What is an S61 Request?


An S61 Request is a vital application under New Zealand’s Immigration Act, designed for individuals who have overstayed their visas. It allows them to apply for a new visa under special circumstances.


The S61 Request is for those who are unlawfully in New Zealand but have valid reasons for their visa status lapse. It offers a chance to fix their situation without leaving, though with strict scrutiny and specific conditions.

Reach out to us today, to find out how we can assist you in reaching your immigration goals.

Understanding the S61 Request

Read on about S61 Request and its important factors.

Who Can Apply

Only those currently residing in New Zealand without a valid visa can apply. It’s not a regular visa application but a special request under unique circumstances.

Discretionary Nature

Each S61 Request is reviewed individually by Immigration New Zealand. Approval isn’t assured and depends on the strength of the applicant’s situation and submission.

Content of Application

A successful request typically includes detailed explanations for the overstay, evidence of connections to New Zealand, and reasons for not applying for a visa conventionally. It should also show a commitment to following immigration rules in the future.

Critical Factors

Community ties, family presence in New Zealand, employment, or health issues that contributed to the overstay are considered during the evaluation.

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How S61 Request is Reviewed

When evaluating a Section 61 request, it’s different from checking a visa application. These requests are looked over by a senior immigration officer based at the INZ Manukau Area Office.

The officer doesn’t have to:

  1. Explain their decision.
  2. Investigate the information you provide or other details INZ knows about you.
  3. Give you the exact visa you asked for (they might give a different type).
  4. Offer a specific visa even if you seem to qualify.

Timeframe for Review

Each case varies, so there’s no fixed time for assessing Section 61 requests.

S61 Request Process at ICL

Learn about our comprehensive and thorough S61 Request process, that helps you overcome your immigration and visa hurdles.

Step 1: Initial Consultation and Assessment

We carefully evaluate your circumstances to see if an S61 Request is possible for your situation.

Step 2: Gathering Required Documents

We collect all necessary evidence such as personal statements, support letters, medical records, or employment proof to support your case.

Step 3: Crafting a Strong Submission

We create a compelling request that covers all relevant details and explains why you overstayed.

Step 4: Keeping in Touch

We maintain regular communication with Immigration NZ, answering any questions they may have and providing extra details as needed.


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What types of evidence strengthen an S61 Request?

Documentation showing strong ties to New Zealand, such as family connections, employment, or community involvement.

Is there a deadline for submitting an S61 Request after my visa expires?

The sooner, the better, as you remain unlawfully in NZ until the request is approved.

What happens if my S61 Request is denied?

Options may be limited; departure from New Zealand could be necessary, and future visa applications might be affected.

Can family members be included in an S61 Request?

This depends on the specific circumstances of each case.

How can ICL Immigration assist in this process?

We provide expert advice, document preparation, and representation to Immigration NZ, enhancing the chances of a favorable outcome.

Can I work while waiting for my S61 Request decision?

Legally, you cannot engage in employment until your status is regularized.

Will my overstay affect future visa applications?

Yes, it can impact the assessment of future applications, making the S61 Request crucial.

Can I travel outside NZ while my S61 Request is being processed?

Leaving New Zealand may result in not being able to return under the same application.

How can I prove my intention to comply with immigration rules?

Evidence of understanding and commitment to New Zealand's immigration policies can be crucial.

What are the common reasons for S61 Request rejections?

Lack of compelling reasons for the overstay or insufficient evidence to support the application.

How does ICL Immigration enhance my chances of a successful S61 Request?

Our expertise lies in preparing a comprehensive application with all necessary documentation and strong justifications.

Is it possible to apply for an S61 Request more than once?

Generally, it’s a one-time opportunity. Subsequent requests are rarely considered unless there are significantly new or compelling reasons.

What kind of legal representation is offered by ICL for an S61 Request?

We provide detailed legal advice, document preparation, and communication with Immigration NZ on your behalf.

How long does it typically take to receive a decision on an S61 Request?

Timelines vary greatly depending on the complexity of each case.

What should I do if my situation changes during the S61 Request process?

Inform your ICL representative immediately to adjust your application accordingly.

Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.

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