+64 9 359 9319

+64 9 359 9189

Physical Address:
Unit 2M, Level 2
55-57 High Street
Auckland City
Auckland, New Zealand

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 99606
Auckland, New Zealand

Immigration Blog


Immigration Blog

Migrating is more than just filling in forms and submitting paperwork; its a complex process that will test even the most resilient of people. Understanding Australia & New Zealand at a grass-roots level is paramount to your immigration survival, and to give you a realistic view of both countries, its people and how we see the world, as well as updates about any current or imminent policy changes, subscribe to our regular blog posts by entering your details below.

Australia Blog: Easing My Migration Hangover

Posted by Myer on July 1, 2022, 2:31 p.m. in Australian immigration

Today is New Year’s day in Australian migration terms. 1 July marks the commencement of a new immigration year and just as we do for the calendar year, we look back on the year that’s been and speculate on the year that lies ahead...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Points System On Its Way

Posted by Iain on June 24, 2022, 2:44 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Short on detail but long on headlines (something this Government is very fond of) it was very clear that the ‘new' policy was in fact recycled policy to those of us who work with these rules day in and day out. It was as if the Government took back last year’s Christmas present they gave you, re-wrapped it and put it under this year’s Christmas tree and wished you a Merry Christmas...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Anything but Immigration (or Golf)

Posted by Myer on June 17, 2022, 10:59 a.m. in Melbourne

I personally didn’t think playing golf three days in a row on the Queen’s birthday long weekend in Melbourne was selfish. My wife disagreed and as we are experiencing the coldest winter in Melbourne in 70 years, the dog box looked decidedly uninviting...

Read the full post

Tags: Melbourne

Southern Man: It's raining jobs in NZ and AUS

Posted by Iain on June 10, 2022, 9:39 a.m. in New Zealand Economy

Recruiters are saying they haven’t seen a market like this for over 30 years in New Zealand. A market in which employees and candidates call the shots. Reports of ‘sign on’ bonuses of several thousand dollars for everything from Plumbers to Lawyers are now relatively common...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Liberal Urban Women Demanding Climate Action Swing Australian Election

Posted by Myer on June 2, 2022, 5:49 p.m. in Australian Election

On 21 May Australia elected our fourth Labor government (since 1949) and inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Liberal/National Coalition (the Coalition) after nine years in government...

Read the full post

Southern Man: How long is a piece of string, really?

Posted by Iain on May 27, 2022, 1:29 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

What is clear is that excitement is building among our clients who have been stuck on the other side of the border for the past two years that we can finally resurrect and continue the process of their move to New Zealand...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Perception is Reality

Posted by Myer on May 20, 2022, 2:58 p.m. in Australian immigration

In the last couple of days I received two emails from clients which prompted me to write this blog. Client A was amazed that the process was so quick. Client B was bemoaning the fact that the visa process was taking an eternity...

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ Accredited Employer Work Visa - Part 2

Posted by Iain on May 13, 2022, 12:22 p.m. in Employer Accreditation

If I were a New Zealand employer, I would be applying for accreditation as soon as possible and would start looking offshore for talent and be prepared to pay for it...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Hold the line

Posted by Myer on May 6, 2022, 2:35 p.m. in General Skilled Migration

I was prompted to write this blog by an email from a client in South Africa for whom we had filed a general skilled migration visa application asking me whether he should be sending out his CV because Australia is suffering critical skill shortages...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Accredited Employer Work Visas

Posted by Iain on April 29, 2022, 11 a.m. in Work Visa

Obtaining accreditation historically for employers was a fairly onerous affair and they had to present lots of information about their business, financials, business processes and practices. With a little under one month before this new policy goes live we are still waiting on government to release the actual rules about what precisely employers will have to provide...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Upcoming Australian Election

Posted by Hamish on April 22, 2022, 12:49 p.m. in Australia Election

A pandemic, war in Europe, and more locally, bush fires and floods – it doesn’t really matter what is happening in the world around us, every three years we are graced with the curious spectacle that is our Australian federal election and the campaigning (travelling circus) that precedes it...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Who'd be a politician?

Posted by Iain on April 15, 2022, 4:49 p.m. in New Zealand Politics

Who would be a politician? For some reason there is plenty who would. It is certainly in my family’s blood. We have had a Minister of Public Works among us many moons ago...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Honesty in an election year?

Posted by Myer on April 8, 2022, 1:37 p.m. in Australian immigration

The budget announcement regarding migration last week was a welcome boost to the skilled migration program but I doubt it’s going to be sufficient to satisfy Australia’s skill shortages. What were you expecting, honesty in an election year?

Read the full post

Southern Man: Tap on tap off

Posted by Iain on April 1, 2022, 11:34 a.m. in New Zealand Politics

After four years of the markets NZ is keen drawing from, seeing and hearing a lot of what can only be described as anti-immigrant rhetoric out of the past two Labour (led) governments, it is naive, when coupled with the border restrictions, to expect migrants to suddenly pack up sticks and come across to New Zealand...

Read the full post

Southern Man: I am not buying it if it’s not on the list

Posted by Myer on March 25, 2022, 9:43 a.m. in Skilled Migration

These words are frequently muttered by my wife as she leaves the house on her way to the shops after my entreaty to buy me snacks. They could just as easily be uttered by the Department of Home Affairs with regard to a skilled visa application...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Coming home to New Zealand

Posted by Iain on March 18, 2022, 1:12 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Friends and family have asked what it feels like to be back. I was surprised at how I felt actually. I had become a little bitter and twisted over the shabby treatment of NZers abroad by this Government. In my head I had started to build a new life in Queensland...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Other Critical Worker Announcement

Posted by Iain on March 14, 2022, 3:46 p.m. in Work Visa

A job offer for at least 12 months of work, that pays 1.5 times the median salary (around $84,000) a year will now be eligible for a non-labour market tested work visa...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Larrikin

Posted by Myer on March 11, 2022, 3:04 p.m. in Australia lifestyle

On Saturday Australia woke up to the tragic news that Shane Warne had passed away as a result of a heart attack at the very young age of 52. I don’t think there is a person in Australia (or even the world) who hasn’t heard of Shane Warne whether you follow cricket or not...

Read the full post

Southern Man: When Opportunity Knocks

Posted by Paul on March 4, 2022, 12:31 p.m. in Borders

It is funny how events unfold and as case numbers of the Omicron variant shoot upwards in New Zealand (knocking on 20,000 as of yesterday) like they have in many other countries, our political ‘leaders’ have all but done a complete turnaround in terms of restrictions...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: A Week with the Accidental Immigrant

Posted by Myer on Feb. 25, 2022, 1:42 p.m. in Australia lifestyle

I wanted to catch up with Iain to talk business strategy but mainly to play golf and compare notes on favourite wines. I was very curious as to why he had decided to purchase a unit in Noosa and why so many of our clients are choosing Queensland as a migration destination...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Work Visa Changes for NZ

Posted by Iain on Feb. 18, 2022, 9:04 a.m. in Work Visa

It is really interesting that my predictions of New Zealand moving to a more micromanaged numbers game appears to be at the core of the proposed changes to work visa policy and process. This does not represent a closing of the doors. In fact it may mean that it will become easier for a few, the same for many and impossible for some...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Welcome

Posted by Myer on Feb. 11, 2022, 12:57 p.m. in Borders

Australia says welcome back to you all from 21 February. After a two-year hiatus Australia is opening its borders to all fully vaccinated visa holders including tourists, business travellers, backpackers, students among the already exempt visa skilled and family candidates...

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ Border Reopening Plan - The Fish Hooks

Posted by Iain on Feb. 4, 2022, 1:20 p.m. in New Zealand Borders

The New Zealand border is, in a staggered way, opening up between now and October. Almost two years to the day since New Zealand was shut off from the world with one of the most tightly controlled borders outside of North Korea, the Government has announced their plan to reopen the border...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Tennis, Visas and No-Vax

Posted by Myer on Jan. 28, 2022, 4:44 p.m. in Australia

I’m sure that he will have learned a few hard lessons about Australia’s visa system and the lengths that Australia will go to enforce the rules and regulations that comprise Australian immigration law...

Read the full post

Southern Man: The accidental migrant - me

Posted by Iain on Jan. 21, 2022, 2:46 p.m. in Australia

In some respects, life is like a fast flowing river. There's only so much to be gained by swimming against it. It can take you on the wildest of rides to places you never planned or expected to end up...

Read the full post

Tags: Noosa | Fishing | Camping

Southern Man: Exemptions

Posted by Iain on Dec. 17, 2021, 11:48 a.m. in New Zealand Politics

This is my last post (can you hear the lone bugler?) and while I was going to finish on an esoteric note there’s been a few indications these past two weeks of where the visa process might be heading in New Zealand, at least in the short term, that will make for interesting reading...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Enough Greek (language)!

Posted by Myer on Dec. 10, 2021, 7:27 a.m. in Australia

All in all 2022 looks like being an interesting year for migration and a good one for our industry. With the dawn of a post pandemic migration era approaching, the opportunity for prospective migrants to consider a move to Australia has never been better...

Read the full post

Southern Man: It's time for the Auditor General

Posted by Iain on Dec. 3, 2021, 8:53 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

If any further evidence was needed that the Immigration Department (INZ) of New Zealand is out of control and bordering on dangerous we got it this week when for the second time in 12 months the High Court ruled that officers and the Department were acting unlawfully in implementing policies...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Increase in Migrant Quota?

Posted by Myer on Nov. 26, 2021, 2:23 p.m. in Migration Quota

Australia will soon be making an announcement regarding the number of visa places available for skilled migrants and students. It has also recently announced further easing of border restrictions with certain tourists

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ (almost) lowers the drawbridge

Posted by Paul on Nov. 24, 2021, 12:54 p.m. in New Zealand Borders

In a statement made at 1pm today our Covid response Minister, Chris Hipkins, announced New Zealand’s plan for opening up borders which, although it lacks a lot of detail does, at the very least, give us a rough plan to work with...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Time and tide wait for no man

Posted by Iain on Nov. 19, 2021, 12:41 p.m. in Australia Lifestyle

In a life filled with the pressure of feeling the need to answer every email in a comprehensive way within minutes of receiving it, immediately responding to text messages from friends and family or risk causing offence...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: A Perfect Storm

Posted by Myer on Nov. 12, 2021, 10:04 a.m. in Australia economy

Our Prime Minister plans to open the Australian border to foreign skilled workers before year end but whether that in itself is sufficient to satisfy the growing skill shortages in Australia remains to be seen...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Fortune favors the bold…

Posted by Paul on Nov. 5, 2021, 10:03 a.m. in New Zealand Politics

There is no doubt that the last five weeks in New Zealand has been a pretty busy and very interesting time in the immigration space..

Read the full post

Southern Man: Go Home, Stay Home

Posted by Paul on Oct. 29, 2021, 11:06 a.m. in Travel bubble

When I was younger (much younger), like most New Zealand children, one of our favourite summer evening games was “go home stay home”… a twist on the traditional “tag”, where you and your neighbourhood comrades had to reach a particular place (we used to refer to it as a base) and yell “go home, stay home” as loudly as possible and much to the chagrin of your neighbours....

Read the full post

Australia Blog: These are a Few of My Favourite Things

Posted by Myer on Oct. 22, 2021, 12:39 p.m. in Australia Lifestyle

Australia will be opening its borders imminently and it’s been 18 months since many of you could visit Australia so you may have forgotten what makes Australia so special and might need some reminding.

Read the full post

Tags: Lifestyle | Australia

Southern Man: Is New Zealand going to close the doors?

Posted by Iain on Oct. 15, 2021, 9:03 a.m. in New Zealand Economy

I appreciate that the Government has not done anything to demonstrate in recent years it values the contribution of migrants but political ineptitude and economic reality are two entirely different things and the signals should not be confused...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: It’s Go Time

Posted by Myer on Oct. 8, 2021, 3:16 p.m. in Australia

The Prime Minister of Australia recently announced lifting of travel restrictions and the ability for certain types of travellers (including Australian citizens and permanent residents) to quarantine at home from November...

Read the full post

Southern Man: And the winner is... virtually everybody!

Posted by Iain on Oct. 1, 2021, 10:29 a.m. in New Zealand Politics

Working quite closely with the National Party spokeswoman on Immigration, Erica Stanford and one or two others from the immigration consulting community in recent weeks...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Does Australia Still Need a Regional Migration Policy?

Posted by Myer on Sept. 24, 2021, 2:41 p.m. in Regional Australia

In 2019 Australia announced a change to immigration policy aimed at greater emphasis upon regional visas and designed an immigration policy aimed at encouraging regional migration...

Read the full post

Southern Man: What awaits skilled migrants?

Posted by Iain on Sept. 14, 2021, 4:32 p.m. in Work Visa

I've been asking myself over the past few days what might happen to the visa landscape if the following five things were to happen as part of the government's proposed immigration ‘reset’ to focus on more "highly skilled" migrants.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Times They are a Changing

Posted by Myer on Sept. 10, 2021, 3:59 p.m. in Communication

Social and economic commentators are fond of telling us that Covid has been a game changer in how we interact socially, transact economically and work. It has certainly proven to be true of our business...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Auckland Versus SE Queensland

Posted by Iain on Sept. 3, 2021, 10:21 a.m. in Australia lifestyle

When the New Zealand Prime Minister provided a seven day window for all New Zealanders in Australia to return home n early August as Covid started to take hold in New South Wales, we decided to throw caution to the wind given there was no Delta outbreak in Queensland. Reports in New Zealand that Delta was out of control in Australia were demonstrably false...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Communication in Our Time

Posted by Myer on Aug. 27, 2021, 2:09 p.m. in Communication

This week’s blog isn’t about immigration and it’s not about Covid. Whilst I’m never tired of immigration related news pertaining to Australia and New Zealand I am sick and tired of writing and reading about Covid, lockdowns, vaccination rates et cetera which seems to dominate the news in Australia...

Read the full post

Southern Man: A glimpse into the EOI future

Posted by Iain on Aug. 20, 2021, 9:50 a.m. in Expression of Interest

Living in the information age has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand we all have access to a lot of information instantaneously. On the other hand for those purveyors of information the immediacy can trip them up...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: When will the borders open in Australia?

Posted by Myer on Aug. 13, 2021, 2:59 p.m. in Australia

That’s probably one of the most frequently asked questions we receive and in truth, we don’t know. I suspect many of our politicians don’t know either...

Read the full post

Southern Man: My plan to solve the residence backlog crisis

Posted by Iain on Aug. 6, 2021, 3:34 p.m. in Immigration

If you see someone drowning do you offer them words of encouragement to keep swimming or do you throw them a large floaty thing with a rope and pull them to safety?

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Divided States of Australia

Posted by Myer on July 30, 2021, 1:28 p.m. in Australia

The international public perception of Australia is one country speaking with one voice albeit a multi-ethnic voice but the Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted the schisms that exist between the various states and territories in Australia...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Actions speak louder than words

Posted by Iain on July 23, 2021, 2:01 p.m. in New Zealand Politics

There’s an old saying that actions speak louder than words. A few weeks ago the New Zealand Government announced with it must be said, muted fanfare, that the days of high levels of inward migration were over...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Business of Australia is also Business

Posted by Myer on July 16, 2021, 1:52 p.m. in Australia

Former president Calvin Coolidge of the United States of America is reported to have said “that the business of America is business.” Well Australia means business too as far as recent changes to the business/investor visa program is concerned...

Read the full post

Southern Man: When can we re-open the border

Posted by Iain on July 9, 2021, 12:09 p.m. in Borders

While I am sure that you, like me, might be more than a little weary of Covid-19 dominating our lives, the most common question I get these days is when will the New Zealand (or for that matter the Australian) Government fully re-open the border?

Read the full post

Tags: Border

Australia Blog: Back to the Past

Posted by Myer on July 2, 2021, 11:15 a.m. in Australia

Great, Scott. Let’s get back to the DeLorean and go back to the past to avoid the Covid break in the space-time continuum...

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ flying under the radar

Posted by Iain on June 25, 2021, 4:58 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

I have often thought that New Zealanders are so self effacing it’s almost embarrassing. It’s like, team, it’s okay to celebrate our successes, just don’t go all ‘Australian’ about it - because as we all know, no one blows their own trumpet louder than...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: My Left Jab

Posted by Myer on June 18, 2021, 12:37 p.m. in COVID-19

One of the five legitimate reasons to leave one’s home was to receive a Covid vaccination or jab so I was quite looking forward to my excursion to leave the home and do my bit for a return to normality...

Read the full post

Southern Man: The pool is overflowing

Posted by Iain on June 11, 2021, 12:42 p.m. in Expression of Interest

If you use water to generate electricity you build a dam. You release enough water into the turbines so that you create enough energy to power your economy. Not too much, not too little. The New Zealand skilled migrant programme adopts a similar process...

Read the full post

Southern Man: The value of a good adviser

Posted by Iain on June 4, 2021, 12:52 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

In these trying times of economic uncertainty deciding whether or not to use a competent immigration consultancy can be a difficult choice. Given there’s so much information available online on government websites and on social media the question is constantly asked ‘Are agents worth it?’...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Posted by Myer on May 28, 2021, 10:38 a.m. in State Sponsorship

We’re talking occupations for Australia, not the movie. The question we constantly get from people we consult with is “what are good occupations to immigrate to Australia?”. By that they usually mean ‘what occupations does the Australian government want for the purpose of securing residence?’...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Finally a Good News Story

Posted by Iain on May 21, 2021, 11:16 a.m. in Healthcare

In 2018 we agreed to represent a couple in their early fifties from South Africa. Let’s call them Joe and Lucy (not their real names obviously). With a cut off age of 56 to file a resident visa as skilled migrants, the clock was ticking...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Minister of Immigration's speech tonight

Posted by Iain on May 17, 2021, 12:11 p.m. in Immigration

The rumour mill has been working overtime since Friday on what announcements might be made by the Minister of Immigration’s in his 6pm (tonight NZT) ‘invitation only’ speech...

Read the full post

Tags: visas | politics | migrants

Southern Man: Winds of Change

Posted by Paul on May 14, 2021, 2:22 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

INZ recently released more detail in regard to the upcoming Work Visa changes (which we posted a newsflash about late last week) and like clockwork, social media was set ablaze with rumour, conjecture and panic...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Second Time Round

Posted by Myer on May 7, 2021, 10:20 a.m. in Immigration

It’s always easier the second time round. It was words to that effect made casually over a barbecue (that’s braaivleis to our South African readers) by a good friend of mine that was the catalyst for today’s blog...

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ - work visa process change

Posted by Iain on May 7, 2021, 9:44 a.m. in Work Visa

INZ is starting to drip feed the details of the new work visa processes upon which work began back in late 2019. I say drip feed because in the recent announcements and webinars they have held they said ‘We are still doing work on that’ or ‘We are waiting on the Minister to tell us what he thinks’ (good luck with that then)...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Holding immigration bureaucrats to account

Posted by Iain on April 30, 2021, 5:02 p.m. in Visas

....two weeks ago, the Ombudsman released his findings into a complaint laid against Immigration New Zealand for, in effect, making rules up as they go along. The complaint was about INZ’s decision to arbitrarily decide some skilled migrant applicants were going to be prioritised over others, despite there being no official rule allowing this. Many of you will recall that as soon as the skilled migrant category processing backlog worsened over two years ago INZ decided that to ‘manage’ that they would introduce three criteria to ‘prioritise’ some applicants over others.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Travel Bubble

Posted by Myer on April 23, 2021, 10:21 a.m. in Travel bubble

Earlier this week both countries agreed to form a travel “bubble” and this exciting news heralds just one more step towards normalisation of travel arrangements. From October of last year, New Zealand citizens could visit Australia without undergoing quarantine arrangements but until the recent announcement...

Read the full post

Southern Man: INZ hypocrisy exposed again

Posted by Iain on April 16, 2021, 10:32 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

This has been ringing in my ears more times than I can count lately as I try to understand how it is that Devon Conway, a cricketer of prodigious talent with a bright future representing New Zealand in all forms of cricket, was the recipient of an INZ decision to ‘escalate” his partner’s non-priority residence application into the priority processing queue..

Read the full post

Tags: INZ

Australia Blog: Recognition of prior learning

Posted by Myer on April 9, 2021, 11:49 a.m. in Australia

I’m often asked whether one needs a qualification for the purposes of securing permanent residence in Australia as a skilled migrant and the short answer in typically cryptical fashion is in most cases you do, but sometimes you don’t...

Read the full post

Tags: Australia

Southern Man: The Cruelty Shown to Split Families

Posted by Iain on April 1, 2021, 4:50 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

A little over a month ago, the Prime Minister of New Zealand admitted when questioned by a journalist, that she was unaware that there was a significant number of migrant families split by the effective closing of our border, one year and seven days ago...

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ Visas - The Next 12 (or 24) Months

Posted by Iain on March 26, 2021, 2:38 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Senior INZ officials held a zoom meeting earlier today with interested immigration advisors. They seem to have caught the current government bug of making announcements about making announcements but there was some useful insight into what is, and isn't, happening over the next few months...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: What makes a Skilled Migrant?

Posted by Myer on March 19, 2021, 10:25 a.m. in Australia

I was prompted to write this blog as a result of a Zoom consultation with a current client of mine who is feeling frustrated that state governments in Australia are not sponsoring migrants from overseas and had, for the last 12 months, focused on sponsoring onshore applicants in Australia...

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Blade Runner Future

Posted by Iain on March 12, 2021, 11:18 a.m. in New Zealand Economy

If you ever watched the movie Blade Runner, it speaks of a time on an over populated home planet where once humans get to a certain age, they are ‘dispatched’, permanently, to cut down on those needing to be looked after. Humans have a ‘use by’ date, strictly enforced...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The States Should Be Sponsoring Offshore Applicants

Posted by Myer on March 5, 2021, 9:42 a.m. in Australia

Australia seems to be shrugging off the shackles of the Covid 19 pandemic faster than most expected. During the depths of the Covid 19 induced recession there was much speculation as to what Australia’s economic recovery might be like but I don’t think that anyone foresaw the V shaped recovery would have happened so quickly and so dramatically...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Review Announced

Posted by Iain on Feb. 25, 2021, 11:22 a.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Last week I wrote a piece speculating on what the outcome of next month's review into resuming selection of expressions of interest might be. The upshot of that analysis was that if the government does not start selecting expressions of interest next month...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Will INZ Pool Selections Resume In March?

Posted by Iain on Feb. 19, 2021, 9:17 a.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

It is coming up 12 months since the NZ Government quietly suspended selections of ‘Expressions of Interest in residence’ from those people wanting to be part of the Government’s much marketed skilled Residency program. Six months ago when the suspension was confirmed officially, the Government announced they would "review" the decision in March this year...

Read the full post

Southern Man: How COVID Changed My World

Posted by Iain on Feb. 12, 2021, 1:21 p.m. in New Zealand

Is it unseemly or inappropriate to say I am somewhat thankful for Covid? Or should that be I am grateful for the changes that Covid has thrust upon me, the crew and our business?

Read the full post

Tags: covid-19

Australia Blog: If You Lose It

Posted by Myer on Feb. 5, 2021, 2:34 p.m. in Australia

A significant number of people apply for permanent resident visas for Australia but fail to immigrate to Australia within the duration of the visa. These visas allow one to live in Australia indefinitely, however, they have a 5 year period in which to enter Australia...

Read the full post

Southern Man: End of Covid Visitor Visas Extensions

Posted by Iain on Jan. 29, 2021, 1:58 p.m. in Visitor Visa

Something strange is happening with visitor visas.... Ordinarily a person holding a visitor visa can apply to remain in New Zealand for a maximum period of nine months out of any consecutive eighteen...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: First Day Back

Posted by Myer on Jan. 22, 2021, 10:34 a.m. in Australia

In summer I enjoy one of the benefits of living in Melbourne and cycle to the office along the waterfront. That’s why “summer Myer” is considerably thinner than “winter Myer”. Because Melbourne spent most of 2020 in lockdown my only exercise consisted of walking to and from the refrigerator and summer Myer is yet to emerge, but as I cycled to my office for the first time in a year I couldn’t help but notice how empty the city is and wondered whether it would ever return to pre-Covid levels of activity...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Crystal Ball Border Gazing

Posted by Iain on Jan. 15, 2021, 9:58 a.m. in Immigration

Naturally our inboxes at IMMagine are full of the same question from clients as the new year starts - when do we think the Australian and New Zealand borders will re-open? The short answer is your guess is as good as ours as the NZ Government in particular has been all but silent on any plan. Australia only slightly less so. But here is what might be termed a very good educated guess based on public statements by the political leadership.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A fullstop on 2020

Posted by Iain on Dec. 22, 2020, 9:10 p.m. in New Zealand

Tis the season in which everyone will want to share the lows of 2020 and their hopes for 2021, vaccines, freedom of movement and normality....

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Roll Of The Dice

Posted by Paul on Dec. 17, 2020, 11:05 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Avid readers of our blog will be familiar with some of our recent posts, comparing the inner functions (or dysfunctions) of INZ with a mystical land where you spend most of your time chasing a white rabbit with a pocket watch down a deep dark hole...

Read the full post

Southern Man: A (kind of) fairytale - Part II

Posted by Iain on Dec. 11, 2020, 11:06 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Down at Immigration headquarters in Neverland, the senior ranking visa fairy pressed his eyes to his microscope and, steadying the hand that held his nano-slicer with a light but firm grasp, he got ready to split some more hairs...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Where has the year gone to?

Posted by Myer on Dec. 4, 2020, 11:05 a.m. in Australia

“It’s December already, where has the year gone to?” is a common comment at this time of year but this particular year we know where we spent much of our time – isolated in our homes. It’s a year demarcated by isolation and stagnation from an economic and social perspective and next year can only be better...

Read the full post

Southern Man: A kind (of) fairytale

Posted by Iain on Nov. 27, 2020, 10:10 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Once upon a time in a land far far away, two young men who loved animals decided they wanted to train to be Veterinarians. They both studied at the same University, received the same training and were conferred the same degree...

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Weight of Responsibility

Posted by Myer on Nov. 20, 2020, 1:27 p.m. in Consultations

To encourage or discourage? That’s the question that we at IMMagine face every day when receiving preliminary questionnaires and accompanying CVs for those people thinking of having a consultation with us, and we are acutely aware of the responsibility and the potential effect in making these decisions on people’s lives...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Border Exemption Lottery

Posted by Iain on Nov. 13, 2020, 11:46 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

The craziness of the ‘critical worker’ border exemption lottery continues. To get one the primary criteria is to have a job offer in New Zealand and skills that require: ‘…unique (experience) and technical or specialist skills that are not readily obtainable in New Zealand’ Here is the guidance given to immigration officers of what ‘unique’ and ‘not readily obtainable’ might mean...

Read the full post

Tags: INZ | government

Australia Blog: Light at the end of the Australian Tunnel

Posted by Myer on Nov. 6, 2020, 4:38 p.m. in Immigration

Melbourne is about to be released from the constraints of the longest lockdown in any city in the world having just completed 111 days of lockdown. With much of Europe initiating a second wave of lockdowns perhaps this unenviable record will be broken but Melburnians emerge from this nightmare to find an Australia very different from when we went into second lockdown...

Read the full post

Tags: lockdown

Southern Man: What is that light I see

Posted by Iain on Oct. 30, 2020, 12:03 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Recent surveys show that the New Zealand economy is showing strong signs of a rebound and recovery to levels none of us could have imagined back in late March. No longer does that light at the end of the tunnel look quite so much like a rapidly approaching freight train as it does daylight...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Global Talent Visa

Posted by Myer on Oct. 23, 2020, 3:55 p.m. in Australia

The Australian Government has publicly indicated that migration is central to their Covid recovery plan. Knowing there is State level politics that can impact on that goal the federal government has confirmed a threefold expansion in the number of ‘Talent Visas’ up for grabs, I think to deflect from the political risks associated with the other ‘skilled pathways’...

Read the full post

Tags: australia

Southern Man: No SMC pool draw for six months

Posted by Iain on Oct. 19, 2020, 10:35 a.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

The NZ government (in waiting) announced this morning that they will not be resuming skilled migrant ‘pool draws’ for another six months. They haven't done any since March this year anyway so this is hardly ‘news’, more a clarification of an existing position....

Read the full post

Tags: government | eoi | Eligibility

Southern Man: A Good News Bad News Story

Posted by Iain on Oct. 16, 2020, 2:51 p.m. in COVID-19

I am not sure if this is the good news or bad news story. It looks like the government is finally starting to open up the border, inconsistent and illogical step by step. Over the last two weeks they have announced that...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: A shot in the arm

Posted by Myer on Oct. 8, 2020, 10:47 a.m. in Australia

If we ever needed reminding that 2020 was a strange year last night we saw a liberal treasurer reading a budget that would have in previous years embarrassed a labor government by the scale of spending contemplated by the government to stimulate an economy that has flat lined in the wake of Covid 19.

Read the full post

Tags: Australia

Southern Man: Let's not squander this opportunity

Posted by Iain on Oct. 2, 2020, 1:20 p.m. in Elections

Two weeks out from our general election we continue to see pressure being brought to bear on our political leadership to acknowledge and perhaps do something about immigration policy settings and what skills should be allowed to enter the country. Too late me thinks...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Stay ahead of the pack

Posted by Iain on Sept. 25, 2020, 10:01 a.m. in COVID-19

I cannot believe over the past six months how many people are contacting us, now desperate to leave wherever they are and join us on one of our islands. For islands, even big ones like Australia, are currently viewed as the safest places to be during a global pandemic and beyond

Read the full post

Southern Man: Immigration policies for NZ's election

Posted by Iain on Sept. 18, 2020, 1:29 p.m. in Elections

A month out from possibly the most important election in decades I decided to have a look at the immigration policies of the major political parties just in case any of them might have one.

Read the full post

Tags: politics | Elections

Southern Man: Reading between the lines

Posted by Iain on Sept. 11, 2020, 11:51 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

At the same time as the Government released a press statement about an immigration matter, two lobby groups, unrelated to one another, released press statements applauding the Government for announcing an expansion of the occupations that would be granted border exemptions.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ Abandons Covid Elimination Strategy

Posted by Iain on Sept. 4, 2020, 12:42 p.m. in COVID-19

The battle lines seemingly are now drawn. The national economy or the health of the nation. Is it naive to think you can have both?

Read the full post

Tags: Health | Economy | covid-19

Australia Blog: Look before you Leap

Posted by Myer on Aug. 28, 2020, 12:59 p.m. in Australia

On 20 August the Australian Government brought into effect the Migration Amendment (Hong Kong Passport Holders) Regulations 2020 in line with previous announcements regarding special consideration to be granted to Hong Kong students, graduates and skilled workers in Australia

Read the full post

Southern Man: Trust me, I am a bureaucrat

Posted by Iain on Aug. 21, 2020, 1:39 p.m. in COVID-19

Why does the civil service get it so wrong so often?

Read the full post

Tags: Immigration

Southern Man: Community Coronavirus Returns

Posted by Iain on Aug. 14, 2020, 3:32 p.m. in Coronavirus

After 102 days of no community transmission 17 (and counting) cases of the coronavirus have been identified, all linked to one family. All those positively tested have been moved into mandatory quarantine. That’s new.

Read the full post

Tags: lockdown | covid-19 | auckland

Southern Man: INZ about to run out of excuses

Posted by Iain on Aug. 7, 2020, 1:21 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

Another interesting week then here in New Zealand. Evidence the recession may well not be as bad as many had thought (but being Mr Glass Half Empty I’d caution it is very early days), the government is coming under increasing pressure from its own political elders to get the border opened to more people more quickly than it has been and INZ is about to run out of excuses on not processing non-priority skilled migrant visa cases.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Leader of the Pack

Posted by Myer on July 31, 2020, 1:51 p.m. in USA

New Zealand is seen as a safe haven amongst countries struggling to contain the spread of coronavirus and has reported that more than 250,000 Americans have investigated whether they qualify to move to New Zealand since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Read the full post

Southern Man: What is INZ afraid of?

Posted by Iain on July 24, 2020, 1:27 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

The plot thickens. Just what is going on with the processing of skilled migrant cases?

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Migrant Targets Confirmed and Hong Kong is Thrown a Bone

Posted by Myer on July 17, 2020, 11:13 a.m. in Hong Kong

It’s been an interesting week as far as immigration policy to Australia is concerned and whilst it is supposed to be a curse in China to wish someone an interesting life, I’d have to say on the balance of probability that the past week could be described as “good interesting” with announcements from the Federal Government on the size of the migration quota for the immigration year commencing 1 July 2020 and special visa arrangements for Hong Kong citizens.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Stunning Admission From INZ

Posted by Iain on July 10, 2020, 1:08 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Last week I wrote that INZ had all but admitted that within their publicly declared priority criteria to speed up skilled migrant resident visa (points) processing, Teachers and "health workers" were being given priority. That a priority queue existed within the priority queue. Go figure.

Read the full post

Tags: migrants | INZ | Immigration

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Backlog Explained

Posted by Iain on July 3, 2020, 12:29 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Never has a queue been the subject of so much speculation and intrigue. Calls are growing louder for the government to front. To tell the truth. Hardly a day goes by without one media (mainstream or social) or another speculating on the cause of the skilled/business stream processing delays and backlogs.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Silly Season

Posted by Myer on June 26, 2020, 1:51 p.m. in Australia

The silly season is fast approaching in Australia and I’m not referring to Christmas or New Year. I am referring to 1 July which is the beginning of our immigration year and demarcates the beginning of the “silly season” in which state governments produce lists of occupations that they intend to sponsor for the immigration year that commences on 1 July 2020 and ends 30 June 2021.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ Border Exceptions - Update

Posted by Iain on June 23, 2020, 3:56 p.m. in New Zealand

This is a rapidly evolving situation and INZ is making it very difficult to know what to tell anyone. The communications coming out of INZ are confusing, vague and often nonsensical. How the officials then apply these hard to interpret rules just makes things even worse...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Once a Refugee

Posted by Paul on June 19, 2020, 10:48 a.m. in Refugees

Migrating is tough and anyone brave enough to do it will need to be prepared to face a myriad of obstacles; from leaving behind the familiar, hunting down a new job in a new environment, negotiating the legal complexities and then of course settling in to a new country

Read the full post

Tags: New Zealand | INZ

Southern Man: The new (old) normal returns

Posted by Iain on June 12, 2020, 1:13 p.m. in New Zealand

New Zealand is now back to normal. No restrictions on what we do, where we do it or in what numbers. There are no active cases any longer New Zealand...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Business as usual next week

Posted by Iain on June 5, 2020, 1:54 p.m. in New Zealand

The pressure is mounting on the Prime Minister to take the country swiftly to Level 1 (meaning business as usual with closed borders) as there has been no new coronavirus cases reported for almost two weeks...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Is the border about to reopen

Posted by Iain on May 29, 2020, 2:47 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

This week the Director General of Health, clearly our de facto Health Minister during the Covid-19 crisis given the ongoing absence of the elected one, made an interesting and telling comment

Read the full post

Southern Man: An open letter to the PM

Posted by Iain on May 21, 2020, 4:22 p.m. in New Zealand

You have spent the past two months exhorting us to be kind to one another as the county locked down and the national focus turned to eliminating the Coronavirus.

Read the full post

Southern Man: INZ is back at work - sort of

Posted by Iain on May 14, 2020, 4:48 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

The Immigration Department has confirmed that from Thursday 14 May, in respect of their onshore offices (only) they were back to work with around 70% of the staff in the office. Offshore offices remain closed.

Read the full post

Tags: INZ

Southern Man: Do you trust Jacinda Ardern?

Posted by Iain on May 6, 2020, 10:31 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

If you do you won't be disturbed by a Bill amending the Immigration Act tabled in parliament this week allowing the government wide-ranging powers to change the way visas are, or are not, accepted and or processed. If you do trust the government, there is little to worry about.

Read the full post

Southern Man: INZ’s plan for working at Level 3

Posted by Iain on May 1, 2020, 1:49 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

We are still being fed the line of ‘limited capacity’ meaning they have no ability to access files from home because they don’t have a 21st century IT system and NZ still requires many visa applications to be filed in paper form. And of course, they trot out the line they need to keep their staff ‘safe'

Read the full post

Tags: Immigration

Southern Man: What Does Level 3 Hold For Visa Processing

Posted by Iain on April 24, 2020, 11:46 a.m. in New Zealand

Global media reports this week that Australia and New Zealand have just leapt to the top of the preferred countries to migrate to globally as people contemplate what the future might look like in a world that has not eliminated the coronavirus and for which there may not be a vaccine for quite some time

Read the full post

Tags: visas

Australia Blog: It's Not All Doom and Gloom

Posted by Myer on April 17, 2020, 2:01 p.m. in Australia

The vast majority of our clients intending to immigrate to Australia are overseas and intending to apply for general skilled migration visas. Most of our clients require, amongst other things, a state government to sponsor them. The chances of securing state sponsorship very much depend upon whether their occupations appear on a state sponsorship list.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Future of Immigration

Posted by Iain on April 10, 2020, 12:25 p.m. in New Zealand

Like most business owners in New Zealand, I have been desperate of late for some signal from the government as to when we will come out of lockdown and how that might look. This week as the Covid-19 infection rate continued to fall dramatically, it seems the harsh lockdown being experienced in New Zealand is working in terms of eliminating the virus from the population. That’s the very good health news.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ COVID-19 Updates

Posted by Iain on April 8, 2020, 11:48 a.m. in New Zealand

Covid-19 continues to impact the visa world in unprecedented ways. The situation continues to evolve rapidly. Follow developments and announcements here.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: AU COVID-19 Updates

Posted by Myer on April 8, 2020, 11:07 a.m. in Australia

Australia has chosen not to go into total lockdown to flatten our curve. Most state borders have been closed and of course our national borders as well.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ - What Happens Post The Lockdown

Posted by Iain on April 3, 2020, 12:47 p.m. in New Zealand

A lot of people have been asking me lately what I think will happen once New Zealand comes out of lockdown in a little over three weeks

Read the full post

Tags: Immigration

Southern Man: Sophie's Choice

Posted by Iain on March 27, 2020, 1:10 p.m. in COVID-19

You remember that Meryl Streep movie, in which, as she arrived at the concentration camp in Germany during World War II, she was forced to decide which one of her two children would live and which one would die?

Read the full post

Southern Man: Time is Every Migrants Enemy

Posted by Iain on March 20, 2020, 8:54 a.m. in New Zealand

What a week. Last night the NZ Government announced they were closing the border from midnight...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: When Is The Right Time To Book A Consultation?

Posted by Myer on March 13, 2020, 12:22 p.m. in Immigration

If you’re thinking of emigrating you might also be wondering when is the appropriate time to have a consultation regarding your visa options (and the smart migrants do seek out some good advice before they move).

Read the full post

Southern Man: INZ Building Walls

Posted by Iain on March 6, 2020, 6:28 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

A couple of weeks ago when a new and inexperienced immigration officer made an inconsistent and incorrect call on a piece of policy implementation that affected one of our clients, a colleague emailed her and politely explained...

Read the full post

Tags: INZ | Immigration

Southern Man: When you though it couldn't get any worse...

Posted by Iain on Feb. 28, 2020, 10:42 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

A competitor (a former employee and friend) emailed me a few days ago and said ‘Please stop scaring my clients!’

Read the full post

Southern Man: Walking the High Wire

Posted by Iain on Feb. 21, 2020, 1:26 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Writing these weekly blogs is a delicate balancing act between informing over matters relating to visas and migration, hopefully with a bit of explanation into the whys and wherefores, and frightening people....

Read the full post

Southern Man: Kia kaha

Posted by Iain on Feb. 14, 2020, 4:22 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Kia kaha. In Maori this means "stay strong”. It is one of those terms that has found its way into every day usage in New Zealand. I love it. It speaks to where I come from and the work that I do. People everywhere are freaking out over the skilled migrant resident visa allocation and processing times, frightened by what the government might do.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Corona and Visitor Visa Processing Delays

Posted by Iain on Feb. 8, 2020, 10:10 a.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Many years ago and before the immigration department started transitioning to online electronic applications the then Deputy Secretary asked me how I would feel if it were possible to file any kind of Visa from anywhere in the world from any device. I said I think it would be fantastic if INZ could make it work and it led to the speedy resolution of visas applications. I had visions of someone sitting on a camel with a laptop computer, power by a solar panel dropped over its hump, filing a Visa for New Zealand for some strange reason. I wasn’t so keen on being told a computer would soon be able to make the decision however.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled migrant processing times - update

Posted by Iain on Jan. 31, 2020, 5:09 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog which explained how the immigration department is allocating Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa applications and how they are choosing to prioritise. I did that in part because we have received a small number of emails from clients in recent months along the lines of "Why is my application going to take one year to be allocated when my friends were allocated more quickly and they lodged their application after we did?”

Read the full post

Australia Blog: A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

Posted by Myer on Jan. 24, 2020, 9:31 a.m. in Australia

These days those wanting to immigrate to Australia are increasingly having to compromise on the type of visa they apply for and having to “settle” for a visa that affords lesser rights than those that they would ideally prefer to have. This has prompted me to use the expression mentioned in the title of this blog more and more these days in consultation with those wanting to immigrate to Australia.

Read the full post

Southern Man: What does 2020 bring for skilled migrants?

Posted by Iain on Jan. 17, 2020, 6:50 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

What does 2020 bring for skilled migrants? The short answer is delays and frustrations. INZ continues to advise that they are placing skilled migrant (points) resident visa applications into two queues — those that warrant prioritisation based on two limited criteria and those that do not.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Mountain Tale

Posted by Iain on Dec. 20, 2019, 11:13 a.m. in New Zealand

It is sometimes lost on us, as we live our ordinary and for the most part, urban, lives, so utterly disconnected from nature, just how wonderful this country of Aotearoa/New Zealand really is. Often we only appreciate it when we step out of our comfort zone and head for the hills (or in my case, mountains).

Read the full post

Tags: New Zealand

Southern Man: Work Visa Rules Decoded - Sort of

Posted by Iain on Dec. 13, 2019, 3:35 p.m. in Work Visa

What we know is the aim of accrediting all employers and making things ‘simpler’ has as always run into the small detail of reality. It isn’t simple and it does add layers of complexity although it seems Government has listened to Advisers like us and employer groups who made one very strong point - the focus going more on the employer I not a bad move but if the total time it takes to secure a work visa is longer than it is today (can be months if you don’t know what you are doing) then it is economic suicide.

Read the full post

Southern Man: One rule for me and one rule for you

Posted by Iain on Dec. 6, 2019, 2:50 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

I like to think I am old and wise enough to see both sides, or even all sides, of an argument (although my wife might beg to differ). I struggle to understand the policy concessions recently rolled out in favour of partners of culturally arranged marriages. I stand ready and resolute to be accused of racism.

Read the full post

Tags: lifestyle

Australia Blog: State Sponsorship Chess – mate

Posted by Myer on Nov. 29, 2019, 2:39 p.m. in Australia

We always explain to clients when we meet them that the eligibility we describe in that initial assessment is not in fact a description of their eligibility today but a snapshot of their future eligibility. Why? Because there are generally months of work, English exams and third party applications that must be completed before any Visa can be filed for Australia. And it is only when an application is filed that the clock stops. Changes from that day forward should not impact them.

Read the full post

Tags: Australia

Southern Man: Hong Kong Burning

Posted by Iain on Nov. 22, 2019, 2:58 p.m. in Hong Kong

During my latest trip to Hong Kong, in the midst of the worst crisis in decades, everyone watching the news from home has been asking me if ‘it is safe there?’. With hand on heart I tell them that over the past two months, much of it spent in Hong Kong, I have seen very little of the protesting and have continued to feel overwhelmingly safe. (I spend a lot of time in South Africa, so Hong Kong isn’t going to scare me!).

Read the full post

Tags: Hong Kong

Southern Man: Study to Work to Residence - Pros and Cons

Posted by Iain on Nov. 15, 2019, 2:29 p.m. in Education

When I explain to those who seek residency of New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant Category that they will need a skilled job, first, in order to secure enough points and that overwhelmingly demands for around 97% of clients that they resign their jobs and head off to New Zealand only to be confronted by a very real ‘chicken and egg’ situation (no work Visa means no job but no job means no work Visa), the blood usually drains out of their faces. The truth is most people, unless incredibly committed, are simply not going to resign their jobs, fly away without their family and try their luck in the labour market no matter how employable I believe they are (although right now however we are representing over 350 families who will).

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Zealand 5th Wealthiest Country (Australia 4th)

Posted by Iain on Nov. 8, 2019, 3:45 p.m. in New Zealand

As my colleagues and I explain to anyone who listens, until you have a job, hold a work visa and are earning local currency, you cannot get all the cost of living advantages that tourists, like him, cannot get (and therefore cannot see or possibly imagine). Education that is 97% funded out of our taxes, health care the same, drugs that are virtually ‘free’ is not something tangible a tourist (looking for work) will see for the most part because it comes later, after there is a job in hand. Likewise access to social security and pensions most of which are funded out of taxes are not on view for those visiting for two weeks.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New occupations deemed skilled for resident visas - with catches!

Posted by Iain on Nov. 1, 2019, 2:56 p.m. in Work Visa

The government has sprung something of a surprise this week and added 44 jobs to those deemed to be ‘skilled’ for the purposes of a skilled migrant category resident visa application.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: I Want My Mum

Posted by Myer on Oct. 25, 2019, 1:41 p.m. in Immigration

With the announcement that the parent category in New Zealand is to be operational in May 2020 it’s perhaps opportune to compare the options available to parents wishing to be reunited with children in either Australia or New Zealand. Whilst both Australia and New Zealand are reluctant to accept parents because of the greater healthcare costs elderly parents will place upon the health systems of both countries, the immigration policies are quite different.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Hong Kong Descends into Despair

Posted by Iain on Oct. 18, 2019, 2:35 p.m. in Hong Kong

What a difference six months makes. I’ve been in Hong Kong with my colleague Hamish and over 12 days we delivered three seminars (all fully booked) to several hundred people. We then consulted with scores of families seeking more stable futures in Australia or New Zealand - and all got a plan to get into one of these two countries. As the ‘push factors’ ramp up on them, I am going to be really interested to see how many of them take the plunge. Already some have. I expect many more as events continue to spiral downwards in Hong Kong.

Read the full post

Tags: Hong Kong

Southern Man: Parent category reopening

Posted by Iain on Oct. 10, 2019, 11:38 a.m. in Parent Category

Earlier this week the government announced that they are going to reopen the category for parents that they "temporarily" closed three years ago. Our inboxes have been filling up with people excitedly thinking the door is opening again and they bring their parents to New Zealand but sadly the truth (as usual) is not quite as exciting as the headlines.

Read the full post

Tags: parent visa

Southern Man: Is the Skilled Migrant pass mark set to increase?

Posted by Iain on Oct. 4, 2019, 3:20 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Of late, and very publicly, the Immigration Department has been blaming the blow out in Skilled Migrant Resident Visa processing times to a surge in demand and a massive inflow of applications. I cannot help thinking that they are softening up the Minister of Immigration to increase to the skilled migrant pass mark from 160 to give themselves some breathing space to process the ever increasing backlogs that they have created.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australia wants Tradesmen (from November)

Posted by Myer on Sept. 27, 2019, 3:28 p.m. in Australia

Tradesmen or Tradies as they are known in Australia are going to be one of the types of occupations to be major beneficiaries from some of the changes to be made to general skilled migration visa policy on 16 November. Three weeks of consultations in South Africa have made it abundantly clear that it will be easier for Tradies to qualify for state-sponsored regional (work to residence) visas in Australia.

Read the full post

Tags: Australia

Southern Man: 'Employer Focussed' Work Visa Explained

Posted by Iain on Sept. 20, 2019, 3:19 p.m. in Work Visa

The new, so called ‘Employer led work visa’, set to replace 6 different types of work visa by 2021, was announced this week and has different interest groups either applauding or frothing at the mouth.

Read the full post

Tags: work visa

Southern Man: Changes to Talent Visa Requirements

Posted by Iain on Sept. 17, 2019, 3:11 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Right about now keyboard warriors across Facebook, Twitter, migrant chat group and forums will be lighting up with the news that the Government is making a significant change to accredited employer/talent visa policy on or about 7 October. Teeth will be gnashing. Uninformed opinions will be flying. No doubt the ‘media headlines will scream ‘Government making it tougher for migrant workers to secure work visas’ (Government loves those sorts of headlines even when it isn’t true).

Read the full post

Tags: work visa

Southern Man: David Versus Goliath

Posted by Iain on Sept. 13, 2019, 11:36 a.m. in Work Visa

I’d be lying if I said this job doesn’t sometimes feel like I am living a modern version of the biblical David and Goliath story. Every day, my team and I take on the might of the state. We deal with an Immigration Department culture that is often disinterested, dismissive, inexperienced, largely leaderless (they call it empowerment, probably) and a bunch of bureaucrats that display a level of arrogance that is at times shocking.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Who is going to look after me?

Posted by Iain on Sept. 6, 2019, 5:29 p.m. in New Zealand

A few years ago I was asked what I believed was the biggest future challenge facing New Zealand by a young man in Durban. Having told him I thought that was the most interesting and thoughtful question I'd ever been asked, I thought about it for a while. What do you think my answer was?

Read the full post

Tags: New Zealand

Southern Man: Spring Has Sprung

Posted by Iain on Aug. 30, 2019, 6:02 p.m. in New Zealand

I am finally home after another five weeks on the road. It is funny the things I notice when I've spent the past 14 days in high-rise hotel rooms with the constant hum of air conditioning and where the elevation separates me from terra firma below. The shoebox in the sky, the meeting room with clients, so many stories in the air, the only view a field of concrete and glass buildings stretching to the horizon and foraging for food in malls - all possible without ever actually stepping outside and feeling the sun on my face.

Read the full post

Southern Man: In the Mouth of the Dragon - Chinese Article

Posted by Iain on Aug. 28, 2019, 10:51 p.m. in Hong Kong

In the Mouth of the Dragon - Chinese Article

Read the full post

Southern Man: In the Mouth of the Dragon

Posted by Iain on Aug. 23, 2019, 3:46 p.m. in Politics

Naturally, many people here are extremely afraid of what the future holds for them. They should be. The reality of what awaits in terms of personal freedom has perhaps finally dawned on the people of Hong Kong and that is the reason that hundred of thousands are now out on the streets protesting every weekend, for the most part peacefully, demanding a different future to that written by the political elite of Hong Kong.

Read the full post

Southern Man: When Stupid Becomes Sinister

Posted by Iain on Aug. 16, 2019, 12:54 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

In this age of mass communication, social media and the manipulation of the masses by the few, it can sometimes be hard to separate the sinister from the stupid. Take Donald Trump for example. Closer to home, I’m constantly asking myself whether the New Zealand Immigration department is full of poorly led fools or there is an insidious culture of racism that that they will never publicly acknowledge exists.

Read the full post

Tags: INZ

Southern Man: Four Visa Horsemen

Posted by Iain on Aug. 9, 2019, 3:08 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

I am sometimes asked why we are more expensive than most immigration advisers. I respond, sounding immodest I know, because we employ the best, smartest immigration consultants and we deliver. You’d expect me to say that, right? Well, if that sounds like a self serving sales pitch, read on....

Read the full post

Tags: INZ | immigration

Southern Man: New Zealand - Is It Really Closing It's Doors?

Posted by Iain on July 19, 2019, 2:23 p.m. in Immigration New Zealand

Immigration ‘cuts’ are back in the news this week and as usual the migrant world is in full panic mode. This is, to coin the phrase, ‘fake news’. However, drill down a little deeper and a very different, and depending where you come from, a darker picture is playing out.

Read the full post

Tags: INZ

Australia Blog: The Great Australian Visa Lolly Scramble

Posted by Myer on July 13, 2019, 12:09 a.m. in Australia

Last week South Australia released their new state sponsorship list and what ensued can only be described as a visa lolly scramble.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Oi Mate

Posted by Myer on July 3, 2019, 1:50 p.m. in Education

There has been an increased emphasis in recent years in English-language ability as an eligibility criteria for obtaining permanent residence in Australia and New Zealand, at least as far as skilled migrants are concerned. The rationale is that improved English language ability leads to better employment outcomes and greater social integration on the part of the migrant

Read the full post

Tags: English

Southern Man: A Day in Threatened Paradise - I am a Lucky Man

Posted by Iain on June 28, 2019, 7:38 p.m. in Lighthearted

I have been having one of those magical New Zealand days that reminds me why I was so lucky to be born in this country. It is mid winter, yet temperatures continue to be mild; it’s dry and for the most part sunny but certainly not tropical. It can be a fantastic time of year with days of blue skies, little wind and bookended by chilly nights snuggling up in front of a fire with a glass of good new Zealand red wine. The days are perfect for getting outside, working in the garden and taking long walks in our patch of rainforest or along local beaches.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Teachers Strike it Big

Posted by Iain on June 21, 2019, 6:19 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

I wrote a few weeks ago about unprecedented industrial action being taken by school Teachers who went on strike for better wages and conditions. It looks like they have scored big from a government that said they had no more money to dish out. In that piece I did point out that most New Zealanders would be very supportive of significantly increasing Teacher salaries over a lot of other things this Government spends our money on, even if that means putting up our taxes. It seems they have managed to find the money without increasing taxes so everyone is happy.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Tearing Down the Churches

Posted by Iain on June 14, 2019, 5:04 p.m. in IMMagine

Having stepped off a plane from South Africa, a client asked me a couple of questions. The first was whether New Zealand is now going to give preferential entry and permanent residency to Muslims over everybody else. I looked sideways at the client not quite sure if she was pulling my leg or not. I said, no, Muslims will continue to be treated just like everybody else. She followed that up with a second question asking if it true that the Christian churches of New Zealand are now being knocked down and mosques being built in their place?

Read the full post

Southern Man: When an A Grade Means Fail

Posted by Iain on June 7, 2019, 8:23 p.m. in Immigration

I wrote a few weeks ago about the critical importance of filing ‘decision ready’ work visa applications in order to minimise the risk of the application being deemed ‘high touch’ (in English, requiring closer scrutiny) and being placed in an allocation queue which can mean four months simply to allocate to an officer for processing. One of the four criteria that will see a work visa allocated to the slow queue is a medical certificate and tests that are not able to be immediately ‘auto cleared’ as indicating an acceptable standard of health.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Teachers Are Revolting!

Posted by Iain on May 31, 2019, 4:45 p.m. in Education

Earlier this week tens of thousands of Teachers went on strike across New Zealand. As they marched up Queen Street and past our offices they were chanting “What do we want? Teachers! When do we want them? Now!” I don't believe anyone in New Zealand takes strike action without good cause and in this case I think the Teachers have very good reason to send a very strong signal to the government.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australia Votes

Posted by Myer on May 26, 2019, 9:21 p.m. in Australia

It was supposed to be the “unloseable” election, so how did the Labor party manage to wake up on Sunday morning nursing an almighty hangover from Saturday’s general election in Australia? Already the memes are out with perhaps the cruelest one being “losing the “unloseable” election Bill Shorten (leader of the opposition) shall forever be known as Billary”.

Read the full post

Southern Man: WANTED: Migrants with the Health of Olympians

Posted by Iain on May 17, 2019, 5:13 p.m. in Healthcare

I could not tell you the last time we had a work visa declined on medical grounds, but plenty require scrutiny by the Department’s medical assessors. That can add weeks to the process. Recent analysis of our own applications for work visas for skilled migrants saw around 25% of the 350 we have filed in the past year requiring a recommendation by the departmental doctors on approving or not.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ Skill List Changes Explained

Posted by Iain on May 10, 2019, 1:37 p.m. in Immigration

Every government likes to put their own stamp on things when they come into power to demonstrate that they are ‘doing things’. I remember being told this many years ago by a new Minister of Immigration over a coffee who changed the name (but nothing else) of the Appeal Authority. When I asked her why it was done given the cost involved to the tax payer (think how much it must cost a government department to simply change stationary letterhead for example), she looked at me and smiled and said "We all do it, it's called stamping our name on things’. The taxpayer be damned, obviously.

Read the full post

Southern Man: How Do You Prove a Negative?

Posted by Iain on May 3, 2019, 3:32 p.m. in Immigration

I have no intention of this blog becoming a weekly whine about dealing with the Immigration Department. I do appreciate that their inefficiency, inconsistency and often downright stupidity creates a lot of very rewarding work for my team and I. Many in my industry live by the mantra that ‘change is good and chaos is better’, but I can only take so much of it.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Why Do I Do What I Do?

Posted by Iain on April 26, 2019, 12:28 p.m. in Immigration

The system is thoroughly broken. It is a rudderless ship without a captain, the first mate and senior officers huddled in a cabin removed from the ship’s staff and a significant number of the men and women below decks on the oars are untrained and inexperienced and seem to be pulling the engine levers randomly oars in different directions. The ship’s owners just look the other way defending the fact the ship is going round and round in circles and not getting anywhere.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ Labour Shortage: Emergency Declared

Posted by Iain on April 12, 2019, 1:57 p.m. in New Zealand Jobs

As clients contemplate the ’lead weight in the pit of their stomach’ prospect of leaving home, usually resigning their job and flying to New Zealand to find work, I reassure them that, particularly in respect of South Africa, you could not be talking about two more different labour markets. Our biggest challenge today is too many jobs being created and not enough people. That’s right - we, in the private sector, are creating thousands of jobs a month, and we have a government doing little or nothing to help us fill them. There’s an Immigration Department standing in the way.

Read the full post

Southern Man: What Am I Doing Here?

Posted by Iain on April 5, 2019, 5:05 p.m. in Immigration

A client of ours, seven days off the plane in Wellington, has today signalled his displeasure with the impact of “damp". Yes, that’s right, damp. He is thinking of returning to South Africa. While it would be easy to dismiss this as a little silly given he’s only been in the country a few days, it does highlight a very genuine problem that we have as immigration advisers.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australian Immigration Changes: Much Ado About Nothing

Posted by Myer on March 29, 2019, 8:43 p.m. in Australia

Earlier this week our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, made the announcement of a 15% reduction in the annual migration quota from 190,000 to 160,000 ostensibly to reduce infrastructure pressure in the major cities of Melbourne and Sydney with the introduction of two new visa subclasses that encourage regional migration. When you examine the detail the announcement it should be seen for what it is, electioneering for the upcoming general election in May. The coalition government is behind in the polls and needs to appease voters, particularly in Sydney (where 63% of those polled feel levels of migration are too high) and Melbourne as the growth in infrastructure cannot keep pace with the net migration levels. It was in the context of this background that the Prime Minister made his recent announcement.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Mayhem in Christchurch

Posted by Iain on March 21, 2019, 5:18 p.m. in Terrorism

"Mayhem in Christchurch" Those were the three words from my wife that greeted me as soon as I was within wifi range. My cellphone ‘pinged’ with incoming messages, as our boat skipped across a dead calm South China Sea on Friday last week. ‘Not another earthquake?’ was my first thought.

Read the full post

Tags: Christchurch

Southern Man: Can Australians Do Math?

Posted by Iain on March 15, 2019, 3:52 p.m. in Australia

Earlier this week the Australian Federal government released its twice-yearly update of occupations that it has added (or removed, or shifted to some other list). As one might expect this has led to a flurry of enquiries from people whose occupations have suddenly appeared; in particular, on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Shortage List (MLTSSL).

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Skill List Changes

Posted by Myer on March 13, 2019, 1:06 p.m. in Australia

On 11 March certain changes were made to the lists of occupations suitable for different subclasses of visas in Australia, and if you have been reading these changes as reported in the media, you would be excused for being confused. The problem is that the media reporting treats these changes as being changes to a single list when in reality there are different lists that apply to different types of visas.

Read the full post

Tags: 489 visa | 190 visa | 189 visa

Southern Man: Enquiry Due on the Immigration Department

Posted by Iain on March 8, 2019, 5:34 p.m. in Immigration

If there existed an Immigration Fairy who could grant us just one wish, it would be that the Immigration Department was consistent in what it did and the decisions it made. In my case this has been a 30 year wish; still unfulfilled. Consistency offers migrants, living in ‘no mans land’, the ability to make concrete plans based on reasonable expectations.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Avoiding the SA Expat Tax Grab

Posted by Iain on March 1, 2019, 5:47 p.m. in Tax

From 1 March 2020 the South African government is going to impose taxation on South African tax residents who are living abroad of up to 45% of the foreign employment income which exceeds R1 million per year. That's the bad news.

Read the full post

Southern Man: On The Road Again

Posted by Iain on Feb. 22, 2019, 4:35 p.m. in New Zealand Weather

Summer 2019 is on track to be the driest summer since records began over 70 years ago. Historically, in January we can expect around 70 mm of rain which is usually received thanks to weakening tropical cyclones that charge down from the Pacific, dump 20 to 30 mm of rain in a couple of hours and then move off. None so far this year and the cracks in the ground are in places wide enough to lose a small child down (okay, not quite, but 3-4cm across).

Read the full post

Southern Man: When Do the Heads Start to Roll?

Posted by Iain on Feb. 15, 2019, 4:52 p.m. in Immigration

How interesting that in my discussion with a senior official last week, when I asked how they are prioritising work visas, the first criteria was more closely vetting the employer! Hang on a minute I thought, the government only released a discussion paper proposing that in December, they haven't yet completed the consultation period with ‘stakeholders’, let alone had the Government sign anything off, we have had no changes to the rulebook, yet I am being told that in effect the policy is already in place? The whole process is a shambles. At a time when New Zealand has never needed skilled migrants more and ironically this government relies on bringing enough skilled workers to deliver on its (dumb) promises to build 100,000 affordable houses over 10 years or reduce class sizes by finding 900 teachers, they remain controlled by an immigration department that continues to overpromise and under deliver.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Parent Category - What To Do With It

Posted by Iain on Feb. 8, 2019, 2:10 p.m. in Parent Category

The Government announced last week that they were "hoping" to make a decision on what they're going to do with one of the two parent category residence pathways by the middle of this year. Hoping? They don’t have a plan? A little over two years ago, the then Government, ‘temporarily’ closed the category most commonly used by parents to join their migrant children. Although they justified it at the time by saying there were more than enough applications in the system to fill the next two or three years’ worth of annual quota, I think the real truth was that the government was looking to as quickly as possible get net migration figures back down to a more historical norm as political pressures grew. Parents represented "low hanging fruit”.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The View from the Top - A Client's Story

Posted by admin on Feb. 1, 2019, 3:46 p.m. in New Zealand

I asked Tracy Kruger to share with us, her and her family’s experiences in making the move from South Africa to Ashburton, Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) of New Zealand. I asked her to be brutal and open. Here is what she has to say (and thanks a heap Tracy for taking the time to share your experiences). “Stay away from the Facebook groups and buy lots of beer, you are going to need it.” Iain.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Work Visa Change Proposals

Posted by Iain on Jan. 25, 2019, 3:04 p.m. in Work Visa

This week I’ve been part of a group of Advisers pulling together a submission to take to government on the proposed changes to work visa policy. I am never quite sure whether it is worthwhile making submissions to an ideologically driven government that has certain ideas in its political head not supported by any real evidence but I've decided to chip in anyway given the importance of this issue.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Government playing Marketer and Gatekeeper - an unholy mix

Posted by Iain on Jan. 18, 2019, 2:13 p.m. in Australia

D.A.M.A. - the hottest four letters in Australian immigration circles this month. It stands for Designated Area Migration Agreements but it should stand for Dishonest Attempt at Marketing Australia.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Work Visa Changes on the Way

Posted by Iain on Jan. 11, 2019, 3:17 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

Worsening skills shortages and dealing with it will dominate as the Government recognises we simply do not have the people or the skills to fill the tens of thousands of jobs that continue to be created here every year. The immigration year began, as it usually does, with the perennial whining of Immigration New Zealand about backlogs in processing everything from visitor, student and work visas to the allocation and processing of skilled migrant resident visas.

Read the full post

Tags: work visa

Southern Man: When a Country Goes Bad

Posted by Iain on Dec. 21, 2018, 10:34 a.m. in Government

A few weeks ago I had an email exchange with a very senior immigration manager and I asked why evidence being presented by South Africans with their visa applications was being scrutinised more than ever before. He said, “because they lie”. That struck me as a bit harsh.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Is the LSD dead?

Posted by Iain on Dec. 7, 2018, 2:06 p.m. in Immigration

Not a day goes by in my working life when I am not reminded of my four golden rules I trot out at every seminar and every consultation having worked alongside the Immigration Department and the hundreds of officers that have come and go down the years. I always advise those that wish to draw on my 30 years of dealing with bureaucratic madness, that in order to survive the migration process without losing your mind: Assume nothing about your eligibility. Suspend logic. Just when you think you understand the rules your visa will be processed by an immigration officer who does not understand them. Read with great caution what you read on the Immigration Department website - much of the time it’s as if there are no rules and they make them up as they go along. If you get this 98% right, you will not be joining us in NZ or Australia.

Read the full post

Southern Man: It's Time to Fix the Broken Skilled Migrant Category.

Posted by Iain on Nov. 30, 2018, 7:24 p.m. in Visitor Visa

I have on a number of occasions down the years tried to impress upon the senior policy managers inside INZ and the politicians (when they will talk with us) how disconnected the (three) visa process is for skilled migrants from labour market reality and what New Zealand employers want. And how that hinders in achieving the aims of the skilled migrant residence programme.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Unemployment Close to Historic Low

Posted by Iain on Nov. 23, 2018, 4:33 p.m. in New Zealand Employment

If they were to now even be seen to allowing more people to enter the country, when all they might do is fill their own quotas/targets I have no doubt the media would tear them to shreds. If there is one thing the media does not like it is hypocritical politicians. Overall however, the fact that net migration is falling any objective assessment makes it clear the government would now be justified in easing that skilled migrant pass mark which would allow more people to qualify for the Job-search Work Visa without needing a job offer first. Right now only around 3% of all skilled migrants can attain 160 points without the offer of skilled employment.

Read the full post

Tags: family visa

Southern Man: The prettiest garden in the world

Posted by Jack on Nov. 16, 2018, 12:50 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Last week I quoted that great modern poet, Oprah Winfrey, cough cough, who described Queenstown and its surrounds as a place where ‘God was just showing off’. I endorsed that summary of this part of New Zealand, she was bang on the money. I am not sure if she made it to Fiordland or if she ever walked the Milford Track, something I have been waiting 40 years to do and have spent the better part of the past week doing. If she had, I suspect even she might have been rendered speechless. If the Big O made it that far she might agree with me when I suggest God may have been showing off in Queenstown but in Fiordland, God created a playground for giants in what is arguably the prettiest garden in the world. God, it seems, was also a bit of a dab hand at landscape gardening.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Queenstown - Where God Starting Showing Off

Posted by Iain on Nov. 9, 2018, 1:54 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

I have been in beautiful Queenstown the past few days, working and getting ready for our five day hike along the Milford Track which starts at sun up tomorrow. Queenstown is without doubt my favourite New Zealand city. When I help clients plan their ‘Look, See and Decide’ trips to NZ, I always encourage them, no matter what the purpose of their trip, to squeeze a few days staying in this beautiful part of Te Wai Pounamu (South Island). There is no place like it on Earth. Bold claim I know.

Read the full post

Tags: lifestyle

Southern Man: The Promise of Summer

Posted by Iain on Nov. 2, 2018, 4:41 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

I really love this time of year in northern New Zealand. It is now late spring/early summer; the days are getting longer, the days more consistently brighter and warmer. We do however still have colder snaps and the shorts and tee shirts are replaced by jeans and hoodies.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Channeling Bear Grylls

Posted by Iain on Oct. 26, 2018, 6:49 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

My marketing team tell me no one wants to read my blogs about lifestyle; apparently the most popular blogs are about topics like what sort of relationship evidence will satisfy your average immigration officer if you are trying to get your partner a visa, or how you get jobs without visas and visas without jobs or why time is your enemy. To them I say, fine, I get it, but our work at IMMagine is as much about preparing people for the kind of life they can or will have in New Zealand (or Australia), as it is about getting them here.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Medical Issue Visa Bombshell

Posted by Iain on Oct. 19, 2018, 4:14 p.m. in Immigration

Last week I wrote a piece titled ‘Time is your enemy’ and it was meant to convey the simple but important message that Governments don’t wait for you when it comes to residence and visas. When you consult with us we give you a snapshot of what your visa points or residence eligibility will be at some future point in time. No one that comes to see us is able to avoid waiting at least a few months from the time they decide to migrate to actually filing their visa applications and locking themselves into a set of known rules on the day the Government receipts their visa application. Given those rules can and often do change, particularly in Australia, the risk all migrants take increases with every day that passes without any visa being filed.

Read the full post

Tags: visas

Southern Man: Time is your enemy

Posted by Iain on Oct. 12, 2018, 5:24 p.m. in Immigration

Time is every migrant’s enemy. I trot this very good advice out consultation after consultation, hour after hour, day after day and have been for year after year. The longer you leave it to file your resident visa application in New Zealand or Permanent Residence Visa in Australia, the greater the risk of changes to the rules. Migrants tend to forget that advice once, in their minds, they have decided to make a move. They make the decision to move today but it is usually many months before they can file anything and in that time Governments can, and do, move the policy goal posts. Governments on the whole have little regard nor care for what a potential immigrant might have sacrificed, invested or given up to get into a position where they can file residence papers.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Zealand 'values' test for migrants

Posted by Iain on Oct. 5, 2018, 3:08 p.m. in Politics

Last weekend NZ First, the smallest but most powerful of the three parties making up the New Zealand Government proposed at their annual conference, making immigrants and refugees declare their belief in New Zealand values.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled employment and ANZSCO

Posted by Iain on Sept. 28, 2018, 2:29 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Part of the mystery to applicants is how immigration officers decide if the job they hold in New Zealand is a ‘substantial match’ to the skilled job descriptions in the Australia New Zealand Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

Read the full post

Tags: work visa

Australia Blog: Australia: Tradesmen

Posted by Myer on Sept. 21, 2018, 4:34 p.m. in Australia

One of the categories of occupations most needed in Australia and New Zealand is the 'tradie' or tradesmen, yet recent changes to Australia’s general skilled migration visa program have made it more difficult for the tradie to qualify and will encourage more of them to move to New Zealand. Australia’s loss will ultimately be New Zealand’s gain.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Education Armageddon

Posted by Iain on Sept. 14, 2018, 6:30 p.m. in Education

Earlier this week the unions that represent primary school teachers agreed to consider an 'across the board' pay rise, with something going to all public sector primary level teachers, but more going to those with greater experience. Teachers will vote on it next week. Reaching some agreement with the primary teaching sector is critical if the Government is to make any dent in the projected 3000 teacher shortfall expected by early 2020 which would be less a crisis as much as an education armageddon.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The 'Six Week Wall'

Posted by Iain on Sept. 7, 2018, 10:32 a.m. in Immigration

Given that getting a skilled job offer in New Zealand is, for most ‘skilled’ migrants, central to the chances of securing residence, he asked the very reasonable question ‘How, Iain, do you make people understand that they, for the most part, need to accept success comes with resigning their jobs, jumping on planes and going to New Zealand to try and find work?’ My reply went something along the lines of ‘Because they have no choice. If they want to live here that’s what they have to do’. I think there was an expletive beginning with ‘f’ in the middle of that sentence somewhere.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Purge of International Student Market in NZ

Posted by Iain on Aug. 31, 2018, 5:27 p.m. in Immigration

The ongoing purge of the international student market in New Zealand has continued with the Government recently releasing new criteria for those who wish to come here and study with a view to using that course as a stepping stone toward residence. Although well heralded, this Government is seemingly prepared to throw the several billion export dollars a year this industry has been worth to the economy and the 35,000 jobs it supports out the window. To be fair, they are in large part simply cleaning up the mess created by the previous Government.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: So You're Telling Me There's a Chance?

Posted by Myer on Aug. 24, 2018, 5:24 p.m. in Assessment

For those thinking of making the big move to Australia or New Zealand, we offer a number of options to establish whether or not you qualify, the Visa that might best suit you and the strategy you will need to follow to make that dream of a new life a reality. For us, the initial assessment is the cornerstone of our engagement with any potential migrant and it sets the scene for what will follow in terms of time, energy and the financial investment being made.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Foreigner House Buying Ban: Explained

Posted by Iain on Aug. 17, 2018, 5:06 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

The long awaited outcome of the Government’s Select Committee process has been completed and we now understand more of who will and who will not be allowed to buy property and homes in New Zealand. It has caused a lot of anxiety among our clients and it is good that the Government has finally made their announcement. Much ado about nothing, for the most part.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Where to Study in Australia

Posted by Myer on Aug. 9, 2018, 11:32 a.m. in Visas

If you know some of the pitfalls in the process, student visas can be a useful pathway to not only acquiring an Australian qualification but potentially a pathway to obtaining permanent residence. However the location of your studies in Australia is as important as the subject matter of your studies. Of course you have to satisfy a number of requirements including a genuine temporary entry criteria relating to student visas, and have to have sufficient funds to pay for your studies which can be quite pricey as an international student.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Two Brothers - The Rand and the New Zealand Dollar

Posted by Iain on Aug. 3, 2018, 12:35 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

The greatest fear of most South Africans leaving behind an increasingly beleaguered economy and job insecurity is how they might fair financially when they get to New Zealand. They fret that they might be jumping out of a financial frying pan and into a fiscal fire. This tale of two currencies, two economies and two brothers tends to suggest that sucking up any short term exchange rate pain can lead to long term gain if you only have the courage to brave the immigration waters.

Read the full post

Southern Man: I Am Not Sick, I Am Blind

Posted by Iain on July 27, 2018, 1:51 p.m. in Visas

About three years ago whilst in Johannesburg I met a young couple with a four year old son. On the face of the application, it looked fairly straight-forward in terms of there not being anything out of the ordinary i.e. we had a skilled migrant who needed to get skilled employment in New Zealand in order to get the points. So far, so good. The issue, potentially, was that the principal applicant’s wife was blind having lost her sight four years earlier during childbirth. Many Immigration Advisers advise people who are blind (or for that matter deaf) that they will not be found to be of an acceptable standard of health, something I have always found disappointing, if not laughable. Blind or deaf people are not sick, they have a disability but that does not make them unhealthy nor a likely future cost on our health system.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Take Me Home, Country Road

Posted by Myer on July 20, 2018, 8:16 p.m. in Australia

And the place where you belong, contrary to what the song would indicate, is not West Virginia, but Geelong, Adelaide, Hobart or any other part of Australia that is “regional”. Recent changes to Australia’s skilled migration program is going to have the effect of placing more of you on country roads than ever before.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Your Parents in Australia - Is It Possible?

Posted by Myer on July 16, 2018, 7:48 p.m. in Australia

It’s a tough decision to immigrate which often has broader implications for other family members who may want to join those immigrating to Australia. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive in consultations are “what are the chances of my parents being able to join us?”. This blog isn’t meant to be an exhaustive examination of all of the options available to parents but covers some of the more mainstream visa types. Given the length of processing time of permanent residence parent visa applications, these days parents need to also consider short-term temporary visas such as visitors visas that enable them to live in Australia on a temporary basis whilst the permanent resident visa is being processed.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Your Parents - Can They Come to NZ Too?

Posted by Iain on July 14, 2018, 12:17 p.m. in Parent Category

I am often asked how parents can join their children and grandchildren in New Zealand. Historically there were two pathways: 1) Joining one already NZ resident and well settled adult child and demonstrating that the NZ child, as sponsor, earned enough to fulfil their obligations such as they were; or, 2) Parent Investor Category - where parents have to invest $1 million for a period of four years. The first was always far more popular than the second for obvious reasons; no investment was needed. That was until the category was ’temporarily’ put on hold two years ago.

Read the full post

Southern Man: No Racism Here?

Posted by Iain on July 6, 2018, 9:52 p.m. in Immigration

I have long had an uncomfortable feeling that the Immigration Department does make decisions - or least scrutinises certain applicants - in a different way, where it is difficult to conclude that it is based on anything other than ethnicity and/or nationality. There is also increasing evidence of INZ targeting particular ethnicities and assessing their visas differently to others, or in the way they have historically done - former international students, primarily from India, for example. That, I appreciate, is at best a very strong suggestion New Zealand may not be the country that it thinks it is – one which prides itself on being colour blind, tolerant and welcoming.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australian Pass Mark Increase for General Skilled Migration Visas

Posted by Myer on June 30, 2018, 10:08 p.m. in Australia

From 1 July 2018, applicants wishing to apply for the following visa subclasses will be required to obtain a pass mark of 65 to be eligible to receive an invitation to apply.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: It must be Australian election time

Posted by Iain on June 29, 2018, 1:49 p.m. in Australia

Yesterday, the Australian government announced it was, from 1 July, pushing up the minimum points to be selected and invited to apply for a Permanent Residence Visa or the Subclass 489 'work to residence' visa from 60 to 65 points. The Australian Government justified this increase by quoting 'demand' and this is where I get so frustrated. There is no evidence of increasing demand to live in Australia and if there was the country would not have fallen short of its annual quota/target/ceiling of 192,000 in the current immigration year. The Government imposed artificially high pass marks around eight months ago specifically to rein in numbers and to ensure (unless they are inept) their own targets were not met. They did a good job of that.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Numbers Don't Lie

Posted by Iain on June 22, 2018, 1:18 p.m. in Immigration

Back in February I predicted that in the current immigration year (1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018) New Zealand would undershoot its target of skilled migrants by many thousands of people. I was quietly scoffed at by some, but it seems I was right. As we approach the end of the current immigration year the Government has approved 9,352 resident visa applications. Statistically each Skilled Migrant resident visa application covers around 2.1 people, so of their stated target of 27,000, the Government has badly undershot that by around 8,000 people or roughly 35%. I’d call that a big fat failure at a time when the economy continues to create thousands of skilled jobs each and every month and we need every skilled migrant we can get to come and live here. Demand to move here is as strong, if not stronger, than ever.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Transitioning to Primary School - Survey Says We're Doing Well

Posted by Iain on June 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. in Education

Given most of you migrate to New Zealand for a bit of freedom, lifestyle and education opportunities for your children, a really uplifting and positive report has just been released that shows we are doing an awful lot right when it comes to our children’s early years in school. Bearing in mind that in New Zealand all children must by law be in school by their sixth birthday, but most start on their fifth, this longitudinal study looked at how the mothers of some 7000 six year olds perceived their child adjusted and coped with the transition from pre-school to primary school.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Who Controls the Past Controls the Future

Posted by Iain on June 8, 2018, 2:32 p.m. in Immigration

I do love my day job, I really do. Not dealing with the Government, but helping clients deal with a Government Department where up is down and down is up and no two officers seem capable of implementing the same definitions consistently. A system where it feels the bureaucrats, at times, have what seems unbridled power, where the checks and balances of a competitive market do not apply, their timid and weak leadership is unwilling or unable to pull their troops into line and they employ some of the best spin to deflect their idiocy, inconsistency and weak management.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Learning From Others

Posted by Iain on June 1, 2018, 4:48 p.m. in Living

Those of you that come from western or ‘developed’ countries and who have been to wet markets in Asia or Africa will appreciate it when I say they stink, are an affront to the senses, look like a breeding ground for all sorts of dangerous bacteria and would turn the local City Council Food Hygiene Inspectors green if they didn’t die of fright first. No Food Hygiene certificates hanging on the walls here to reassure the purchaser that strict food safety and hygiene regulations have been met! (There are usually no walls...) In 33 degree heat, open tables of meat are laid out, live fish swim in aerated paddling pools, cages full of protesting chickens line the alleys, (vegans may want to skip to next paragraph) every part of a pig is laid out right down to its snout, tongue, ears, trotters, insides – nothing is wasted here.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Is Our Multi Party Democracy Really Superior?

Posted by Iain on May 25, 2018, 4:23 p.m. in Politics

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time..." - Winston Churchill (maybe) This morning, I stood in front of the remains of a B52 bomber, lying rusting in the small lake it crashed into, having been shot down over Hanoi in December, 1972, in one of the United States last-ditch efforts to try and force the communist north to the negotiating table (the US having pretty much lost the war by that point already). It got me thinking about political systems and how we in the west - so blindly, or arrogantly - think our system is better than these one-party States.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Tale of Two Transport Systems

Posted by Iain on May 18, 2018, 5:34 p.m. in Living

For the past week I've been in Hong Kong talking to those worried about their children's future and the creeping influence of China on the principles they hold dear, like the value of their one vote and being allowed to speak their minds. Political changes aside, of all the Asian cities I visit, it is my favourite. The food, the scale, the shops Although I struggle with the teeming hordes. I struggle even more when a lot of the teeming hordes dawdle along, tapping messages into their cellphones, but that's another story.

Read the full post

Southern Man: 2024: Auckland's Decongestion

Posted by Iain on May 11, 2018, 3:47 p.m. in Auckland

The New Zealand government announce this week not one, but two landmark light rail projects for Auckland. Auckland has long struggled with being a massive sprawling city covered in single unit dwellings. We have long cherished the back garden as a place to relax and entertain. The days where we could afford such luxuries is both environmentally and economically behind us and with changing lifestyles, less treasured. Recent changes to the planning laws in Auckland is now allowing for increased density along major transport routes. The idea being that medium density housing supports public transport and an efficient public transport system supports medium density housing. I have to say I’m a fan of the plan.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Turning Back the Clock

Posted by Iain on May 4, 2018, 7:49 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

A few months ago, I shared the news that our family had joined forces with good friends to purchase 22 hectares (50 acres) of rainforest 20 minutes south of Whangarei in Northland, New Zealand. Our purpose was to try and turn back the ecological clock - as best anyone can - to allow a magnificent piece of native rainforest a chance to return to its former glory. It has been eerily silent since we took it over last year.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Variables in 'Effective Hourly Rate'

Posted by Iain on April 27, 2018, 1:02 p.m. in Immigration

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece explaining that INZ now uses an ‘effective hourly rate’ to determine remuneration when deciding if a job is skilled or not under the Skilled Migrant Category. To be skilled, the effective hourly rate must be $24.29 to get ‘points’ for a skilled job. However, under the Work to Residence/Accredited Employer pathway, there is also a need to establish an effective hourly rate. Strangely (or not depending on your day job), INZ approaches what is in effect the same question with two different processes. As the new skilled migrant policy is now a few months old, we are starting to get a better idea of how INZ is interpreting this ‘effective hourly rate’ instruction which, on the face of it, seems pretty straightforward. As usual in the world of visas and bureaucrats, it is anything but.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Changes to the NZ Work to Residence/Accredited Employer Policy

Posted by Iain on April 20, 2018, 4:19 p.m. in Immigration

Sources have confirmed that Cabinet recently signed off on changes to the Accredited Employer/Work to Residence Policy. Details are yet to be made public but will follow soon enough. Accreditation has historically been given to employers who are able to demonstrate - amongst other things - that they are worthy of this trusted status with the Immigration Department. Trusted to do the right thing by New Zealand and New Zealanders, which includes recruiting locally where possible, training and upskilling, offering opportunities to those already working at the companies, having solid Human Resource processes and practices, being financially stable and have had no issues in terms of employment disputes, problems with unions, workers’ rights and so on.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Does INZ Have a Hidden Agenda?

Posted by Iain on April 13, 2018, 6:27 p.m. in Immigration

Those of you who have attended one of my talks know about my four golden rules of surviving immigration bureaucracy without losing your marbles: - Assume nothing about your eligibility. - Suspend logic. - Just when you think you understand the visa rules your application will be processed by an immigration officer who does not know their own rules. - Treat with great caution whatever you read on the Immigration Department’s website. There could be a fifth: - INZ is sometimes working to an agenda hidden from the public. And this is the subject of today's blog.

Read the full post

Southern Man: SA Trades: NZQA Flip-flop

Posted by Iain on April 6, 2018, 1:47 p.m. in South Africa

For many years, I have struggled to understand why the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) provided different comparability outcome assessments on “Red Seal” South African qualifications depending on the pathway the artisan followed to secure it in South Africa. Historically in South Africa, an Artisan would follow one of two pathways to securing a Trade Certificate in terms of the Manpower Training Act. The applicant could enter into an indentured apprenticeship, complete five years of learning, sit their Trade Test examination and if they passed that, they would be granted a Trade Certificate (commonly known as a Red Seal).

Read the full post

Southern Man: Why Dutton is So Dangerous

Posted by Iain on March 23, 2018, 9:37 p.m. in South Africa

Last week’s blog post on why the Australian Minister of Home Affairs (Immigration) is, in my view, either a racist and a hypocrite or simply a cynical Australian politician playing to a small racist constituency in Australia, hit a nerve in South Africa as I expected it would. The reaction to last week’s blog across various forms of social media and in private emails to me deserves some further exploration. The reaction to it confirmed two things for me - what politicians anywhere will do for a few votes and how, sadly, South Africans are - for the most part these days - seemingly incapable of any form of grown up discourse.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: New Occupation Lists for General Skilled Migration Australia

Posted by Kane on March 19, 2018, 8:38 p.m. in Australia

Some major changes that were announced last year have come into effect as of the 18 March. These changes relate to the temporary and permanent employer sponsored visas and the General Skilled Migration (GSM) programme. Under the GSM programme, there is a shiny new list called the Regional Occupations List (ROL). This is relevant to the state/territory sponsored Subclass 489 visa.

Read the full post

Southern Man: You have to love Australia...and white farmers?

Posted by Iain on March 16, 2018, 10:22 p.m. in South Africa

You have to love Australia! It is not very often I agree with Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters but strangely this week, I find myself doing so. It is interesting and completely understandable that the South African Government has reacted with affront at the Australian Minister of Immigration’s suggestion that they must look very carefully into trying to help and "fast track visas" for “white South African farmers who are being persecuted”. To suggest that these people need help “from a civilised country like ours” actually made my skin crawl.

Read the full post

Southern Man: How do I know if my NZ job is 'skilled'?

Posted by Iain on March 8, 2018, 8:35 p.m. in Immigration

Today I want to attempt to explain how the Immigration Department decides whether the job offer that you have in New Zealand is ‘skilled' or not. The first thing they have to do is to decide whether the job that you have in New Zealand falls into a Skill Level 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 category. The lower the number the more highly skilled the occupation is, on the face of it. Occupations that fall into Skill Levels 1, 2 and 3 are assessed one way and those which fall into Skill Levels 4 and 5 another.

Read the full post

Southern Man: What is it About Politicians?

Posted by Iain on March 2, 2018, 7:56 p.m. in New Zealand Politics

If you think New Zealand is different to where you come from - it is. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not. This week's blog is an example of how we are the same, or at least that we are stupid enough to elect the same sort of people... I know it’s a stupid question but why do Politicians make promises they know they cannot deliver? We now have the President of South Africa confirming a new policy of land confiscation without compensation. At least, that was the headline.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Christchurch - Don't Discount It

Posted by Iain on Feb. 23, 2018, 4:06 p.m. in New Zealand

I was following the footsteps of my father who had been to Christchurch a few weeks ago, and had came away feeling quite empty and sad at the loss and the destruction (there are still lots of empty plots of land with wire and plywood fences around them). He found a city that had lost its soul. My experience couldn’t have been more different. Where he saw emptiness and destruction, I saw re-birth and creation of what is, even now, an amazing city full of light airy open spaces, parks, new buildings and old, many put to uses never before envisaged. It is seldom that any country has the chance to redesign from the sewers up an entire city but that is the opportunity born out of the February 2011 earthquake.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Bringing Your Parents to New Zealand

Posted by Iain on Feb. 16, 2018, 11:46 a.m. in Parent Category

In recent years Government has been cutting back on the annual quotas on the first from around 5000 three years ago to a little over 2000 today. As a consequence of having enough applicants in the system no more applications have been accepted over the past couple of years and there is no official indication of when they might open up again. If it is purely mathematics, we are picking another 12-18 months.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Work in NZ: The 5 Key Drivers

Posted by Iain on Feb. 9, 2018, 5:14 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

I hear myself explaining the disconnection between the way the visa process works and the way the labour market works, i.e. what employers want is people with works rights and residency preferably, whereas the Government says ‘find a job first and we’ll think about giving you a visa’. I think it’s fair to say that once the reality of what the process demands sinks in respect of the financial, emotional and logistical commitment, many are probably shell-shocked.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Summer Heat Rolls On

Posted by Iain on Feb. 2, 2018, 2:57 p.m. in New Zealand Weather

What a summer we are having. Long, hot and for most places, dry. Drought, common in many parts of the country has once again broken out but often in places not known for their lack of rainfall. The west coast of the South Island, for example. Summers across New Zealand can vary greatly from year to year in terms of heat, rain, wind and sunshine. In the north, we are always guaranteed warm and humid with average humidity between December and February sitting at 70-80%. We can go weeks with little rain or be hit by a series of remnant tropical cyclones seemingly every other week.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Rocket Lab: Three Satellites & a Disco Ball

Posted by Iain on Jan. 26, 2018, 7:46 p.m. in New Zealand

Those of you who have attended my seminars know in what high regard I hold Rocket Lab, an amazing New Zealand company. Last weekend they launched their Electron Rocket successfully and deployed a payload of three satellites into low Earth orbit. Last year, they got the rocket up to low earth orbit level but had to kill the rocket when there was some technical hitch. On only their second attempt they have managed to go one better. There was talk of a fourth object released and media were all atwitter as to whether it was something top secret. Turned out to be far less ‘James Bond’ and more ‘James Brown’ - dubbed a disco ball by some witty Journalist - a ‘humanity star'.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Mother of a Road Trip Across NZ

Posted by Iain on Jan. 19, 2018, 4:44 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

We have had the summer of all summers across New Zealand. In December temperatures were on average 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than usual across the country. Doesn’t sound like much but when 26 degrees and 75% humidity becomes 29 degrees and 75% humidity it is all of a sudden like living in Tahiti or Fiji rather than Auckland or Christchurch. Climate records continue to be pushed hard – last week Invercargill (bottom of the South Island) hit 33 degrees, it was 35 degrees at Dunedin airport a few days ago, Christchurch has hit 36 degrees on many a day over the past 4-6 months, and Auckland has been stuck at between 25-28 degrees since November. It’s like February came early... Rain has been scarce with droughts declared in many parts of the country – the usual suspects of the eastern coasts of both islands but recently on the other sides of the mountains in the South Island as well.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Protecting "Vulnerable" Advisers

Posted by Iain on Dec. 15, 2017, 2:58 p.m. in IMMagine

The Immigration Department and most of our clients appreciate how seriously we take our jobs, the importance we attach to getting things right and the professional pride we feel every time we can tell a client ‘visa approved, hope you enjoy your new life’. I never thought that the IAA might, in a roundabout way, protect us from our own clients but as this exercise demonstrates, an unintended consequence of making sure our systems are extremely robust is that we are protected from the rare client that might have questionable ethics.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Conserving the Bird Song

Posted by Iain on Dec. 8, 2017, 6:22 p.m. in Environment

A few months ago I wrote that my family along with some friends had bought a block of steep, Northland rainforest complete with two streams and several impressive waterfalls. Our reason for buying this 22 hectares was primarily to create a conservancy; give this land back to nature. It was our intent to go to war on behalf of the remaining birds and less sexy but no less important vertebrate and invertebrate communities that are also nutritious snacks for rats and possums. We took possession in July and have since put out half a dozen traps and around 30 bait stations which dispense poisoned food pellets.

Read the full post

Southern Man: We Are Wanderers

Posted by Iain on Dec. 1, 2017, 5:04 p.m. in New Zealand

My wife and I are taking a few days out after my final (exhausting) trip to South Africa for the year and find ourselves about to board a ferry from Papeete to Moorea in Tahiti. Having yesterday broken the wonderful news of his family’s residence approval to a very nervy client, who from the first time I met him over a year ago questioned his ability to cope with the rigours of resigning his job, getting a new one in NZ and getting that precious visa, I once again turned my mind to what makes people risk emigration.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Danger in the Pool

Posted by Iain on Nov. 24, 2017, 4:27 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water after the Skilled Migrant changes earlier this year in both New Zealand and Australia, it seems that you might need to think again. Both countries allow applicants to file Expressions of Interest and enter their skilled migrant pools – in Australia you need a minimum of 60 points and in New Zealand, 160, (we give more points to qualifications and work experience but the type of person with those scores will be very similar). In both countries the immigration year begins on 1 July.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Teacher Shortage Reaches Crisis Point

Posted by Iain on Nov. 17, 2017, 1:13 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

Auckland is running out of teachers and if you believe the noises coming out of many Principals, now might be the best time, ever, to consider New Zealand if you are a degree qualified teacher with excellent English. Vacancies are now running at a record high of 287 today for primary level. I am not sure what it is at High school but I’d be surprised if it was much lower. What is driving the shortage?

Read the full post

Southern Man: Announcement: Partnership with AbsoluteIT Recruitment

Posted by Iain on Nov. 10, 2017, 5:09 a.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

I’m very pleased to formally announce a partnership with AbsoluteIT, one of New Zealand’s leading and largest IT recruitment companies. In the next few weeks, they will be adding our details to their website and encouraging all international candidates who seek work in IT in New Zealand that contact them to have a detailed visa eligibility assessment carried out by us as a first step towards the team at AbsoluteIT trying to place them in roles. In return, for those clients of ours who work in IT, you’re now going to have at least one IT recruitment company that is not going to reject your application outright if you “don’t have a Work Visa” if you are a full fee-paying client of IMMagine Australia and New Zealand.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Workers

Posted by Iain on Nov. 3, 2017, 2:19 p.m. in New Zealand Employment

The latest employment numbers were released this week for New Zealand and they show that overall unemployment has fallen to 4.6% which is the lowest level in five years. This puts us well ahead of Australia, for example, by a full percentage point. At the same time, statistics show that we now have the highest percentage of people of working age (18 to 65) in employment we have ever had. At over 70% it shows people of all ages getting jobs.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Property Ban on Foreigners

Posted by Iain on Oct. 27, 2017, 2:31 p.m. in Politics

Politics is at its heart all about sending signals. Let me send one. The two largest parties in the current Government both campaigned on cutting migration. In one case, ‘slashing immigration numbers by 80%’ and in the other, by cutting it by ‘20 000 – 30 000’ per year. The Party that campaigned on slashing numbers by 80% knew its ridiculous demand would never survive coalition negotiations with only 7% of the vote and knew those that vote for them were too stupid to realise it.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ First & Labour: What Does the New Government Mean for Immigration?

Posted by Iain on Oct. 19, 2017, 10:40 p.m. in Politics

A few minutes ago the Leader of the NZ First political party - which gained a little over 7% of the popular vote in elections two week ago - announced it is forming a coalition with the Labour Party and the coalition will be supported outside of cabinet by the Green Party.

Read the full post

Southern Man: What Are the Primary Differences Between Skilled Migration to Australia and New Zealand

Posted by Iain on Oct. 13, 2017, 7:42 p.m. in Immigration

I spend my day explaining to those that aren’t certain which country they wish to move to that one is not ‘easier’ than the other, and that they both have their own complexities and vulnerabilities to applicants. Australia by and large operates a skilled migrant selection process that is based on approving applicants that are ‘job ready’. That is achieved by assessing, for the most part, their age, their qualifications, their ‘relevant’ work experience and their English language ability. Some require the support via ‘sponsorship’ of an Australian State or Territory that operate their own, fluid, ‘occupations in demand’ lists. No points are gained for having a skilled job in Australia. New Zealand on the other hand looks for people with similar skills profiles but is not so much interested in those that might be ‘job ready’, but those that have gone a step further and secured skilled jobs. NZ wants those with a demonstrated ability to break into the labour market.

Read the full post

Southern Man: How Do We Prove Our Relationship is Genuine?

Posted by Iain on Oct. 6, 2017, 6 p.m. in Immigration

No matter which resident visa category you apply under – Parent, Skilled, Investor or Partnership, if you have a partner/spouse you need to demonstrate that you are currently (and have been) living together for a minimum of 12 months in a ‘genuine and stable relationship akin to a marriage which is likely to endure’. There is no requirement that you be married – in fact this makes no difference to the assessment carried out by immigration officers. Living together means simply that – in an exclusive relationship – gay or straight, married or not, young or old - and under the same roof (and presumably in the same bed).

Read the full post

Southern Man: World Leading Education in NZ

Posted by Iain on Sept. 29, 2017, 6:31 p.m. in Education

In a report released recently by The Economist Intelligence Unit, New Zealand scores extremely well in how our education system prepares children for a rapidly changing future.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Tales from the Labour Market

Posted by Iain on Sept. 22, 2017, 10:39 a.m. in Politics

As the election campaign draws to a thankful close (we are all exhausted and have wind burn from the hot air), the polls continue to swing wildly – I have never seen anything like it. It either means the polling techniques are not reflecting what is really going on out there in the real New Zealand or New Zealanders are having doubts about sticking with the status quo or going for ‘change and hope’. Right now the pendulum has swung back toward ‘steady as she goes’.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Variable Hours Employment Contracts

Posted by Iain on Sept. 15, 2017, 4:34 p.m. in New Zealand Employment

As always happens when any new immigration criteria are released, we find that they can often be interpreted in more than one way leading to both inconsistent outcomes (through immigration officers interpreting the same words in different ways) and unintended consequences. Unfortunately INZ does not feel bound by the legal concept of ‘precedent’ where once an interpretation of a rule is established by, say the Appeal Authority (made up of lawyers, independent of the Department of Immigration), it must be followed by all from that day forth.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Winds of Change

Posted by Iain on Sept. 8, 2017, 5:13 p.m. in Politics

The latest polls in the lead-up to elections in 3 weeks’ time suggests we’re headed for a change of Government. They say a week is a long time in politics but 3 weeks must feel like eternity for the ruling party. They were cruising to a 4th-term victory (virtually unprecedented in New Zealand’s political history). They’re now in 2nd place behind a resurgent centre-left Labour Party. Since electing a 37 year old professional politician who appears to be very nice and charming but with little real-world experience, the Labour Party has surged in the polls from around 23% to 43% today and it looks like they’ll form the next Government.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Skilled Migrant – Determining Deemed Qualified Date

Posted by Iain on Sept. 1, 2017, 6:27 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

Under the new Skilled Migrant rules that were formally released this week but which I have had a copy of for some time, applicants now face a somewhat complicated issue when claiming points for work experience under the Skilled Migrant Category. The Government has now introduced what is effectively a “deemed qualified date”. I suspect many people, including Immigration Officers, are going to have a lot of trouble working out when that date occurred. Under the new rules, anyone trying this application process themselves has to become familiar with the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) reference material. This “book” is a list of all the occupations known to these two Government departments and provide task lists for them.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Immigration Changes After the Election

Posted by Iain on Aug. 25, 2017, 7:20 p.m. in Politics

I have been asked a few times in recent weeks what I think will happen to NZ immigration policy settings following the national elections in a few weeks’ time. I wish I knew; but it is possible to make a few educated guesses. Today the polls (which it has to be said are incredibly volatile and indicate a change of Government is possible with a Labour party (centre left), Greens (left of left and environmental) and NZ First (an effective one man loony populist party of largely disgruntled old white people) coalition, given they are collectively polling in the high 40 percents. Not enough to govern, however.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Amendments to the Skilled Migrant Instructions

Posted by Iain on Aug. 18, 2017, 6:20 p.m. in Skilled Migrant Category

One interesting change is that any job in NZ that comes with a guaranteed minimum salary (note, not remuneration package) of $75,000 is deemed to be skilled for points (50 of them if the job is offered in Auckland or 80 if outside) and all relevant, for want of a better word, work experience now attracts points. In theory a tea lady who is guaranteed this salary can get into NZ permanently.

Read the full post

Southern Man: South Africa: The Fast and the Furious

Posted by Iain on Aug. 11, 2017, 3:18 p.m. in South Africa

Grabbing a few hours away from the day job last week I found myself on a beautiful coastal golf course in Durban, South Africa, with a good friend squeezing in a round of golf. We had teed off at 8am, the sky was clear, the sun warmed my back and a gentle breeze wafted in off the Indian Ocean that lay one good shank away. The word ‘perfect’ came to mind – I was at peace with the world if not the golf (it is far from perfect) but perfect summed up how I felt about that morning and what I was doing. It was really wonderful being surrounded by wide open spaces, colourful birds, an almost cloudless sky and fresh air filling my lungs.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australian Immigration Changes: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Posted by Myer on Aug. 3, 2017, 4:29 p.m. in Immigration

There seems to be a five-year cycle for governments to implement and then change immigration policy. Given the fact that it had been 5 years since the general skilled migration visa policy had been implemented in Australia [with the split long-term and short-term skills shortages list] and the advent of Brexit and Trump, the time was probably ripe for wholesale change. And change there was – on 17 April, the Australian Government implemented widescale reform to its immigration policy with further clarifications on 1 July. As a result, there’s been much confusion and speculation amongst the public [and also within our industry as well it has to be said] about the changes whether they be good, bad or simply ugly.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Update on Immigration Rule Changes

Posted by Iain on July 28, 2017, 5:05 p.m. in Immigration

Earlier this week the media in New Zealand were abuzz with speculation that perhaps the Government was going to “back down” on their proposed changes to Skilled Migrant & Work Visa policies. As usual the twittersphere, Facebook, online migrant chat groups and forums went into frenzied overdrive and messages of hope to family and friends were sent around the world that it looked like the changes wouldn’t happen. Upon closer examination, however, it was clear what was being reported in the Press was a confused interpretation of what the Government had proposed and what is about to be rolled out on 28 August. Just for a change...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Big Data

Posted by Iain on July 21, 2017, 3:13 p.m. in Education

New Zealand is using big data in some very interesting and to my way of thinking, positive ways. Take education for example... A recent study showed that by pulling together data commonly available about our lives, it is possible by looking at seven key factors which children at birth will have a very strong likelihood of ending up in prison or with a criminal conviction by the time they were 21. Seven factors...

Read the full post

Southern Man: The General Election and Migration

Posted by Iain on July 14, 2017, 4:35 p.m. in New Zealand

With around eight weeks to go until the next General Election, a number of economists are warning the Government and those who would be Government, of the dangers of cutting back too hard on migration. The current Government has announced no change to skilled migrant numbers but they have signalled, and we are seeing, a fall in the number of international students who are coming to study in New Zealand. In terms of migration statistics they are “migrants” even though a significant proportion don’t remain here for more than a year or two. They all spend money however...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Retirement Savings Explained

Posted by Iain on July 7, 2017, 3:47 p.m. in Retirement

Perhaps it is because I turned 53 a few days ago that I have been thinking about retiring (not yet, I am afraid!) and I thought I’d write a piece about how our pension retirement processes work for those of you not here yet. I know it is dull but it’s a need-to-know for those thinking of moving to New Zealand. Unlike many countries, our retirement policies are, these days, something of a hybrid between publicly funded (taxpayer) and private savings.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australia Lists New Occupations

Posted by Kane on July 6, 2017, 9:03 p.m. in Australia

We are at that time of year again where the state governments of Australia issue new lists of occupations that they are willing to nominate for permanent residence. This has suddenly become increasingly important with the government now restricting many occupations from getting permanent residence through the employer sponsored pathway, leaving the state sponsorship option the most likely chance gaining residence.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australian Visa Subclass Changes

Posted by Kane on July 3, 2017, 9:59 p.m. in Australia

On 1 July the Minister of Immigration in Australia made extensive changes to a wide range of visa subclasses

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Changes - The Cabinet Papers

Posted by Iain on June 30, 2017, 2:46 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

A review of the cabinet papers released under the Official Information Act offers a good indication of the direction of the Government’s upcoming changes to the skilled migration category and offers hints at what might lie ahead. This paper have caused a slight (emphasis on slight) modification in some of my thinking about what changes might have looked like. For the most part there isn’t a lot of guesswork required as Government has been relatively clear on what they are trying to achieve. Government is not planning on cutting any visas from its skilled migrant target of 27,000 per annum and that is a point constantly missed by commentators, industry analysts and in the ‘expert’ world of social media.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Zealand Predator Free 2050

Posted by Iain on June 23, 2017, 6:41 p.m. in New Zealand

A few months’ ago the then-Prime Minister announced an aspirational goal to create a predator-free New Zealand by 2050. You may not be aware but New Zealand has a very unique fauna and flora profile. The country split off from the rest of what was then Gondwana some 60 million years ago before the rise of mammals. New Zealand has historically only had two species of land mammal; the short-tailed and long-tailed bat (both of which are now critically endangered). While we did have mammals around the coastline, such as fur seals, those two species of bat were it for the mainland and islands around the country.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Watch Out, Immigrants - It's Election Time

Posted by Iain on June 15, 2017, 5:10 p.m. in New Zealand Politics

This week the major opposition party, Labour, released their immigration policy. I can only hope that this set of politicians understand a lot more about economics, health and education than they appear to know about immigration or they clearly take the voting public for fools. Having promised in recent months to ‘slash migration numbers by tens of thousands’ what did they actually ‘slash’ in terms of the current resident visa targets?

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Politics of Immigration

Posted by Iain on June 12, 2017, 12:53 a.m. in Immigration

"Labour attempts to pick low hanging immigration fruit...that's already been eaten" - Iain MacLeod, Managing Director, IMMagine Australia & New Zealand Immigration Specialists The Labour Party’s announcement today that they will make moderate cuts to immigration numbers will make no significant difference to the numbers of permanent migrants coming to New Zealand.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Milford Sound - A Landscape on Steroids

Posted by Iain on June 8, 2017, 6:07 p.m. in New Zealand

I have waited all my life to get to Milford Sound. Lying in the southwest of the South Island, it is most certainly off the beaten track but every year several thousand extremely fortunate people make the effort to get there and experience it. Everyone who has been there speaks with a hushed reverence about the place.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Trekking the Queen Charlotte Sound

Posted by Iain on June 1, 2017, 4:33 p.m. in New Zealand

Do you remember the last time that you could only hear two or three sounds in any part of your day? Right now I am staying at Furneaux Lodge, an old Victorian homestead deep in Queen Charlotte Sound, one of numerous drowned river valleys lying at the top of the South Island. I am on my way to Queenstown for a couple of business meetings but decided to stop off here for some long forest hikes (two under the belt – close to 30km in two days) and a bit of a break after three busy weeks in South Africa.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Fly Me to the Moon

Posted by Iain on May 25, 2017, 6:10 p.m. in New Zealand

In breaking news, the national sheep flock has fallen from a high of 79 million four decades ago to a paltry 29 million today. And few in NZ care... In other breaking news, New Zealand company RocketLab has this week become the first private company in the history of an emerging commercial space industry to successfully launch a rocket into orbit from its North Island launch pad. How are these two events related? Both demonstrate the profound changes in the NZ economy over the past 30 years.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Home Affairs Comes to New Zealand

Posted by Iain on May 19, 2017, 9:37 a.m. in South Africa

In what appears to be little more than a fit of pique the South African Government decided a few months ago to retaliate against the tourists and business folk of NZ visiting the Republic by demanding New Zealand citizens apply for Visitor Visas if they wish to travel there. Granted, this was because the New Zealand Government had rescinded the visa waiver agreement with South Africa. I think it is fair to say the New Zealand Government was totally justified in doing so but it is hard to comprehend the reaction of the South African Government.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Want Residence? Maybe You Don't Need Qualifications

Posted by Iain on May 13, 2017, 11:57 a.m. in Government

A week after receiving the new points that attach to the various skilled migrant criteria in August 2017 (and both modelling and testing in the field on over 150 consultations so far in South Africa and SE Asia this past week), it is very interesting who wins and who loses from these changes. What has been very interesting to me is how many people I am meeting who will qualify after August 14 who do not qualify today. With the pass mark at 160 most people today require qualifications – trade, technical or academic representing 2-4 years of study.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Skilled Migrant Points: Analysis

Posted by Iain on May 5, 2017, 7:23 p.m. in Immigration

The Government’s promise to international students to provide a residence pathway has, effectively, been broken. Under these new rules the minimum salary threshold of $48,800 will see significant numbers of graduates from our local institutions no longer qualifying. That must hurt the $3 billion export education industry far more than they care to admit right now.

Read the full post

Southern Man: When is a cut not a cut?

Posted by Iain on April 28, 2017, 3 p.m. in Immigration

What we saw last week was part two of what, to me, is a very obvious and well-crafted plan to extricate the Government from the indefensible position over international students and the promises they made them with as little fallout as possible. We do have population pressures and particularly in Auckland but what great problems to have? We are a ‘victim’ of a strong economy for which the government deserves some credit; interest in settling here has gone through the roof, Kiwis don’t feel like leaving, more are coming home and we only have room for so many new migrants and the government is right to be choosy.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Category Changes Unveiled

Posted by Iain on April 19, 2017, 2:23 p.m. in Visas

The NZ Government today wrapped up their Skilled Migrant change announcement with the message that it is about ‘controlling the flow’ of migrants. If that sounds a bit Brexit, or Trump or the Prime Minister of Australia, France and Marine Le Pen - these are the times in which we live but I think it is far more simple than that. Our economy needs migrants to supplement local workforce and skill shortages. At the same time across the western world there is a growing discontent among some that too many people have missed out on the benefits of that globalisation – think less educated, the lower skilled and lower paid people. Who voted for Trump? Who voted for Brexit? Who will stop our current Government in NZ being re-elected this year? Those at the ‘lower’ end of the spectrum.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: About the Recent Policy Changes

Posted by Myer on April 19, 2017, 1:17 p.m. in Visas

Yesterday Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull put his hands on his hips and took a jump to the right. It felt as if we were in a Time Warp. Mr Turnbull, feeling the global winds of change fuelled by Brexit and Trumpism, took the initiative to steal the political right's thunder and initiated far reaching reforms to employer sponsored migration to Australia and also to the occupations available to skilled migration that are non-employer sponsored (GSM visas).

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Australia Newsflash: Important Policy Changes

Posted by Myer on April 18, 2017, 9:34 p.m. in Visas

Australia’s General Skilled Migration Visas and Employer Sponsored Visas - Earlier today Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced wide-ranging changes to the occupational lists available to General Skilled Migration Visas as well as the abolition of the current 457 Visa (Work Visa) to be replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa from March 2018.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Investor Category Changes

Posted by Iain on April 14, 2017, 2:52 p.m. in Investor Category

In a few weeks’ time, new Investor Category rules will be rolled out. Government has indicated 27 May. There is no change to those seeking a resident visa by investing NZ$10 million under the investor Plus category, the changes are only being made to the ‘Investor 2’ category. This sub-category has traditionally been a points based assessment system where applicants claim points based on their age, business experience, an amount they wish to invest and who have an additional NZ$1m over and above the nominated investments for ‘settlement’ purposes.

Read the full post

Southern Man: VACs Wings to Be Clipped

Posted by Iain on April 7, 2017, 3:27 p.m. in Visas

Two weeks’ ago I went public on my serious concerns regarding the actions of the Visa Application Centres (VACs) partnered with Immigration New Zealand. My concerns were two-fold: 1 - The VACs are not licensed to provide immigration advice. Yet it seems, based on multiple reports from clients who are attempting to drop off visa applications we have prepared, they are being given what appears to be immigration advice. INZ has accepted this is happening; they dispute how frequently. Given we have had a number of clients sent away when they tried to file applications to get additional information (that was not required for their applications to be receipted) it seems it is far more common than INZ wishes to acknowledge.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Criminal Convictions & Permanent Resident Visas

Posted by Iain on March 31, 2017, 3:40 p.m. in Immigration

We were approached recently by someone who had - whilst on their two year Resident Visa -been convicted for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). On the face of it not the worst of crimes (however dangerous those that drink and drive are). When she applied at the end of the two years for her (lifetime) Permanent Resident Visa (PRV), she was not only declined she was told she was to be deported.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Visa Application Centres and How They Break the Law

Posted by Iain on March 26, 2017, 12:15 p.m. in Visas

In recent years we have witnessed the increasing use of Visa Application Centres by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) around the world to ostensibly receipt and pass along visa applications to the NZ Government. Their role, we were told in the early days, was simply to ‘act like a Post Office’ and receipt visa applications before passing them along to their closest INZ office for processing.

Read the full post

Tags: INZ

Southern Man: Our Cultures Combined

Posted by Iain on March 17, 2017, 10:31 a.m. in Living

Yesterday I listened to an interview on the radio with two women who run a not for profit ‘refuge’ for migrant women and children from ‘Asian, Middle Eastern and African’ cultures. It had already occurred to me that there might be greater issues with migrant women and children from those areas than women and children immigrants from other areas. This is an issue I am not sure policy makers consider – it borders on the politically incorrect. Perhaps, however, we should suck up the accusations of ‘xenophobia’ or ‘racism’ and think it through from a permanent residence perspective.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: When is the right time to apply?

Posted by Myer on Feb. 26, 2017, 4:30 p.m. in Australia lifestyle

It’s not always not up to you to choose the time when you can apply for permanent residence because of the amount of change that occurs in the immigration process. It’s more likely that the time chooses you. I’m never able to “time-the-market” when I buy a house or buy or sell equities but I can tell you that the perfect time to apply for permanent residence is the time at which you meet the eligibility requirements and if that time is now then as inconvenient is the time may be, you need to act. Often the only difference between eligibility and and missing the opportunity completely is timing.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Rain

Posted by Iain on Feb. 26, 2017, 4:26 p.m. in Lighthearted

Sun. Rain. Wind. It is interesting how much of a role climate - perceived or real - plays in terms of where migrants might choose to live. If you are Singaporean or Malaysian you love the fact that New Zealand is, for the most part, both drier and for most of the year, cooler, than they are used to. Comfortable is the word I hear a lot. Migrants from these countries tell me how much they love the climate of ‘New Zealand’ (they are usually referring to Auckland or Christchurch). If you are a South African you tended historically to perceive the climate in New Zealand as being both cold and wet. I should say as thousands more South Africans settle here this perception is changing as expectation hits reality.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A (Common) Tale of Honesty

Posted by Iain on Feb. 24, 2017, 12:41 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Most Saturday mornings sees my wife and I at our local Farmers market in Mangawhai buying some fresh produce, the world’s best bratwurst (according to the German proprietor) and yet more native plants for my ever expanding garden. It is usually fairly uneventful however last Saturday was different. For the first time in, well, years I got out of the car and didn’t take my satchel (‘man bag’ as my millennial sons tease me). I just slipped my wallet into my back pocket. At stall number one I got it out so we could pay for some vegetables. At stall number three I went to get my wallet out of my back pocket and it had gone.

Read the full post

Southern Man: When will the Skilled Migrant pass mark drop (and why)?

Posted by Iain on Feb. 10, 2017, 3:18 p.m. in Immigration

A few people have asked me recently why I believe the skilled migrant pass mark will fall from 160. The short answer is because it needs to. My analysis can be found in the maths of the passmark calculations and a little bit of faith that the New Zealand Government is both serious and committed to issuing 27,000 resident visas under this category, which it continues to publicly state is its target. Historically, for New Zealand to issue 27,000 resident visas in any 12 month period, they have had to select around 700 Expressions of interest each fortnight from the ‘pool’. Each EOI accounts for a little over 2 people. So, they select 700 EOIs covering say 1450 people every two weeks, and they do it 25 times a year (they skip one pool draw around Christmas/New Year). If all those selected were approved and granted Resident Visas that would mean around 35,250 resident visas issued in any 12 month period.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Close Encounters of the Cetacean Kind

Posted by Iain on Feb. 3, 2017, 1:06 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Earlier this week on a cloudless, sweltering summer's day we decided to take our boat out to Taranga Island; a nature reserve of several thousand hectares that sits 15 km out to sea in Bream Bay. This island and five that lie another 5km to its north east are human free and no human is permitted to step foot on them. They have been cleared of all introduced predators (rats, mice, possums, ferrets, stoats and weasels) and like so many of NZ offshore islands are the only places our native birds can live safely alongside the ancient tuatara and many species of native lizard. Taranga is an extinct volcano rising 500m to its ancient peak, where several ‘plugs’ stand sentinel, slowly weathering. It is scarred from the occasional release of massive house-sized boulders that crash their way through the forest to the seashore below.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Sane Americans Wanted

Posted by Iain on Jan. 27, 2017, 2:33 p.m. in USA

What have you done America? Earlier this week, President Trump (still rings weirdly in my head) announced he’s building his wall. The Foreign Ministry in China have made their strongest statement yet regarding their territorial claims over the South China Sea - and warned the US in no uncertain terms to be very careful what they now say and do. Trump announced overnight he wants a 35% import duty on all goods (except it seems from Mexico). While that would be illegal under current international agreements and would obviously harm US workers, he is still tweeting about it and seems quite serious.

Read the full post

Southern Man: When is Outside Something Actually Inside It?

Posted by Iain on Jan. 20, 2017, 3:06 p.m. in Auckland

In this business, certainty for clients can only come about when, as Advisers, we fully understand definitions and eligibility criteria. Our greatest challenge is that the rules are often poorly written, vague and open to multiple interpretations. The meaning is in the mind of the reader. When you have two immigration officers reading the same rule differently, you get inconsistent decision making and this - when you are talking about resident visas - has enormous implications for clients financially, emotionally and, it is not "OTT" to suggest, truly life changing.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Summer, Christmas, Dubai & Doha

Posted by danni on Dec. 16, 2016, 12:58 p.m. in New Zealand

As 2016 draws to a close, New Zealand’s summer buzz begins to permeate our little country; families at the beach, the smell of sunblock and BBQs, sticky, glowing seawater skin, Mojitos, ice lollies, watermelons and cherries all making summer impossible to miss. It’s a great refresher to what was an unpredictable 2016. At IMMagine we’ve been quietly focusing on a few exciting changes. In the new year, we’re going to be combining many of our seminars. Since our licensed & experienced advisers are able to conduct eligibility assessments against policy of both Australia and New Zealand, it made sense to create a dual presentation that covered both countries.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Year That Was and What May Be

Posted by Iain on Dec. 9, 2016, 4:16 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

As the Prime Minister passes the baton to his long time Deputy and the year starts to draw to a close, it is a good time to take stock of what the economy holds for New Zealand over the next three years. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment forecasts another 183,000 jobs in that time, which is not far off that of the past three years. That’s pretty impressive and promising if you are contemplating a move to New Zealand, given about half of those jobs are estimated to be skilled or highly skilled. I have no doubt the mismatch between the skills we have and are creating at home will mean that’s around 50,000 jobs that migrants will have to fill.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Zealand Now in Top 5 for Wealth

Posted by Iain on Dec. 2, 2016, 3:06 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

I love and detest statistics. They can often tell any story you want. Apparently me and my fellow New Zealanders are now the fifth wealthiest people per adult in the world. Beats being last I guess. I have no doubt New Zealand and New Zealanders are getting wealthier in both real and nominal terms. The economy is growing well, is diversified and we are working far smarter across many more industries and sectors than we ever did. We have benefited from free trade agreements with a number of countries and accept that the world owes us nothing and we need to get out and sell our products and services. At the same time tourism is booming as more and more people crave, if even for only a few days, the natural beauty, space and fresh air of New Zealand.

Read the full post

Southern Man: You get what you pay for

Posted by Iain on Nov. 25, 2016, 3:52 p.m. in Immigration

Around nine months ago my colleague Paul sat with an Electrician (I’ll call him Peter, but that’s not his real name) in South Africa and outlined to him and his wife a carefully constructed strategy to get his family to New Zealand within about three months; with electrical registration in hand and with great job prospects. This strategy was tried and true with many other tradesmen down the years. As we do, a fee was quoted to 'project manage' everything, from the electrical registration in NZ, visitor visas to work visas to resident visas. We advised that, based on our experience we should be able to do all of that and have the whole visa process completed by the end of this year, but more likely around October.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Seismic 7 Days

Posted by Iain on Nov. 18, 2016, 4:01 p.m. in Living

I wasn’t sure whether to write this week about the seismic geological events in New Zealand or the seismic political ones in the USA. Are we sick of listening to and reading about Trump yet? I am. While I still struggle to understand it, it is real. Let’s watch him back down on all the big noise he made while campaigning (wire fence anyone?).

Read the full post

Southern Man: Did you see what I just saw?

Posted by Iain on Nov. 10, 2016, 2:55 p.m. in USA

I always thought the US do I put this politely, a bit whacky to be sure, but never certifiable. Now I am not so sure. Maybe Americans, many who have never left their State let alone the Union, see something about their lives and prospects the rest of the world doesn’t? Is it really in such decline? Is life really that bad? I’d suggest they get out a bit more. It ain’t all roses on our side of the soon to be built wall either. Watching the events unfold and wondering how it could have happened I thought about a conversation I had just a few weeks ago with my own father. A case of perception becoming reality.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Future Skilled Migrant 'Pass Marks'

Posted by Iain on Nov. 4, 2016, 3:48 p.m. in Immigration

Whenever immigration rules change, most potential applicants and their Advisers (not to mention media commentators) tend to conclude that the changes will be in place forever. There is often a knee-jerk reaction as people throw their hands in the air with horror and conclude the door is not only closed, it is nailed firmly shut and there isn’t a crowbar in sight. The increase in the selection points for Skilled Migrants from 100 to 160 on 11 October has made many people think that they will have to score 160 points forever. We have spent the past two weeks explaining to most of our clients that we are able to increase their points claims to the new selection level anyway, which is great for them, but will the pass mark stay at 160 forever? I doubt it.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Alternative Pathways to Residence

Posted by Iain on Oct. 28, 2016, 4:46 p.m. in Immigration

Over the next few months - if not years - there will be some otherwise skilled migrants who won’t be able to achieve the 160 point pass mark even if they were to work for say 12 or 24 months in a job outside of Auckland. What solutions can we offer them? I am very conscious that the Skilled Migrant rules will likely change in the middle of 2017, but I am equally confident that here at IMMagine we have a good handle on the direction of those changes, even though we don’t yet know the detail and won’t till the rules are released.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Category Review

Posted by Iain on Oct. 21, 2016, 3:49 p.m. in Immigration

Control. It’s the thing about Governments everywhere I suppose. They have to give the illusion of being in control even if they are not. The announcement two weeks ago of the pass mark increasing to 160 from 100 had an instantaneous impact on the numbers of Expressions of Interest being selected from the pool - it cut them by around 50% which was exactly what was intended. No surprises there. The demonstration of lack of control came from the fact that the numbers of EOIs sitting in the pool that the computer had to select because ever increasing numbers were claiming 100 points or more...

Read the full post

Southern Man: Holding Back the Student Tide

Posted by Iain on Oct. 14, 2016, 9:57 a.m. in Immigration

After the upheaval of this week with the changes to the skilled migrant landscape and a few days to take it all in and digest the changes, you might be interested in my thoughts on it. The changes appear to have been made in a big hurry. I have written several blogs in recent months and have been telling any potential client that might listen that I believed that change was going to be forced upon the Government in the skilled migrant ‘space’. Why? In two words – international students.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Shake Up of the Skilled Migrant Category

Posted by Iain on Oct. 11, 2016, 12:38 p.m. in Immigration

The Government has announced (or shortly will) a number of changes to the Skilled Migrant Category which take place today. On the face of it, it looks quite radical but upon closer reflection isn’t quite the ‘revolution’ the Government will paint it (and no doubt the media will swallow) and is little more than a rearrangement of the deck chairs. From Wednesday 11 October all ‘classes’ of Skilled Migrants will have a fixed pass mark of 160 points. That is up from 100 for those with job offers and effectively means everyone will need a job offer to qualify.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Labour Market and Economy Strong

Posted by Iain on Oct. 7, 2016, 2 p.m. in Auckland

I am not really into writing dry pieces on the state of the labour market but given the reality that many of you need jobs to secure your resident visas, most are not all that familiar with demand in the NZ labour market, and your world view is shaped by local conditions in your own countries (affirmative action policies in South Africa and Malaysia, for example), it is worth the effort to ‘paint a picture’ of the state of things in NZ though to June this year.

Read the full post

Tags: Migration

Southern Man: Visitor Visa Changes

Posted by Iain on Oct. 3, 2016, 10:10 p.m. in South Africa

In this age of instant communications, word has spread fast of today’s announcement by the New Zealand Government that from 21 November, all South African passport holders will no longer be able to travel to New Zealand without first obtaining a Visitor Visa to do so. This has major implications for anyone travelling to New Zealand for any reason on a South African passport but in particular those that wish to travel to find employment in order to be part of the Government’s Skilled Migrant Residence policy. Things just got a whole lot more complicated and potentially uncertain.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Twig! I'm Saved!

Posted by Iain on Sept. 30, 2016, 11:18 a.m. in South Africa

I wish I could draw. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words. If you can, picture a man floating without a life vest in the middle of a vast and empty ocean reaching out for a passing twig and saying to himself ‘I am saved!’ That’s how (as a frequent visitor and keen observer of South African society) I view the recent local Council elections in which the ruling ANC lost control of a number of major City administrations.

Read the full post

Southern Man: International Student Game

Posted by Iain on Sept. 24, 2016, 10:15 a.m. in Education

A week or so ago the Minister of Immigration proclaimed ‘they will not get residence’ when asked if he was concerned at the impact on the Skilled Migrant programme of the tens of thousands of international students his Government has promised, or recently given, job search work visas to (as a potential pathway to residence) having completed their studies in New Zealand. He said that only about 19% of international students go on and secure residence.

Read the full post

Southern Man: To Deport or Not to Deport

Posted by Iain on Sept. 16, 2016, 3:53 p.m. in Immigration

I was asked two weeks ago what I think about the fact that 41 Indian international students have been served deportation notices recently over actions allegedly made by their unlicensed migration agents in India in respect of student visas. My response? It stinks. If they did nothing wrong. However like all of these stories, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Is there a flood of migrants?

Posted by Iain on Sept. 9, 2016, 3:09 p.m. in IMMagine

Edmund Burke famously said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I told myself following the screening this week of Nigel Latta’s The Hard Stuff: Immigration that I wouldn’t lower myself and comment on the ill-informed, ignorant garbage that people have been posting on our Facebook page and in emails, or the usual political suspects on their xenophobic rantings in response to the episode, but I can’t.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Migration Myth Busting

Posted by Iain on Sept. 2, 2016, 2:09 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

A few months ago I was approached as an ‘immigration expert’ by a local documentary maker, Nigel Latta, who does some very solid myth busting TV series, to take part in a programme he was making about immigration to New Zealand. I was at first a little reluctant and wanted to know what the angle was, given most migrant stories tend to err on the side of the negative - migrants steal jobs, migrants are to blame for expensive houses, migrants don’t like to assimilate, migrants are a net user of health and education services - all the usual garbage peddled by the ignorant and the politicians who pander to that sort of uninformed bigotry.

Read the full post

Southern Man: NZ & AU: What's the difference?

Posted by danni on Aug. 26, 2016, 3:46 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

It might surprise you to learn that many people actually believe that New Zealand is just a small province of Australia, or, more in jest, that Australia is New Zealand’s "West Island" to accompany its North & South (watch out Samoa, Cook Islands et al, we’re looking for an East Island!). All a bit tongue-in-cheek, but for the potential migrant with a case of serious indecision, let’s take a closer look.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Auckland in Top 10 Most Liveable Cities

Posted by Iain on Aug. 19, 2016, 10:06 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Auckland has long harboured a desire to become the ‘world’s most liveable city’. It has taken another major step on that path by being ranked at number 8, up from 9 last year out of 140 cities surveyed. In this year's Economist Intelligence Unit Survey Auckland has pushed Sydney out of the top 10 (always love pushing those cocky Aussies further down the ladder). I’ll take it on the chin however that Melbourne (home to half my colleagues) has held on to its top spot at Number 1. It galls me somewhat to say it but it is a pretty cool place. A bigger Auckland with fewer carparks but in feel, attitude and culture quite similar.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Zealand we have lift off

Posted by Iain on Aug. 13, 2016, 1:03 a.m. in Education

A little over 100 years ago a man now largely forgotten outside of New Zealand, Richard Pearse, built a ‘heavier than air’ flying machine and flew what is believed by many, several months before the Wright Brothers in the United States. He gets little credit and was largely forgotten by history which I suspect wouldn’t have bothered him.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A New Dawn

Posted by Iain on Aug. 5, 2016, 2:32 p.m. in Immigration

Good Advisers are neither a threat nor a nuisance – we enhance the process for applicants who cannot hope to understand the complexities of the system and make it easier for Immigration Officers to process these applications, the thinking largely done for them. We do the marketing, we do the ‘sorting’ of those that cannot qualify and might otherwise ‘clog’ up the system and we provide assistance and support to those looking to settle in NZ, taking a lot of the pressure off INZ itself and other Government agencies.

Read the full post

Southern Man: We Have a Plan for Auckland

Posted by Iain on July 29, 2016, 11:19 p.m. in Auckland

Four years of wrangling with Councillors ducking for cover and refusing to stand up against vested interests and ‘Nimbyism’, Auckland finally has a blue print for its development over the next 50 years and beyond. Making Auckland the ‘most liveable city in the world’ has long been a catch cry of local politicians and while it is consistently voted in the top three most desirable cities in the world to live, we have of late been suffering from our own success.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Reserve Bank of NZ Gets Tough

Posted by Iain on July 22, 2016, 8:52 a.m. in New Zealand Economy

In what can only be described as ‘long overdue’, the Governor of the Reserve Bank has signalled significant changes to lending criteria to try and pop the Auckland region house bubble. Although the Governor gave the banks six weeks warning, all four major banks immediately signed on for the new lending criteria. The major changes see investors only allowed to borrow 60% of the value of the second property (one they don’t live in).

Read the full post

Southern Man: Teacher Shortages Starting to Bite

Posted by Iain on July 15, 2016, 3:28 p.m. in Education

One of the unexpected consequences of Auckland's house price values and population increase in the past few years is an emerging shortage of teachers. It is, by all accounts, really starting to bite. Population growth has meant the government has set aside more money for construction of additional schools, classrooms and teachers particularly in, but not limited to Auckland.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Migrant Numbers on the Political Chopping Block?

Posted by Iain on July 8, 2016, 4:23 p.m. in Immigration

And so it begins...just over a year out from the next election with house prices (particularly in Auckland) resuming their heady increases once again (5% in the past three months), a Central Government and Auckland Council seemingly unable to markedly change the supply side of the housing shortage, right on cue the usual political suspects have started calling for a slashing of immigration numbers. For me this jibber jabber would ordinarily be like water off this duck’s back but this time I am less sure. These are not normal times.

Read the full post

Southern Man: 4 in 10 Pay No Tax in New Zealand

Posted by Iain on July 1, 2016, 4:50 p.m. in Tax

It has to be said that if you asked the average Joe or Jane on the streets of New Zealand if they realise that 40% of households get more back in tax credits and direct financial support than they pay in tax, I’d bet dollars to donuts they’d deny it. If you believe what you read in the local media you’d think that our society is becoming alarmingly less equal. Although it may be becoming less equal I feel no alarm given our tax rules and socialised health, education and social security act to iron out many of the wrinkles.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Will you be denied entry into New Zealand because you’re South African?

Posted by danni on June 24, 2016, 4:08 p.m. in Visitor Visa

The Internet is a double-edged sword. It is the Great Proliferator. This is ideal when you’re sharing news, education or encouragement (or you’re an advertiser…) but when ill-informed discourse proliferates virally, this seemingly innocent “web-chatter” can thwart even the best made plans to move to New Zealand. Imagine the moment at the airport. It’s the stuff of nightmares. You’ve packed your life up. You trust in your ability to get a job in New Zealand that might result in your permanent residency. You trust in your decisions and your research about the job market and your ability to fit in. You trust in the advice you’ve received from your licensed adviser which is that it is perfectly lawful to enter New Zealand on a temporary visa on a “Look, See & Decide” basis.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Labour Shortages Vs Skills Shortages

Posted by Iain on June 17, 2016, 3:44 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

I am all for young people coming into the country and having that local working experience while they travel around enjoying everything this wonderful country has to offer. We are all enriched by it culturally if not economically, and these young people build bridges to the rest of the world. Some will use the Holiday Working Visa as a stepping stone to filling skilled roles and go on to secure residence. I often help skilled migrants return to New Zealand ten or more years after they spent a happy year on one of those Holiday Working Visas and we would never have been able to get the benefit of their skills had they not enjoyed their earlier trip. I have some concerns however that successive Governments have lacked the political will to start forcing the more indolent among the local population to take up these jobs first.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Time Bomb

Posted by Iain on June 11, 2016, 12:10 a.m. in Immigration

Auckland has a housing crisis. Politicians are calling for a cut in migrant numbers (there are those that never let a few facts get in the way of a few votes). This volume will be dialled up next year during the election cycle. So Prime Minister, what is your plan when in two years the demand for the current number of places doubles or triples and many of those applying are Retail Managers and Chefs rather than Engineers and Builders and Software Developers with ten years of practical experience? How do you choose between them all when you only have 27,000 places up for grabs?

Read the full post

Southern Man: Go Trump!

Posted by Iain on May 27, 2016, 4:24 p.m. in Immigration

I sometimes think given the importance of the role to global stability we should all be able to vote in America’s Presidential elections! Unfortunately the world’s so called ‘Leader of the Free World’ is voted in by a nation of people of whom only 20% possess passports and a majority that have never had reason to leave their own State let alone country. While they are arguably lucky in that respect, the rest of us are impacted by their ignorance of world affairs and what happens outside their own borders. However if The Donald takes the White House I have little doubt that countries like ours will become magnets for those that seek something different to what I suspect is about to be unleashed on America and the world if this guy wins.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Housing Bubble in Danger of Bursting

Posted by Iain on May 20, 2016, 11:46 a.m. in New Zealand Economy

As migration numbers surge with fewer NZers leaving the country, more coming back from Australia, more Australians joining us and the same number of ‘other’ migrants being approved residence to fill gaps in our labour market, Auckland is growing at something like 40,000 people a year. Over the next five years we need to build around 80,000 dwellings. Over the past year 9000 odd consents have been issued. We are way behind the 8-ball. So we have a real supply problem but more than that we have a political problem. For anyone that sits in our traffic jams in the morning or on their way home at night it is clear that as fast as we widen freeways, build new tunnels, under passes, overpasses, bi-passes and cover this city in tarmac the faster they clog up again.

Read the full post

Southern Man: What does New Zealand & Mauritius have in common?

Posted by Iain on May 13, 2016, 11:39 a.m. in Environment

I have in my time voted for the Green Party, Labour (liberal and left of centre), National (conservative and right of centre) ACT (a mix of the previous two). I am never sure whether upon self-analysis that makes me balanced, confused or a lunatic. I’ll go with balanced. I think what it demonstrates is that I recognise trees are very important to life yet money doesn’t grow on them. The more I travel the more concerned I become about what we are doing to this planet of ours. It doesn’t need us but we sure as hell need it. As part of that I am concerned about what we are doing to New Zealand – our oft quoted (and globally marketed) ‘clean and green’ country is in my view not only an inaccurate representation, but misleading.

Read the full post

Southern Man: That Summer Feeling

Posted by danni on May 6, 2016, 8:07 p.m. in Lighthearted

Before moving to New Zealand I was sure the weather would be different and particularly rainy and a lot of potential migrants do too - while it’s different (lightning storms are pretty scarce, I miss those on the Highveld) it’s never felt “rainy”. It still looks and feels like I’m on holiday outside so much of the time - 6 years and counting.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Cost of Obesity

Posted by Iain on April 29, 2016, 7:09 p.m. in Healthcare

The risk of being obese is that you won’t get into the country. Being overweight can be the difference between that new life you seek or not. Immigration policy is concerned that once an applicant’s Body Mass Index (BMI) gets to 35 or more they have the potential to become a ‘cost’ the publicly funded health system. Government concerns are twofold – not just the cost to treat those that do not look after their physical health in future years but the fact that we have so many obese people of our own. In fact New Zealand is suffering a self-inflicted obesity epidemic as we pile on the weight. We have one of the fattest populations in the world and diabetes is increasing at a rate that is quite simply alarming.

Read the full post

Southern Man: What is the real cost of living?

Posted by Iain on April 22, 2016, 7:51 p.m. in Living

Most of our clients, irrespective of where they come from are neither poor nor wealthy (although we have a few) and fall squarely into the ‘married, mortgaged, middle class with two children and a dog’ camp. It is to them we speak at our seminars even though our audiences (and clients) also feature young singles, older parents and those without children. This makes it quite hard to quantify ‘average’ cost of living given all the variables on both sides of the equation – where migrants come from, the exchange rate and whether it favours them (UK and US) or not (South Africa and Malaysia) or is about the same (Singapore) and how they might choose to live in New Zealand and of course, where, with Auckland being expensive by NZ standards and Dunedin cheap.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Ausland

Posted by danni on April 15, 2016, 6:07 p.m. in Lighthearted

My husband, upon touching ground in New Zealand, declared himself an instant Kiwi by immediately denouncing any form of affection for Australia and adopting the ‘Pavlova Stance’. He said it’s a rite of passage into Kiwihood! He can’t be blamed – his South African father is notorious for saying that he supports the Springboks “and any team playing against Australia” so the country was never given a fair chance in his eyes. I can only speak from my own perspective, but frankly, I love Australians. (I can hear the wailing from my New Zealand office mates and the cheering from my colleagues in Melbourne…)

Read the full post

Southern Man: Keeping Kiwi Cool

Posted by admin on April 8, 2016, 3 p.m. in Living

Myer from our Melbourne office was in Auckland last week and wrote this guest post for the New Zealand blog. "There is a stark contrast between modern Auckland and the Auckland that I immigrated to back in 1989 as a 20 something year old South African. I still remember my first day in Auckland in 1989 when I asked the bus driver where the main street of Auckland is, and the response I received was "You're in it, mate!” followed by peals of laughter. My partner Iain recently made the comparison between Auckland and Melbourne and described Auckland as a smaller, more compact version of Melbourne and I think that comparison today in 2016 is quite justified."

Read the full post

Southern Man: When Data Makes the Decisions

Posted by Iain on April 1, 2016, 7:31 p.m. in IMMagine

We already warn our clients who are travelling to NZ to find work not to advertise the fact they intend emigrating here by telling one and all on Facebook, forums and chat groups, because we know that Immigration New Zealand can find this stuff out and do look. More than one client has been told what they put on their Facebook page when being questioned about their ‘intentions’ at the border. While collecting information by Governments can be put to good use for the betterment of all in the society being governed, I deal with one Government every day. It must be said ours is a pretty non-threatening and benign one and we have real legal safeguards built around who can access and use data about me.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Economy Powers Along

Posted by Iain on March 25, 2016, 6 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

A senior immigration official said to me privately a couple of weeks ago that the ‘disconnect’ between what the Government wants in terms of skilled migrants and those responsible for securing our border is real and the official expressed frustration at the blinkered approach taken by border staff; particularly in respect of South Africans. It is interesting - I have obtained figures under the Official Information Act that show that as of about four weeks ago there were 122 South Africans unlawfully in the country versus 1300 Chinese, 600 Indian and over 300 British. Given the thousands of South Africans who visit here there is scant evidence of any great risk to the integrity of the immigration system or the border.

Read the full post

Southern Man: How easy is it to get a birth certificate?

Posted by Paul on March 18, 2016, 2:19 p.m. in Immigration

Whenever I speak to overseas audiences about life in New Zealand, I often talk about how it’s “easier” to live in New Zealand than in many other countries. It’s easier because we are consistently ranked as one of the safest places on earth. It’s easier because we regularly feature at the top of the rankings for the most peaceful and least corrupt countries in the world and it’s generally easier because things seem to just work. I often give examples of how this “ease” applies to the things we do here and in particular the lack of red-tape that exists or the fact that if there is red tape, it seems to be unwound relatively “easily”. We recently welcomed our second addition to the family, which is a wonderful and joyous occasion quickly followed by a whole lot of administration to prove to the rest of the world that they actually exist. Registering the birth, registering for dental and healthcare services (all of which are free), securing a passport in case we ever manage to make it out of the house again along with a raft of other official processes and notifications.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Deserted Island, a Picnic and a Large Blue Shark

Posted by Iain on March 11, 2016, 8:20 p.m. in Living

It seems last week’s blog caused more than a few heart palpitations; four people fainted, three were admitted to hospital with chest pains; fourteen had nervous breakdowns and a further 23 took to their beds for all of Saturday. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration but dear reader, I share these stories and advice with you about the risks inherent in the migration process not to cause you to wet your pants or faint on the kitchen floor but in my attempt at honest and transparent communication. You need to be aware of the risks and the rewards of migration, but please keep my advice in perspective.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Bring Out Your Dead

Posted by Iain on March 4, 2016, 8:11 p.m. in Immigration

Although the system is not intentionally designed to trap people, what is most certainly true is that it does. It often forces those that wish to be part of the Government’s Skilled Migrant Residence programme, if not to lie, then to tell half truths - and the trouble with half truths is they have an uncomfortable way of coming back and biting applicants on the backside at the next stage of the visa process. Who wants to be forced into telling untruths just to give the NZ Government what it wants? No client I have ever met. The simple reality is that if these skilled migrants do not tell white lies they cannot give the Government what it so openly and globally markets that it wants - their skills, here and available to start work with full work rights!

Read the full post

Southern Man: Auckland in Top 3 Cities to Live

Posted by Iain on Feb. 26, 2016, 7:57 p.m. in Living

Auckland has, for the third time, just been voted the third best international city out of 230 ranked in which to live in the annual ‘Mercer Quality of Life' survey. Which struck me as kind of strange as I sat in ‘peak hour’ traffic at 2.45pm (!) this afternoon as my wife and I fled the city for the beach house. I was thinking that there is much to really like about this city and I enjoy living in Auckland very much but I suspect those doing the survey must travel only between 11am and 2pm when the traffic flows freely. It isn’t KL, New York or God forbid, Jakarta, but we are not used to it and we do not like it.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Few Days People Spotting in the Abel Tasman

Posted by Iain on Feb. 19, 2016, 8:51 p.m. in Living

I often reflect on just how lucky I was to be born in New Zealand. Not to be smug about it but when I consider what our clients have to go through to secure their slice of this place it makes me very grateful indeed. Never more so than over the past week or so when my wife and I enjoyed a few days in the city of Nelson and the Abel Tasman National Park with four friends. This top (left) corner of the South Island is known for its long, hot dry summers, crystal clear seas, golden sandy beaches and forests. Vineyards and orchards dot the countryside around the National Park which is criss crossed with wide meandering rivers and estuaries.

Read the full post

Southern Man: (Un)employment in New Zealand

Posted by danni on Feb. 12, 2016, 3:23 p.m. in New Zealand Employment

It’s fairly telling of the economy of a country (and certainly the quality of our clients) that we are, with such confidence, able to put a timeframe on your likelihood of being employed as a new migrant within 3 months. It’s not just a theory – every migrant I know in New Zealand found work within an even shorter period of time. But there's more to it than simple job availability.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: They Say Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Posted by Iain on Feb. 5, 2016, 10:30 a.m. in Government

Call me naive or stupid but who wouldn’t notice what we mere mortals might consider more than a paltry sum appearing in a bank account they control? I do have some sympathy for the PM; I confess am not much good with matters financial myself, but I do think my wife who looks after our family finances might have asked me one night over a quiet dinner “Honey, I just noticed that US$600 million appeared in one of your bank accounts last night. Any idea of where it might have come from?” “Oh, I don’t know dear, maybe it was a gift from a fan, I am not sure. How’s your Laksa?”

Read the full post

Southern Man: Two Birds, One Stone

Posted by Iain on Jan. 29, 2016, 6:01 p.m. in Government

Aucklanders have waited over 100 years to get a truly modern and integrated rail system. We have one, but it is only in the past decade that it has become ‘double tracked’ to enhance passenger service offerings. Unfortunately the rail line ends at a brick wall in the downtown Rail Station. This has led to capacity constraints as the trains that come in have to go out the same way. Advocates, including our Mayor, have been pushing central Government for years to contribute funding to what is known as the City Rail Loop so rather than a brick wall at the end of the line in downtown Auckland we tunnel our way out to the suburbs (forming a ‘loop’).

Read the full post

Southern Man: The State We're All In

Posted by Iain on Jan. 22, 2016, 6:45 p.m. in Immigration

The New Year has started off with a bang for us here at IMMagine – South Africa is in turmoil, the rand has been in freefall and has fallen 35% against the New Zealand dollar in the past month or so. The cause? Among other things, the President firing a respected Finance Minister who was willing to stand up for transparency, accountability and a basic ‘money doesn’t grow on trees and the state airline needs to sort itself out’. This was a challenge the President could not take – so he was fired. To hell with the economy and accountability!

Read the full post

Southern Man: Simple Pleasures

Posted by Iain on Jan. 15, 2016, 10:17 a.m. in Living

For those of you that live in big cities you cannot imagine the sky at night here. Being the southern hemisphere, we get to look in toward the centre of our galaxy when we look up. Our skies are dark (little light pollution once you are away from the city) and not a night would go by without my sitting in a deck chair just staring up the sky. You’d be amazed at how many satellites you see (13 in one hour is the record). We are lulled to sleep by the sound of crashing waves, Morepork (native night owls) calling to one another and a chorus of crickets.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Wellington - A Flying 24 Hours

Posted by Iain on Dec. 18, 2015, 3:22 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

They say Wellington a good day cannot be beaten. ‘They’ are usually Wellingtonians - of course - who are understandably biased. I never seem to be here when the sun is shining, but even on a rainy, cold ‘feels like mid-winter in Auckland’ day as it is today just a week out from Christmas, it is still pretty special. Down here for a flying 24-hour visit, day one was spent in the bowels of the Immigration Department’s head office meeting with the ‘big cheese’ and his senior team, part of a regular cycle of get-togethers to discuss the issues of the day, ‘progress’ and potential future moves in the immigration space.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Does Christmas Need Jesus?

Posted by Iain on Dec. 11, 2015, 4:01 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

A well intentioned colleague asked me a few days ago if our Christmas message to clients should drop any reference to Christmas given many of our clients are not Christian and we look after a fair number of Muslims, Jews, Agnostics, Buddhists, Atheists and goodness knows what else. The concern was that we might perhaps cause offence to those that are not Christian. She received short shrift (in good humour).

Read the full post

Southern Man: How's Your Climate Change Plan Coming Along?

Posted by Iain on Dec. 4, 2015, 1:38 p.m. in Living

Walking down Orchard Road this morning with beads of sweat hooking up and trickling down my face, I was wondering if countries like Singapore will even be habitable if the current Climate Change talks are not successful in Paris. No one I ever consult with in this part of the world tells me that they are leaving because they believe their grandchildren will be living in an oven; likely unable to spend much time outdoors given the heat and humidity. They want to go to New Zealand for education and for work life balance and I wonder when they will start adding ‘to escape the impacts of climate change’ to that list? They should.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Decided, Looking and Seeing or Looking, Seeing and Deciding?

Posted by Iain on Nov. 27, 2015, 12:01 p.m. in Visitor Visa

That is the question... Regular readers in South Africa will know that in recent times increasing numbers of South African citizens travelling to New Zealand are being questioned about the purpose of their visit when they check in to their flights in South Africa, in transit en route during a stop over or on arrival in New Zealand. It is causing understandable consternation among many.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Who Do You Share Your Bed With?

Posted by Iain on Nov. 20, 2015, 11:14 a.m. in Immigration

There is one particular issue that frustrates more clients who are applying for Residence of New Zealand under Skilled and Business categories than virtually anything else. The issue is proving your relationship with your partner/spouse. Clients struggle to fathom why Immigration New Zealand demands the mountain of evidence that they do in regards to the relationship between main applicant and partner being ‘genuine and stable and likely to endure’.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Migration Seed Comes in Many Forms

Posted by Iain on Nov. 13, 2015, 1:31 p.m. in Immigration

Like many people I have always assumed that the decision to migrate is an economic one - and it often is. Or a social one, to join friends or family. It often happens because of marriage or entering a relationship with a ‘local’. It is sometimes simply a result of what might unkindly be labelled a mid-life crisis and a need for change - a rather extreme big, scary and challenging change.

Read the full post

Tags: Migration

Southern Man: How do pensions work in NZ?

Posted by Iain on Nov. 6, 2015, 11:02 a.m. in Living

It might be that I am tired after a long year, much of it spent on the road, but I did turn my thoughts to retirement last night. Not giving up work, I have mortgages to pay, but how we plan for it in New Zealand and how the process works. I am a good few years off qualifying for it yet thank goodness.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Rise the Real Rainbow Nation

Posted by Iain on Oct. 30, 2015, 6:26 p.m. in Rugby World Cup

I have long thought, but dared not to utter, the thought whilst in South Africa that it is not and never has been a ‘rainbow nation’. It was an illusion. A convenient one and I might add ‘nice try’ back in 1994. Hoping that everyone will pull together and build a nation is a catchy phrase. It's just that it hasn’t happened.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Discrimination: Real or Imagined

Posted by Iain on Oct. 23, 2015, 1:16 p.m. in Living

In this business you meet people every day who are looking for something better - a brighter future for their children usually, but equally, somewhere safe where the rule of law is respected. A country where everyone is treated equally irrespective of gender, religion, ethnicity or nationality. They therefore ask some interesting and challenging questions.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Beauty of a Socialist Democracy

Posted by Iain on Oct. 15, 2015, 9:53 p.m. in Government

Increasingly many of our clients moving to New Zealand as skilled migrants are under 30 years of age and many have either put off starting families till they can get somewhere ‘safe’ or are secure in an environment more conducive to raising children. Some already have very young children when they arrive. Given most young people are not financially well off and both partners need to work when they arrive in New Zealand in order to put food on the table, it raises the question – what do they do with their children if they are both out working?

Read the full post

Southern Man: Crime -South African style

Posted by Iain on Oct. 9, 2015, 3:25 p.m. in Crime

'When they got back to their car my friend realised that he had lost his wallet. Mildly concerned but not too worried because there weren’t many people about he wandered back the way they had come feeling confident he’d find it. Given however there had been some leaping over rocks on an incoming tide when he couldn’t find it he assumed it had been washed away. Credit cards, cash, driver’s license – the whole caboodle.'

Read the full post

Southern Man: Massive New Marine Reserve

Posted by Iain on Oct. 2, 2015, 11:45 a.m. in Environment

In what might just be one of the biggest achievements of our Government it announced earlier this week that it was creating a marine reserve around the Kermadec Islands which results in 620,000 square kilometers of islands, ocean and ocean floor being closed off to all fishing and potential mining. The Kermadec Islands stretch over 200km some 800-1000km north of New Zealand’s North Island and because they have never been part of any landmass the many isles of this volcanic group are home to some unique species of land and sea animals.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Visitor Visa Lottery

Posted by Iain on Sept. 25, 2015, 2:01 p.m. in Visitor Visa

Before a game of rugby at the World Cup it is common for the two coaches to sit with the referee and ask how various rules might be interpreted and enforced given there is always a degree of interpretation of many rules. All parties to the game leave with an understanding so they can prepare in order to play within the rules once the whistle is blown for kick off. Getting a Visa can, depressingly, often seem like a game without rules let alone interpretations at times.

Read the full post

Tags: visas

Southern Man: The Age of Opinion

Posted by Iain on Sept. 18, 2015, 6:50 p.m. in Living

We live in an age in which anyone with anything to say, whether right or wrong, fact or fiction gets a chance to confuse the world. Take the Republican Party presidential nomination process. Nowhere has more garbage been spewed by so few so often as we are currently being bombarded with out of the US. At least I don’t have to watch it and can turn it off. I do however have to field constant questions from would-be migrants over what is fact and which is fiction on the internet about this country and the visa process.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Power of a Single Photograph

Posted by Iain on Sept. 11, 2015, 6:19 p.m. in Refugees

As the old saying goes: 'out of sight out of mind'. When however you are rocked to the very core by a photo of a dead three year old boy, dressed as your child would be for any fun day at the beach, lying face down in the sand, he quickly became the face of every displaced person. And our hearts went out to him, his family and the millions he suddenly represented.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Noise of a New Zealander

Posted by danni on Sept. 4, 2015, 3:58 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Last week, New Zealand rock radio station The Rock completed their annual “Rock 1000” countdown, a list of the top songs ever according to voting Kiwis. These 7 days of New Zealand radio have become world famous with people from all corners of the globe tuning in to listen to the vote-based, week-long countdown. Back in South Africa, Radio 702 ran a similar countdown annually but on a much smaller scale.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Dodging human traffic kiwi style

Posted by Iain on Aug. 27, 2015, 3:26 a.m. in Living

At our seminars and at follow up personal consultations we try our best to describe to potential migrant clients what sort of life they might expect if the Government of New Zealand lets them in. What kind of people we are, as New Zealanders, more or less. Sometimes it is easy to convey the similarities and differences and sometimes less so.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Picture of Your New Zealand

Posted by Paul on Aug. 21, 2015, 9:40 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Several weeks ago we began IMMagine's first photo competition in an effort to gather together pictures from people just like you, showing ‘your’ New Zealand. A pictorial homage to life and living in New Zealand from people of all shapes, sizes and walks of life including those who were born in New Zealand and those who migrated here.

Read the full post

Southern Man: There's More to Life than Baguettes & Butter

Posted by Iain on Aug. 14, 2015, 10:12 a.m. in Living

I am in Paris this week and next taking a break from the latest very hectic three weeks of roadshows and consultations in South Africa. Interest there has never been greater. As I have to be back in South Africa in a little over two weeks flying all the way back to New Zealand seemed daft and counter-productive (not to mention uneconomic). It was smarter to stay on a similar time zone. I know, any excuse to come to my favourite European city… What interests me among other things is that French appear in the top ten source countries for migrants to New Zealand.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth

Posted by Iain on Aug. 8, 2015, 8:22 a.m. in Visitor Visa

I am sure that you were always told by your parents to tell the truth. As the old line goes, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear by being honest and truthful. Right? What happens however when one rule contradicts a second that you must comply with later in order to win the game – and you have to comply with both to get what you need?

Read the full post

Southern Man: Skilled Migrant Point Changes

Posted by Iain on July 31, 2015, 5:58 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

The New Zealand Government announced a few days ago that it was increasing the bonus points that can be claimed for a skilled and relevant job offer outside of Auckland from 10 to 30 points. The internet is abuzz! Not sure why. I suggest everyone stay calm. Much ado about very little. Government announced they were doing it in order to encourage more migrants to settle outside of Auckland.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Be careful what you wish for

Posted by Iain on July 17, 2015, 4:18 p.m. in Immigration

I thought that Danni’s guest blog last week was very timely and insightful. Exploring what goes on in someone’s mind when they are thinking about emigrating; what promises they make to themselves, their partners, their family, what their expectations are and what actually happens was really interesting. It reminded me, not that I feel I needed it, that migration is a very human process where expectations can be dashed, met or exceeded.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Eternal Sunshine of an Immigrant’s Mind

Posted by danni on July 10, 2015, 12:41 p.m. in Immigration

There’s something to be said about leaving one’s paths behind: the roads you grew up on or where you went to school, the corner shop you loitered around with your friends in your (perhaps) misspent youth, the mall you frequented for your grocery shopping, the place you were married, the hospital you first held your newborn child.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Safe as houses? Safe as NZ.

Posted by Iain on July 3, 2015, 5:06 p.m. in Crime

I always tell people that whatever New Zealand might not be, one thing it certainly is, is safe. I can trot out the statistics at seminars or consultations, watch potential clients’ surprise when they learn our police don’t carry guns, that as citizens we are banned from carrying guns and you can walk up and knock on most people’s front doors here without anything or anyone stopping you

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Big Chill

Posted by Iain on June 26, 2015, 1:48 p.m. in New Zealand Weather

Having spent last week in Cape Town complaining about the cold I came home to what was for three days this week a mini Ice Age by comparison. Average maximum daily temperatures in Auckland through June and July tend to be around 16-17 degrees Celcius which is cool but by no means cold because with our humidity it generally feels a degree or three warmer.

Read the full post

Southern Man: South Africa's Slow Train Crash

Posted by Iain on June 19, 2015, 9:10 p.m. in Immigration

With my latest tour to South Africa nearing an end I wonder if this country is ready to implode. Just when it seems the Government cannot make themselves look any worse, they load that shotgun and aim it at whichever part of their foot they didn’t blow off last week. I cannot help wondering if there isn’t now a creeping arrogance given they have no effective opposition and their hold on power absolute.

Read the full post

Southern Man: A Social Services Revolution

Posted by Iain on June 12, 2015, 2:27 p.m. in Government

Something very interesting is happening in New Zealand. A quiet social service delivery revolution, that is being carefully watched around the world. If you asked most Kiwis however I doubt they’d even know it is happening. Such is the Government’s caution they might get offside with the voters if it isn’t handled very tactfully. So far they have done a masterful job of flying this well under the radar.

Read the full post

Tags: population | economy

Southern Man: Melting Pot

Posted by Paul on June 5, 2015, 5:01 p.m. in New Zealand Employment

The Southern Man is travelling through South Africa at present dealing with the masses looking to make the move to our (currently rather soggy) part of the world. It therefore falls upon me to take his place for this week’s blog post. A client of mine mentioned something in passing to me today which has prompted this post...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Entrepreneur Embarrassment

Posted by Iain on May 29, 2015, 3:26 p.m. in Immigration

How do you know when an immigration policy is failing miserably? I have been looking into visa application numbers, approval, decline and withdrawal rates for the Entrepreneur work Visa category. The policy was put in place just over a year ago in April 2014. It has to be considered a dismal failure.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: A week in Melbourne

Posted by Iain on May 22, 2015, 4:55 p.m. in Australia lifestyle

I’m in Melbourne this week and working out of our office here. Let me bust a few myths for you about this place. Before I do let me say if I was to move to any city in Australia this would be it – it is like a really big Auckland (about three times as many people) with the vibe, cultural mix and attitude to life that is at once quite familiar if not the same.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Auckland property party over?

Posted by Iain on May 15, 2015, 6:08 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

Auckland residential property market. I know it isn’t the most riveting of topics but when you consider that property values in Auckland are up 50% in five years and in that time the South African rand has fallen by 30% against the Kiwi then for a South African migrant, as ione example, this has massive implications on home affordability.

Read the full post

Southern Man: New Zealand being used and abused?

Posted by Iain on May 8, 2015, 7:07 p.m. in New Zealand Employment

In New Zealand a small but vocal anti-immigration voice exists. The one party that supports less immigration, NZ First, traditionally polls around 5% in national elections but in the last one it got over 7%. On the one hand it looks tiny and you might reasonably conclude that around 93% of the population don’t see immigration as a die in the ditch election issue and vote for someone else on the really important, or at least more critical, issues.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Goodbye Auckland Hello Northland

Posted by Iain on May 1, 2015, 5:36 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Is it just me or do you also wake up and say ‘My goodness, it’s Friday again?’ I know it is a tired cliché but I swear it is true – the older we get the faster time seems to fly. And my world seems full of Fridays. Here we are again – another one and I have gone another week without playing any golf!

Read the full post

Southern Man: ANZAC Day - 100 Years On

Posted by Iain on April 24, 2015, 4:17 p.m. in Living

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, the day which probably more than any other, is increasingly viewed here in New Zealand as a true National Day. A day when we pause and give genuine and sincere thanks to those men and women who have served in the military forces and in particular those that never made it home, falling in foreign fields or on oceans distant. We are not big on nationalism in New Zealand, we are too independently minded. If you think we are the same as Australians now, tomorrow is the day you might observe if you were around these parts, we are not.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Reserve Bank rattling their sabres

Posted by Iain on April 17, 2015, 8:07 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

This week the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank gave the strongest signal in two years that moves are afoot to try and deal with (to)rampant (Auckland) house price inflation. And it’s about time. Some key numbers released this week...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Facebook Trap

Posted by Iain on April 10, 2015, 8:14 p.m. in Border Patrol

For some time New Zealanders have been debating Government surveillance, both of locals and our Pacific neighbours. Our Government constantly reassures us with that old line that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. And it’s okay because everyone is spying on everyone else...

Read the full post

Southern Man: True Blue but fair dinkum?

Posted by Iain on April 3, 2015, noon in Immigration

Ch-ch-ch-changes……… We are not talking David Bowie, we are talking Immagine. Two years in the making you are about to see some changes to our brand. New colour scheme, same logo. New website, more ‘2015’ in relevance and offerings.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Cricket World Cup - Go The Kiwis!

Posted by Iain on March 27, 2015, 6:42 p.m. in New Zealand Sport

Seats have been ‘shotgunned’ on couches. The whisky is breathing. The beer fridge is full. The large piece of beef is thawing and ready to be smeared in marinade in preparation for a slow barbecue come mid day Sunday.

Read the full post

Tags: skills

Australia Blog: Cyclone Pam Leaves Her Calling Card

Posted by Iain on March 20, 2015, 8:25 p.m. in New Zealand Weather

With many parts of New Zealand suffering from their annual drought the prayers and rain dances have been in full swing these past few weeks. It seems one rain dance too many as Cyclone Pam, having smashed her way across Vanuatu, set about sprinting across 3000km of South Pacific ocean in a little over 24 hours to attempt the same destruction on New Zealand.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Foreigners and our Auckland houses Part II

Posted by Iain on March 13, 2015, 11:01 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

Last week’s blog asked the question whether non-New Zealand residents or citizens should be able to buy residential real estate. It sparked off quite a discussion. As usual I received a number of private emails (I welcome and prefer public comment on the blog) accusing me of being either ‘right on’ or a complete racist... It is worth following up on some of the points raised.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Time to stop foreigners buying our houses?

Posted by Iain on March 6, 2015, 6:05 p.m. in Living

New Zealand has long required ‘foreigners’ seeking to buy iconic, coastal or farm land over a certain (small) size to secure permission from the Overseas Investment Office before they will be allowed to. Overseas buyers are required to clearly demonstrate the economic benefits to New Zealand (not the vendor)of such investment and if they fail to deliver they can be forced to sell. Pressure is increasing on the Government to do the same with residential property in an attempt to take some of the heat out of the residential market particularly in Auckland, if nowhere else.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Through the looking glass

Posted by Iain on Feb. 27, 2015, 1:30 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” So said the great Lewis Carroll. He could have been talking about Immigration Officers at Auckland Airport.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Lies, damned lies and migrants.

Posted by Iain on Feb. 21, 2015, 1:24 p.m. in Immigration

As I have written about previously New Zealand appears to love statistics - if it breathes - measure it, if it moves - time it and if it has migrated here, follow it’s fortunes. It makes for some interesting insights. I usually allow people to leave comments to any blog post I have written for up to 12 months - I have tried to create a forum for people to share and learn. Even when the evidence seems to contradict the comment.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Cricket, Power Cuts and Root Canals

Posted by Iain on Feb. 14, 2015, 10:47 a.m. in Living

It’s been a big week and my apologies for the later edition of the Southern Man. It’s that time of year when the Accountant wants to see me, the Dentist decided on a bit of root canal, I had a mediation over a leaky house issue before it gets to the Courts and somewhere in among all that did a week’s worth of work. Hey, I am only human and Southern Man’s letter from new Zealand just had to wait.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The issue of (un) affordable housing

Posted by Iain on Feb. 6, 2015, 4:39 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

The issue of unaffordable housing, particularly in Auckland, continues to dog the Government which in my opinion seems to refuse to actively address the issue, other than to do some minor tinkering around the edges. With the average house representing more than six times the average annual salary in Auckland, this city is becoming one where many people might have to accept renting for their whole lives

Read the full post

Australia Blog: First day at school

Posted by Iain on Jan. 30, 2015, 3:03 p.m. in Education

It’s that time of year when several thousand nervous and excited 5 year olds head off for their first day of school. No doubt their parents, like we all did, will fuss and worry over whether they will ‘succeed’ or ‘fail’ rise to the top or sink to the bottom, be prepared for a fulsome and rewarding life (however you might measure that) but all will want, indeed as New Zealanders, demand, a quality education

Read the full post

Southern Man: What does a smile say?

Posted by Iain on Jan. 23, 2015, 3:25 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

At this time of the year we Kiwis love nothing more than getting out and enjoying the long summer days despite the heat and often high humidity. My wife and I often take a long walk after work which must be one of the best urban walks going but the other day I appear to have frightened some tourists with my friendly offer to take their photo.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The importance of being able to swim

Posted by Iain on Jan. 16, 2015, 12:49 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

It’s been a fabulous four weeks of high summer here – like those I remember when I was a small boy; week after week of sunshine, swimming and fun. Around Auckland the temperatures are 25 to 26 degrees, the humidity isn’t too bad making the comfort level feel more like 30, there has hardly been a cloud in the sky and after thinking in December I’d have to put drainage in the garden it is now a daily fight to keep the plants alive with constant watering.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Christmas message from the Southern Man

Posted by Iain on Dec. 19, 2014, 2:43 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Here we are, another year almost over and Christmas bearing down upon us like a runaway freight train…… I love this time of year. Not just trying to getting a break from the rigours of the day job but the thought of total relaxation for a couple of weeks by the pool or at the beach. Christmas means many things to many people and here in New Zealand it has largely left behind its Christian roots

Read the full post

Southern Man: Beware the Kiwi sun

Posted by Iain on Dec. 12, 2014, 2:43 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Having just arrived back to a very humid Auckland it seems that at last summer has arrived. Temperatures are now around 24 degrees and the humidity levels are about 90%. The wind of the past 6-8 weeks seems to have abated as the Pacific high pressure cells smother the northern parts of New Zealand like a warm blanket. While December can continue to be wet on and

Read the full post

Australia Blog: No Profit Motive, No Competition - Equals Visa Lottery

Posted by Iain on Dec. 5, 2014, 4:53 p.m. in Immigration

What happens when an organisation has no competition, no profit motive and it is the only supplier of a service with a captive audience? You call yourself a Government Department and you get the following true but barely imaginable story. I won’t name the Branch of Immigration New Zealand as I hope to sort this problem out...

Read the full post

Southern Man: A week in Hong Kong

Posted by Iain on Nov. 29, 2014, 12:40 a.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

People move to New Zealand for all sorts of reasons – there are the obvious ‘pull’ factors - they fall in love with one of us and the partner says ‘I am going home, come with me’ or they come on holiday and fall in love with the country having fallen in love with the lifestyle and people and sometimes they are pulled in our direction by family responsibilities or needs. Sometimes they don’t choose us at all...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Reconnecting with nature

Posted by Iain on Nov. 21, 2014, 8:37 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

I write a lot in this blog about the practical difficulties of securing a long term future in New Zealand in terms of the rules and regulations and labour market barriers and sometimes don’t think I focus enough on the life that might await you once you have. Perhaps I take the laid back New Zealand way of life for granted because it is my life.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Third Most Prosperous Country

Posted by Iain on Nov. 14, 2014, 4:04 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

New Zealand has once again been ranked in the top three most prosperous countries in the world for 2014. Topping the annual list this year is Norway followed by Switzerland in second place. For what it is worth Australia came in seventh so a tidy little double for the Immagine Immigration countries of destination…The least prosperous country this year was the Central African Republic. The United States came in 10th.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Chicken & Egg

Posted by Iain on Nov. 7, 2014, 3:25 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

I have written many times about the “chicken and egg” situation that exists for migrants trying to enter the labour market before they have a Resident Visa. That is that the employers generally demand Work Visas before they will offer jobs but the Immigration Department cannot (on the whole) give a Work Visa without that job. It is the reason why many migrants fail in their quest to get New Zealand Residence...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: How our health system works

Posted by Iain on Oct. 31, 2014, 5:25 p.m. in Living

We are often asked want entitlements migrants have to local tax payer funded health care. Before I answer that it is worth explaining that the New Zealand health system is overwhelmingly tax payer funded i.e. you are a resident for tax purposes (not to be confused with actually paying tax…) you are covered by a system which you don’t pay (much) to use when you need it .

Read the full post

Southern Man: Growing old gracefully...

Posted by Paul on Oct. 24, 2014, 4:01 p.m. in Retirement

We all grow old. It is an inevitable consequence of living. Can't escape it, can't change it. You may, if you happen to be incredibly wealthy and with no medical aversion to plastic, be able to postpone it, but no matter what tactics you employ to stave off father time, we all get there in the end. For some (including myself), the thought of the 'twilight years' brings with it visions of plush leather recliners...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The Little Country That Could does it again

Posted by Iain on Oct. 17, 2014, 9 p.m. in New Zealand Economy

I often think of my homeland as the little country that could. And in equal measure the little country that doesn’t realise that it is actually quite special. Two events this week reminded me of how we punch well above our weight and a third quickly reminded me most New Zealanders don’t appreciate just how special we are.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Better to be thought a fool...

Posted by Paul on Oct. 10, 2014, 8:42 p.m. in Immigration

There is no doubt that the internet has changed our lives – forever. Our ability to access information at the click of the button and our ability to connect and share that information with people anywhere in the world is truly awe inspiring. It has given people in the most remote and isolated places the ability to talk to those in the most densely populated parts of the planet.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Crime falls again.

Posted by Iain on Oct. 3, 2014, 4:39 p.m. in Living

I was having a catch up with one of my clients from Johannesburg a few days ago who is two years into her new life in New Zealand. She recounted to me a recent Facebook exchange between her friends back ‘home’ not believing her when she told them that her 8 year old son disappears with his neighbourhood friends to the local playground where they run, climb and cavort unsupervised and unattended by any adult.

Read the full post

Southern Man: The things we Kiwis take for granted....

Posted by Iain on Sept. 26, 2014, 5:25 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

It really is so easy to take this country for granted. I was reminded of this in two small ways recently. A couple of weeks ago a client arrived from Indonesia to find employment in order to secure his family’s skilled migrant visa.

Read the full post

Australia Blog: The lunatics now appear to be running the asylum

Posted by Iain on Sept. 19, 2014, 5:43 p.m. in Living

Sometimes, when sitting with friends having a dinner party I try and explain what I do all day. Don’t get me wrong, the story I am about to tell is the reason that we are in business – the lunacy of the immigration process...

Read the full post

Southern Man: What are the Politicians promising about migration this election?

Posted by Iain on Sept. 5, 2014, 4:07 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

It is two weeks out from our three yearly national elections and about this time I get plenty of emails from people asking if New Zealand is going to shut its doors to immigrants.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Whangamomona - where time stands still

Posted by Iain on Aug. 29, 2014, 2:59 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

I reckon you could spend a lifetime of weekends visiting somewhere new in New Zealand and you would never see it all. It is that diverse and that exciting. Cities, towns, villages, forests, theatres, festivals, mountains, beaches, rivers, nature reserves, national parks, scuba diving, sky diving, mountain biking, hiking, rafting, sailing, boating, fishing – it just goes on and on.

Read the full post

Southern Man: Would you like some Sav with your Rocket?

Posted by Iain on Aug. 22, 2014, 3:05 p.m. in Immigration

With exports up in value by 25% in the past six years and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the developed world at 5.6% I cannot always portray how impressed I am of the people of this country who by and large don’t sit around and whinge, they just create, develop (usually on the smell of an oily rag)...

Read the full post

Southern Man: The 'problem' with migrants

Posted by Iain on Aug. 15, 2014, 2:47 p.m. in Immigration

Why is immigration always framed by politicians in New Zealand and abroad as if it is a problem? With the highest net migration figures in over ten years our Prime Minister last week felt compelled to explain the latest immigration ‘problem’ will go away soon enough. It’s just part of a cycle, they are mainly Australians (not real migrants then one assumes…..).

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Unemployment Falling Fast

Posted by Iain on Aug. 8, 2014, 8:16 p.m. in Jobs in New Zealand

Reflecting an economy in expansion mode latest unemployment statistics must make very pleasant reading for a Government one month out from national elections. The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in 5 years and at 5.6% New Zealand now has...

Read the full post

Australia Blog: Time For A Population Policy?

Posted by Iain on Aug. 1, 2014, 8:28 a.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

It is high time New Zealand had a population policy. As touched on last week immigration policy seems to reflect political cycles – short term thinking and no long term plan. Say what you like about China and Singapore but at least they have long term plans even if you don’t agree with them.

Read the full post

Tags: population |