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Thread: Visa extension- which option shall I go for?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    170

    Default Visa extension- which option shall I go for?

    Hi frnds,

    My situation-
    My wife is PhD student (in her last year of research work) and I am on open work visa being a spouse of PhD student. Our visas are expiring on 29 Sep 2020.
    Our residency (SMC cat) is in queue since July 2019 awaiting CO allocation.

    Options available-

    As per our understanding, we will be super lucky If our residency application gets concluded before our current temporary visas visas get expired (5 month are still there).

    1- My wife shall apply her student visa extension and my open work visa ll get automatically extended.
    2- I shall apply my work visa extension basing on my current job.

    Questions:

    1- Until what time shall we sit and wait for our residency application?

    2- When shall we move our temporary visa extension application? Is 6 week in advance ok?

    3- We have decided that my wife shall get her student visa extended and my open work visa will get automatically extended , straight forward case. This way we ll avoid extra cost and any inquiries related to work visa extension questions like labour market test etc (if I apply for my work visa extension). Hope we are correct in our approach or I have to apply work visa extension because I am the principal applicant in our residency application?
    Luckily my job is not affected by covid-19 disaster. Although company business has been affected but still we are moving on.

    Any expert opinion will be appreciated please!

    Best Regards,
    Last edited by Tariq Shahzad; 29th April 2020 at 03:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    837

    Default

    In my opinion, I think we can expect the current 16 month timeframe for allocation to an Immigration Officer for SMC applications to increase even further, the longer INZ Officers are away from the office. Prior to lockdown, INZ were still only allocating SMC applications lodged in December 2018 - they haven't been working on SMC applications during lockdown and it's doubtful they will begin to do so again until we are at Level 2, or even Level 1.

    I feel that applying for a new visa 6 weeks in advance of your current visa expiry is a bit too risky, given the current circumstances. Even though any Interim visa granted will allow you the same conditions as your current visas, I'm inclined to suggest that people start lodging applications for new visas at least 2 months before their current visas expire - 3 months if possible. Considering INZ has been closed for 5 weeks already and is likely to be closed for at least another 2 weeks, and backlogs across the board were growing before lockdown began (as the office in China had already been closed for weeks and their work was being divvied up across onshore branches, deferring other onshore work), I think we should be prepared for processing timeframes to go far beyond what they were pre-Covid for quite some time, by at least a few months. I could end up being proven wrong and INZ may surprise us all by pulling some magical catch-up method out of the hat, but I think it's best to play it safe and apply several weeks before your current visa expires.

    No need for you to be on any specific type of visa as the principal applicant of an SMC application - as long as you are lawful and have a visa allowing you to work in the role you have claimed points for skilled employment for, you'll be fine. As long as your wife's programme of study still meets the requirements of WF4.1(a), then it should be a straightforward process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Thank you so very much EGoodhue. You are so helpful always.

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