Statutory Obligations When Seeking Refugee Status

Jun 9, 2022

Subject to certain statutory obligations under the Immigration Act 2009 (the Act), the law in New Zealand requires that a person must first be recognised as a Refugee. Second, a person must fear returning to their own country. These first two steps have developed overtime through the common law and have been used as an aid by the Tribunal when the issue concerns whether New Zealand will recognise them as “refugees or protected persons”. Statutory obligations for a person seeking refugee status are determined by the Court and a lawyer is your best option for helping with this step.

A person seeking refugee status must show that they fear being seriously harmed or tortured or that they risk inhuman or degrading punishment if they return to their country. It must be due to such fear that the person cannot or is unwilling to utilise the protection of the country of nationality.

The burden lays on the client to point to evidence that leaving their country is the only alternative. This includes all areas of the country often referred to as an “Internal protection alternative”.


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