Did immigration grant you 1 year open job search visa instead of 3 year job search visa?

Ms Sandhu contacted our office after being granted a 1 year open job search visa. She believed she was eligible for a 3 year open visa and not 1 year open visa. After our effort, INZ extend or reissue Ms Sandhu’s visa to reflect a three-year duration.

Ms Sandhu contacted our office after being granted a 1 year open job search visa. She believed she was eligible for a 3 year open visa and not 1 year open visa.

Background Facts:

Ms Sandhu had made an application from India to study in NZ before 8 August 2018. On completion of her study Ms Sandhu was issued a Student Visa to study English Language studies, Level 4. On finishing her English Level 4 study she was granted a student visa to complete her Business Diploma. In 2019, she then applied for her 3-year Post Study Open Work Visa after completing her Business Diploma.

INZ refused to grant Ms Sandhu a 3-year Post Study Open Work Visa. According to INZ, she is entitled to a 1-year Post Study Open Work Visa only.

What we did:

We filed a complaint under INZ’s Complaints and Feedback Process. We argued that INZ made a procedural error in refusing to grant her a 3-year Post Study Open Work Visa.

Our complaint was dismissed. INZ insisted that its immigration officer did not commit a procedural error in issuing a 1-year visa only.

We brought our complaint to the notice of the Office of Ombudsman. The Office of Ombudsman reviewed our complaint and decided to investigate it.

Today, we are happy to announce that in the opinion of the Office of Ombudsman, INZ acted unreasonably in granting Ms Sandhu a visa for a period of one year. The Office of Ombudsman recommended that INZ extend or reissue Ms Sandhu’s visa to reflect a three-year duration. The Office of Ombudsman directed INZ should amend the Immigration Instructions and VisaPak.

We would like to thank Ms Sandhu for pursuing this matter. The Ombudsman’s finding and recommendation that she is eligible for a three-year visa benefits many other similarly-situated applicants. Over the last few months our office has been contacted by many applicants who have been disadvantaged by INZ’s error as they have been granted a 1 year open job search visa instead of a 3 years open job search visa. We are positive this news will bring much relieve to applicants who should have been granted a 3 year open job search visa.

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