With the announcement that I’m leaving Holland, a lot of people asked me for how long exactly? A few months? A few years? Forever? Quickly followed by the question: this is only temporary, right? Don’t worry guys; I can reassure you that it’s far from easy to obtain a New Zealand residence permit. Or in other words: for most foreigners it’s almost impossible to stay in New Zealand forever. So, I have to disappoint you. You’ll probably see me back sooner than you wish.
The reason? New Zealand is a nation that protects its borders very well. With an increasing number of immigrants every year, the visa regulations are getting stricter since. Unless you have one of the few occupations New Zealand is in need of – being a Chinese chef would be great – a job offer, or enough capital to invest, there’s a slight chance you’ll qualify for one of the permanent visa types. Therefore, working and living in New Zealand as a foreigner can’t be done without having the right documents – you need a valid visa.
In my first blog post I’ve already mentioned that I’ve got a so-called Working Holiday Visa (WHV) approved. In case you’ve never heard about this visa before: this visa type allows young adults between 18 and 30 to work and travel in New Zealand for a maximum of 12 months. It works as follows: once your WHV gets approved, you have one year to get to New Zealand. Once you enter the country, your actual 12-months countdown starts. Oh, and if you’re already in the country on a Visitor Visa, it’s also possible to apply for a WHV.
Once you’ve got the WHV approved, you’re allowed to leave and re-enter New Zealand as many times as you wish during the time span of 12 months. Any time you spend out of New Zealand will not be added to the time your WHV is valid for. But as I’ve already mentioned before, an important condition to qualify for this type of visa is that you can’t be over the age of 30 at the time of your application. Since I haven’t reached this magical number yet, and my intention is to find work there, for me the WHV was the best option amongst the other visa categories. Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that it would be the right choice for you as well. It all depends on your personal intentions, circumstances, nationality etc. So if you consider travelling to New Zealand for a longer period, always make sure to check the website of Immigration New Zealand first to see which schemes they have available for your country of residence.
What will happen once my WHV expires? To be honest, I have no idea yet. It also might be too early to think about that. Sure, I know that the time will come. Probably sooner than I’d wish. But I guess it will all depend on the situation I’m in by then. At this stage, I just don’t want to worry about something I can’t predict anyway. Fact is, once my WHV will expire, I’ll have to leave New Zealand, one way or another.
What about you? Have you ever been to New Zealand before? And fell in love with this beautiful country just like me? In case that happened, and you consider travelling, working and/or living in New Zealand, either temporary or permanent, but you’re having some questions… I’d be happy to answer them, just shoot them at me in the comments.
If you haven’t visited New Zealand yet, don’t worry! I’ll make you fall in love with this country, that’s a promise! Just stay tuned.