Published: Mon, Dec 10th, 2018 by Mahafrin Variava
When you think Christmas, you think of things like being warm and cosy, sitting by a fireplace, with a beautifully decorated tree, the smell of hot coco and a plate of marshmallows and cookies on the centre table.
It can be just as intriguing celebrating Christmas and New Year in Aotearoa – with the sun shining, relaxing on the sand with friends and family, watching the kids wreak havoc on the beach and then, after a long day, making your way back to the bach or your home for an evening BBQ in the back garden.
Whatever Christmas looks like for you, if you’ve got friends and family joining you from around the world this Christmas holiday.; our Immigration team thought we’d bring you our Christmas edition called: “The 5 tips for visas Turner Hopkins gave to me”
1. Quality information is key
These days, most applications can be completed online. Which means the process is easier, simpler and faster. It also means, a good quality application, that is properly and thoroughly completed, will be streamlined and assessed faster. Therefore, you must ensure all documents are properly scanned and readable. Your electronic passport photo must meet INZ’s guide for ‘Acceptable Visa Photos’ and any documents in a foreign language must be translated to English by an official translation service.
2. Time is everything
Apply as soon as you can. With INZ currently streamlining its processes to New Zealand and closing down most of its offshore offices, the workload at the New Zealand branches has begun to increase. The earlier you submit your application, the more likely it is to be accepted and approved before Christmas. INZ will also be closing down for a few weeks over the holidays – so if you are looking to have family come visit in January, it is recommended that you still put an application through in the early parts of December. INZ provides individuals with a helpful tool to check timeframes and fees. You can find the information here: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/tools-and-information/tools/office-and-fees-finder
3. Seek advice where uncertain
We’d like to think that these processes are simple. Usually, they are. But sometimes, things can get complicated – i.e. where there may be previous convictions, health concerns or an adverse immigration history in other parts of the world. With offshore applications, INZ Officers have no obligation to raise their concerns with you – they can simply decline an application without seeking clarification. Therefore, if you think there may be something that may throw a spanner in the works– talk to us.
4. Keep all your original documents
Even though most applications can be completed online; we urge our clients to retain all their original documentation. A Case Officer can request to verify your scanned copies at any stage of the application process, or they may be required if a member of your family chooses to remain in New Zealand or extend their visas.
5. Applying for extensions
There is no denying that we live in a beautiful country and many who come here on a brief visit, decide they want to stay longer and explore a little more. If you are looking to apply for an extension of your existing visitor visa – you will need to submit an application prior to the expiry of your current visa. If a decision is not issued by the time your current visa expires, then INZ will grant you an interim visa to continue to remain in the country while your application is being assessed. If, however you apply for an extension to your existing visa after your current visa has expired – then you will be deemed unlawful in New Zealand, you will not be granted an interim visa and the avenue to apply for a further visa will vary.
Although many of these tips are so simple – they can sometimes be forgotten in all the excitement to apply for a visa and have a friend or family member visit. Being meticulous with your application is key.
And of course, we are always here to answer any questions you may have.
On behalf of our Immigration Team at Turner Hopkins; we thank you for your business and wish you and your families all the best for Christmas and New Year and we look forward to working with you next year.