Updates to the Business Visa, Character Issues and Medical Waiver

Wednesday July 19, 2017

Bradley So is a senior solicitor at Queen City Law and he manages the immigration team. He graduated from the University of Auckland with an LLB/BCom degree in 2008. Bradley specialises in Business Migration, Foreign Investments and Commercial Law. He has represented a number of Ultra High Net Worth individuals under the Investor Programme. To date such Queen City Law clients have invested well in excess of $100,000,000 in our economy. He aims to provide a one stop shop for business and investor migrants.

Bradley So

In particular, he assists with ensuring compliance with the Overseas Investment Office, conducting due diligence on the commercial transaction, drafting commercial agreements, structuring the investment to ensure compliance with the investor programme in NZ. He works closely with Marcus with a view to add value to his client's specific needs. He has excellent relationship with other professionals including major banks, accountants, investment bankers, property developers and asset managers. His excellent communication and listening skills are some of his many strengths that enable him to connect well with others and gain valuable client insight.

Bradley is a regular presenter on business migration based issues. He has presented on a number of seminars and conferences in NZ and outside of NZ. He is a regular presenter at the Annual Immigration Law Conference in the last 3 years.

You can hear more from Bradley at Immigration Law Intensive: Key Changes seminar, being held on Thursday 21 September at Stamford Plaza Auckland.

He joined Ashleigh Tesluk of Legalwise Seminars to discuss issues about Immigration law.

You can find the full Q&A below.

What are some of the key trends in the Immigration law sector that are having an impact right now and why?

Migrant Investment

The most recent changes to the Migrant Investment category has reduced the number of EOI being submitted under the Investor 2 category. On 29 June 2017, there was only one EOI selected from the  pool even though up to 25 applications with the highest point value can be selected at a time. Given the key changes to the Investor Migrant programme it is anticipated that there will be some uncertainty on how much points will need to be claimed in order to be selected from the pool.

Entrepreneur Work Visa Category

Between January and May 2017, the approval rate under the Entrepreneur Work Visa (Interim) category was less than 50%.  Accordingly, it seems that the requirement under the immigration instruction is either too high or it does not reflect the commercial realities in the market.

What are some mistakes you see people make from time to time in relation to Business Visas?

Some common mistakes are largely based on information.  A common example we see is when a Business Plan is lacking in details and specific information in the business plan. Supporting evidence to confirm business experience and lawful earnings are also common pieces of information that applicants tend to overlook. We have also seen cases when the utilisation of capital investment has not been specified in enough detail or the applicant has extravagant, unrealistic forecasts for the endeavour.

What’s one tip for avoiding risks when dealing with character issues?

Make no assumptions! You must always double check with the applicant whether they have ever been in trouble with the law in any country.  To do this you must also have a clear understanding of what “triggers” character issues so that you can inform the applicant. Understanding the “mens rea” requirement (the intention or knowledge or wrongdoing that constitutes part of the a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused) in the context of providing false and misleading information or withholding material information.

Are there any implications of Medical Waivers that you think some practitioners may overlook or not fully consider?

Some Practitioners may overlook or fail to consider:

1. The difference in an acceptable standard of health thresholds for Temporary and Residence Class Visas.  The threshold for acceptable standard of health for a temporary visa is lower than those for a residence visa (see A4.15.1 definition of the Operational Manual).

2. The importance of requesting for a medical waiver assessment.  It is good practice to always request a copy of the medical waiver assessment and thoroughly review as there could be a flaw. If an application is declined on the basis that the applicant does not meet health instructions the information contained in the medical waiver assessment will be important in making an appeal or complaint.  As part of the presentation we will cover some of the basic tell-tale signs that a medical assessment was conducted incorrectly.

3. It is also possible that some practitioners overlook the most practical way to structure an application in anticipation of medical issues.

 Are there any Immigration law issues coming in the future that you think practitioners/Advisors should keep on their radar?

It is our belief that practitioners and advisors should be aware of the changes of the definition of “Export” and “High Growth”.



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