inform INZ of any material change in circumstances between the EOI application and your application for the residence visa; or
  • submitted false or misleading information / withheld relevant information deemed potentially prejudicial during the EOI stage

e. A lapse of an application for a residence class visa or of an expression of interest

f. A revocation of an invitation to apply where the grounds of appeal fall into one of the following:

  • an incorrect decision was made to the residence visa application; or
  • your special circumstances are such that a consideration of an exception to residence instructions should be recommended

Deadline for Appeals to IPT

Your appeal must be made within 42 days after receiving the declined decision. The IPT cannot accept appeals made past the 42 days timeframe.

Outcome of Appeals

  • Appeals heard by the IPT are heard on papers and you are not required to be present physically
  • An appeal is usually heard by one member only
  • Every IPT decision must be given in writing and contain reasons

The outcome of your IPT appeal will be one of the following:

  1. confirm the decision appealed against as being made correctly
  2. reverse the decision as being made incorrectly
  3. reverse a correctly made decision on the basis of new information provided to the IPT
  4. cancelling a correctly made decision and referring it back to INZ for it to be considered afresh (like a new application)
  5. cancelling a decision and referring it back to INZ for to be reconsidered
  6. confirm a correctly made decision, but recommended that special circumstances applies and a consideration by the Minister as an exception to residence instructions is warranted

Publishing IPT Decisions 

IPT decisions are normally publicly available, unless an order prohibiting publication was made.

Thomas Jefferson Associates 

As former INZ officers and practicing lawyers, we have assisted many deserving individuals to successful appeals.

If you are like most people, an IPT appeal means that you are facing a final determination on your future to remain in New Zealand (whether by choice or otherwise). We help you mitigate the risks by utilizing expert industry knowledge and experience to present your appeal in a positive light to IPT.

Whilst the IPT does not conform to the formalities of the Courts, it nevertheless involves substantial legal procedures that may potentially affect an aspect of your appeal, if not made correctly. With a limited time-frame of only 42 days to make your appeal to IPT, precision and timing of the appeal is absolutely crucial, and we can help you with the entire process and advocate your appeal in your best interest.

Contact a Thomas Jefferson Associates specialist Consultant at for an obligation free discussion on your intended appeal to the IPT.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

2 thoughts on “Appeals and the Immigration Protection Tribunal

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