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Decision to decline a character waiver and associated visa application

Ombudsmen Act 1975
Related legislation:
Immigration Act 2009
Immigration New Zealand
Peter Boshier
Case number(s):
Issue date:


Immigration New Zealand (INZ) uses immigration instructions to make decisions about visa applications. Instruction A5.1 sets out that applicants for all visas must be of good character, and that an application may be declined if an applicant fails to meet the necessary character requirements and these requirements are not waived.

In 2018, the complainant required a character waiver in order to be granted a further work visa, due to a conviction after his arrival in New Zealand. In 2017, he had been granted a character waiver for a work visa as INZ considered his offending to be at the lower end of the spectrum, and the circumstances to be sufficiently compelling to justify waiving the good character requirement.

However, when the complainant applied for a character waiver relating to subsequent visa applications in 2018, INZ declined to waive the good character requirement. [1]

In considering the seriousness of the offence—the same offence considered for the first application—the immigration officer concluded that ‘the incident is considered to be relatively serious given the nature of the offence’. The complainant had appealed against the original conviction, and the immigration officers viewed this as a negative factor in their assessment.


  1. The complainant made two subsequent visa application in short succession of each other that were both subject to reconsiderations by INZ. The investigation focused on the final decision by INZ, made in February 2019. Return to text
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