(My Mission To Find A Job In NZ & Get A Work Visa)
NZ WORK VISA
I decided last year after my last trip to New Zealand that I would go back and find a job/get a work visa there. I don’t have a skill or qualification on either the Long Term Skill Shortage List, the Immediate Skill Shortage List or even the Canterbury List, which draws on the occupations on the LTSSL and ISSL lists that are relevant to the Canterbury rebuild. Because I’m over thirty the only option I have is to apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa (a temporary work visa which doesn’t guarantee residency). But I need a job offer first before I can apply for this type of visa. I’ve been applying for jobs there over the last year but with no luck. Where does that leave me if I can’t apply for a work visa yet?
NZ TOURIST VISA
People from certain countries on the visa-waiver list who will be visiting NZ for three months or less don’t need to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand. Ireland is on that list luckily but on arrival in NZ we will be asked to provide travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements and evidence of funds for maintenance: 1,000 NZD per person per month of the visit and 400 NZD for accommodation. If I wanted to stay longer than three months then I would have to apply for a Visitor’s visa, which costs about 98 Euros, if I apply for it from the Netherlands. I’ve decided to travel on the tourist visa and so had to book a return flight within three months.
BOOKING MY FLIGHT
I booked my flight in December. My friend Rayan was a great help. As a seasoned traveller he knowsthe best routes, discounts, the best airlines and most reasonable flights. He gave me a lot of advice and in early March I booked a flight through Expedia.nl travelling through Dubai, Singapore, Melbourne and eventually arriving in Wellington for a pretty good rate of 1,454 euros. I was quite happy with that price. I wanted to do a one night stopover in Singapore to break the journey. I’ve done the twenty four hour direct flight before and it was too much for me. I picked up a tummy bug and was sick for a few days after I arrived there in 2005. The long, direct flight going from West to East was too much for my body. I can handle that going from East to West but not the other way around. Singapore is exactly half way and I’ve been there before and really liked it, so I wanted to go back there again.
SINGAPORE & BOOKING A HOTEL THERE
Two things about Singapore: 1)The smog there in June hit record levels due to fires being set by plantation companies in Indonesia which spread to the neighbouring countries. Air quality has since improved and the badly hit countries say they will remain vigilant through early October for a possible return of the haze. I hope it’s not too bad when I get there. 2) The Singapore dollar has gotten very strong, so it’s more expensive compared to the last time I was there in 2009. My money won’t go as far! The increase in prices was apparent when I started looking for reasonable hotel rooms in the city. I couldn’t find any decent/clean two star hotels for less than 60 euros. I think that’s a bit expensive but I think that’s normal everywhere now.
I asked people on facebook if anyone could recommend a reasonable hotel in the Little India or Chinatown area of Singapore. Again Rayan was helpful here, advising me to look for hotels in the either of these two areas and not to book a hotel in the Geylang area. It’s not the best area of Singapore. A friend of mine, Debby who travels through Singapore now and again recommended The Mitraa Inn, in Little India. I had a look at their website and on Tripadvisor and there were good reviews of the hotel. So I booked a room for 68 SGD through Booking.com. That’s pretty reasonable.
I have about 30 hours in Singapore and after a good night’s sleep hopefully, I might have a bit of time to see more of the city. There was a problem though with my credit card. The hotel contacted me via email to say that they couldn’t process the 10% deposit that’s required when booking the room for some reason, even though when I checked with my credit card company they said they couldn’t see a problem with it. So I had to pay via Paypal. Everything got sorted and so I have to pay the balance in Singapore dollars when I arrive at the hotel. The next installment is about volunteering in New Zealand and trying to get the requested police check done here, which the volunteer company asked for. What fun!