Why are people still representing themselves for visa applications?

Recently the news is showing a lot of articles about various people who are having a hard time getting a visa and being generally treated unfairly by INZ. So why is this really suprising? The biggest difference beween now and a year ago is that the Government has been granting various visa extensions with little logic and consistency, so it seems that some people have come to expect kind treatment from INZ. The actual normal situation is that it is generally more likely that you will have a hard time getting a visa and that you will be treated unfairly by INZ.

The common denominator in these articles is that the majorty of these people have bumbled through their application themselves, or perhaps with their employer and have had no professional input at all. This by itself should tell yuo something about the system we are dealing with. After all nobody complains about the courts system that even through they representted themselves in a criminal trial they were still found guilty and still went to jail.

INZ is charged with managing immigration into New Zealand, this is their job and they have various legal mandates on how they are to do this. Sure, they don't always get it right, and sometimes make amazingly incorrect decisions, whcih we can then challenge and get overturned, but their main role is to stop people from entering or staying longer in NZ unless it is in the country's interests for them to do so. This is the point that many people miss, INZ is there to stop and restrict people visiting, working, studying, becoming residents, etc. Their goal is not to facilitate such activities unless there is a good reason and that reason is clearly proved.

The recent problem is that there is this large disconnect between how INZ manage visa applications and how the current Minister randomly ignores this. The Minister seesm to kindly pass out free extensions so you can stay longer, but if you do not meet the criteria for the extension and have to apply for a visa, INZ is generally harder on the processing than they were before. So even though the Minister seems kinder (this is debatable though), INZ is actoually tougher. Yes this doesn't make sense, but it is our "new normal".

The free visa extensions are also something to be careful of because conveniently they put peopel on the other side of usually unfavourable policy changes, so it is often in your best interests to make an early application, even when you have time left on your visa because of the extension.

There is no free ride, everything is done for a reason, but in general what we really wish people would understand before making a mess of their application themselves and then go compaining to Stuff, is that INZ assess applications always strictly, sometimes unfairly, sometimes incorrectly. This is why licensed immigration advisers and lawyers are the few people authroised to do this work.