­­Two recent, but very different cases have brought the attention to the importance of being honest when applying for a visa.

The first case was from two people, both from Fiji, who applied separately for a resident visa based on their relationship with a New Zealand citizen. The woman was granted citizenship but the man’s application raised some flags.

After an investigation it became clear that although both people were married to a New Zealand citizen they never had lived together (more or less compulsory for a resident visa to be granted). In fact, the man and woman involved were in a relationship with each other. Both man and woman are sentenced; he got 20 months imprisonment, she got 12 months home detention.

The second case applies to Kim Dot Com (internet mogul). He allegedly failed to mention with his resident application that he was convicted (in New Zealand) for dangerous driving. Immigration New Zealand is investigating the case and if found true Kim Dot Com might be deported from the country.

All too often people ‘forget’ to mention convictions or medical conditions on their application or to their adviser (who subsequently cannot complete the application form correctly).

Yes, it is true that a conviction or a medical condition might impact your chances of being granted a visa. And for short term temporary visa applications Immigration New Zealand often does not require police certificates or medical certificates.

All applications are saved electronically these days. So everything that you have put on an application form in the past is recorded. Any subsequent visa application you make will be checked against previous ones that you submitted. Did you list the same family members, the same jobs etc? The same applies to medical conditions and convictions. So a conviction for Driving Under Influence that you did not mention on a visitor visa application but did exist when you applied for the visa may come back to haunt you when you apply for a work visa and you do tell about it on the application form.

It is even worse if you do not mention the medical condition or the conviction but it does show up on your Medical Certificate or Police Certificate.
Immigration will view this a providing false or misleading information. This is ground for declining a visa.

A medical condition or conviction does not mean  your visa will be declined. Some conditions or convictions are considered minor and will not be an issue, others might be but there might be good reasons why Immigration New Zealand should grant you the visa anyway. Your adviser will be able to help with a submission as why you should be granted a visa despite your medical condition or your conviction(s).

Be honest! Even about the drink driving conviction from 10 years ago. Or the time when you were young and foolish and worked without having a work visa and you were deported.