I thought this photo taken by the Auckland webcam at 12.05 on 1 January 2018, immediately after a spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks display from Sky Tower is quite appropriate for the first blog of 2018.
As revellers celebrated the old and new year, the spectacular Cruise Ship Dawn Princess departed with 2200 guests on their next adventure.
This is the life in our Immigration World. We here at Greatlife Immigration Services could at least celebrate with all the clients who received visas and residencies last year, and celebrate the fact that we had no visas declined in 2017, although it was a tough and challenging road at times.
Some of our major victories were helping clients from Fiji and Afghanistan with declined visa applications, who after I took on their cases received approved visas and an approved residency.
The stormy waters that we encountered were the new points and salary changes, the cut in residence numbers and other changes to Immigration policy which placed several clients in precarious positions, with a large number not meeting the 160 points required to apply for residence.
But, just like our majestic cruise ship, we and our clients must storm all weather conditions and keep sailing to new beginnings.
This brings me to write about my “foot in the door” approach, which could benefit lots of people in making their dreams come true, if they are only willing to be patient, step back and start again, and persevere in reaching their ambitions.
The foot in the door theory is as old as the mountains, but daily we receive notifications from prospective clients who say they are not willing to uproot, (understandably) their lives if they cannot walk into the Country and be guaranteed to get residence. The reasoning is that they are senior managers, have large expensive houses, smart phones and smarter cars, and if New Zealand does not give them residence then they will not make themselves available to the Country. They would rather remain in their home countries, instead of securing a better future for their children and spouses or partners.
My own foot in the door story started in 2006 when I entered New Zealand to “look and find” (There was no look, see and decide back then). Just look for work, find work and move. We had no knowledge base, no Facebook, and only one friend in New Zealand. So, no help, no guidance, just instinct. We decided our two young daughters should gain a first world education that will eventually lead to them to having better opportunities for excellent jobs, and the exposure to other world adventures.
My understanding was that, as a former senior manager in a large Government Department, being a Lieutenant Colonel in the Police, having studied a Diploma and law degree, opening doors in NZ would be easy. Well, after applying for around 30 senior positions all over New Zealand without any luck, my guesthouse owner initiated a meeting with a local security company. That was my foot in the door to New Zealand “Kiwi experience”. Ten months later, after working 10-hour nightshifts, I eventually could recall my “Kiwi” experience during an interview at Auckland Council and became the Team leader of the Compliance and Enforcement Team, with a 200% increase in salary, and with this position, I qualified for residence. Now we are all Citizens, the daughters both studied at University, both have travelled overseas three times, and are secure with their Kiwi passports in their back pockets.
We were also equally unsure, scared, and very apprehensive about the move. We let our house until the day we received residence, because my view was that if anything changed then at least we had a house to return to. I took out a second bond which I used to get here, and on selling, paid the full bond and had hardly anything left. But that first foot in the door secured our New Zealand passports!
Prospective clients who are still uncertain should think about the future 5 or 10 years from now. Getting a job and a work visa, although valid for only three years, may just make the world’s difference to your future. Firstly, work visas are always renewable, and secondly, the government may reduce the current required 160 points, or bring back the old selection clause of 100 points, plus a job. The fact that the Expression of Interest (EOI) programme still allows you to submit at 100 points, indicates that the door is not closed. If you have a job when the selection clause changes, you can apply immediately. Further to that, work to residence visas with accredited employers lead to residence, and you may study a diploma that will give you that elusive 40 points needed if you do not qualify at present. Think about your children, if they attend school in NZ, their chances at finding work are much better than for persons applying from overseas, and then they can apply for residence after 10 years of work, or immediately after studying a diploma. They can at least then become residents and citizens. By not moving now you are hampering their chances at a better future as well.
Getting back to persons who do not qualify for residence; are over 55, do not have enough points, etc, think about that 10-year plan. If you remain in your home country, what you see is what you get. And what you have now is all that you’ll ever have.
Working in New Zealand for 10 years will give you 10 years of first world experience, which may help you, should you need to return to your home country. Whilst you are earning New Zealand dollars, you may be able to save up for your retirement in your home country. The current exchange rate is around 10 to one, and the average weekly income is around $900 or above. If you save the money instead of buying two hamburgers and two coffees a week, you’ll save the equivalent of R260 000 in today’s rate. If the partner works and does the same, we are talking about half a million Rand.
I sincerely hope this has given you some food for thought and that you will endeavour to make the right decision for yourself and your family for 2018 so that your ship can sail in to NZ soon.
The year 2018 looks promising for the Greatlife team. We are now rolling out our new software program, called “Check Your Visa” which promises be more time efficient and streamline our communications.
Tanya, our web designer has created a new look for our website, which will become active this month, whilst Lindsay and myself will bring out more blog articles this year.
Elena will be taking on more adviser duties, and I may plan some seminars in South Africa to help more people achieve their dreams.
We are wishing everyone a very rewarding, fulfilling and satisfying new year!
Jan and the Team.