Q: Are migration consultants in NZ licensed?
A: Immigration Advisers must be licensed with the IAA. For further information, please visit the IAA website at http://www.iaa.govt.nz/

Q: Is it possible to find work without visiting New Zealand?
A: The short answer in 95% of cases is no. We would advise you to request a licensed migration consultant to asses your skills in relation to entry requirements as specified by the Government and what potential challenges may need to be resolved before and if your application were to be eligible for submission. Generally most new immigrants have not been employed while still overseas. While there is a chronic shortage of skilled workers and New Zealand has a very low unemployment rate, New Zealand employers still prefer to have met new employees. They also prefer new migrants to have already gained residency permits. Professional recruitment companies are more likely to market your skills to potential employers if you are available for interviews. We would suggest that the process of job hunting can begin while still overseas by researching, on the web, companies you may want to work in and for, the vacancies and recruitment websites.

Q: How long after approval, must I arrive in New Zealand?
A: Normally, your arrival must be within 1 year from the date of your medical tests or police certificates, which occur during the processing of your residence visa application. So, if you deduct part of the official processing time, you will generally be left with 6 to 12 months to land in New Zealand. The exception is for temporary visas, such as work visas, in which case you may only have a number of months to enter the country.

Q: Can the Immigration Department reject my application?
A: YES. Applications are very strictly reviewed and can be refused or delayed due to a small technicality. The services of a registered and licensed migration consultant would be helpful to avoid this before lodging an application for residence.

Q: What is a permanent resident?
A: Essentially, a residence permit is a right affixed into your passport granting you the permanent right to live and work in a country. Once employed, you are generally eligible for state medical care, but must be resident in New Zealand for at least two years before qualifying for social welfare assistance (e.g. unemployment benefits). Temporary residents (those on student and work visas) are generally not entitled to medical care or social welfare assistance at any time and are generally unable to remain in the country for longer than 4 years. These applicants are recommended to take out private health insurance.

Q: How long does the immigration process take?
A: In regard to the preparation of your documentation, after you have received our formal instructions, the process normally takes between 4 and 10 weeks for you to gather the documents we require and 3 – 9 months for us to process your residence case from the time it is lodged. There can be a time delay between when you have gathered the documents we require and when the case is filed if as is common you require a job offer. Why? Because we would normally encourage clients we deem to be highly employable to gather their residence papers before they travel to New Zealand to find work. Why do we do that? Because it sends some serious signals to potential employers and allows us to obtain work permits more quickly than would usually be the case otherwise. Processing times are often dependent on where the case is lodged, which officer is processing it, what the category of entry is and whether or not any problems arise. Once the application is approved you will be generally be granted around 12 months from that date to enter New Zealand, although the typical migrant coming in under the Skilled Migrant Category may well already have a job and be in New Zealand when they are ready to apply for residence. Most of our clients therefore retain our services for between one and two years. The first year is to get the paperwork correct and the visas issued and some of the second year is spent assisting clients with the settlement process. No guarantees can be made on timeframes or application outcomes, but your consultants would be keeping abreast of the relevant legislation and migrant information and would be able to give you an indication once an application is lodged.

Q: Do you continue to provide any services once my application submitted?
A: We provide a range of services aimed at meeting any basic living or essential needs before and after arrival to assist with the transition and integration into New Zealand.