Information to help you get started

Immigration can be a complex matter, but we believe in making it as simple as possible for our clients to understand. On this page are a few common questions and answers to help you get started. If you have a question that isn't covered here, please contact us.

There is also some information about immigration advisers on our advisers page.

Is immigration advice expensive?

It can be, but not always. Immigration advice is a professional service, so fees are charged at a professional level. However a licensed immigration adviser is required by the IAA's Code of Conduct to charge reasonable fees. The actual cost of your immigration matter depends on the complexity of your case. If it is easy and takes little time to resolve then it should not be expensive. However, if it is complex and requires a lot of research to do properly, then it may be more expensive. Please see our costs page for a guide of average costs. 

Why should I use an immigration adviser?

Unless you are 100% confident, then you really should be using a licensed adviser. Using an adviser can make the difference between success and failure for an application. It is not compulsory to use an immigration adviser, but a qualified and licensed immigration adviser is a professional who can help you with things that are very difficult to do yourself properly and to the full extent possible. Licensed and qualified advisers are knowledgeable about New Zealand immigration law, and so are able to find a way to help you if one exists. Another advantage of using a licensed adviser is that we can advocate for you in proper English. using language correctly, politely and skilfully makes a very big difference to how your Immigration officer understands your situation.

As in a court of law, if you are charged with an offence and you wish to defend yourself then this is usually allowed by the court and some people choose this option. However, if you really don't want to be convicted and want the highest chance of success possible it always makes sense to use a lawyer to argue your case to the court. Only when things are very easy or you don't care about the result would you do this yourself.

What is the difference between a Licensed Immigration adviser and an agent?

Only a licensed immigration adviser (or Lawyer or other exempt person) is legally able to give you immigration advice. It is against the law in New Zealand for other people to give immigration advice and INZ will not accept your application if you have received advice from an unlicensed and non-exempt person. An agent who is not licensed by the IAA cannot legally give immigration advice.

The reason for this is that the advice given by non-licensed advisers is not always accurate and there had been many problems with people not providing a proper service and ripping of migrants prior to the introduction of immigration adviser licensing. Licensed advisers must comply with the Code of Conduct which protects migrants in many ways, so if you do meet an adviser who is not good, you can do something about it, but if your agent deceives you and takes advantage of you, then it is much more difficult to do something about it. 

If I want to get immigration advice, what should I do first?

If you don't know where to start, e-mail us with a detailed description about your problem or question, and we will guide you. It doesn't cost anything to ask, and we are happy to help you. If there will be a cost, we will tell you before starting the work.

If you would like and immigration assessment to find out if you would be likely to be approved, then send us an e-mail and fill out the immigration consultation form

If you would like more information about how to contact us, visit the contact page information section

What are the common mistakes people make with their visa applications?

Actually for many people the most common mistake is not using a professional to manage their immigration matter. Unless you are 100% confident that you can do it properly yourself, you really should be using a licensed adviser. Other common mistakes we often see are:

  • People waste their post study work visa on irrelevant but easy to get jobs. The post study work visa is a great opportunity, but working at a fast food restaurant on minimum wage is not going to lead to the next stage. 
  • People waste their working holiday visas on unfocussed activities. If the purpose of your working holiday is just to take a break from your life at home for a year and then return, then just have fun! However, many people imagine that their working holiday might become the first step to living in New Zealand, only to find that they are unable to progress to the next step.
  •  Underestimating the difficulty of English. It is truly amazing the number of people who mistakenly believe that their English will become fluent just by being in an English speaking country.
  • Believing that what other people have done before is always possible. New Zealand immigration instructions change frequently and the interpretation of some instructions are quite flexible. It is extremely foolish to think that what has worked for someone in the past will work for you. 
  • Not having enough money or time to do the application properly. In general an application will require a certain amount of time and money to do it properly If you don't have enough of either then your chances of success become much less. You should find out how much time and money is necessary and then decide if you will try once you have this information
  • Thinking that Immigration New Zealand is a customer service oriented organisation. INZ is a department of the NZ Government and they act accordingly. No person is entitled to a visa and INZ will constantly remind you of this fact. Even if you do actually meet the visa criteria you will be declined if you can't clearly prove that you do.