Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 40

Thread: I think I'm boned

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    33

    Default I think I'm boned

    This will be a long post. The short version: I hope I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm boned.

    Background

    I moved to New Zealand with my wife in mid-2008. She was a student at Massey, enrolled in the veterinary programme. Our original intent when we moved here was for her to earn her degree, then get a job as a vet here. Since vets are on the long-term skills shortage list, her getting employment would be a fast-track to us getting residency.

    I was initially on a work visa for the first year here, but I wasn't able to find work. I switched to a student visa and earned my Masters degree at Massey, then switched back to a work visa. I finally got a job in March of 2011, and I've been working there ever since.

    My wife left me last September, just months before she graduated from vet school. She went back to the States in November and filed for divorce. I stayed in NZ in our old place and kept working at my job. She let me keep virtually everything: the car, the pets, the furniture, the electronics, pretty much all of it. I submitted an EOI just two weeks after she left me in September, got an ITA in October, and finally got all my paperwork together in December. I got some of my documents returned to me this morning, so it seemed like someone was already working on my case, and everything was going to be golden.

    I considered myself lucky. That was premature.

    Current situation

    It turns out, according to NZ Immigration it'll take 9 to 12 months for my residence visa application to be processed. My current work visa runs out on March 31 of this year.

    No problem, right? Just get my current visa extended, right? Yeah, except my current work visa was a partnership visa. Basically, I only had a work permit because I was the partner of someone who was a student here. That no longer applies, so I can't get that visa renewed.

    After going through the options available to me, I wound up narrowing it down to two, because my employment isn't on any of the skills shortage lists:

    1. An Essential Skills Work Visa. In order for me to get this visa, my employer has to prove that no New Zealanders in my area are qualified for the position. So basically, they have to advertise my job publicly, then no native New Zealander in my region can be qualified for it. If someone is qualified for it, my employer has to give them a fair go at applying, and they have to prove that anyone who applies isn't better suited to the position than I am. They can appeal to Immigration NZ and plead their case as to why they should keep me on instead of hiring a native New Zealander, but "he's worked here for a year and knows the place's ins and outs" isn't a good enough reason, according to Immigration. Apparently, one of the people I work with on the team (who was hired on after me) was one of 17 applicants for a position identical to mine. My employer would have a hell of a time proving I'm the best of 18 people, better than 17 New Zealanders. One might say it'd be impossible.

    2. My other visa option isn't even an option at this point. I thought I could make the case for getting a Work to Residence visa, but in order to do that I'd have to have an offer of employment from my employer that's two years or longer. My contract ends in September, and I've been told there's no chance they'll be able to move me to a permanent contract before my current work visa expires. Worse even than that, my manager has told me that due to the organisation's hiring freeze, my chances of being moved to a permanent contract in September aren't very good either. "As your friend, I'm telling you not to wait," he says. "Start looking for something else now."

    I've been told that the Wellington branch of Immigration NZ, where my application is lodged, is extremely short-staffed. Thus, there is next to zero chance my residency visa will be approved before my current work visa expires, and very little chance it'll be approved before September.

    I've already started searching for another job, ideally one with an "accredited" employer (accredited according to Immigration NZ) so I can apply for a Work to Residence visa and avoid all the jumping through hoops the Essential Skills Work Visa entails. I've put out seven job applications so far today, and I already have a video interview over Skype for one of them tomorrow (sadly, not one of the accredited employers).

    Here's my worst fear realised, though: unless a very unlikely series of miracles occurs over the next 2 1/2 months, I am facing the very real prospect of having to sell off absolutely everything I own, including my car, motorcycle, furniture, whiteware, electronics, everything, and being forced to move back to the States no later than March 31 with essentially nothing to my name but the clothes on my back and my pets (I am NOT giving them up no matter what).

    If I wind up losing my job over this visa nonsense, it's likely my residence visa will be rejected, so there's $1800 plus down the drain. Even if my residence visa were approved, it wouldn't matter; I'd already be back in the States, living with my parents (ugh), with no job in NZ (and likely no job in the US either) and no means to get back here.

    I was feeling pretty good about being able to keep everything that mattered to me after the divorce, but now it looks like there's a very real possibility I'm about to lose everything anyway.

    I'll keep you posted on how things go. At this point, I am not particularly hopeful things will turn to my advantage. Maybe I'm overreacting, but as of right now it feels like I'm completely screwed and about to lose nearly everything that makes my life worth living.

    Am I missing something obvious here? Some lifeline that could get me out of this mess? I hope so, but I doubt it. I spent hours on the phone with INZ this morning, and the guy I spoke to wasn't particularly inclined to raise my hopes or spirits on this matter.

    I honestly don't know what to do. I feel like I'm living in a nightmare.

  2. #2
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK->CT, USA->Wellington, NZ
    Posts
    1,853

    Default

    I have nothing constructive to add except to say I feel for you. I hope one of those lifelines is thrown to you soon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blenheim
    Posts
    1,587

    Default

    Same here- unfortunately I have no miracle solution to offer, but do hope that things will come right soon enough.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Christchurch from Scotland
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    Hope it all works out for you. It sounds like a truly awful situation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Damn! That's so sad to hear. Hope you'll cope with it. We're crossing our fingers. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    UK to USA to Waikato, NZ
    Posts
    1,382

    Default

    Are you able to see or at least consult an immigration attorney?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,779

    Default

    Sympathies. I second what Hagabel says (and definitely an attorney rather than an adviser), and suggest also communicating with the MP for your area, and possibly, the Ministry for Immigration.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    7

    Default

    We have been in a similar but not quite as bad situation. My husband was on a work visa and submitted a permanent residence application at the same time. On the 89th day of his 90 day trial his boss terminated his employment wanting to sell the company and as a result our work visa's were null and void. We then had to re-apply for visitor's visa's which then gave us a further 6 month leeway to secure skilled employment. Upon the offer of skilled employment our residence visa was granted within a week. The PR application continued to go through the process but could not be granted until permanent work was gained. As soon as work was gained the PR visa was granted. We spoke with our case officer on several occassions and begged for leeway as well as speaking to the Prime Ministers office as our local Member of Parliament. It might be the best option for you to apply for a visitors visa on the very last day that your work visa is valid if you have not found another job for which a work visa could be granted by that time. Don't give up and have faith! All the best

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Just re-reading your post, I may be wrong but I'm sure that if you have been legally in-country for two years consecutively, you could apply purely on that basis alone. Our original visitor visa expired before the work visa came through, at which point we automatically were granted temporary visas as we had the permanent visa application already lodged. It may be that you would also automatically receive the temporary visa when your work visa expires as you have a permanent visa application in? It would be worthwhile checking out this avenue.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    California to Tasman Bay
    Posts
    1,137

    Default

    Ugh. That's horrible! Keep looking for options. I really hope it works out for you.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •