Seven people have been served deportation orders by the Immigration under lockdown and Alert Level 3. 

This was revealed to the Indian Weekender by Stephen Vaughan, General Manager Verification and Compliance, in response to a query sent with regards to a story published earlier about the case of an individual Pardeep Sharma who was served deportation orders just a few days coming out of the lockdown period, in complete disregard of the current levels of global travel restrictions. 

“INZ can confirm that a total of five Deportation Liability Notices, and a total of seven Deportation Orders, were issued during Alert Level 3 and 4,” Mr Vaughan said. 

Explaining further on how INZ was able to initiate the deportation process, seemingly unmindful of the lockdown and the accompanying restricted global travel opportunities the press note attributed to Mr Vaughan suggested that due considerations were made prior to serving deportation orders. 

“INZ manages deportation cases on a case by case basis, taking into account each individual’s circumstances. Due to COVID-19, international border closures, transit options and the availability of flights also need to be taken into consideration. INZ continues to monitor the situation.”

“INZ can confirm that Mr Sharma was granted a student visa in 2014, followed by subsequent visitor and work visas. In October 2016, Mr Sharma submitted an Expression of Interest for a residence under the Skilled Migrant Category, however, as he did not meet the criteria, his EOI was not progressed. Mr Sharma’s work visa expired on November 6, and as a result, he became unlawful in New Zealand.

“On 21 November 2016, Mr Sharma was granted a visa under Section 61 of the Immigration Act, which provides the Minister of Immigration, or a Dedicated Decision Maker (DDM), with the ability to grant a visa of any type to a person unlawfully in New Zealand otherwise liable for deportation (unless they are subject to a deportation order). This visa expired on 21 November 2018. At this point, Mr Sharma became unlawful in New Zealand for a second time.

“Several further Section 61 requests were made by Mr Sharma from December 2018 to May 2020, as well as an appeal to the Minister of Immigration through the Ministerial Resolutions process. The Minister was not prepared to intervene in this case,” Mr Vaughan said. 

Difference between Deportation Liability Notice and Deportation Order

 INZ issues Deportation Liability Notice to those who are holding valid visas in order to warn them that they might be served further deportation orders. 

It is to say that if one’s visa has expired and they are therefore in New Zealand unlawfully, Immigration New Zealand doesn’t have to give them any notice (DLN) that now they may be deported. (This contrasts with the deportation of visa holders, who must be given a deportation liability notice.)

You have the right to appeal against your deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal on humanitarian grounds. You have six weeks (42 days) to appeal to the Tribunal – the six weeks is counted from when your unlawful status begins (that is, when your visa expired). You can’t be deported unless and until you’ve appealed and lost your appeal, or until the time for appealing has passed if you don’t appeal.

To deport you, Immigration NZ has to give you a deportation order. The earliest they can do this is 28 days after you lose your appeal (or, if you didn’t appeal, on the day after the six-week appeal limit has passed). Once they’ve given you the deportation order, Immigration NZ can take you into custody (which could mean holding you in jail) and then take you to an airport or port.

After they’ve made a deportation order, an applicant can still ask Immigration NZ to cancel the order. They have a broad power to do this.