1. What initially appealed to you about a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand?
I met my partner, Callum, while I was studying abroad at University of Canterbury for a semester. When I returned to the States, I only had 6 months left of my degree and decided I would make the big move back to New Zealand. Not only was the love of my life living in New Zealand, but it was also world famous for all of my favourite activities - hiking, camping, skiing, and travelling. I explored my visa options and decided that the working holiday visa was the best for my situation because of my age and necessity of employment.
2. How did you decide which services to use?
I came across Migration Associates purely by accident. I accepted a position as a nanny, working for a family who just moved back to New Zealand after ten years in the U.K. Although the father had not yet moved to New Zealand, I told his wife that I was going to be applying for a new visa in the next six months, and that was when she recommended I use Migration Associates. It was incredible luck that I found Migration Associates services but I am so grateful that I did!
3. What was the visa process?
To extend my working holiday visa to a work visa based on partnership, the two major things that I had to prove was the authenticity of Callum and my relationship, and the length of time we have lived together. It was relatively simple to proved the authenticity of our relationship with letters from family and friends, a chronological timeline of our relationship, photos and flights together. The most difficult aspect to prove was how long we have lived together because, although I moved in with Callum the day I arrived in New Zealand, my name wasn't on his tenancy agreement. In January, we moved into a new flat that had both of our names on the tenancy agreement, but that wasn't going to be enough. I had to find evidence that we had lived together before January! Borey suggested that I look for all bills, bank statements, and letters that had come in the mail to us, as well as ask the previous and current landlord to write a letter. Fortunately, his advice succeeded and my visa was approved!
4. Now you're settled in New Zealand, does it live up to your expectations?
Although I only moved here 15 months ago, New Zealand has become my home. I've fallen in love with Marmite, feijoas, and Whittaker's Chocolate. My vernacular has adapted, exchanging garbage can for rubbish bin, sidewalk for footpath, and grown to include a handful of Aotearoa Māori words. My love and respect for this beautiful land grows with every walk I take and each new town I visit. There's really something special happening in this land down under and I am so grateful I get to experience it!