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Unreasonable delay in residence application that warranted urgency

Ombudsmen Act 1975
Section 13
Section 22
Legislation display text:
Ombudsmen Act 1975, ss 13, 22
Immigration New Zealand,
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Dame Beverley Wakem
Case number(s):
Issue date:

The complainant and his family are living in a refugee camp in Kenya.  The complainant’s sister lives in New Zealand.  On 22 January 2009, the complainant applied for residence in New Zealand under the Adult Sibling policy.  Immigration New Zealand (INZ) placed his application in a managed queue.  The application was still being processed three and a half years later when a complaint was made to me in July 2012 about INZ's delay in reaching a decision. 

Based on the information before me, I have formed the opinion that INZ unreasonably delayed in processing the application, and failed to take into account the humanitarian factors favouring prioritising it. 

In the course of this investigation I indicated in a provisional opinion to INZ that I proposed to recommend that it prioritise the application.  Following my provisional opinion INZ did expedite the application and permanent residence has now been approved in principle for the applicant.  However it continues to argue that other like cases should not be similarly prioritised.

I recommend that INZ puts in place processes to ensure that priority is given to all residence applications from persons facing particular hardship or deprivation.   

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