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Thread: Has anyone received PR without visiting NZ first?

  1. #1
    trimprover is offline Member
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    Default Has anyone received PR without visiting NZ first?

    I've applied for permanent residency as a skilled migrant, but have never been to New Zealand.

    I don't remember ever being asked in the EOI or ITA if I had been to NZ before, so it didn't seem like an important issue. I went ahead and applied, including my passport and the migrant levy form so that they could accept me as soon as possible.

    However, I have since heard that one of the questions that is often asked during the interview is whether we've visited NZ before. Ouch!

    I've been educating myself like crazy (books, videos, podcasts, forums), but since INZ has my passport, I can't squeeze a last-minute trip there to satisfy the "I've been there" requirement.

    How badly do you think it will it hurt me that I've never been to NZ before?

    Has anyone else been in this same position?
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    I suspect a lot of people get PR without ever having been to NZ. One of the bits of advice we often give on here is for people who aren't 100% sure they are making the right decision in immigrating there. The advice invariably given is to try to visit first. This alone indicates that PR can be given without first visiting the country, so don't worry. Many people can't afford to both visit first and then make the move downunder, so they just opt to pack up and go, hoping things will work out.

    It certainly won't harm your application/interview if you do as much research as possible on NZ, including the Treaty of Waitangi, just to show your interest in the place. INZ will be looking for your level of commitment and this is one good way of illustrating it.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    We hadn't been to NZ when we applied for PR. I don't think the fact that you haven't been here will prejudice your application if you can show that you've done your homework.

    They asked the question during our 'phone interview. I told the IO that I had done loads of research, read lots, spoken with Kiwis and friends living in NZ, joined this forum etc.

  4. #4
    trimprover is offline Member
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    Thanks for the reassurance!

    We're 100% sure we want to go to New Zealand. I'm definitely doing the homework part of it, every day. I don't have the Treaty of Waitangi memorized, but I know the meat of it.

    I read somewhere that there are 3 main topics that we need to address in the interview:

    1) familiarity with NZ
    2) NZ-based job prospects
    3) ability to settle (perhaps w/ a support network)

    Not having visited NZ hurts us for #1.
    My desire to keep working for my US-based company hurts me for #2.
    Not having any friends or relatives in NZ hurts me for #3.

    The forum helps with #3, though. It's great to meet people who have been through the same thing we're going through and who want to help. It's encouraging to strike up "pen-pal" relationships with people who are willing to share photos, info, and advice etc. However, I wonder if INZ will regard these "virtual" friendships as substantial enough to be regarded as part of a support network.

    I guess it all depends on what personality our case officer has, and on what side of the bed he/she wakes up on the day of the interview. Or maybe the interview doesn't weigh very highly, serving more as a tie-breaker, or a way to weed out people who come across as wishy-washy, untrustworthy, or psycho? I guess everything hinges on whether INZ has too many or too few applicants with my skill set (IT).
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

  5. #5
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Don't stress too much about the interview. From what I hear it should be fairly laid back and comfortable. As long as you are clear in your mind what you want and how you intend going about getting it, you should be fine. Even though you may not have a job offer when you get there, INZ will probably like to hear how you will set out to look for one. This is probably due to the job thing being crucial to settling well in NZ. They just want to know you have a 'plan'.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  6. #6
    trimprover is offline Member
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    So maybe a good plan is to have all the details 100% ironed out by the time of the interview?

    For example, we could choose a specific neighborhood, house rental agency, car rental, broadband provider, cell phone provider, shipping company, etc. I'm building a spreadsheet which tells me the dollar amounts for both one-time and monthly costs, both in US and NZ dollars. I could also build a list of people who are willing to act as references.

    Is it worth getting into all the details this early? Or do you think it might cross across as presumptuous?
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

  7. #7
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Harking back to the list of frequently asked interview questions that I tend to throw on here from time to time, you can see the kind of things you might come up against.

    Why did you choose NZ
    What would you do as soon as you arrive in NZ i.e. do you have a plan
    What accommodation plans do you have in place for when you first arrive
    What have you done to research the cost of living and housing prices
    Where will you live.
    What have you done to decide where you would like to live
    What kind of research have you done about NZ and what have you found out about the place
    Has anyone given you any advice about moving to NZ
    What will you do if you don't get a job as quickly as you would have hoped
    What have you done to look for employment so far
    How long do you think it would take you to find work and how do you intend to find it.
    What have you done to research the NZ job market in your field
    What do you think will be the biggest barriers to finding a job
    What will you do if you can't find a job in your field
    What will your OH do for a living.
    What if you do not find work in the area that you have chosen to live.
    How do you plan to make friends
    Do you know anyone in New Zealand
    What sort of support would you have in NZ e.g. do you have any family/friends there.
    How much money do you think you’d need to make a good living
    How will you support yourselves
    Do you have support from your family.
    How you will overcome barriers that you encounter
    Have you looked into schools
    What hobbies do you have
    When do you want to go
    Is there anything you want to add to support your application


    You could tell the interviewer that you have done a spreadsheet just to show that you are getting into the swing of things, but I doubt they would want you to quote from it. Bear in mind that the interview may only last 20-30 mins., there are only so many questions and answers that can be dealt with during that time. Just concentrate on what will happen once you land in NZ.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  8. #8
    duane1x's Avatar
    duane1x is offline Member
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    We did not go to NZ until after we were approved and the clock was ticking. We just chose to do it that way so that the trip wasn't all a big hypothetical. Then we made a 10 day trip to take a whirlwind tour and try to narrow down a good settling place, before we arrived with baggage and 2 kids in tow.

    It did not make any difference in the interview. In fact, I don't remember it even coming up, though we may have been asked, have you visited NZ? I don't recall at all that it was bad or wrong to say no. FWIW we also did not do a lot of research on the Treaty of Waitangi. I think the interview is more about talking to you in person, putting a voice with the pile of paperwork and making sure you come across as a reasonable human being. It is, for example, just fine to say you've look at the IT jobs on Seek or Trademe, there are lots of possibilities in your area, and you're going to wait till you get over to start interviewing. Perfectly reasonable. What broadband provider you're going to use is way overkill and it won't come up anyway.

    In other words if you can make it through the interview without giving a bunch of dodgy responses you'll be fine.

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