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Thread: Special directions

  1. #1
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    Jun 2017
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    Default Special directions

    Just starting a bit of a random topic here, specifically about special directions. And its nothing personal, i dont need one and i dont know anyone who does.

    Firstly im curious as to whether someone who has previously been refused entry at a port of entry is considered to have a 'serious character issue'. It says previous 'removals' in the instruction manual for INZ is classed as a serious character issue and i know some countries consider refusal of entry at the border to be a 'removal'.
    Now this would be kind of silly if someone who say, 20 years ago had gone for a holiday at a visa on arrival country but had lets say, had insufficient funds for their stay or just no proof, and then been returned home. They would then be classed as having a serious character issue and require a special direction from the ministry of immigration!?

    Secondly, i heard recently of an important figure in the Islamic community of Australia who intended to visit NZ for the funerals of the ChCh victims. However due to his prior public anti homosexual comments, Denmark had decided to exclude him from the country. This resulted in him being labelled as having a serious character issue by INZ and he required a special direction for a visitor visa, which he got. Kind of silly that our immigration decisions are based on the whims of foreign governments.

    I know anecdotally of a Singaporean citizen who was deported from Indonesia due to public consumption of alcohol during Ramadan, not behaving disorderly or anything, just drinks with a meal, the police were called and they argued over the legality of it, the police then called immigration and the man was forcibly returned home. This man would then require a special direction to enter NZ. And ive heard plenty of cases of people being removed from a country for : Blasphemy, participation in protests, expressing freedom of speech, insulting head of state, crimes of conscience etc. All these people would require a special direction to enter NZ. Absurd.
    People are also excluded from nations which they have never even visited for expressing their political, religious and moral beliefs publicly too. Again requires special direction.

    Why haven't immigration officers been given more discretion in legislation around granting people visas for these trivial issues? Or is the immigration act 2009 just a very poorly written piece of legislation excessively influenced by NZ first 2006-2008?

    Thirdly, my concern is that the power for granting special directions lies with the ministry of immigration. Currently minister Iain Lees-Galloway and associate minister Kris Faafoi. Prior to becoming a career politician Mr Lees Galloway worked for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation as an organiser and subsequently publicity coordinator. Mr Faafoi was a journalist.
    Now im not convinced these are the people that can be trusted with making critical decisions about peoples lives and welfare.
    I would much prefer if special directions were dealt with by the judiciary/immigration & protection tribunal. So a person who is otherwise ineligible for a visa can pay a substantial application fee, present a case before a judge or panel of judges, demonstrate how they are not a threat to New Zealand and the judges can make a decision accordingly on whether to direct that INZ should grant a visa. Taking the political factor out of these decisions, particularly where those making the decisions arent exactly qualified to do so, seems far more preferable to me.

    Heres a good hypothetical example of the absurdity of the character requirements in NZ:

    Ms A, a US citizen was in Turkey on a visa on arrival, she participated in protests in Istanbul against the administration in Ankara, peacefully and in accordance with fundamental human rights. However she was detained by police in a crackdown by law enforcement and subsequently handed over to immigration who removed her from the country with a lifetime re entry ban. Now Ms A has a 'serious character issue' according to INZ and can only enter NZ if she obtains a special direction from the ministry.

    Mr B, a UK citizen was convicted of aggravated robbery 15 years ago and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. He has only a 'character issue', an immigration officer in this case has the discretion to grant a temporary entry visa with a character waiver.

    I also notice having convictions related to immigration offences is not considered a 'serious character issue', just a 'character issue', as long as you weren't deported for them. However Mr C from Australia who made some public and rather unfortunate remarks about the Thai king whilst holidaying in Thailand and subsequently removed & excluded is considered to have 'serious character issue' and yes, needs that special direction.
    Last edited by Aidan1988; 13th April 2019 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    In my time on this forum, I have seen many posts where people argue what they think Immigration New Zealand's regulations OUGHT TO BE. This is usually based on their own situation, for instance, 'I'm a good person and I want to live and work in NZ, so the rule that is stopping me should be something different.' However, the answer I make is basically the same.

    When looking at INZ's rules, we are dealing with the laws of a foreign government. People coming to New Zealand, born and brought up somewhere else, can see from the outset what NZ's requirements are for letting us in for various purposes, and it's up to us to prove that we meet the requirements. If we don't, the answer will be, 'No, go home.' Even if we don't like that, the NZ government has the right to refuse us - or anybody - in line with the regulations.

    As foreigners, up to the point of being granted Residence (if we get that far), we can't vote in NZ elections, so we can't directly influence what the government does. Some foreigners on work visas get the sympathy of their NZer neighbours who may speak up to their MP if the migrants are perhaps going to be deported, but there is no DIRECT influence available. So whatever we might THINK, or WISH, about how immigration matters should be managed, we haven't been granted any rights to make a difference.

    This forum's purpose is to help one another about all matters to do with New Zealand. A large part of that is how best to fit ourself into the INZ regulations, to try to be granted a visa to do what we would like. For that purpose, it is necessary to deal with the rules as they are set out on the INZ website and operational manual. INZ COs have to apply those rules; they don't have the right to interpret or bend them in any way. So nobody can win an argument with INZ, that some rule shouldn't exist, or should be different - trying that will just lead to rejection of the application.

    If I were in a discussion about how movement round the world between different countries should be regulated, if we were setting it up from the beginning, that would be a very different matter from what I'm doing when I answer people's posts on ENZ, which is all based on what IS.

  3. #3
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    Default

    JandM

    Fair call. For a person in the position of applying for a visa or residency, arguing about what should/ought to be is pretty pointless and certainly wont gain any traction with INZ.

    However im a NZ citizen by birth and i nor anyone close to me has no need for a special direction. I realize most people on this forum are non citizens looking for personal immigration advice.

    Im just using this forum as somewhere to discuss government immigration policy and procedures. Criticism of government legislation and policies is vital within a healthy democracy.

  4. #4
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    As you recognize, then, you are in a different position from most people who post on these threads. You HAVE a voice within your country; if you and other citizens and residents who agree with you find a way within New Zealand to make that plain, the government's position may eventually change in some degree. However, ENZ, being a migrants' platform with only a very few members who continue to look in after they have their visa(s) and get established in their new life, don't be surprised that there is just a tiny audience for whom your thoughts will be relevant and meaningful.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2018
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    Default

    I agree that a healthy democracy assumes critique of government legislation and policies, including immigration. In NZ, however, the system and process are set in such a way that it's not immediately open to ordinary citizens. To make a submission during a consultation process, one has to either be part of some sort of lobby (e.g. industry associations who are directly affected by immigration policies), and have an in-depth understanding of the current legislation and repercussions should there be any changes (usually through research).

    In my time as an MA student whose research focussed on English language policy for adult migrants in NZ, I'd been subscribed to MBIE mailing list for any proposed policy changes. Those emails are being sent to all manual holders and general public if they explicitly subscribe to it. Inadvertently, I was aware of all immigration policy changes despite the original focus purely on English language related provisions. And I guess my point here is that an ordinary citizen won't have the need to methodically track and analyse all current and proposed immigration policies unless they have a special interest or have an enhanced goodwill urge to contribute and thus participate in a healthy critique in a meaningful and impactful way.

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