I have been living in New Zealand since 2004. Since I decided to leave my native Argentina, I have been bombarded with all kinds of questions: Why New Zealand? How is life here? Is it easy to adapt? It’s the cost of living? …. And the list goes on. This article aims to answer some of these questions. I will leave the economic, geographic, political, and other characteristics for your own research. There is no need to write about the beauty of this country, as there is much documented in articles, books, and movies.
Before continuing, I would like to make one point clear. The following lines may look a little bit stiff, especially if you are a kiwi. Not my intention. I love this country; I do not regret choosing New Zealand as a house brooder. But sometimes immigration agencies are very positive. I try to be more real.
Do not believe everything you read in the brochures
As in many other countries, it is not easy to find a place in the professional world. So my first advice is to be realistic. Ignore any document promising some sort of “New American Dream” (well, New Zealand dream anyway). You might find yourself going home with an unfair view of the country. Immigration advisers and government agencies are largely responsible for this.
Although the unemployment rate is at an all-time high – as of this writing, it is one of the lowest in the developed world – but it does not mean that you will easily get a job similar to the one you currently have. This is especially difficult for those whose mother tongue is not English. I will return to this point later.
Do your homework
Most countries of the world have requirements to allow visitors to work permanently and temporarily. New Zealand is no exception. You must have a work or residence permit. Let’s take a quick look at some of the permits granted by the New Zealand Immigration Service:
Visit visa: purely tourist. Acting with this permit is illegal. Although there are illegal workers in New Zealand, it is not worth the risk, especially if you have an IT qualification. You can always come as a visitor and apply for a work permit while you are in the country as long as you are not already working. We will discuss this situation later.
Business Vacation Visa: It is given to people from some countries between the ages of 18 and 30 who come to New Zealand to travel and do temporary work. The duration and terms of this visa vary depending on the nationality of the applicant. It is usually granted to a limited number of people per country. The Spanish countries that obtained this visa are: Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.
Seasonal work visas in horticulture and horticulture: You can apply for this visa once in New Zealand. It allows you to work on tasks such as pruning and picking fruits for up to six weeks. You are not authorized to extend this permit. Only holders of this permit are allowed to operate in certain areas of the country in the above activities.
Student permit: You are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. To obtain this permit, you must be a full-time student at a New Zealand institution. Since fees are not cheap for international students, in order to pay your fees and expenses, you will likely need more than 20 hours of work.
Work permit: This is the type of visa required to work in general. You are allowed to work full time for a limited time. There are many categories, requirements and limitations. They are constantly developing. However, as IT professionals, we are only interested in the Immediate Skills Shortage List category. There is a high demand for IT and almost all IT skills flows are listed as shortages. However, you must have a valid job offer from the employer (this is one of the biggest problems with this system). In addition, if you quit your job, you must leave the country, unless you have another job offer.
Residence – Skilled Immigrants: The main difference with a work permit is that it is not linked to a specific employer. Not only does it give freedom of choice, but it also opens the doors to the same possibilities that citizens enjoy: bank loans, student fees at local rates (under any other regime that students pay international fees), student loans, business credits, and mortgages are granted This declaration is made through a collection system in which the applicant fills in a form called an expression of interest (EOI). The applicant claims a diploma according to age, level of English, skills, etc. This result is used in the swimming pool. If the claimant claims 100 points or more, the EOI goes to the pool. Every two weeks, all EOIs over 140 points are automatically collected to be invited to request residence. Then, lower EOI scores are identified with certain factors, such as New Zealand’s skilled workforce. Consequently, the time taken for an invitation to progress varies considerably from one case to another.
Other permits: There are many other ways to stay in New Zealand for work. Immigration laws are changing quickly.
You see, it is not easy. I recommend that you carefully read the New Zealand Immigration Service website before making a decision. If I had done this before coming to the country, I could have saved a lot of money and time. I tried my luck and followed a vacation system. It was neither easy nor cheap for me.