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Thread: Self-employment in NZ

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    4

    Default Self-employment in NZ

    I've been considering moving to NZ since visiting my sister there last winter, thinking of late 2008. I'm a translator and have no wish to go and work for anyone. My wife works, but we are expecting a child next spring and she wants to take a couple of years off. I've talked to NZIS and they say it is not possible to get residency as a self-employed person, there must be a written contract with a company.

    Against this, my sister knows people who moved to NZ and carried on working for the same company back in the UK on a consultant basis, although they seem vague on the details of how they did it.

    Has there been a change in the rules? A friend of mine who has worked in immigration in the US speculates that the written contract rule is supposed to block people importing sweatshop workers and could be quietly waived for someone earning a reasonable living in self-employment and meeting the other requirements.

    The complication is that I've been working abroad for years without any intention of returning to the UK, my wife is Russian and doesn't have UK residency, and I don't have Russian, so we really wouldn't want to be told to leave.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    California/Calabasas Hills
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    Default

    You can apply first for business visa.You have to put together a business plan in your application.
    After practicing the business for 2-3 years ( in New Zealand) you can apply for residency.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    I did think of that, but when I wrote to NZIS they seemed to think I would have to employ people, and I don't have anything for them to do. They also thought I would have a problem with demonstrating my contribution to NZ if I carried on working mainly with my long-term clients in Russia, UK and US (how export of services doesn't count as a benefit beats me).

  4. #4
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    May 2007
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    Portsmouth
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    The complication is that I've been working abroad for years without any intention of returning to the UK, my wife is Russian and doesn't have UK residency, and I don't have Russian, so we really wouldn't want to be told to leave.[/quote]

    Hi,

    My wife is also Russian. I found that after we were married and living in the US, it was easier to gain a UK resident visa for my wife from outside the UK and Russia... I think that my wife living outside of Russia shows that the marriage is not just to enable her to leave Russia...or something like that!! In fact, she didn't want to leave, but as you possibly know, spouses cannot migrate to Russia !

    So, worrying about being told to leave NZ should not be an issue. Although, of course the best scenario would be to be able to stay...

    I have a recruitment agency that would help me to work in a traditionally self-employed role, by working through them -full time- until residency is gained. In effect, they are employing me and placing me in my chosen field while I apply for residency, including holiday pay and salary etc. as required by Immigration NZ.

    Perhaps you could source such an agency for your field?

    Just a thought!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    John Day, Oregon
    Posts
    146

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    I too am "self employed" even though I have my own US corporation and could continue to do software development for the same company in Massachusetts like I've been doing since 1990. I looked into the long term business visa, or as the Long Term Business Visa Forum calls it the "Visa of last resort".

    Although that forum is pretty much dead these days there are a number of interesting posts there. What I took away from it is that NZ immigration wants to see that you will be providing business services to existing NZ businesses or will be hiring New Zealanders.

    While it may seem that it would be good for New Zealand to bring in people who would be exporting their services right from the start the government doesn't seem to see the benefit, they would rather just keep complaining about the trade deficit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    4

    Default

    RayBCO, your information is now out of date, it is now possible to obtain Russian residency through a spouse, although it is a long and onerous process full of bizarre requirements, like proving you are not a leper or a cocaine addict.

    How does this recruitment agency thing work? When you say they place you what does that mean if you are working for yourself? How do you get round the risk of it being treated as a scam?

    Of course there are translation agencies, but even if I could persuade one to agree to act like they hire me I suppose I would have to give them a cut and since I would already be tripling my taxes that doesn't sound too attractive.

    I have to say I was surprised how many obstacles there are to immigrating into NZ, given that they put themselves about as looking for immigrants (even advertising on the Moscow metro). As a young family with a fair amount of funds, a steady income, and family already in NZ I would have thought they would welcome us in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth
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    39

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    Hi Widmerpool,

    Yes... I don't doubt for a moment that any information from Russia past 3 months old is out of date. They change the rules like we change our undies...

    Anyway, as far as the agencies go, you can work for them as they have the contract. You are a full time employee not self-employed... yet!
    It is not a scam, it allows companies to employ overseas candidates on a temporary or full time basis or even for short term contracts. It is the same as recruitment agencies in the UK.

    Only thing is once working for them in NZ, you can apply for residency as you have a full time job. Then of course you can gain PR and work for yourself. Taking over the contract. I am sure it is above board and legal.

    The agency in question is a very large company that have offices all over NZ and Oz.

    I dont mind them gaining a cut as they are providing me with a service also. I will gain a foothold into the NZ workplace, notching up NZ experience, proving to NZ Immigration that I can settle and benefit NZ in some way. Also, I will have the requirements for a work visa in the first place.

    Perhaps, it is right of you to think that you have all of the qualities that NZ is asking for...maybe they should welcome you and yours with open arms too.

    I think that all they are asking is that you prove to them that you have these qualities and will benefit their existing society as a whole.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I wasn't suggesting that it actually is a scam, just wondering if the authorities would come out and claim that an agency job is not a 'real' job, just one to get around the rules.

    I'm interested in how it works. May I ask what you do? Do you do the work and have your clients pay the agency, or does the agency find clients and send them to you? How big a cut do they take? Is this kind of arrangement common there or did you work it out with them yourself?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Monterey , California
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    18

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    Hello Widmerpool
    My thought for you is to go over on an Extended Holiday Visa and look into it over there. Sometimes being there you can get a better handle on things, that's my plan anyways. Perhaps there is a small business your wife could buy and you could still do your thing. I looked into the long term business visa awhile back and found out the same info jdbob stated. I'm self employed and I would export but I do not want to have employees. So now I'm thinking of living 6 months in the US and 6 months in NZ on the extended holiday visa to begin with. Just put my house on the market and will first move to either Oregon or Washington and then look into New Zealand. If I sell my home and buy less expensive properties it can work ......... I think. I currently do some exporting of my products to New Zealand and Australia so while in New Zealand I should be able to build up those 2 markets. I would be providing business services to existing NZ businesses so maybe that would be enough for immigration if not I guess I could hire an employee or 2. Anyway I need to sell the house first , may take awhile in this slow market.
    Cheers
    Paul

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Waterloo, Lower Hutt
    Posts
    505

    Default

    Not sure if it would meet your needs, but NZ Immigration do offer a work visa for key staff that are relocating to NZ.

    This operates in a similar style to the Work to Residence visas.

    So if you currently work for an overseas company/corporation you could possibly qualify as a 'key' employee under this scheme.

    Shawn

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