Introduction to Special Direction

Special Direction, a unique process within the Immigration Act or Immigration Regulations, is a beacon of hope for those navigating legal hurdles. Specifically, under section 17 of the Immigration Act 2009, grants exceptions to “excluded persons” who, under sections 15 or 16, would not typically qualify for a visa, entry permission, or a visa waiver. This process can provide much-needed relief to individuals facing significant legal barriers.

Applicability of Special Direction

This mechanism caters to individuals who face significant legal barriers, including:

  • Those with a prison sentence of five years or more.
  • Individuals sentenced to 12 months or more in prison within the last ten years.
  • Persons previously deported or removed from New Zealand or any other country.
  • Individuals identified as security, public order, or public interest threats.
  • Members of a terrorist entity as defined under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.

How Special Direction Helps:

  • Approves visas for those usually ineligible.
  • Modifies visa conditions to fit unique cases.
  • Waives certain fees and simplifies application steps.
  • Allows flexibility with visa waiver programs.

This streamlined approach underscores Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) adaptability in managing diverse immigration challenges, ensuring fairness and discretion.

Key Decision Maker

Decisions on Special Directions are made by the Minister of Immigration, Associate Minister, or delegated INZ staff, without a formal right to apply, yet individuals can request consideration. INZ processes numerous Special Direction decisions annually, despite challenges in tracking each request within its application management system.

How to Appeal

An individual can directly appeal with INZ to initiate an appeal under Special Direction. Given the complexity of New Zealand’s immigration system, seeking guidance from licensed immigration advisers is highly beneficial.
Licensed Immigration Advisers possess in-depth knowledge of the intricacies involved and can significantly enhance the likelihood of a favourable outcome by strategically navigating the application process.