Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI letter)

Did you apply for a residence or temporary visa for New Zealand and suddenly received a letter from an immigration officer? The letter is likely to be a PPI letter from the officer asking you to provide further information about your visa application.

While the letter is not a refusal of your visa application, failure to respond to the letter may lead to a refusal. At this stage, the officer is concerned with your application and is inviting you to comment and provide evidence regarding their concerns.

So, what does PPI stands for, and what is a PPI letter?

PPI stands for ‘Potentially Prejudicial Information’.  It is a letter that the Immigration Department (INZ) send to visa applicants to request for further information. The purpose of the letter is to give the applicant nature justice and fairness. Denying an application without giving the applicant a chance to explain would not be fair and reasonable. However, what constitutes potentially prejudicial information? Depending on if you apply onshore or offshore, the definition is different, and thus it will affect whether INZ will send you a PPI letter or reject your application.

Onshore Applications

For onshore applicants, potentially prejudicial information is factual or material that will or may adversely affect the outcome of an application.

Offshore Applications

For offshore applicants, potentially prejudicial information is factual or material that:

  1. as not obtained from the applicant or the applicant’s authorised representative or agent; and
  2. is not publicly available, or that the applicant is not necessarily aware of; and
  3. will or may adversely affect the outcome of an application; and
  4. the applicant has not previously had an opportunity to comment on.

The definition of potentially prejudicial information for offshore applicants is a lot narrower than the definition of potentially prejudicial information for onshore applications. If your application is made offshore, and you do not meet all the above criteria (a-d), you will not be given a chance to comment on the visa application. Your visa is likely to be outright refused.

Why did I receive a PPI letter?

As discussed, PPI letter is issued INZ when the officer is concerned about an aspect or aspects of your visa application. There are many potential reasons for an officer to issue a PPI letter. These include:

  • Genuine intention to stay in New Zealand
  • Health concerns
  • Character issues
  • Proof of employment
  • Uncertainties around the genuineness of documents provided
What should I do when I receive a PPI letter?

Depending on the request of the letter, the response to the PPI letter may vary. However, it is generally best to write a submission to address the concerns of the officer. The submission should be clear, concise, and complete. There should also be evidence to substantiate your claims. An officer does not have an obligation to ensure that all relevant information has been provided, therefore you would want to get the submission right in the first instance to avoid further delays or visa refusal.

Mohamed Anas Sirajur Raheem

BA (Political Studies), LLB (VUW)

Mohamed is a New Zealand Immigration Consultant with SeekVisa and an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

He is a former New Zealand Immigration Officer (Visa Services) and Border Officer at Auckland International Airport. He has several years of experience working in various Government Departments in New Zealand and has also worked as a Licensed Immigration Adviser at a prominent New Zealand Immigration firm.

His areas of expertise and interest are in the fields of General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work (Long and Short Stay), Business visas, Partner, Parent and Child Visa streams.

Mohamed was inspired to pursue a career in immigration by his own migration experiences. Over the years he has assisted individuals, families, large corporations, Professional sportspeople, and Entertainers (singers, speakers, and actors) to come to New Zealand.

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Mohamed Raheem

Mohamed Raheem

Barrister and Solicitor and Licensed Immigration Adviser

Licensed Immigration Adviser
Mohamed specialises in all kinds of visas including employer visas and skilled visas.

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