How does INZ deal with applications from people from countries that are seen to be possibly problematic?

In light of the recent events in America, the issue of restricting immigration from certain countries is very topical now. New Zealand's Prime Minister has said that this is not a policy that NZ would ever implement ourselves, but in fact NZ's immigration policy is stricter towards some countries than others. Not to the extent of banning entry for everyone from certain countries of course, but certainly applications for people of certain citizenship are much more difficult and require much more supporting documentation than others.

This is a practical reality of managing immigration for the benefit of NZ because INZ needs to make sure that every visitor to NZ will either benefit the country or at the very least not be a burden for the country. If certain countries overall have a tendency to act in ways which the NZ Government and NZ people feel are inappropriate or negative in the NZ context, then INZ has a responsibility check these applicants carefully. They will want to make sure that people from these countries who wish to visit NZ are not going to behave in a way that is not beneficial to NZ society.

A migrant who is beneficial to NZ is a wide ranging criteria but in the immigration context it usually means they:

  • are honest and will not commit crime of any kind while in NZ
  • are healthy and shouldn't put any undue strain on our health system
  • are not likely to overstay their visa
  • are not likely to work illegally in NZ
  • have real documentation and genuinely meet the criteria for their visa

There is no doubt that the majority of applicants do genuinely meet all of these criteria, but unfortunately the reputations of some countries, based on the actions of some applicants in the past (around the world, not just to NZ) mean that applicants from some countries are believed more easily than others. This doesn't mean that if you are from a certain country then your application will be denied, it means that you need to make a stronger application if you want to succeed.

Which countries are on the INZ problem list?

Well, the existence of such a list is doubtful, but for a rough idea, if your country is not on the visa waiver list countries, then to some degree you need to be thinking of making an extra effort. Every application needs to be done properly, and just because your country is on the visa waiver country list does not mean that your application will be easy or approved without issue.

So what does this mean for me?

It means basically that all visa applicants must prove that they meet the requirements for the visa they are applying for, and prove that their stay in NZ will benefit or at least not be bad for the country. It means that citizens of some countries will find it easier or harder to prove this based on the statistical tendencies of applicants from those countries to be less than honest in immigration matters

The NZ government insists that it won't apply security measures like the United States, and this fits in with the general feeling of NZ as a country.