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Visas to
New Zealand

  Important note: All information contained in this topic about visas to New Zealand, only serve as a guide and are not official information. We cannot guarantee they are correct. For official and up-to-date information, see the official website of New Zealand Immigration official or web of the New Zealand Embassy in your country.

We request an interview with an officer called "Penguinesco" to answer few questions about Visas for NZ. The officer is an "expert" in the subject, because after all, he makes two annual migrations, one looking for lady penguins, and anotherone looking for the tasty seafood of the New Zealand coast. An interesting feature of Pinguinesco is his yellow eyes ( the yellow-eyed penguin is only found in New Zealand is one of the rarest of existing penguins).

Below is the full interview with him:

1) Mr Penguinesco, it is true that New Zealand is full of jobs  and is really in need of overseas workers to supplement the labor market? They even say that it is easy to stay there forever? Is that true?

A:This is half true. Firstly, New Zealand has a high demand only for skilled workers but see, not any kind of skill work and if you want to work you will need a permit or visa. It is true that New Zealand governament is facilitating the highly qualified workers to fill several areas that are in need, making fast and easier the process of getting the work visa (work permit) and even giving extra points for a permanent residence visa. All depends on the agreementsNew Zealand has with the country of origin of the person concerned, the qualification and the points you may receive for the immigration process. 

2) It is difficult to obtain a visa or work visa in NZ?

A: It depends. First you have to find a job, or have a job offer, the kind of position which can guarantees a secure payment for a certain period. In addition to that, the employer has to register with Immigration and prove that he has no Kiwi worker trained to perform that job.Then is simple and just start the application for a Work Permit. But you can not work until you have a positive response from the immigration department. Sometimes it comes out even on the same day, if you have completed all the documentation, sometimes takes up to 15 days or more depending on the volume of requests immigration has .

3) Mr Penguinesco, it is true that immigration is stopping people from some countries at the airport, and sending them back in the same plane they came from? 

A: This could happen with people with come a wrong attitute or suspicious profile to enter and will not be granted the visa at the airport. The fact is that there are many people willing to abuse, illegal working, illegally staying beyond the period granted. The mistake of one person reflects in all communities, especially those who are wanting to do the right thing. Fortunately they are a minority. Those who do wrong thing will probably end up deported. If they do the right way, obey the laws and follow the rules, everyone would gain, including us Kiwis.

4) I've heard that there are some strategies and tricks to pass through airport immigration. How it works?

A: The Immigration officers are highly trained and aware against all types of tricks people does. Some people who had bought an English course for two weeks bring huge suitcases with the intentions to stay longer and work illegaly. The immigration guys are so used to tourists around the world, they receive millions of them per year. Tourist must be genuine visitors, show founds to stay and better have a credit card. So the only tip I can tell you to pass the immigration is tell the truth, because as the old adage, those who do not should not fear.

5)  What kind of questions the immigration offices do on arrival? May I ask for a translator to help me understand?

A: Yes, you have the right to ask a translator if you need, but probably some of the officers may speak your language. They will ask standard questions to better understand your intentions of the visit. Some of the questions could be, "What are your plans to do in New Zealand? Why did you choose New Zealand? Where are you going to stay? How did you pay your accommodation? How much money you have or will have available? Do you know anyone in New Zealand? What do you do in your country? Questions like that. In fact they would be the same questions that you would ask someone you do not know well if he want to enter and stay in your house. If you suspect of the visitor intentions, you would not let him in. Is'nt it true?

6) What would be the right answers for these questions?

A: Only the truth, nothing more. If your intentions are legitimate, do not have to worry about. Tourists, students and legal workers are very welcome in NZ, as long as they maintain and obey laws.

7) And for those who want to immigrate, it is very difficult to get the residence?

A: For those caught working illegally or overstaying, probably they never will get it. To immigrate, the person must firstly have a good caracter and a clean file with the justice system. A good English is very important. For the migrant skileed category you must be a professional listed in the skill categories or take a course to provide that skill. Other way would be have a job offer in an area classified as in demand and than later start the process. A person with a degree or qualification and being young, has good chances of been granted. It means the person must have something to offer to the country. The more skilled and longer work experience in a particular function is better, and if a job is offered in New Zealand, it is even easier. Another good alternative is to study and obtain a qualification in NZ.  What NZ does not in need is people with no qualifications, which could end up hunging on social security. With the new rules they lowered the points, and even if a person has a low English level they may accept through a course pre-paid. The clear preference is for people with excellent English or whose native language is English and people with a skill that may contribute to the growth of New Zealand. The immigration process could lasts between 2 months and one year, and can be made inside or outside of New Zealand, such as at your home country. In fact, never been so easy to immigrate to New Zealand, provided that the person is young, studied and qualified in a profession in demand.

8) Oficer Penguinesco, with repect to the Tourist Visa  to NZ what do I need to do?

A: If your passport is from a country that New Zealand has diplomatic agreement and it is the case of many countires, you will not need any other documents or visa. Just get the ticket, take the plane and the the time you arrive at the airport immigration, probably a Tourist Visa will be granted if you fulfill the requiemtns as tourist such as money to travel and a credit card will be welcome. This permission is valid for three months, and may be extended for a maximum period of nine months. But this permission does not entitle the tourist to work, unless you get a vairation of condition and it is approved a work permit. People who are barred immigration, can only return again to NZ if they take a pre-visa at the Consulate or Embassy in the country of origin.

9) Do students need a specific visa? Are students allowed worK?

A: Anyone wanting to study for less than 3 months, may come as a tourist and study or travel, no problems with that. For those going to study for longer periods, over 3 months or in a degree in a university or in polytechnics, will have to take a  Student Visa in the country of origin or if already in NZ change for this visa. With the Student Visa it is possible to work part time to work 20 hours a week to help with books, etc., to gain work experience for qualification while studiyng. Some of the conditions are if the course is at least two years long, if the course leads to a qualification that qualifies for points under the NZ Skilled Category, if the course is at least one academic year long and you are part in tertiary exchange scheme, other options are if you are studying in year 12 / 13 and have written permission from your school and your parents. Study English courses if the main purpose of the course is to develop English language skills but you must also have at least 5 IELTS.

10) Officer Penguinesco, tell me more about you...

A.: I am a peguin of the South Seas, known as Megadyptes Antipodes, or "Yellow Eyed Penguin." Inhabit the cold waters south of New Zealand. Me and my kind are in danger of extinction, and are protected by the conservation department in New Zealand. Therefore, I have a yellow passport, just like my beautiful eyes. If you come to New Zealand, you may have the opportunity to meet me. Some of my famly are at the Kelly Tarlton in Auckland Aquarium.

I forgot that my Visa expired yesterday!

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