Section 61 Requests: Navigating Visa Requests for Unlawful Individuals

When you find yourself unlawfully in New Zealand due to an expired visa, the pathway to legality might seem narrow. However, Section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 provides a glimmer of hope. We at Sekhris specialise in assisting individuals in this precarious position to navigate the complexities of making a Section 61 request. Here’s how we can help:

Understanding Section 61

First, we ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of what a Section 61 request entails. This includes explaining the discretionary power granted to the Minister of Immigration, or delegated senior immigration officers, to issue a visa to individuals unlawfully in New Zealand. It’s crucial to recognize that this is a discretionary act and not a guaranteed or standard application process.

Evaluating Your Situation

Our team will conduct a detailed evaluation of your circumstances to assess the viability of making a Section 61 request. Given the discretionary nature of the process and the fact that there is no obligation for Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to consider the request, it’s important to approach this with a well-thought-out strategy.

Preparing Your Request

If a Section 61 request is deemed a suitable option, we assist in preparing a compelling case. This involves gathering all necessary documentation and crafting a request that clearly outlines your situation, the reasons for your unlawful status, and any compelling factors that might influence the decision in your favour.

Guidance on Submission

We guide you through the process of submitting your Section 61 request. While there is no standard form or application process, ensuring that your request reaches the dedicated team of senior immigration officers at INZ is crucial. Our experience with such cases enables us to navigate these logistical hurdles effectively.

No Right to Reasons

It’s important to understand that the decision-maker is not required to provide reasons for their decision on a Section 61 request, and such decisions cannot typically be accessed under the Official Information Act or Privacy Act. We prepare you for this reality, ensuring you understand the unique nature of the Section 61 process.

Handling Responses

Given the discretion involved in Section 61 requests, outcomes can vary widely. Our team is prepared to assist you regardless of the response from INZ. In cases where a request is successful, we guide you through the next steps to ensure compliance with any visa conditions granted. If a request is not successful, we discuss alternative options and strategies with you.

Advocacy and Support

Throughout the process, we act as your advocate and support system. Understanding the stress and uncertainty of being unlawfully in New Zealand, our goal is to provide not just legal assistance but also reassurance and guidance during this challenging time.

Section 61 requests are a unique aspect of New Zealand’s immigration framework, offering a potential pathway to legality for those unlawfully in the country. If you find yourself in this situation, reaching out for professional advice is a crucial first step. We are here to provide the expertise and support you need to navigate this process with confidence.

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