Immigration Act 1987

  • repealed
  • Immigration Act 1987: repealed, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 404 of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).

Reprint as at 29 November 2010

Immigration Act 1987

Public Act1987 No 74
Date of assent21 April 1987
  • Immigration Act 1987: repealed, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 404 of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this eprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this eprint, together with other explanatory material about this eprint.

This Act is administered in the Department of Labour



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

3 Rights of New Zealand citizens protected

Part 1
Exemptions, visas, and permits

Basic rules

4 Requirement to hold permit, or exemption, to be in New Zealand

4A Immigration status of persons born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 2006

5 Requirements for undertaking employment in New Zealand

6 Requirements for undertaking course of study or training in New Zealand

7 Certain persons not eligible for exemption or permit

8 Grant of residence permit a matter of discretion

9 Grant of temporary permit a matter of discretion

9A Grant of limited purpose permit a matter of discretion

10 Grant of visa a matter of discretion

10A Issue of invitation to apply for residence a matter of discretion


11 Certain persons temporarily exempt from requirement to hold permit

12 Persons may be exempted from requirement to hold permit by regulations or special direction

13 Person ceasing to be exempt


13A Government immigration policy generally

13B Government residence policy

13BA Chief executive may give general instructions as to order and manner of processing applications for visas and permits

13BB Lapsing of applications for visas and permits

13C Immigration officers to comply with Government residence policy

Residence by invitation

13D Expressions of interest in residence

13E Invitation to apply for residence


14 Types of visa

14A Meaning and effect of visa

14B Residence visas

14C Returning residents' visas

14D Temporary visas

14DA Limited purpose visas

14E Transit visas

15 Issue and currency of visas [Repealed]

Residence permits

16 Effect of residence permit

17 Persons who may apply for residence permits

17A Applications for residence permits

18 Residence permit holders temporarily absent from New Zealand

18A Requirements may be imposed on grant of residence permit

Appeal against refusal to grant residence visa or residence permit

18B Residence Review Board

18C Appeals to Board against refusal of residence visa or permit

18D Determination of appeal by Board

18E Procedure where appeal successful or Board makes recommendation

18F Provisions applying to appeals

Revocation of residence permits and returning residents' visas

19 Revocation of residence permit by immigration officer

20 Revocation of residence permit by Minister

20A Revocation of returning resident's visa by Minister

21 Appeal to High Court against revocation of residence permit on ground that decision erroneous

22 Appeal on humanitarian grounds to Tribunal against revocation of residence permit

23 Procedure following bringing or determination of appeal

Temporary permits

24 Types of temporary permits

25 Applications for temporary permits

26 Currency of temporary permits

27 Temporary permits to be subject to conditions

27A Temporary permits granted for purposes of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992

28 Minister may require applicant for temporary permit to have sponsor

29 Change of temporary permit

30 Further temporary permit

31 Reconsideration where application for another temporary permit is declined

32 Revocation of temporary permit by immigration officer

33 Revocation of temporary permit by Minister

33A Revocation of temporary permit granted for purposes of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992

34 Holder of temporary permit not to remain in New Zealand after expiry of permit

Limited purpose permits

34A Limited purpose permits

34B Applications for limited purpose permits

34C Currency of limited purpose permit

34D Limitations and conditions on holders of limited purpose permits

34E Application of certain temporary permit provisions to limited purpose permits

34F Consequences of remaining in New Zealand after expiry of limited purpose permit

General provisions

34G Obligation to inform all relevant facts, including changed circumstances

35 Grant of permits

35A Grant of permit in special case

35AB Visas and permits may be issued or granted electronically

35AC Deemed extension of certain permits expiring during epidemic

Special provisions applying to pre-cleared permits

35B Pre-cleared permits

35C Minister may designate pre-clearance flights

35D Applications for pre-cleared permits

35E Grant of pre-cleared permit

35F Revocation of pre-cleared permit by immigration officer

35G Expiry of pre-cleared permit in certain circumstances

35H Responsibilities of carrier in relation to pre-clearance flights

35I Pre-cleared permit holders not required to undergo immigration procedures on arrival in New Zealand

36 Reasons for refusal to grant permit to be given in writing where requested

37 Applicant for permit to specify address for service

38 Evidence of permit or exemption to be retained

39 Responsibility of employers

39A Exploitation of people not legally entitled to work

40 Responsibility of persons conducting courses of study or training

41 Permit or exemption deemed to have expired on departure from New Zealand

Transitional provisions

42 Certain persons in New Zealand at commencement of this Act may apply for permit [Repealed]

43 Applications for certain permits pending at commencement of this Act [Repealed]

44 General transitional provisions

Part 2
Persons in New Zealand unlawfully

Obligation of persons unlawfully in New Zealand to leave

45 Obligation of persons unlawfully in New Zealand to leave New Zealand

46 Duty of chief executive to communicate obligation to leave New Zealand

Appeal against requirement to leave, etc

47 Appeal against requirement to leave New Zealand

48 How to appeal

49 Removal Review Authority

50 Procedure in appeals

51 Decision on appeal

52 Where appeal allowed

52A Cancellation of removal order by immigration officer [Repealed]

Liability for removal

53 Liability for removal

54 Making of removal orders

54A Removal orders where temporary permit granted for purposes of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 [Repealed]

55 Content and effect of removal order

56 Service of removal order

57 Currency of removal order once served

58 Cancellation of removal order

59 Execution of removal order

60 Release or extended detention if craft unavailable, etc, within 72-hour period

61 Release from prison into immigration detention

62 Form of custody

63 Removal where temporary permit granted for purposes of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992

63A Appeal to Removal Review Authority on facts [Repealed]

63B Appeal to Removal Review Authority on humanitarian grounds [Repealed]

63C Procedure in appeals on facts [Repealed]

63D Procedure in appeals on humanitarian grounds [Repealed]

63E Cancellation of removal order [Repealed]

Powers of immigration officers in relation to persons suspected of being in New Zealand unlawfully

64 Power to require production of certain information by departments of State and other bodies

65 Power to require surrender of documents from suspected person [Repealed]

66 Power to require surrender of documents from third party

67 Use and return of surrendered material

Transitional provisions

68 Matters may be completed under former Part 2

69 Existing removal orders

70 Persons unlawfully in New Zealand as at 1 October 1999

71 Transitional provisions [Repealed]

Part 3
Deportation of persons threatening national security, and suspected terrorists

72 Persons threatening national security

73 Suspected terrorists

74 Certain matters to be specified in deportation order

75 Suspect may be arrested pending making of deportation order

76 Currency of deportation order

77 Service of deportation order

78 Arrest of person subject to deportation order

79 Powers of District Court Judge in relation to persons in custody

80 Form of custody

81 Appeal to High Court against deportation order

82 Powers of Judge to protect security

83 Deportation order not to be executed pending appeal, etc

84 Procedure where appeal successful

85 Execution of deportation order where deportee in custody pursuant to warrant of commitment

86 Execution of deportation order where deportee serving sentence in prison

87 Execution of deportation order where deportee not in custody

88 Permit deemed cancelled where holder deported

Transitional provisions

89 Deportation orders made by Minister under previous Act

90 Persons ordered to leave New Zealand pursuant to Order in Council under previous Act

Part 4
Deportation of criminal offenders

91 Deportation of holders of residence permits following conviction

92 Deportation of exempt persons following conviction

93 No deportation order after certain lapse of time

93A Right of victims to make submissions on making of deportation order

94 Certain matters to be specified in deportation order

95 Currency of deportation order

96 Service of deportation order

97 Arrest of person subject to deportation order

98 Person not in custody may be subject to residence and reporting requirements pending deportation

99 Powers of District Court Judge in relation to deportee in custody

100 Persons detained pursuant to warrant of commitment

101 Persons not detained pursuant to warrant of commitment to be released on conditions pending deportation

102 Form of custody

103 Deportation Review Tribunal

104 Appeals to Tribunal against deportation orders

105 Tribunal may quash deportation order

105A Right of victims to make submissions on appeal

106 Deportation order not to be executed pending appeal, etc

107 Procedure where appeal successful

108 Execution of deportation order where deportee in custody pursuant to warrant of commitment

109 Execution of deportation order where deportee serving sentence in prison

110 Execution of deportation order where deportee not in custody

111 Permit deemed cancelled where holder deported

Transitional provisions

112 Deportation order not to be made in certain cases

113 Deportation orders made under previous Act

114 Members of Deportation Review Tribunal

Part 4A
Special procedures in cases involving security concerns

114A Object of Part

114B Definitions

114C Relevant security criteria

114D Director of Security may provide Minister with security risk certificate

114E Minister may require oral briefing from Director on contents of certificate

114F Effect of certificate

114G Effect where Minister makes preliminary decision to rely on certificate

114H Rights of person in respect of whom security risk certificate given and relied on

114I Review of certificate

114J Result of review

114K Effect of confirmation of certificate, or failure to seek review

114L Resumption of normal immigration processes where certificate not confirmed on review, or certificate or Ministerial notice withdrawn

114M Withdrawal of security risk certificate by Director

114N Minister may withdraw notice, or decline to use certificate

114O Warrant of commitment in security cases

114P Appeal on point of law from decision of Inspector-General

114Q Prohibition on removal or deportation of refugee status claimant

114R Minister to report annually on cases under this Part

Part 5

From the Residence Review Board and the Removal Review Authority

115 Appeal against decision of Residence Review Board on question of law

115A Appeal against decision of Removal Review Authority on question of law

116 Appeal to Court of Appeal by leave

From the Tribunal

117 Right of appeal

118 Notice of appeal

119 Right to appear and be heard on appeals

120 Orders relating to determination of appeals

121 Dismissal of appeal

122 Appeal in respect of additional points of law

123 Extension of time

124 Date of hearing

Part 6
Arrivals and departures

125AA Responsibilities of carrier, and person in charge, of commercial craft before it departs from another country to travel to New Zealand

125AB Chief executive may make decision about person boarding craft for purpose of travelling to New Zealand

125AC Offences relating to non-compliance with decision made by chief executive under section 125AB

125AD Person to whom section 125AA applies must provide further information if requested, and must provide access to further information

125AE Offence relating to failure to provide information, or failure to provide access to information, under section 125AD

125 Responsibilities of carrier and person in charge of any craft en route to New Zealand

126 Responsibilities of persons arriving in or leaving New Zealand

126A Responsibilities of internationally ticketed passengers travelling by air within New Zealand

126B Responsibilities of domestic passengers travelling by air within New Zealand

127 Special provisions relating to persons returning to New Zealand in emergency or other circumstances beyond their control

128 Detention and departure of persons refused permits, etc

128AA Detained person may be conditionally released from detention in certain cases

128AB Conditions

128AC Breach of condition or failure to deliver oneself up to immigration officer

128AD Cancellation of order for conditional release

128A Procedure under section 128 if review proceedings, etc, brought

128B Detention of persons whose eligibility for permit is not immediately ascertainable

129 Transit passengers

Part 6A
Refugee determinations

129A Object of this Part

129B Definitions

129C Refugee status to be determined under this Part

129D Refugee Convention to apply

Claims for refugee status

129E Claim to be determined by refugee status officer

129F Functions of officers considering claims

129G How claim made and handled

129H Powers of refugee status officers

129I Decisions on claims

129J Limitation on subsequent claims for refugee status

129K Claim not to be accepted from holder of residence permit or New Zealand citizen

Additional functions of refugee status officers in relation to continuation, etc, of refugee status

129L Additional functions of refugee status officers

129M Procedures to be followed in carrying out additional functions

Appeals to Refugee Status Appeals Authority

129N Refugee Status Appeals Authority

129O Appeals to Refugee Status Appeals Authority

129P Procedure on appeal

129Q Decisions of Authority

Functions of Authority otherwise than on appeals

129R Functions of Authority in relation to continuation, etc, of refugee status

129S Procedures to be followed in carrying out non-appellate functions

General provisions relating to claims, etc

129T Confidentiality to be maintained

129U Special provision relating to refugee status claimants granted temporary permits

129V Effect of claimant leaving New Zealand

129W Immigration matters not within functions of refugee status officers and Authority

129X Prohibition on removal or deportation of refugee or refugee status claimant

129Y Regulations

Claims and appeals completed before 1 October 1999

129Z Completed claims and appeals may not be challenged

Transitional provisions

129ZA Uncompleted claims and appeals

129ZB Continuation of membership of Refugee Status Appeals Authority

Part 7
Miscellaneous provisions

129ZC During epidemic courts may deal with certain matters on basis of documents only

129ZD Modification during epidemic of requirements to bring people before court

129ZE During epidemic certain warrants and extensions to have effect for 28 days

129ZF Application of section 128AB during epidemic

129ZG Calculation of consecutive period of detention for purposes of section 60(7)

130 Special directions

131 Delegation of powers of Minister

132 Minister may approve forms

133 Immigration officers

133A Designation of officers, etc, by chief executive

134 Arrests by members of Police

135 Member of Police may seek assistance

136 Powers of immigration officer to require information and production of documents where offence suspected

137 Powers of entry and search

138 Powers of entry and inspection

138A Power to require surrender of documents from suspected person

139 Police to have powers of immigration officers

140 Special provisions relating to custody

140A Additional provisions relating to custody in approved premises

141 Special powers of member of Police pending removal or deportation

141AA Disclosure of information overseas

141AB Information that may be disclosed

141AC Disclosure of immigration information for Corrections purposes

141AD Interpretation

141AE Disclosure of immigration information for fines enforcement purposes

141AF No Crown liability to third parties for fines enforcement action

141AG Chief executive of Department of Labour may supply information concerning specified fines defaulters to commercial carriers

141A Disclosure of immigration information

141ABA Disclosure of information to employers

141B Children to have responsible adult to represent their interests, etc

141C Role and rights of responsible adult

141D Views of minor to be considered

142 Offences

143 Evidence in proceedings

144 General penalty for offences

145 Procedural provisions relating to offences

146 Service of notices, etc

146A Special provisions relating to judicial review of decisions under this Act

147 Administration of Act

148 Costs of removal, deportation, or repatriation

148A Fees

148B Bonds

148C Other charges

149 Exemptions and refunds

149A Immigrant Resettlement and Research Fund

149B Migrant levy

149C Purpose of section 149D

149D Relationship between this Act and Human Rights Act 1993

150 Regulations

151 Amendments and repeals

Schedule 1
Departments and bodies from whom information may be required

Schedule 2
Provisions relating to Deportation Review Tribunal

Schedule 3
Procedural provisions

Schedule 3A
Provisions relating to Residence Review Board

Schedule 3B
Provisions relating to Removal Review Authority

Schedule 3C
Provisions relating to Refugee Status Appeals Authority

Schedule 4
Enactments amended

Schedule 5
Enactments repealed

Schedule 6
Convention relating to the status of refugees

Reprint notes

An Act generally to reform the law relating to immigration, and in particular to remove the need for persons who are in New Zealand unlawfully to be dealt with by way of criminal prosecution