September 2016
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In This Issue
"Immigration Flagged as Big Issue" No! Seriously?
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"I...think your work was very good in all respects.  You were very quick to respond to my questions and got the work done very quickly.  Speed is important to us with this kind of work. I also liked that you gave us a clear figure when we asked about a price estimate and that you were very frank with your answers to my questions...I've recommended you to a colleague of mine..."
MA (Australian corporate client)

"I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the excellent service provided to me by the Laurent Law Firm and acknowledge James Turner for his professionalism while handling my special case regarding my deportation. James was a tremendous help for me, he is one of the shining examples of professional, caring and knowledgeable lawyers. He listened, advocated and kept me informed throughout the proceedings of my case. I am very pleased with the quality, responsiveness and extensive legal expertise of James. He went the extra mile to help and succeeded. I am staying in NZ, I am so happy and grateful. I would wholeheartedly recommend James and Laurent Law to any business or individual in need of legal help."
Alex has been granted residence as an entrepreneur based on his very successful auto business. He says," Simon was very good and helpful and his timing is always good. The staff are friendly and helpful.
Simon has been my immigration lawyer for several years and I'll soon be asking him to help my parents come to NZ.

Mat was fantastic. He was very supportive and kept me updated on progress. Everything is really good. Thank you Mat.

Laurent Law Barristers & Solicitors
1st Floor, Target Building, 93 Dominion Rd
Mt Eden, Auckland, 1024, New Zealand
Ph.  +64-9-630-0411;  Fax  +64-9-630-0412

Laurent Law continues to deliver specialist New Zealand immigration advice in a rapidly changing field.  Online applications, policy changes, shifts in practice by Immigration New Zealand toward overstayers . . . every day is different.

People keep coming to us to solve messy problems.  It's what we are known for.  We would sometimes like to get the "easy" stuff to do, but often we meet with people when they have tried everywhere else, and everything else has failed.  We can't always fix things, but often we can, and the team keep surprising themselves with the results that they achieve on cases that didn't look too promising at the outset.

We have highlighted some common issues in our  law firm blog.  Subscribe to the blog in order to see up-to-date commentary on trends in the immigration field.

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Yours sincerely
Simon Laurent, Bill Milnes
LaurentLaw Barristers & Solicitors
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Your comments would be appreciated - including questions which you would like answered directly or in a future instalment.
Recently the Minister of Immigration spoke at a dinner hosted by the Immigration & Refugee Committee of the Auckland District Law Society (Inc.), of which Simon is a founding member.  Here are a couple of things that the Minister talked about.  It is also interesting to compare what follows with Simon's comments on last year's Ministerial dinner.  In some respects, the more things change, the more they stay the same . . .

This is one of those cases which looked pretty doubtful at the start.  A family had applied for Residence but the mother has Hepatitis B, which is viewed as a serious and costly condition for the NZ health service.  She withdrew from the application so that the rest of the family could all get Residence, which they did in 2012.  Over the next few years she unsuccessfully filed a Residence Appeal, a request for Special Direction to the Minister and (after her Work Visa was not renewed) a section 61 application as an overstayer.

We sent her home after brokering her voluntary departure in co-operation with Immigration.  We then started a new Partner Work Visa, supported by her husband back in NZ.  Not only did she face the medical issue, but Immigration also criticised her for having overstayed, and said that she posed a risk because she might breach the conditions of her visa.  By careful reasoning about the reasons for her being in NZ unlawfully, and by using key information on the INZ file, we defused that issue.  In the meantime, the client's controlled condition improved so that she could finally be declared to have an Acceptable Standard of Health.

Soon the family will be back together after being separated for some 9 months.  Patience on the side of the family, and attention to detail on ours, paid off in the end.

"Immigration flagged as big issue." No! Seriously?
This quote was the headline of a New Zealand Herald article about the Government's reaction to recent claims that immigration was a major driver of the house price spiral; that it was the reason why unemployment is on the rise; and so on, and so on.

It is almost inescapable that immigration will be one of the biggest battlefields upon which the next Election will be fought.  On the one hand, cool and calm "business as usual" but masking some determined avoidance of underlying issues (National).  On the other, hysteria and xenophobia (Labour and NZ First).
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"Help, I'm going to be deported! I have to leave the country tomorrow!"
Someone calls up because Immigration Officers have turned up at their doorstep, they have had a visa declined, or they get a letter from Immigration New Zealand telling them that they have to leave New Zealand.  Why have we seen a very noticeable increase in the number of people threatened with deportation ?

A ustralia's increasing hard line on immigrants may be influencing Immigration NZ to adopt the same attitude.  More and more often, we see people who are getting visas declined and being threatened with removal from the country. Even if you hold a valid a criminal conviction, such as drunk driving (DUI) can trigger deportation liability. But you may not know until  you apply for residence or your Permanent Resident Visa (PRV).

Here is Mat Martin's take on three very frequently asked questions:

1: Do I have to leave New Zealand straight away?

In many cases, the answer is No.  If you have a visa declined or you are here unlawfully, INZ's letters can make it sound as though you must leave straight away or you will be whisked away by Police in the middle of the night. This is often not the case. Most people have appeal rights which prevent INZ from taking deportation action immediately.  However it is vital that, if you believe there is a chance you might be deported, you must contact us straight away.  Appeal rights have strict filing deadlines.  The longer people wait, the fewer options we have available.

2. What are my chances of being able to stay in New Zealand?

This depends on why you are liable for deportation.  Strong connections with New Zealand such as Citizen and Resident partner, children and relatives, can work in your favour.  However, the severity of any criminal conviction has a corresponding negative impact on your chances of staying.  e.g. someone convicted of common assault will have a better chance than someone who is convicted of murder.  From our experience we understand most situations and can usually tell someone at a first interview how realistic their chances of staying are.

3. If I am deported, will I ever be able to come back to New Zealand?

You might be able to come back one day but if you are deported from New Zealand then you might be best to forget ever trying to come back. There are statutory bans on re-entry into New Zealand if you have been deported (often either two or five years) if you have been here unlawfully.  However, some more serious causes of deportation liability (like serious criminal convictions, or immigration fraud) can lead to a permanent ban.

In many cases you are far better off trying to fight against deportation at the outset, rather than trying to get back to New Zealand once you are already gone.  Having said that, we also tell some people to leave and apply to return from overseas because their chances are better - especially if they have tried multiple times to fix their problem while still in New Zealand.

"Deported" includes people who are physically removed or those whose visas have expired and leave NZ voluntarily, whether or not they have been served with a Deportation Order.  If you fear that you could liable for deportation, it is critical that you urgently seek advice from someone who can demonstrate that they know how to handle deportation issues.

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