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Thread: Bit of a Pickle

  1. #1
    sternip is offline Junior Member
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    Default Bit of a Pickle

    Hi there, I am currently in an unusual situation and I'm not sure how to proceed.

    I am from the UK (Bedfordshire) and have been in NZ on a WHV since Dec 2005 (I went back home for a few months last year though).

    My visa is going to expire soon - Nov 8th to be precise - however, I have an employer who is willing to sponsor me - the trouble is it's not that straightforward - I have been working for him (proprietor of a backpackers and motels) on a voluntary basis in exchange for accommodation for quite a while, and we have a plan to set up a webdesign business with another local designer (creating new websites for his businesses is a large part of the work I have been doing and we already have some work lined up just through word of mouth).

    He is willing to sponsor me, but he can't afford to actually pay me a salary (all his employees work on a voluntary basis), though the intention would be for me to support myself via the webdesign business. If there was some loophole we could exploit (eg him paying me a salary which I pay back to him straight afterwards, though I don't know how that would work out with tax), I believe he would be willing to do so. It would be useful to know exactly what the specifics are with regards to what counts as employment, what his liabilities are etc - I don't know why it's the case but this sort of information seems to be impossible to find.

    I should have got this sorted out much sooner but typically it's all down to the last minute. I really don't want to leave NZ, I love it here, I feel more at home here than I ever did in the UK and I have a good lifestyle here. I have a car and tons of stuff that I will have to sell if I am leaving so I need to get this sorted ASAP.

    I am guessing I have to fill out form 1015, but it's rather confusing - what does my 'employer' need to fill out, and I'm not sure about many of the options on 1015 -

    Should I apply for a work permit, a work visa or both? Both would clearly be best for me but if it meant my application was less likely to be successful than just applying for a permit then I would just do that.

    I'm really pretty confused and daunted by all this, and I will really be gutted if I can't at least stay longer in NZ, any advice I am extremely grateful for in advance.

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Hi Sternip,

    to the forum.

    Unfortunately, I'm a bit short of time at the moment to delve into this too deeply, but I would say that whatever you do, if you want to work legally in NZ, you'll need a Work Permit (a Work Visa is if you apply from outside NZ). To get a WP I believe INZ needs to know what salary you would be on and details of the job.

    If you are involved with webdesign, do you hold any qualifications that would enable you to apply for Permanent Residency? That would be the easiest way to stay in NZ and, after you got that, you could do whatever you wanted by way of a job. If you could get enough points to apply without a job offer, that would do away with the necessity for you to bring your 'employer' into the matter. It might help that you've had some NZ work experience, but I'm not sure with having been on a WHV, it would count towards your points.

    I haven't a clue what a 1015 form is so I can't help on that score and I wouldn't like to say how you'd get around the tax situation unless you started your own business doing the websites and went self-employed or sub-contracted.

    Perhaps someone on here has some inside info on this sort of thing and can help out better than I can. I hope you can manage to find your way through this complicated situation.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
    LilAmy's Avatar
    LilAmy is offline God like figure
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    Hello,

    Firstly the first thing to remember is that when you're on a WHV you are only allowed to work for the 12 month period. I pressume with you saying you have been here since 2005 you are on the 23month one like me?

    I know you've not being getting a salary as such with your job but you are still earning in a sense with getting free accommodation so you should watch how you approach immi with this one incase you have gone over your 12 month working period.

    You're probably quickest and easiest option to stay in the country would be to probably apply for a Work Visa then look at more permy options but I dont think this would come through in time for your deadline...

    Why dont you give immi a call and see if they can advise you the quickest and easiest option?

    I'm afraid I'm like MB and have never heard of the form you mentioned so cant help you on that side.

    I'm sorry I cant be a lot of help, I hope you manage to sort things out. If I were you I'd contact immi straight away to get some advice from them.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Taffy's Avatar
    Taffy is offline He who shall be ignored
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    November 8th? You need to get a real wriggle on!! Applying for a work permit will be the best option, but they can take up to 60 days to process, especially if you don't meet all criteria for one.

    You're definately in the hands if INZ with that timeframe, so get on the phone to them quick!
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

  5. #5
    sternip is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice guys, I will definitely get on to INZ tomorrow and see what they say. Yes I am also on the 23 month visa, but I don't think there's any chance of me having gone over the 12 months allowed employment. With the working for accommodation it would probably be close or slightly over, but there are absolutely no records of that and others on tourist visas do similar voluntary work to me - however according to INZ's guide employment counts as 'working for benefit or reward', and according to the more comprehensive definition my current arrangement counts as employment.

    However, then it says that the employer must be willing to meet standards of pay ie exceeding minimum wage etc - but again I'm not sure how this will work. My 'employer' can't afford to pay me a salary, basically he is just putting the capital and business nous behind this venture and using contacts to find work.

    I couldn't go the permanent residency route as I don't have the qualifications or experience, I am skilled in webdesign but it's a field where a high proportion of people don't have an actual webdesign (or often even an IT) qualification. I actually have the most work experience in landscape gardening, but again no qualifications. I would love to move to NZ permanently but at the moment I just want to stay for another 6 months and give this business a go because it really is a great opportunity.

  6. #6
    LilAmy's Avatar
    LilAmy is offline God like figure
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    Good luck with your call to Immi - hope they manage to help you out

  7. #7
    Ace's Avatar
    Ace
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    I'm not sure how it works with a WHV, but I know for a Skilled Migrant visa application, that you will be required at some point to produce a signed employment contract, along with cancelled cheques and bank statements to show that you've been getting paid. Having an employment contract up-front can also tremendously speed-up the visa application process.

    In your case, I wonder if you might be able to arrange for your employer to pay you an amount that you would then pay back as rent, through a rental agreement that was separate from the employment contract. As long as the amount met minimum wage standards, it seems like that might be a viable approach. However, your employer will also need to withhold and report employment taxes (PAYE) -- at least for the 3 month work period required by the skilled migrant program.

    In addition to NZIS, you might also consider talking to a solicitor and/or an accountant about your options.

  8. #8
    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    I don't want to rain on your parade Sternip, but be careful you don't get caught out by the IRD. Your 'free' accomodation could be classed as income - in which case you will be liable for tax on it. Your 'employer' may also get a hefty bill for providing taxable Fringe Benefits.........

    Best of luck though

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