Issues with the Law?

The final Part of our 3 part series. This is an over-whelming process for a lay person and we often are requested to assist in addressing these issues.

The definition of a Character waiver ” is a decision to waive good character requirements for a person who does not meet them, so Immigration New Zealand can grant him a visa.

If you are aged 17 or over, you are required to provide a police certificate with your application. What can trigger a character waiver is :

  • past convictions,
  • pending convictions,
  • visa issues with other countries (refusals, overstays, visa breaches, etc.),
  • entering/
  • providing false and/or misleading information or bogus documents.

Character issues need to be resolved with Immigration New Zealand at both the temporary visa and resident visa stage.

Should you declare an issue and When ?

Always disclose your historic convictions. Expungement and other overseas clean slate laws do not apply in New Zealand. Non-disclosure of historic convictions could possibly trigger a character issue.

We often see applicants who wish to immigrate and have convictions on their Police Clearance Certificates. These can range from minor wrongdoings to more serious convictions where a sentence [of some sort] was carried out.

How does a character waiver work?

Your assigned Case Officer will try to establish if you are of good character. If they think you are not of good character, the will issue you a Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) letter (see part 2 of this series). The letter will general state the applicant is not of good character and the Case Officer will invite you to provide an explanation.

This is your opportunity to explain the issue and justify why Immigration New Zealand should waive the good character requirement and grant you a visa.

NOTE: there are also different character triggering thresholds for temporary and residence visas.

What evidence should you consider providing?

While an applicant will provide evidence, a methodical and structured approach is followed to address the PPI letter in its entirety.

Your case officer will assess your request for a character waiver on the following grounds:

  1. the seriousness of the offence;
  2. whether there is more than one offence;
  3. the significance of the false, misleading or bogus information provided;
  4. how long ago the relevant event occurred;
  5. any immediate family ties who are lawfully and permanently in New Zealand;
  6. your strong emotional or physical ties to New Zealand; and
  7. if your potential contribution to New Zealand will be significant.

If you find yourself in this situation, we have considerable experience in these matters and would be happy to assist you. Contact us or call us on +64 0274214153