The Immigration Act requires that, in order for you to be approved a visa, you must meet the character requirements. This includes having no criminal history and providing Immigration New Zealand with correct and complete information for all visa applications. (i.e. never lying on your visa applications).
If you do not meet the character requirements, your application may be declined, unless granted a Character Waiver. This may have an adverse cascading effect on your current and future visa applications, not only for New Zealand, but for all other countries as well; especially so for the Five Eyes – New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada. (also known as the 5CCs or Five Co-operating Countries).
To explain this in a more pragmatic / relatable way, let us share some of the most common examples of cases where the applicants need a character waiver:
– you hid important information in a previous visa application, e.g. a previous criminal conviction or a visa decline for any country; or
– you or your agent did not declare a previous exclusion period or overstay or deportation from another country; or
– if INZ deems that there may be a hidden / unlicensed agent acting on your application; or
– you forgot (or chose not) to declare any material fact about your circumstances
In such cases, INZ may not approve your visa application, unless a character waiver is granted. Hence, it is very important to take Licensed Immigration Advice from experienced professionals (like us), to make a compelling case for a character waiver.
Also, please bear in mind that there are different character requirements for different visa categories – Temporary Visas, Residence Visas, Partnership based Visas.