The worst part of the whole process is the waiting. Each day you check your email. Nothing. You check the post — no mail. You log on line for some news but there seems to be nothing happening. The wheels of motion move slower than anyone can imagine at this stage. It will try any patience you have left, you will go up and down and emotions will ride high.
Then if all goes well, you get an email offering you a personal interview with a case officer. Now mild panic sets in. What are they going to ask? What do I say? What if I mess up at this stage?
Well don’t panic here are my top tips for dealing With the personal interview. Now depending on where you are in the world, this can be conducted in person or over the telephone. My interview was over the telephone at a pre-arranged time. The interview was a friendly conversation, from what I can recall and the case officer did her best to put me at ease. As much ease as one can be at knowing that the ensuing interview, will very likely decide whether my application will be rejected or approved and my dreams crushed.
The case officer started off by asking me the reasons why I had decided to move to New Zealand and what my plans were once I arrived there. I guess you are basically reiterating what you stated in your application process, they need to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
Here is a list of possible questions that you may be asked during this interview stage that I can recall from my own personal experience. These may not be the set questions by all means but were the ones, I remember being asked and a few others that I know have been asked of those who went before me:
Have you ever been to New Zealand? did you decide on New Zealand?
You may be forgiven for rolling your eyes and thinking that you have answered this question countless times in your EOI and ITA but there is nothing like the case officer hearing first hand your views and reasons. So repeat these to them and that’s why at the start, I remind you to be clear about the reasons why you are making this move.
Have you applied for a job in New Zealand? If so, do you have a job offer? What industry are you in and do you know the job market situation in this industry in New Zealand? Do you know the salary range in New Zealand in your industry? How long do you think it will take you to find a job in New Zealand? What will you do if you cannot find a job? Are you willing to undertake lower level jobs if needed?
If your plans are to live in New Zealand in the long term, then you need to be able to show that you have researched how you are going to provide for yourself as well as give something back to the country. What skills are you able to offer? Also it is important to have a back-up plan if you aren’t able to find work, for example will you be willing to take any work and also do
voluntary work in your trade to gain New Zealand experience?
How much money will you be taking with you? How much savings have you put towards this move?
The case officer will be assessing whether you will be able to support yourself financially until you find a job. They need to be sure that you will not become a burden to the state benefit system.
How much do you think it will cost your family to live in New Zealand, per week, on average? Do you know how much the rent is in New Zealand for a flat/house? Do you know the cost of buying a house in New Zealand?
You need to show that you have completed your research and that you are aware of the cost of living, such as rentals, daily living expenses and that you have put aside the means to manage these in the interim process.
Other than New Zealand, have you considered any other country to immigrate to?
Be careful how you phrase this one, if you decide to talk about other countries as well as New Zealand. Remember, the Case Officer is looking for knowledge about New Zealand, and people who will make a solid and committed contribution to the country. Any impression that you haven’t firmly decided may not be favorable.
Other questions to consider are:-
- What difficulties do you foresee when first migrating to New Zealand?
- How do you plan to overcome them?
- Do you have any family/friends in New Zealand? How did you know them and what help can they provide?
- Where do you plan to settle in New Zealand? Where do you plan to live when you first arrive?
- If you have a partner, I understand that you may expect a question along the lines of ‘What is your wife’s/husband’s plan if you’re granted the approval?’
Try to stay as relaxed as possible and answer as honestly as you can. I don’t recommend that you start tying up any affairs until you have had positive confirmation of your Visa, after all would you quit your job before you had another? It’s a risky business and I know some people take the risk and start the process of selling, booking removals etc. before they receive the confirmation; such is their desire to move.
So if all goes well, you will get a letter in the post or a lovely email greeting you one morning showing that you have been approved. You and your family will dance for joy. You have jumped through all the hoops and passed all the tests. You can now send in your passports to collect your lovely blue stickers which open up doors of possibilities to you of a new life abroad.
I’m Jenny and I whilst I love being an expat in Auckland I could not find any reliable advice or guides online from someone who had actually made the move to New Zealand. So I decided to create this blog which offers free advice for expats by an expat. Hopefully you will find everything you’re looking for (and what I wish I knew before) here but if you can’t please do contact us.