This page outlines the process which the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) follows when declining an application.

Process used to decline an application

If we are not satisfied that an application will meet the criteria for the grant of consent, variation or exemption, we will generally advise an applicant of our intended decision – or the risk or likelihood of an adverse decision – and the reasons for that. We will do this via an ‘Intention to decline’ letter.

The purpose of this step is to provide applicants with an opportunity to correct any errors in the information or our understanding of the application.

The applicant will have an opportunity to respond to this letter before we finalise our report to the decision maker(s). The final decision will be made by the decision maker. We generally do not advise applicants of our final recommendation to the decision-maker.

Timeframe to respond

An applicant will be given 15 working days to respond to an Intention to Decline letter. Extensions to the due date for a response will only be granted in genuine, exceptional circumstances, and will be granted at the discretion of the Office.

If an applicant does not respond by the due date, we will complete our assessment report and recommend to the decision-maker that the application be declined. We will not consider information submitted beyond the date given in the attached letter.

Information that can be provided in response

Acceptable further informationUnacceptable further information
  • Clarification of points not made clearly in the application
  • Correction of any errors in information
  • Elaboration on background to claims
  • Information to further verify claims
  • Increasing or widening benefit claims made
  • Changing the nature of the original investment plan.



  • Correction of errors in information such as budget items, prices and dates
  • Clarification of acquisition process requirements such as the territorial authority consents required
  • Provision of more evidence regarding the likelihood of the investment plan proceeding


  • Changing the intended use of the land, e.g. from operating an existing vineyard to replanting with new vines
  • Building additional facilities such as a restaurant
  • Changing the business operated on the land, e.g. from growing tomatoes to growing apples
  • Adding in new benefits such as scholarships.

Method of providing further information

You must provide further information in writing. You can meet with us to discuss your application before doing so. You must arrange any meeting before the final due date for information in the letter. Submissions made in person may be recorded and must be followed by written submissions reiterating the information, by the due date.

Impact on timeframes

If we are not satisfied that a criterion has been met, we are unlikely to continue to assess the remainder of the application. This is because the application cannot be granted until this criterion is met.  This is likely to delay the assessment of your application.

The degree of delay will depend on how far we have proceeded with our assessment and/or consultation when we contact you with our concerns, and how quickly you can address the matters in the letter.

If any further information you provide in relation to the criterion above satisfies us that the criteria have been met, we will continue to assess the remainder of the application and the other criteria.

Last Updated: 25 September 2019