A5.25 Applicants normally ineligible for a residence class visa unless granted a character waiver
Applicants who will not normally be granted a residence class visa, unless granted a character waiver (see A5.25.1(b) below), include any person who has been:
- convicted at any time of any offence against the immigration, citizenship or passport laws of any country; or
- convicted at any time of any offence involving prohibited drugs; or
- convicted at any time of any offence involving dishonesty; or
- convicted at any time of any offence of a sexual nature; or
- convicted at any time of any offence for which they were sentenced to a term of imprisonment (whether the sentence was of immediate effect or was deferred or was suspended in whole or in part); or
- convicted (whether in New Zealand or not) of an offence committed at any time when the applicant was in New Zealand unlawfully or was the holder of a temporary entry class visa or held a temporary permit under the Immigration Act 1987 or was exempt under that Act from the requirement to hold a permit, being an offence for which the court has power to impose imprisonment for a term of three months or more; or
- convicted at any time of any offence involving violence; or
- convicted at any time during the last five years, of an offence (including a traffic offence), involving dangerous driving, driving having consumed excessive alcohol (including drunk driving and driving with a blood or breath alcohol content in excess of a specified limit) or driving having consumed drugs; or
- in the course of applying for a New Zealand visa (or a permit under the Immigration Act 1987), has made any statement or provided any information, evidence or submission that was false, misleading or forged, or withheld material information; or
- at any time in a public speech or public comments, or public broadcast, or in publicly distributing or publishing a document;
- argues that one race or colour is inherently inferior or superior to another race or colour; or
- used language intended to encourage hostility or ill will against any person or group of persons on the basis of colour, race or ethnic or national origins of that person or group; or
- has been, or is, a member of (or adheres or has adhered to) any organisation or group of people which (at the time of the person's membership or adherence) had objectives or principles based on:
- hostility against people or groups of people on the basis of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins; or
- an assumption that persons of a particular race or colour are inherently inferior or superior to other races or colours; or
- in support of any application by another person for a New Zealand visa (or a permit under the Immigration Act 1987), has made any statement or provided any information, evidence or submission that was false, misleading or forged.
Note: When considering whether or not an applicant has committed an act that comes under A5.25 (i), (j) or (k) or (l) above, an immigration officer should establish whether, on the balance of probabilities, it is more likely than not that the applicant committed such an act.
- An immigration officer must not automatically decline residence class visa applications on character grounds.
- An immigration officer must consider the surrounding circumstances of the application to decide whether or not they are compelling enough to justify waiving the good character requirement. The circumstances include but are not limited to the following factors as appropriate:
- if applicable, the seriousness of the offence (generally indicated by the term of imprisonment or size of the fine);
- whether there is more than one offence;
- if applicable, the significance of the false, misleading or forged information provided, or information withheld, and whether the applicant is able to supply a reasonable and credible explanation or other evidence indicating that in supplying or withholding such information they did not intend to deceive INZ;
- how long ago the relevant event occurred;
- whether the applicant has any immediate family lawfully and permanently in New Zealand;
- whether the applicant has some strong emotional or physical tie to New Zealand;
- whether the applicant's potential contribution to New Zealand will be significant.
- In the case of a person covered by A5.25(j) and (k) above, officers must consider, in addition to any relevant matters listed in A5.25.1(b) above, the following:
- the length of time since the applicant publicly expressed the views, or was a member or adherent of the group or organisation; and
- whether the applicant still holds the views or still belongs or adheres to the group or organisation, and any evidence of a change in views; and
- the extent to which the applicant was involved in publishing or distributing the views, or the extent of involvement in the group or organisation; and
- the nature of the views, or the nature of the group or organisation.
- Officers must make a decision only after they have considered all relevant factors, including (if applicable):
- any advice from the National Office of INZ; and
- compliance with fairness and natural justice requirements (see A1).
- Officers must record:
- their consideration of the surrounding circumstances, (see paragraph (b) above), noting all factors taken into account;, and
- the reasons for their decision to waive or decline to waive the good character requirements.
Any decision to waive the good character requirements must be made by an immigration officer with Schedule 1-3 delegations.