Tribunal orders Immigration Dept to re-assess Tongan man’s religious worker application

'Oku taupotu i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

The New Zealand Immigration Tribunal has ordered the Immigration Department to re-assess an application for residence by a Tongan man who had previously held a religious workers visa.

The appellant first arrived in New Zealand in 1995 as a visitor and continued to visit on many occasions in the following years. From June 2014 to June 2018, the appellant held a series Religious Worker visas and worked as a minister and church administrator.

The Tongan man had held several religious worker visas but his application, which included his 48-year-old wife, and his two children, aged 17 and 19, who are also Tongan citizens.

Immigration New Zealand declined the application because the church was judged not to be compliant with New Zealand employment law. As a result, the church was not in a position to meet its sponsorship obligations.

The Tribunal found Immigration New Zealand was incorrect to conclude that the appellant was an employee and consequently that the church was not compliant with New Zealand employment law.

It referred the man’s application back to Immigration New Zealand for a correct assessment in terms of the applicable residence instructions and the Tribunal’s directions.

The Tribunal ordered that the application be reassessed by an Immigration New Zealand officer not previously associated with the application.

Immigration New Zealand has been ordered to invite the appellant to apply for a further work visa (Religious Worker) should he choose to do so.

It is to inform the appellant that there is no guarantee that such a visa will be granted.

“If the appellant makes such an application, Immigration New Zealand shall determine the work visa (Religious Worker) application before proceeding to determine his Residence from Work application,” the Tribunal ruled.

“In determining whether to grant the appellant a visa, Immigration New Zealand shall take into account fairness requirements, namely, that due to the passage of time and through no fault of the appellant’s he became ineligible for another work visa.

“If the appellant is granted a further work visa (Religious Worker), Immigration New Zealand shall then proceed to determine the appellant’s Residence from Work application.

“Immigration New Zealand shall determine whether the church is an acceptable sponsor.

“The appellant is reminded that the onus is on him to provide Immigration New Zealand with such information and evidence as he wishes it to consider in support of his application.

“The appellant is to understand that the success of this appeal does not guarantee that his application will be successful, only that it will be subject to reassessment by Immigration New Zealand.”

The main points

  • The New Zealand Immigration Tribunal has ordered the Immigration Department to re-assess an application for residence by a Tongan man who had previously held a religious workers visa.
  • The appellant first arrived in New Zealand in 1995 as a visitor and continued to visit on many occasions in the following years.
  • His application, which included his 48-year-old wife, and his two children, aged 17 and 19, who are also Tongan citizens.

1 COMMENT

  1. Kuo tu’utu’uni ‘a e tulaipiunolo ‘a e ‘Imikuleisini ‘a Nu’u Sila’ ki he Potungaue ‘Imikuleisini’ ke toe sivi’i e tohi kole ke nofofonua ha tangata Tonga ne ‘uluaki foaki ha’ane visa ngaue fakalotu.

    Na’e ‘uluaki tū’uta ‘i Nu’u Sila ‘i he 1995 ha ‘a e tangata’ ni ‘i ha visa ‘eve’eva pea hokohoko atu ai pe ‘ene ‘a’ahi mai ‘i ha ngaahi me’a ne fai ‘i he ngaahi ta’u ki mui ai’.

    Ko ‘ene kole visa na’e fakakau ai ‘a hono uaifi ta’u 48 mo ‘ene ongo tamaiki ‘e ua ta’u 17 mo e ta’u 19.

    Na’e foaki ha’ane visa ngāue fakalotu ‘i he 2014 ki he 2018 ‘o ne ngāue fakafaifekau ai ‘i Nu’u Sila ni ka ‘i he fakahu atu ‘ene kole nofo fonua kau ai hono mali mo ‘ene fanau na’e ‘ikai tali ia ‘e he ‘Imikuleisini ‘a Nu’u Sila’.

    Na’e tu’unga ‘eni he pehē ‘e he ‘Imi’ ko e siasi ne tu’unga ai e kole nofo ‘a e tangata’ ni na’e ‘ikai muimui ia ki he lao fakangāue ‘a Nu’u Sila.

    Ka ki he Tulaipiunolo, na’e hala e tu’utu’uni ia ko ‘eni pea ne fekau atu ai ki he ‘imi’ ke toe vakai’i fo’ou e tohi kole ‘a e tangata’.

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