If you are planning to come to New Zealand for a visit or to study, work, or live, you will need to make a visa application. This can be a complex process plus it can lead to disappointment or delays if you make a mistake. It is, therefore, important you get it right.
Here are our top tips if you need New Zealand immigration assistance. They are also useful if you need help with a visa application or more information on your options.
Get the Right Advice
This is the most importanttip as getting the right advice can mean the difference between an approved application and delays or rejection.
Generally, the only people who can give you advice on immigrating to New Zealand are:
- Licensed immigration advisers
- Practicing New Zealand lawyers
They operate under strictly regulated conditions that reduce the risk of exploitation. For example, licensed immigration adviser fees come under the remit of the code of conduct they must follow.
Using a licensed immigration adviser also ensures you get accurate and up-to-date advice as they are professionals. Here are some tips for choosing an immigration adviser:
- Check they are licensed – you should make sure your immigration adviser is on the official register run by New Zealand’s Immigration Advisers Authority.
- Check their experience – even if your case is not complex, it is still good to have an immigration adviser who has experience with all types of visa and a wide range of cases. This demonstrates an extensive knowledge of the system which will be beneficial to your application.
- Research your options – this includes the employment market, places to live, schools, and more. This will make sure your expectations of New Zealand match the reality.
- Check New Zealand’s skills shortage list – following on from the last point, you should check if you have a skill that is currently in demand in NZ.
- Convictions or health issues – don’t try to hide convictions or health issues. Don’t try to make them appear less than what they are either. The best approach is to be honest and to provide as much information as you can. Try to anticipate the questions an immigration officer might want to find the answers to. If you provide these answers at the outset, your application is more likely to progress smoothly.
- Tell the truth – giving misleading information is never the right approach, even if you think the information is innocent or not that important. You should always be completely honest when applying for a visa.
- Apply for the right visa – it is usually possible to correct applying for the wrong visa by resubmitting your application for the right one. However, it will leave you out of pocket as you will have to pay another fee.It will take longer too.
Making Your Application
- Use the correct forms – using the wrong forms will delay your application
- Make your application early – leaving it to the last minute will cause greater stress and can disrupt your plans
- Include a cover letter – cover letters are better at explaining your personal situation than a form
- Include relevant supporting documents – anticipate what the immigration officer will want to check and provide this in your original application
- Do more than the minimum – providing sufficient information gives the immigration officer checking your application a better understanding of who you are, what you intend to do, etc
- Make sure you sign the application form – it sounds simple, but it is surprising how many people forget to do it
A licensed immigration adviser will help you with all the points above. This includes giving you advice on your options for coming to New Zealand and then helping you make the visa application.