(My Mission To Find A Job In New Zealand & Get A Work Visa)
My work visa application has finally been submitted. This part of the process took me four weeks, from the time I signed the immigration advisor’s contract to submitting the paperwork. Now I just have to wait and see what the outcome is.
It took five working days for the original documents of my job references and qualifications to get here by TNT Express (courier) from Amsterdam. There was a barcode provided with which I could Track & Trace the delivery from Amsterdam. The new job description also arrived by post from the employer.
A few days previously I received a text from The Department of Internal Affairs on Lambton Quay in Wellington, to say that my Dutch Receptionist Diploma had been translated. The Department of Internal Affairs offers a very good translation service. They can translate any type of document into seventy languages, specialising in technical, medical, legal, commercial and general documents. They needed to see the original Diploma so I had to wait till the original documents arrived from Amsterdam before I could pick up the translated one.
The next step was to get copies of the job description, employment agreement, work references and qualifications certified by a Justice of the Peace (JP). For the JP, I needed to have a copy of the original Diploma and a copy of the translated version certified. Immigration can be so picky about things like this. I looked on the internet for a Justice of the Peace in Wellington. There are about four hundred and fifty JP’s in Wellington and there is a list of Service Centres in each area of the city where JPs are available to the public in a public place. Some of the busier centres ask that you call them in advance to make an appointment but for a lot of the smaller Service Centres you can just walk in and have your documents certified there and then. I went to the Wellington Central Electorate Office Service Centre on 220 Willis Street.
It only took a few minutes for the JP to sign and stamp all the documents. They offer this service for free. She did ask to see the originals and also a form of identification i.e. a passport or driver’s licence. The last thing I had to do was to get all the documents and forms together and send them to the immigration advisor by courier, which cost 12 NZD. So I sent everything off on Friday 29th November, a month after being offered the job.
There was some good news in the meantime from the employer. They decided to put the job advertisement with their local Work & Income New Zealand (WINZ). Originally they said they weren’t going to do this as it would delay the process. They heard back from the Timaru office of WINZ that they were unable to identify any suitable unemployed New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in the South Canterbury area, who could meet the requirements of the role and are prepared to move/live at Lake Tekapo.
So far the whole application process, including part of the advisor’s fee, has cost 915 Euros. If the visa is granted, then I’ll have to pay the last quarter of the advisor’s fee which will be an extra 263 odd Euros. The doctor who gave me the medical forgot at the time to charge me for the exam but I got a phone call from them two days ago to say that they would charge me 87 NZD for it. Shit, I thought I was going to get away with that.
My application is being processed at the Christchurch immigration office. A case worker still has to be assigned to work on my application, so the advisor told me. There will in all likelihood be a labour market check where immigration may check with the Ministry of Social Development/ WINZ and recruitment agents to see if they can find any New Zealand citizens or permanent residents to do or be trained up to do the job.
The advisor also gave me a link to the immigration website regarding processing times for visas. In the last three months, between 59% and 70% of all student, work and visitor visas in the Christchurch office have been processed within twenty five days. In some cases it can take longer if more information is needed, like a labour market check or medical referrals. All I need now is a big earthquake in Christchurch to further delay the process. God forbid! My tourist visa expires this coming Friday 6th December. Immigration should give me an interim tourist visa until the decision is made. I have also changed my flight back to Amsterdam to later in January 2014, which cost 100 Euros.
So I still don’t know where I’ll be for Christmas. The processing time of the visa application and the result will decide that. I have a friend that I can go to for Christmas day if I’m still in Wellington, so that would be good and my colleagues at Toi Maori said that I’d be very welcome to join them for their office Christmas party on 20th December. Let’s see how it all turns out.