Review these unique case studies on our clients’ complex immigration issues and the successful work of our Immigration Lawyer and Licensed Immigration Advisers. Finding solutions to unique situations and presenting strong legal arguments is what we do best.

The Kiwi Bloke Who Discovered He Was In Fact English     

John grew up in Kaitaia where he went to Primary school and then went on to High school in Gisborne when his family moved down there. He was reared with the surf in his blood and loved fishing and hunting and played rugby for his local club. He was a typical all-round Kiwi bloke. He got married young in the mid-1980s and had three children with his wife Jenny.


Around the beginning of 2010 they moved to Tauranga and life couldn’t have been better until something strange happened. John discovered that he wasn’t in fact a Kiwi at all, he was an Englishman… a POM!

He made the discovery when he had an accident at work and needed to go to Tauranga Hospital where they check all patient’s immigration status on admission. Lo and behold, John wasn’t just a Pom he was an unlawful Pom! He had no visa whatsoever to be in New Zealand and could have been liable for deportation.

He arrived at our office with feelings of shock and panic. Mr Burke quickly put him at ease while discovering that the issue was with his parents who were originally from the UK and arrived here in the 1970s but neglected to apply for a visa for John.


After further research and gathering of evidence in support of the case, Mr Burke put together a powerful request to the Minister of Immigration which ultimately resulted in John being granted a resident’s class visa, after being here for almost 40 years.

The Punjabi Gentleman Almost Bundled onto a Plane Back to India    

Access NZ, through its founding partner, Ned Burke, has always had a close connection with the Tauranga criminal bar. It was through that connection that Mr Singh became a client of our office.


Barrister Glenn Dixon represented Mr Singh in a trial involving serious assault charges. After a one-week trial, the jury returned a not guilty verdict on all counts. During the trial, however, Mr Dixon became concerned for Mr Singh’s immigration status particularly when he learned that immigration officials were paying close attention to the trial.

He consulted Mr Burke of Access NZ. We discovered then that Immigration New Zealand had refused to grant Mr Singh a visa on a previous application resulting in him becoming unlawful and becoming liable for deportation around the same day that the jury returned its not guilty verdict. Suspecting what was about to happen, Mr Burke prepared papers for filing with the High Court.



Shortly after the not guilty verdict was read and as Mr Singh was leaving the court room, he was arrested by immigration officials and served with a deportation order. Once informed of the arrest, we immediately filed High Court Judicial review proceedings alleging, amongst other things, bad faith by the immigration officials and demanding our client’s release from custody.


In New Zealand we don’t usually associate Thai ladies with driving massive earth moving machinery, but that is exactly what Karina did for many years without any visa.

She originally arrived here on a visitor visa in the late 1990s and was horribly exploited by fellow nationals in Auckland. She became a slave working in restaurants around Auckland where the employer held her passport and paid her little or no money for her work. When she complained she was abused and threatened with deportation. Her life, however, was about to change for the better.

Dean from Taupo loves Thailand. He’s been there many times and can even speak the language. He never misses a chance to discover their culture and that is why he was at the Thai festival in Auckland in 2011 where he met his future wife, Karina. It wasn’t long before he was showing her how to do the work he does as a roading contractor, driving heavy machinery and says, “she was a natural at it”. She did this for years. All was not bliss however, as they both knew that her visa issue could destroy everything so they contacted Access NZ.

When Dean came to see us, he said, “I know this is not an easy case and if she can’t get a visa I will sell up and move with her to Thailand”. From lengthy interviews with Karina and Dean, her friends and associates in Auckland, we slowly pieced together a narrative that became more and more compelling.


We filed a special request with Immigration New Zealand under Section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 arguing that this was a special case, and a visa should be granted. It was indeed granted, which made way for Karina to apply for permanent residency. Fairy-tale ending, with a lot of hard work and empathy for a migrant who had been treated badly for almost a decade!

The Man Who “Forgot” To Include His Wife In His Residency Application     

Michael, a proud recent citizen of New Zealand, turned up at our office late one winter’s day with an embarrassed look about him.

The reason for his embarrassment was that his wife of nine years had just discovered that she had no immigration status in New Zealand having been here all that time. She discovered this while preparing her own application for citizenship. Michael’s explanation was that he simply “forgot to include her” in his application for residency which he did himself nine years earlier.


What followed was a series of applications first to Immigration New Zealand, then to the Minister of Immigration and the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, and then back to the Minister of Immigration again, before finally getting a resident’s class visa issued by Immigration New Zealand.

Michael was appreciative of the way we managed the file. It was all done in an atmosphere of calm reassurance, as if we were simply correcting a minor administrative error on the part of the immigration authorities in not issuing a residency class visa many years previously. If only it were that simple! Nonetheless we achieved this feat for Michael.


The Nepali Fairy-Tale Love Story Almost Crushed By Immigration NZ    

We all seem to be easily won over by a good love story, and few are as endearing as that of Dawa and Soma.

From the foothills of the Annapurna’s in Nepal they came hand in hand young, beautiful, equal in age and ambition to do great things with their lives together in New Zealand. Childhood sweethearts setting out on a fairy-tale story. A fairy-tale story that started with the tragedy of the earthquake in Kathmandu which resulted in them getting visas to come and study in New Zealand.

Initially they both did brilliantly, studying health care and a clear pathway to residency lay ahead for them. Then tragedy struck.

One-night, Dawa got drunk at a party and drove home only to be stopped by police. He blew well over the legal limit and was served with a summons to attend court. The potential for this event to destroy their plans was obvious. A conviction would make him liable for deportation. Worse than that, because of the legislation and the fact that he was on a temporary visa, he didn’t even need to be convicted.

The matter was referred to our office by a local law firm not familiar with immigration. At our first meeting it was crystal clear that this was a young couple who could hardly bear to be apart from each other for a minute and to whom the prospect of being separated by deportation was beyond cruel.


We, therefore, agreed to take on their case and so began the lengthy process of first defending Dawa in court and then going in to bat for him against Immigration New Zealand. A tactical retreat was necessary at one point where Dawa returned briefly to Nepal. We succeeded in getting clearance from the Minister of Immigration for him to return to New Zealand and then we took up the cudgels for them again on his return.

They are now living a happy-ever-after life in the South Island, surrounded by snow-capped mountains that some days remind them of their early lives in the Annapurna Ranges.