As long as New Zealand’s borders are closed, and visa applications outside the country are not accepted for consideration, it is not necessary to sit idly by. In this article, we have compiled a few essential things to do now to prepare for your move.
Take care of finance
One of the common reasons for student visa refusal is financial documents. To obtain a student visa, you need to show money on your account for tuition fees, accommodation for the entire study period (NZ $ 1250 per month) and a return ticket. This amount should not appear on your account out of nowhere but be supported by the documents confirming its origin (for example, bank statement from your salary account where you saved money during the specific period).
In addition to the source of income confirmation, Immigration New Zealand requires a bank statement for the last six months, often asking to explain all transactions over NZ $ 1000.
The case can be especially complicated by selling an apartment or a car if it is your only property. Besides, INZ will require you to show “anchors” in your homeland – something that guarantees your intention to return home. Remember that a student visa belongs to the class of temporary visas, which means that your intentions at obtaining it should be to study and return home. The sudden sale of a car or apartment before applying for a visa raises INZ’s suspicions about your immigration intentions.
Ideally, we always recommend selling property only if you have another apartment or car. But we understand that this is not always so. Therefore, our second advice is to sell the property much in advance of applying for a visa. Thus, you can gradually deposit money into the account in small instalments to generate the necessary statement for six months. Besides, if you sold your apartment/car a long time ago, it will be less associated with your departure to New Zealand.
While the borders are closed, you have an excellent opportunity to take care of this side of the case and prepare the right financial documents. And if they are fine, save some more money, as the reserves will never be excessive, especially in the current situation in the New Zealand labour market and the rental housing market.
Remember that each case is individual and requires a personal approach in the formation of your visa strategy. You can always contact our managers, who will be happy to advise you for free and suggest the best way to prepare financial and other documents.
SOLVE ISSUES WITH CURRENT EMPLOYMENT
As we mentioned above, Immigration New Zealand pays close attention to “anchors” in your home country. Work is one of them. While your move is paused, you have a great opportunity to think over a plan for preparing documents from your current place of work. Request letters of recommendation, agree on remote employment, ask for long-term leave for study, and so on.
If you remain employed, and it is confirmed in an official letter from your current employer, this is a huge advantage for your visa case. Ideally, your current employer supports your decision, gives you the necessary leave or transfers to remote work, and awaits your return home. It is desirable to record such a scenario in your documents, but again this is an ideal situation, and we need to consider each case individually. But we highly recommend using the current situation with maximum benefit and preparing the “ground” and the necessary documents while there is plenty of time.
COLLECT LETTERS of recommendation/REFERENCES FROM previous employers
Your work experience for the last ten years stated in your CV and employment record book needs to be confirmed with additional documents. Some companies may have already closed, phone numbers have changed, and the archives have been lost, so we strongly advise you to start collecting documents confirming work experience now, while you have time.
Documents confirming work experience can be employment contracts, letters of recommendation from managers/directors, certificates from previous jobs confirming the duration of your employment, position and responsibilities.
Some study programs also require letters of recommendation from your professors, so consider visiting your university as well.
CHECK your CV
Immigration New Zealand carefully checks CVs, so make sure that all positions and terms of employment correspond to other official documents – contracts and references.
Also, you have an excellent opportunity to adjust your resume to the New Zealand market’s standards. Get rid of photos and unnecessary personal information that could be considered discriminatory. Add not only your responsibilities but also achievements with specific numbers. Our Kiwi Support team and managers will also be happy to write a CV for you for a fee, or you can find current CV writing trends on Seek or Google by searching in English.
PREPARE DOCUMENTS about your previous education
If you are applying to universities in New Zealand, you will likely be asked for a grading scale, which is a transcript of your grades and their equivalent to the New Zealand standard. Grading system in your home country can be not understandable for local universities, so you will need to request the grading scale from your university (0 to 100, with grades from A to F, and GPA points). It is challenging to get this document because, in some universities, there is not even a template for it. Sometimes, our clients have to draw up a grading scale on their own, and then certify it in the university. It’s better to do it now than hastily before applying.
WRITe A MOTIVATION LETTER
Also, many universities in New Zealand require submitting a motivation letter explaining why you chose them and their program, what are your plans for the future, what you can contribute to the university and, in general, what kind of a person you are, and how your values coincide with the values of the university. This document has no expiration date, so you can start writing it now. Our managers can also send you templates and examples, give you the right direction or write a letter for you on a paid basis.
Remember that if you are applying to several education providers, you should have motivation letters for each of them.
TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS with no expiration date
Now you can translate letters of recommendation, motivation letters, diplomas and academic transcripts, purchase and sale agreements and other documents of indefinite duration into English. Translation into English must be done in an official translation bureau and certified either by their stamp or by a notary. The Immigration Service does not accept uncertified translations.
If these are large contracts, the translation can take a lot of time and financial resources, so doing this now will help you better control costs and avoid the stress of tight deadlines.
TAKE ADDITIONAL COURSES
If you are planning to study in a new qualification, it requires careful and systematic preparation. It will be necessary for a visa officer, and for an education provider in some cases, to see that you have already taken steps to change your career. For this, it is advisable to take short or full courses, get on internships/volunteer programs, collect a portfolio, or even gain a little work experience. A certificate on additional training can come in handy for strengthening your visa strategy, so we highly recommend you pay attention to online training and try to improve your case with all possible tools.
If you do not plan to change your career and are confident in your skills, you can spend the waiting time on mastering your English, especially writing and speaking. With improving your English, the chances of quickly adapting to the country and finding a job grow significantly.
START STUDY IN NEW ZEALAND ONLINE
Many New Zealand educational institutions have launched online programs for international students that allow a certain number of credits to be completed before arriving in the country. If you plan to study in a language course, Foundation, bachelor’s or master’s degree, starting online is a very profitable solution.
- Cost savings: you do not need to rent an apartment in New Zealand, buy food at local prices, you can still work at your current job and save money to continue your studies onshore;
- Reduced study time in New Zealand: you get the same qualifications and knowledge, while in New Zealand you will need to study less, which saves time;
- Gradual immersion in the learning process: In New Zealand, you would have to study multiple subjects at once and study full-time from the very first day. With online learning, you can often adjust the number of subjects and the intensity of training in order to immerse yourself in the educational process more comfortably;
- New Zealand standard for quality learning from the comfort of your home: classes are taught by local professors, at the same level as offline learning, with the same requirements and guarantees, while you learn from the comfort of your home or office.
If all your documents are ready, and the offer of place has been received, you can spend the time watching New Zealand films and TV series, listening to local songs to get used to the accent. Use the #kiwieducation_recommends hashtag on our social media to find interesting selections of local films, bloggers and groups.