09 January 2012

Thousands turned away at border by New Zealand immigration since 2006

New Zealand has turned away an average almost 1,000 people at the border every year since 2006, recent figures from the country's Department of Labour show. Immigration officials at Auckland Airport have rejected new arrivals for a variety of reasons; more than half simply for having 'non-genuine reasons' for going to New Zealand.

New Zealand visa

New Zealand immigration authorities have introduced new methods of border control.

While the 4,597 people rejected entry to the country since 2006 may seem insignificant in comparison to the 7.4 million international passengers which the New Zealand immigration authorities in Auckland alone process on an annual basis, new measures were still introduced to reduce the numbers.

Immigration New Zealand's intelligence risk and integrity general manager Steve Stuart said that the reduction was due to the screening of all flights leaving for New Zealand which enabled officials to determine a passenger's eligibility before boarding their flight as well as other offshore border security measures which attempt to identify passengers using lost or stolen passports.

Of the thousands turned away from New Zealand's borders since 2006, the most common reason according to Stuart was simply that "we are not satisfied that they have come to New Zealand for the purpose they have stated - such as saying they are visiting but their intention is to work [in New Zealand] in breach of their visa conditions. It also means they may be a risk overstaying".

However, simply overstaying the terms of their New Zealand visa is not the only risk immigration officials have to evaluate before turning a passenger away. Almost 300 people were turned away due to their criminal history or suspicious items such as credit card skimmers being found in their luggage while a further 107 people were turned away simply for not having a valid New Zealand visa


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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