At the end of August 2018 the Government introduced a simple but significant change to the way that Interim Visas work. An Interim Visa is usually granted automatically when someone applies for a new visa while in New Zealand, and starts the day after the last regular visa expires. It preserves their lawful status until a decision is made on the new application.
However, if the new application was declined, INZ used to cancel the Interim Visa on the same day. People would suddenly become overstayers, and have to request a "section 61" visa. Immigration can reject those requests out of hand, and give no reasons for doing so.
From now on, however, Interim Visas are deemed to expire 21 days after the main visa application is declined. The most important result is that visa applicants can apply to have the decline decision reconsidered. People are only entitled to ask for a reconsideration if they still have a visa to be in New Zealand. Under the previous regime this was denied to most of them, because they would become overstayers as soon as the decision was made.
A reconsideration request must be filed within 14 days of getting the decline decision. It must be assessed by a visa officer of the same or higher grade than the original decisionmaker. It is also possible to put new information forward to show why the visa should be granted.
This is a major improvement for migrants who have marginal cases, or who get poor decisions against them. Instead of having to take their chances with a "section 61" case, they can now require visa officers to apply the existing policy to any reconsideration - as well as consider an exception to Instructions - and they are entitled to get a reasoned decision in writing.
If you know anyone who has just had their application refused, chances are that we might be able to help - but we need to know about it quickly.