Anyone who is in New Zealand without a valid visa cannot apply for a visa.
That is, people who are “unlawfully in New Zealand” because their previous temporary visa has expired are not entitled to apply for a visa due to their unlawful status.
However, people unlawfully in New Zealand may request a visa under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009.
A “section 61 request” involves explaining to the Minister of Immigration or to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) why your circumstances are SPECIAL and why you deserve to be approved a visa even though you are unlawfully in the country.
The Minister or INZ does not have to consider this request and may refuse it without giving any reasons. But, for most people who do not hold valid visas, it is their best chance of becoming legal again.
Another group of people who cannot apply for visas are people who have serious character issues.
For example, people who have been sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment in the past 10 years are ineligible to apply for any kind of visa.
Even if you have a serious character issue, it is possible to request a “special direction” under section 17 of the Immigration Act. If approved, INZ can grant a visa to someone who is normally ineligible.
If you are unlawfully in New Zealand or have a serious character issue, give yourself the best chance of being approved a visa – contact Visa Matters Ltd today!