Case Studies - Immigrating To NZ | Visa Matters

Case Studies

Mr W

Mr W’s resident visa was also declined by INZ on character grounds. He had committed three serious offences while under the influence of alcohol, and his application did not meet character requirements to be approved residence.

INZ’s decline letter informed Mr W that he had the right of appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, but Visa Matters identified that INZ’s advice was incorrect – because of the serious nature of one of Mr W’s convictions, he did not have the right of appeal to the IPT.

Instead, Visa Matters Ltd acted for Mr W in requesting the Associate Minister of Immigration to approve

a special direction to Mr W to waive character requirements because Mr W had not consumed alcohol for several years and was, therefore, unlikely to re-offend.

We worked closely with Mr W to advise him on the kind of evidence that he could provide to INZ to prove a low risk of reoffending.

The Minister’s representative accepted this evidence and approved a special direction for Mr W, waiving character requirements for any future visa applications he makes.

He was subsequently approved work and resident visas so that he could be reunited with his wife.


Mr JS was convicted of possessing cannabis for supply, which meant that he did not meet character requirements for any visa. As a result, his Partnership Category resident visa application was declined.

Visa Matters Ltd acted for Mr JS in appealing INZ’s decline decision to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

The tribunal agreed with our submissions that INZ had incorrectly assessed a character waiver for Mr JS and returned the application to INZ for reassessment.

You can read the full decision on the IPT website: Click here.

Visa Matters then made further submissions to INZ in support of a character waiver, and Mr JS was approved residence under the Partnership Category.

Mrs J

Mrs J received a “letter of concern” (also known as a “potentially prejudicial information” or PPI letter) from Immigration New Zealand after she failed to declare on her visitor visa application form that she had been imprisoned in her home country for a drink-driving conviction.

​Visa Matters Ltd made submissions on Mrs J’s behalf and provided supporting evidence showing that she did not deliberately withhold information about her imprisonment from INZ. Thanks to these submissions, INZ approved a character waiver and approved Mrs J’s visitor visa.


Client AM came to Visa Matters part-way through INZ’s processing of his 2021 Resident Visa application, after INZ sent him a PPI letter (letter of concern) stating AM did not meet character requirements for residence.

AM had been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Visa Matters represented AM for a character waiver request, which was approved by INZ – this resulted in AM’s 2021 RV application being approved.

Mr X

Mr X worked in breach of his visa conditions for nearly one year and received a PPI letter from INZ about this. We advised Mr X to stop working in breach of his visa conditions.

We then made submissions to INZ to prove that he was a bona fide applicant who had not deliberately breached his visa conditions.

INZ accepted our submissions and approved Mr X a further Essential Skills work visa. He was very relieved because his employer was about to terminate his employment within 24 hours.

Mr G

​Mr G held an Essential Skills work visa, which was about to expire. At the time he applied for his next work visa, Mr G was suffering from terminal cancer. He was being treated for cancer in New Zealand, and he did not qualify for any medical waiver – INZ could have declined his application on health grounds.

​Visa Matters Ltd identified several exceptional circumstances in Mr G’s case and advocated to INZ for an “exception to instructions” to be approved.

​INZ approved a further three-year work visa for Mr G to allow him to continue working and continue his cancer treatment.

Ms A

Ms A held an Essential Skills work visa which required her to work for a specific employer in a specific location.

She finished working for that employer, but continued to hold her Essential Skills work visa, which meant that she breached her visa conditions for several months.

After taking Ms A on as a client, we obtained her permission to disclose to INZ that she was no longer working for her previous employer, and to inform INZ that she would shortly lodge a further Essential Skills application.

We also worked closely with Ms A and her employer to prove to INZ that her new employer had made genuine attempts to recruit New Zealanders before she was offered her new role. INZ approved Ms A’s new application based only on the evidence submitted with her application – ‘no questions asked’.

Ms M

Ms M married her New Zealand husband in India in November 2019; however, her partner returned to New Zealand shortly afterwards because of work commitments.

The New Zealand border closed in March 2020, so they could not reunite in New Zealand. Because they had never lived together in a relationship, Ms M did not meet INZ’s definition of a “partner”.

Visa Matters recommended an action plan to Ms M’s partner so that the couple could meet INZ’s requirements. Ms M subsequently lodged a request and was invited to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa; her visa was approved in August 2021.

Miss BW

​Miss BW applied for residence under the 2021 Resident Visa category, including her partner in the application.

During the processing of this application, INZ identified that her partner had provided false and misleading information on an earlier work visa application and that he did not meet character requirements for this reason.

Visa Matters Ltd advised the clients to be completely honest and truthful about what had happened previously and made a character waiver request on their behalf to INZ, which was approved – both clients were approved residence.

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