Minor offences could prevent further visas in New Zealand
Immigrants convicted of minor offences in New Zealand such as drink-driving may not be given further visas to stay in the country.
Immigration NZ has changed its operational instructions to allow its officers to refuse subsequent visas, reports NZ Herald.
The agency's service support general manager Rob Stevens said it will apply to crimes including burglary, drink-driving, disorderly behaviour, shoplifting and possessing or cultivating cannabis.
Mr Stevens added that these directives will include any contender who has been sentenced at any time of an offence in New Zealand for which the court could impose a stretch of imprisonment of a minimum of three months. It will also become harder for visa applicants who left the New Zealand before a deportation demand was served.
Mr Stevens said the difference is that people who have been served, or would haven been served, a deportation notice due to a conviction but who leave NZ either while the 28-day appeal is happening or before the deportation order has been given may now be declined a further visa. Under current immigration instructions there was no scope to deny them a visa. However, immigration officers have the discretion to give a character waiver where it would be "unduly harsh" to refuse a visa.
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