Deportation liability and appeal rights

If you remain in New Zealand after your visa expires, you become unlawful in New Zealand and you are therefore liable for deportation. Liability for deportation can also arise in other situations. In many cases, a person can appeal against their liability, within certain timeframes.

How to know if you are liable

You can become liable for deportation if:

  • you stay in New Zealand beyond the expiry date of your visa
  • you breach other conditions of your visa (for example, working when you only hold a visitor visa)
  • you are convicted for a criminal offence
  • we find that false or misleading information had been provided, or relevant information had been withheld, in any prior application or request you submitted or in which you were included.

If you are concerned you may be liable for deportation, we suggest you contact a licensed immigration adviser or lawyer to discuss your situation.

Appealing deportation liability

You may be able to appeal against your deportation liability, depending on your circumstances and the time the liability arose. You cannot appeal if the last visa you held was a limited visa.

If you would like to appeal and are in New Zealand unlawfully, you must do so within 42 days of becoming unlawful, or within 42 days of receiving confirmation that your last visa application was declined. If you are liable for deportation for other reasons, you will normally have 28 days to appeal starting from the time you are given a deportation liability notice.

Appeals are heard by the Immigration & Protection Tribunal, which is administered by the Ministry of Justice.

Immigration & Protection Tribunal website

What happens if you are deported

If you are deported, you may not return while any prohibition period is in force and until any costs of deportation are repaid.  If you wish to return to New Zealand, you can ask to be granted a visa via a special direction, but INZ is not obligated to consider special direction requests or to give you reasons if the special direction is not granted.


See also

Request a visa when you’re unlawfully in New Zealand