Professional Practice – Post University LifePosted: April 11, 2016
My plans for what I’m going to do post graduation are to spend the next year or so travelling abroad with a friend. My friend Craig has been working and travelling across various places around the world (America, Canada, India) for the past 6 months or so now, and when asking him where abouts in the world he plans to be come July he told me that he will be in New Zealand. He is currently living and working in New Zealand, and his visa doesn’t expire until early 2017 at which point he is currently contemplating travelling to Asia.
Travelling is something I have always contemplated doing, but either never had the occasion, or the confidence to do, and it is certainly a daunting task. While I could potentially travel to any country in the world, alone or with another person or a travelling group, I also have no incentive to do any of those alternatives over the option of travelling to New Zealand and elsewhere with Craig. If anything, having the anchor of meeting with a friend who is in the middle of travelling is a much stronger incentive for me to go, and eases a lot of the fears I would otherwise have simply turning up in a foreign country knowing nobody and with no experience behind me. Travelling with an experienced friend who is already in the country means that I am guaranteed to have a safe place to stay, whether that be an apartment or a hostel which means I don’t need to worry about finding one; he is experienced in picking up jobs wherever he travels, and in the area we will be staying and so therefore be able to advise me in how to get a job to help fund my travelling; and generally give me a companion to travel with which makes the experience both safer and more enjoyable. Because of all these reasons, I am completely content with simply travelling to whatever area of New Zealand (or indeed the world) he will be when I graduate, rather than anywhere else in the world of my own choosing.
Should all go wrong – which I can’t imagine it would as we are both very relaxed and amiable people – I am not in any way tied to travelling with him, and so should we decide we do not want to travel together any more I will hopefully by that point have enough experience to confidently be able to make my own travel arrangements or have found a different person or group or people to travel with, whether that be a separate hostel or travelling to a different location altogether. This and the fact that at any point, I can simply return back to the UK, as part of the Visa requirements for New Zealand are that you carry either an open plane ticket or enough money to buy a ticket home at any given point.
After having registered my interest online for travelling to new zealand a month or two previously, I decided to delve a bit deeper into the visa process now that we are moving closer towards the end of the academic year.
While I have no current set date as to when precisely I will be travelling to New Zealand, my time frame is currently around mid August as many of my friends living around the UK want to see me before I leave, so this gives me a comfortable time frame post graduation to get everything in order.
After having done some research, and having double checked with my friend Craig, it seems that what I need is a Working Holiday Visa, which according to the New Zealand immigration website I am eligible for being aged 18-30 and planning on staying for under 12 months.
One of the main criteria for a visa is having sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket, and a minimum of NZ$350 per month of the visa. 350 New Zealand Dollars currently equates to 166.45 Pounds, which for a 12 month visa (the minimum length visa which you can apply for), that works out at £1,997.40, which we can round up to £2,000. Now to find how much a return ticket costs
I couldn’t find any way of booking an open return ticket, which is ideally what I want because I don’t have any set date on returning to the UK, and am not necessarily returning from New Zealand to the UK and possibly travelling on to Asia afterwards (following the plan of my friend). Websites only seemed to want to sell me fixed return tickets with no mention of open returns.
From looking at various websites, the average price for a return ticket to New Zealand seemed to be around the £850 mark
Following the link from the last page takes me to this page on the documentation that you will need in order to work in New Zealand, I will apparently need to apply for an IRD Number. However considering that your IRD number will be sent 8-10 working days after your application is sent, and you can start work before receiving your application, it is something which should be filled out closer to my time of travel or when I begin work, rather than completing it now before my visa has been completed, sent or accepted.
Now that I have officially registered my interest in visiting New Zealand, I am able to apply for a visa
Following the links given to me took me to this page, to apply for a visitor visa, which is not what I need, but it is asking me to create a “RealMe Login” in order to proceed.
After having created a RealMe Login, it did give me the option to apply for a Work visa, however it then told me that I was not able to apply for this through their system but didn’t redirect me to where I do find this application, which was becoming rather frustrating.
Looking at the only other option on this system, the Visitor visa, was not what I was looking for either, and again it only directs me back to the website I had already come from with no specific link. Once again, frustrating
Finally upon going back to the original website, I found that the drop down now gave me the option of a Working Holiday Visa, and now that I have a RealMe Login I can sign in to the website
Logging into the website doesn’t take me to the visa form, but rather to a general information page about visas which takes me back to the original information page that I was on.
After having gone round these pages several times, I only seem to be led in circles and can find no trace of the actual visa application itself. At this point all I can say is I’m very frustrated by this inane and out of date system, and I will hopefully have better luck in navigating this website another day.