Immigration officials can bar entry to visa holders, court hears


Lawyers have told the High Court that Immigration officials have the right to refuse entry to people even if they hold a visa.

Visa and passport to  approved stamped on a document top view in Immigration

The hearing centres on visas approved for some Afghans. Photo: 123RF

The court is hearing a challenge by Community Law Waikato against restrictions on visas for Afghans stuck in their country which has being ruled by the Taliban.

Their lawyers argue it was unlawful for Immigration to stop issuing visas to them because of Covid-19 border restrictions.

But the lawyer for the Crown told Justice Cooke that events could unfold that meant visa holders must be screened at entry for the sake of national security.

The case partly revolves around what rules apply to the Afghans – the Covid-19 rules now, or the rules at the time they applied for a visa.

The hearing is due to finish today.

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