Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI letter)

Did you apply for a residence or temporary visa for New Zealand and suddenly receive a letter from an immigration officer? The letter is likely to be a PPI letter asking you to provide further information about your visa application.

While being sent this letter does not mean that your visa application will be refused, failure to respond to the letter may lead to a refusal. At this stage, the officer is concerned with some aspect of your application and is inviting you to comment and perhaps provide additional evidence to address their concerns.

What does PPI stand for, and what is a PPI letter?

PPI stands for ‘Potentially Prejudicial Information’. It is a letter that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) sends to some visa applicants to request further information before a decision is made. The purpose of the letter is to give the applicant a fair opportunity to address any doubts or concerns that an immigration officer may have when reviewing their visa application.

What constitutes potentially prejudicial information will depend on whether your application was submitted from onshore (inside New Zealand) or offshore (outside of New Zealand). Whether you applied from onshore or offshore therefore affects whether INZ will send you a PPI letter or reject your application.

Onshore Applications

For onshore applicants, potentially prejudicial information is information or material that will or may adversely affect the outcome of an application.

Offshore Applications

For offshore applicants, potentially prejudicial information is information or material that:

  1. was not obtained from the applicant or the applicant’s authorised representative or agent; and
  2. is not publicly available, or the applicant is not necessarily aware of; and
  3. will or may adversely affect the outcome of an application; and
  4. the applicant has not previously had an opportunity to comment on.

The definition of potentially prejudicial information for offshore applicants is a lot narrower than the definition of potentially prejudicial information for onshore applications. If your application was made offshore, and you do not meet all of the above criteria (a-d), you will not be given a chance to comment on the visa application. Your visa application is instead likely to be refused outright.

Why did I receive a PPI letter?

A PPI letter is issued by INZ when the case officer is concerned about one or more aspects of your visa application. There are many potential reasons for an officer to issue a PPI letter, including:

  • doubts about your intentions to remain in New Zealand
  • health concerns
  • character issues
  • insufficient proof of employment
  • uncertainties around the accuracy or authenticity of documentation provided to support your application
What should I do when I receive a PPI letter?

The appropriate response to a PPI letter will vary according to what specific information or comments have been requested by the case officer. The best approach is usually to write a response which directly addresses the concerns which the case officer has raised.

Your response should be clear, concise and complete, and supported by any additional evidence or documentation that can substantiate your argument. Note that an immigration officer does not have an obligation to ensure that you have provided them with all relevant information before they reach a post-PPI letter decision, so it is essential to make sure your response is as robust as possible to avoid the possibility of further delays or your application being refused.

Mohamed Anas Sirajur Raheem

BA (Political Studies), LLB (VUW)

Mohamed is an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, specializing in immigration law.

He is a former New Zealand Immigration Officer (Visa Services) and Border Officer at Auckland International Airport. He has several years of experience working in various Government Departments in New Zealand and has also worked as a Licensed Immigration Adviser at a prominent New Zealand Immigration firm.

His areas of expertise and interest are in the fields of General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work (Long and Short Stay), Business visas, Partner, Parent and Child Visa streams.

Mohamed was inspired to pursue a career in immigration by his own migration experiences. Over the years he has assisted individuals, families, large corporations, Professional sportspeople, and Entertainers (singers, speakers, and actors) to come to New Zealand.

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