Am I an Overstayer?

QCL MEDIA SHOOT_4523 copyIn New Zealand there are estimated to be over 10,000 overstayers. Are you an overstayer? If you stay in NZ after your visa expires the NZ Immigration department will consider you an “overstayer”. If you think you could be an “overstayer” get in touch with the immigration team here at QCL. Read about our Immigration service here. To contact us click here.

Recently immigration officials were given new powers :

1. the power to arrest

2. the power to detain overstayers.

The new powers allow compliance officers to arrest suspected overstayers and detain them for up to four hours, powers which were previously held only by police officers.

The NZ Law Society immigration committee has questioned whether a two week intensive training session for immigration staff is enough for them to cope with what could be violent situations when arresting overstayers. Immigration New Zealand says the purpose of holding an overstayer will, in most cases, be to place them on the first flight leaving New Zealand or establish their identity. A recent yahoo article explored some of the points of view around the new law changes.


“Obviously there are people that need to be deported but amongst them there are people who have really good reasons why they should not be deported,” Mr McBride said.

“Realistically you need quite a bit of time to work out whether these people have a case to be in New Zealand.”

Under the new rules if a person is going to be held for longer than four hours they must be transferred to police custody, where they can be held for up to 96 hours.

Immigration New Zealand general manager Peter Elms told Radio New Zealand immigration officers were experienced enough to handle the new powers.

In the majority of cases the four hours were purely to take the person to the police station, he said.

Mr Elms said there were about 15,500 overstayers in New Zealand. To read the full yahoo article click here.immigration-holder


Dawn raids were a common event in Auckland, New Zealand during a crackdown on illegal overstayers from the Pacific Islands from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The raids were first introduced in 1973 by Norman Kirk‘s Labour government and were continued by Robert Muldoon‘s National government.[1] These operations involved special police squads conducting raids on the homes and workplaces of overstayers throughout New Zealand usually at dawn. Overstayers and their families were often prosecuted and then deported back to their countries.[2][3]

The Dawn Raids were a product of the New Zealand government’s immigration policies to attract more Pacific Islanders. Since the 1950s, the New Zealand government had encouraged substantial emigration from several Pacific countries including Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji to fill a labour shortage caused by the post–war economic boom. The Muldoon government’s treatment of overstayers also damaged relations with Pacific countries like Samoa and Tonga, and generated criticism from the South Pacific Forum. By 1979, the Muldoon government terminated the Dawn Raids since the deportation of illegal Pacific overstayers had failed to alleviate the ailing New Zealand economy.[2]

Remember its not too late to get your situation sorted out before you are deported. All enquiries are treated in confidence and, we are pleased to provide solutions to difficult situations.

Queen City Law has over the years assisted a large number of overstayers regularise their immigration status in New Zealand after becoming unlawful. There is no question that it is better to get on the front foot with our government officials before being arrested and removed or deported. Queen City Law is highly skilled in this area and may well be able to assist you become lawful again depending on a number of considerations.

To contact Queen City Law click here.