I'll head to New Zealand as I don't need a visa to travel there. I'm persecuted in my home country and after having enough (really enough) I'm leaving soon. I'll enter New Zealand by airport.

Can I claim asylum after I leave the airport in New Zealand?

I'm worried that if I file my asylum case at the airport I might not represent my case appropriately; I need legal assistance for that. Is it okay if I file for asylum once I leave the airport or must I file for asylum within the airport?

  • 1
    You're asking two questions here, which are related but not the same. "Does New Zealand have a third-country agreement similar to that of Canada?" should be asked separately.
    – user4657
    Oct 24, 2016 at 21:58
  • A document about asylum in New Zealand Page 4 mentions that if you could get protection at home or in a third country, NZ is not obligated to protect you.
    – mkennedy
    Oct 25, 2016 at 21:27
  • 1
    I tried to look for the so called third countries! I didn't see anything, where's the list for third-countries? Even immigration Act 2009 says so, but what are those countries?
    – dkei
    Oct 26, 2016 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


Immigration reports that "You can claim asylum when you arrive at an airport or seaport in New Zealand by telling an immigration official or a member of the Police. You may hire a Licensed Immigration Adviser or lawyer to help you argue your claim". That means you ma when you entery, or you may wait until you've contacted an attorney. Making the claim and arguing it are not the same thing, and you are certainly allowed to get an attorney to help you frame the argument. They also say "The Refugee Status Branch (RSB) will process your claim. INZ won’t deport anyone while their claim is being processed. RSB will assign your claim to a refugee and protection officer (RPO). The RPO tries to decide your claim within 140 days from when you lodged it."This page details the Refugee Claimant Visitor Visa (which may not be relevant, but visa waivers are for short stays), and there is a booklet here on asylum claims.

There does not seem to be any safe country third party agreement.

  • Do you recommend me to file asylum before contacting a lawyer? I'm thinking to first contact a lawyer and then file my asylum case.I'm just not sure where to file the asylum at airport or after I enter New Zealand.
    – dkei
    Oct 25, 2016 at 7:06
  • 3
    One never makes recommendations here. You need to contact a lawyer to get advice about when to contact a lawyer.
    – user6726
    Oct 25, 2016 at 15:37

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