August 2006

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Labour Weekend Festival: A Filipino Community Celebration

The Labour Weekend Festival is a three(3) day celebration of Filipino Culture in a foreign land. The festival commences on Friday, 20 October 2006 features cultural dances and songs, beauty pageant, a performance of the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, different sports events and many more.

This year’s festival is hosted by The Philippine Central Association, Inc. (PCA) Inc., a community organisation based in Palmerston North has a theme “Pagkakaisa II sa Palmy 2006″/Unity and Togetherness in Palmerston North” . The objective of the festival is to

– To promote and share the Filipino culture and heritage to Filipino migrants, their families, friends, and especially to the wider New Zealand Community.

– To join the country in celebrating cultural diversity in New Zealand

– To showcase Filipino world class talents

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Planning to Migrate to New Zealand – Part II

Most Filipinos who express interest in migrating to New Zealand are professionals. These Filipinos have degrees and have a considerable work

experience which could be competitive in the New Zealand job market. These Filipinos are the ones who ask for the assistance of Immigration Consultants.

If these Filipino applicants are professionals, why then do they still need assistance from an immigration consultant? There are two main reasons for this, first, they do not know the process of application, second, they do not have the luxury of time to process their application.

For the latter, there is no argument on that. For the first reason, TNZF will be providing a summary of steps for processing a Skilled Migrant Application.

Qualification Quick Check

Check your qualifications using the Quick check. Simply answer the questions then click “Calculate” to get your results.

Now see if you meet the Skilled Migrant Category points threshold. This points indicator is a guide only. Its sole use is for you to get an indication of whether you would qualify for the 100 points that you need to submit an Expression of Interest. Your final, true points score will be the one that is assessed by our branch staff when assessing your EOI.

Check also if your qualification is listed on the Immediate Shortage List July 2006. If your qualification is on the list, then you have an advantage.

Expression of Interest

Read the Expression of Interest Guidelines before filling up the Online Expression of Interest Application.

Expression of Interest could be sent to Immigration New Zealand or could be done online whichever is convenient to the applicant.

Your Score is 140 Points or more

If your score is more 140 points or more, you will be automatically accepted into the pool of migrant to be invited to aplly for residence under the

Skilled Migrant Category.

Complete Residence Application

Complete your residence application and send it to Immigration New Zealand within 4 months, along with the application fee and your supporting documents.

It is in this stage that you need to process your New Zealand Qualifications Authority recognation of your degree. Likewise, your evidence of English Proficiency through the International English Language Test (IELTS). This may not be required to have your application approved, but for those applicants who are marginal, including these documents in their application will boost the possibility of approval.

If you have a job offer in New Zealand, then you have an advantage.

Assesed to have the Potential

If you are assessed to have the potential to meet settlement and contribution requirements, you will be offered a work permit under the Work to Residence Policy.

Immigration Consultants also follow the same procedure, pay the same fee to Immigration New Zealand as the fee you should have paid if you have processed the application yourself. But of course, these consultants will be charging you hefty fees on top of whatever processing fees they have incurred in your application.

If you are planning to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category, TNZF suggest that you do it personally. Just save whatever extra money you have in preparation for your arrival in New Zealand.

Other Useful Links

A complete flow

diagram of the application

Recognised Philippine Qualifications

Points Table and Bonus Points Table.

Occupations Requiring Registration

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Planning to Migrate to New Zealand?

Life in the Philippines is becoming more difficult. An ordinary employee’s salary could hardly meet the basic family needs. The prices of basic commodities are constantly increasing, the minimum wage never increase to a suitable level for a decent living. Crime rates are always on the rise, corruption in the government never stops. All these plus many more are the reasons why the Filipino wants to leave Philippines and find a more comfortable and tranquil place to live in, New Zealand is the country of second option behind Canada.

The exodus of Filipinos to New Zealand has been very significant during the first semester of this year inspite the new policy of the New Zealand Immigration Service not to issue resident visas but work-to-residents visas. These new migrants have spent a fortune just to have the privilege of getting a work-to-resident visa especially if these have availed the services of an immigration consultant to process their applications.

Based on some facts that reached TNZF, immigration consultants in the Philippines charge PhP 100,000 as a down payment. Once visas are approved and issued, the total fee charged runs to around PhP 200,000. This fee excludes expenses for the personal interview by the New Zealand Immigration Officers usually in Bangkok, Thailand, IELTS, medical examination, the New Zealand Migrant Levy and other incidental expenses. The rough estimate of the total expenses of a new Filipino migrant in New Zealand exceeds PhP 300,000 depending on the number of family members. To make things worse, even airline bookings, IELTS review materials,etc have also been included in the immigration consultant’s package , of course for additional fees.

What do these immigration consultants promise to the applicant in return? A good job, good place to stay, good life in New Zealand! What is the truth on these?

A Good Job. Being a new migrant, integration into the New Zeland job market on your line of experience is very difficult unless you are an specialist on your field. There is a very slim chance that new migrants will be getting a job that they like during the first six(6) months after arrival. This is a fact, if they will land a job they like earlier than six(6) months, then they are very lucky.

Good Place to Stay. Don’t get misled by the promises of immigration consultants. There was a case that the new arrival family were initally lodged on the basement of the immigration consultant’s house in Auckland with no facilities at all. This family arrived in winter time and no heater was even provided. What this family have used as the source of heat was the hot water.

A Good Life. Only a few among the new Filipino migrants in New Zealand have spent their own money to pay the hefty fees by the immigration consultants, most have borrowed money for this purpose. Repayment for the principal and interest alone is enough to make the life of a new migrant uncomfortable. Moreso, if they could not get a job as per their visa requirements.

The responsibility of the immigration consultant to the new migrant usually cease on the next day after arrival. After that, it will all be for the applicant’s responsibilty.

If you are planning to migrate to New Zealand and want to avoid the hefty fees charged by immigration consultants, TNZF advices that the following steps:

1. Visit NZ Immgration. This website wil guide you on all possible ways on the process of application.

2. Have your degree evaluated by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority even if it is in this list. This document is usually required by employers when applying for a job.

3. Visit New Zealand Job Search websites for ideas on the New Zealand job market. Usually, employers do not entertain overseas applicants.

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Philippine Embassy Advisory

The Embassy of the Philippines in Wellington has an ‘Advisory To Filipinos Traveling to New Zealand’.

This is to inform the Filipino Community on New Zealand’s tightening of border controls to prevent illegal staying of foreigners coming to New Zealand without appropriate visa.

There had been a case where some Filipinos holding limited purpose visas were refused entry at the Auckland Airport due to ‘misrepresentation’, having no confirmed itineraries and accommodation during their stay.

The Embassy has confirmed that certain travel and immigration consultants in Manila lure jobseekers to come first as a ‘tourist’. The Embassy therefore has issued this advice for the Filipino Community’s information and guidance.

Visit NZ Immigration, website to check on the VISA requirements and application.