New Zealand has ratified the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
You must submit a request in writing and the Refugee Status Branch processes the claim. While yopur claim is being processed, you will not be deported. A refugee and protection officer will attempt to resolve your claim within 140 days.
Refugee is defined as one who is outside of her home country or country of habitual residence, faces a real chance of harm if returned ot that country, the harm faced is an ongoing breach of a fundamental human right or is based upon who she is or what she believes (race, religionm, nationality, political views, etc.), and needs and deserves protection in New Zealand.
The process is roughly as follows: file your original claim (forms available on the website of the Ministry of Justice). One for each family member. Once referred to the Refugee Status Branch, you will need to submit a written statement explaining the experiences and circumstances that form the basis of your refugee status claim. About 4 weeks later, youll be invited to an interview with the Refugee and Protection Officer. You need correct documents as to your identity and under New Zealands Section 135 of its Refugee Act, you must provie all information and form your case as to why you deserve and need asylum. Examples of useful documents to bring include: passport, ID cards, birth certficates, marriage certificates, school and military ID cards. If documents are in another language, you will need certified translations of them. Within 3 weeks of this interview, youll be issued the Interview Report, written by the officer, and you will have three weeks to comment on that and submit more documentation, if necessary. The officer assesses whether your statemtents are truthful and credible and whether your claim meets the criteria contained in Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention or if you are eligible for protected person status (see below). If accepted, you will be able to apply for permanent resident status and remain in New Zealand. If you are unsuccessful, you are required to leave.
Please visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/audiences/supporting-refugees-and-asylum-seekers/asylum-seekers for more comprehensive information and requirements.
Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention merely restates the definition of a refugee, roughly stating that if, due to race, religion, nationality, etc., are outside the country of your nationality and are unable to or, owing to such fear, are unwilling to avail yourself of the protection of that country. It does note that one will not be considered “lacking protection of the country of nationality if, without any valid reason based on well0founded fear, he has not availed himself of the protection of one of the countries of which he is a national.”
Finally, should your circumstances not be fit for asylum, you may consider seeking protection uner the United Nations Convention Against Torture (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-apply-convention-against-torture-protection.html). The requirements to meet are higher than for asylum and the relief is more limited, but if you qualify, the country must admit you and certain things that would bar you from being granted asylum, wont bar you from being granted protected status. One example of a bar to refugee status is being “firmly resettled” in another country, for example. To quality for CAT protection, you have to show that it is “more likely than not” that you would be subjected to torture if returned to the country you are fleeing. The CAT defines torture as any “intentionanal unlawful infliction of severe (physical or mental) suffering or pain, with consent of a public official, for purposes such as punishment, obtaining a confession, intimidation, or discrimination.” Torture must be done by your government, or at the request of your government, or with permission of your government.
Relevant items to show to prove your case under CAT are specific types of torture you fear you will suffer if forced to return, what types you have already suffered if you have, what types your family or friends have suffered if they have, and how the government has tortured other people similar to you, if they have. Keep in mind, while past torture may be a deciding factor for asylum, it is not for CAT. The CAT is forward-looking, therefore, you must demonstrate what you fear will happen to you if sent back, not what has already happened.