Need to make a complaint to Immigration New Zealand?
Immigration New Zealand works under the MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and commits itself to providing the general public, immigration customers and their representatives an accessible, easy to use process where they can submit positive or negative feedback associated with INZ’s services, policies or procedures.
In case you want to elicit a response from INZ related to a grievance or dissatisfaction related to INZ’s staff, services, administrative processes, tools and products, you will need to raise a formal complaint using their Complaints and Feedback System (CFS).
CFS is the replacement for the old Client Complaint Resolution Process (CCRP) and channels your complaint to the Central Feedback Team (CFT). CFT logs, triages and assigns your complaint to an appropriate INZ office or branch – usually to the location where the matter first came to surface.
Your formal complaint may not be accepted by the CFT on various grounds. You are better off working with an immigration expert to raise a complaint, so you have a better chance of eliciting a response from the INZ. Contact us for a 100% free consultation to discuss the nature of your complaint and explore your best path forward.
What is the scope of complaints entertained by Immigration New Zealand?
You can raise a complaint with INZ about:
- INZ’s systems and facilities
- The content of IACs (Internal administration circulars) or other immigration instructions
- Issues related to INZ’s services – such as behaviour or attitude of their staff, communication or advice from INZ and delays in assessing a visa application
- Issues with INZ’s processes, which may either be in the context of a decision made by the INZ or other related matters
It is important to note that complaints that hold in question the “merits” of a decision made by Immigration New Zealand for an individual case will not be accepted by the CFT, such as:
- How certain factors related to the case were balanced and weighed by the immigration officer while making the decision
- How the immigration instructions were interpreted during the decision-making process in the case of any decision
- How fair a decision was in terms of its effect on the personal circumstances of an individual or his/her family members
At the same time, complaints where the customer seeks to overturn a compliance or application decision, or where a legal right of appeal or reconsideration has been (or can be) executed, will not be investigated by the INZ.
It may sometimes be tricky to figure out if your complaint falls in the scope of what will be accepted by the CFT. You must work with a licensed immigration adviser to ensure your complaint does not get rejected. Contact us, at NZ Immigration Help, to take advantage of our 100% free consultation related to your case.
What happens to complaints that Immigration New Zealand does not handle directly?
There are certain types of complaints that will be accepted by the CFT but not investigated directly by the INZ. These complaints will be transferred to a different part of MBIE or a different appropriate agency. Some of these are:
- Alleged complaints related to fraud, dishonesty or corruption of staff members – these will be handled by the Corporate, Governance and Information Group’s MBIE integrity team
- Immigration policies of the New Zealand Government
- Complaints related to a corrupt employer, educational institute or other immigration client
- Services outsourced by the INZ, such as Visa Application Centres
- Complaints about services tendered by other government agencies
Unless the complaint is about a delay, service delivery complaints must be submitted within six months of the date of the alleged incident. INZ/CFT will not typically investigate any complaints made after six months, unless they decide to make an exception.
Complaints related to individual cases (for instance, where you feel you have received poor service from the INZ) must be filed within six months of the happening. However, INZ will investigate complaints raised after six months in what INZ may consider as extenuating circumstances. CFT makes the final call on whether to accept the complaint if it is out of time, for a given case.
As you can now see, INZ has a well-structured complaint process to take care of your grievances, but it comes with a very high chance of rejection. Your complaint may not even make it into the system and get rejected outrightly by the CFT even to begin with.
It is in your best interest to work with immigration experts like us who know the ins and outs of the INZ complaint process.
Our licensed immigration advisers, at NZ Immigration Help, have been helping our clients get redressal to their complaints with Immigration New Zealand for many years.