IA (Skilled Migrant) [2019] NZIPT 205340

IPT decision 205340 published on the Ministry of Justice website is summarised below for educational purposes.

  • The appellant, a Fijian citizen and carpenter, had his residence application declined due to character concerns stemming from a 2004 assault conviction and a 2015 driving offense.
  • INZ's assessment was questioned by the IPT, particularly regarding the weight given to the non-disclosure of the 2004 conviction and the interpretation of police call-outs.
  • The IPT found the waiver assessment flawed and referred the application back to INZ for reassessment.


The appellant, a 41-year-old Fijian citizen, applied for New Zealand residence under the Skilled Migrant Category on 27 January 2017, citing his employment as a carpenter. His application disclosed a 2015 conviction for driving without a license. Further checks revealed a 2004 conviction in Fiji for "assault occasioning actual bodily harm."

Prior to Appeal

In May 2017, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) raised concerns about the appellant's character, particularly the 2004 conviction. The appellant responded, asserting that he had forgotten about the conviction. INZ questioned the credibility of his explanation and, in November 2017, declined his application, citing concerns with his employer. The appellant appealed, and in June 2018, the Tribunal directed that his application be reassessed.

Immigration New Zealand Assessment

Upon reassessment, INZ focused on the appellant's 2004 and 2015 convictions and his failure to disclose the 2004 conviction. INZ also raised concerns about police call-outs for family violence incidents involving the appellant. These factors led INZ to question the appellant’s character and his eligibility for a character waiver.

Immigration New Zealand Decision

In November 2018, INZ declined the appellant's residence application, stating he did not meet the good character requirements and was not granted a character waiver.

IPT Assessment

The IPT found that INZ did not properly consider the character waiver, particularly in relation to the non-disclosure of the 2004 conviction. The IPT disagreed with INZ's view that the appellant had a propensity for violence, noting the lack of charges against him and the nature of the police call-outs. It was also noted that the 2015 driving offense did not justify a character concern under immigration instructions.

Special Circumstances

No special circumstances were specifically discussed in this context.

IPT Determination

The IPT concluded that INZ's decision to decline the residence application was incorrect. The Tribunal emphasised that non-disclosure of the 2004 conviction was not a valid reason for determining the appellant was not of good character, and the evidence did not establish a propensity for violence. The IPT canceled INZ's decision and referred the application back for a correct assessment.

author headshot Michael Yoon
Last modified on 31 January 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.
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