According to my research, New Zealand is one of the countries with the easiest immigration system, meaning that it's rather possible to find YOUR way to move there.
Basically, there are the following options:
1. If you are coming from a visa-waiver country, for example Finland, you can stay in NZ without a visa for 3 months or more.
2. Visitor visa
3. Student visa
4. Investor visa
5. Entrepreneur visa
6. Work visa
"Work visa" is probably the most general term from all above. There's a list of visa categories that belong to "work visa". I'm not well familiar with most of them yet, since my way to receive NZ work visa was a program one of a kind, Silver Fern.
Silver Fern is a visa for young recently graduate professionals who don't have a big working experience yet but would like to search for a job in NZ live, being present in the country. Shall I mention that it's a lot easier to find a job when you can talk to an employer in person and show your skills.
The visa is given to you for 9 months since the day you enter NZ, half a year is given to activate it. For example, if your visa is issued on August 4th, you must enter NZ anytime before February 4th, and after that you can stay in the country for 9 months. Silver Fern Job Search Visa is the normal work visa and you can do what ever job you like (or get), however, in order to extend it to the next level, Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa, you need to find a skilled work according to your education within these 9 months.
Initial Silver Fern Practical Experience visa is granted for the duration of the job offer. If your offer of employment is extended, or you find skilled employment with a new employer, you can apply for the remainder of the 24 months.However, simple as it is, once you got a job offer in NZ, you can always apply for a visa under the Skilled Migrant category and receive a residence permit, which is another story.
Silver Fern Job search visa costs 135 NZD.
1. be aged between 20 and 35 years of age (inclusive)
2. be outside New Zealand during the application process
3. hold a recognized bachelors degree, higher qualification, or a recognized trade qualification with a minimum of two years of work experience in that trade
4. meet the English language requirements set out for principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category (IELTS level 6.5)
5. have a minimum of NZ$4,200 available funds to meet your living costs while you are here
6. not have been previously granted a Silver Fern Job Search visa.
But most of all, you simply must be lucky enough to get a place in the annual quota (300 places) through the online system.
The quota usually opens in the end of April at 10 a.m. NZ time, however, this year there was a problem with the web site and it opened a week later. You can check the exact day and time here:
It's highly recommended to feel in the application before the day when the quota is open. Even though the application is easy and has simple questions, you will win a lot of time by filling and saving it before hand. Believe me, every second counts!
In order to be able to fill in the application, you need to register at the web site first:
Make sure you remember your password well, because after 3 attempts, if you fill it wrongly, the system will block your profile for a day.
Once you are logged in your cabinet and filled in the application, you will see on the right of the screen "My application" "?". If you click on "my application", you will be able to edit it, and this is the place from where you submit it once the quota is open.
Your application is considered to be received (meaning you got your place) after the payment has been made. The payment page opens after you press submit button when the application is ready on the day X in April. Again, Silver Fern fee is 135 NZD.
Since Silver Fern is an online application, you have to pay for it online ONLY. After the payment page opens you have to chose your card type, fill in the details and press pay button.If the system tells you that the payment went successfully, congratulations, you got your place!
Note: if you don't get the place, you don't pay the fee.
Well, Silver Fern is truly one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get a chance to find a job in NZ, not a surprise, the competition is huge, it's a lottery indeed! In 2012 all places were taken in 8 minutes!
To maximize your chances, I would recommend to fill in the application before and to make sure you have the right type of a bank card (debit Visa and Mastercard) and enough money on it. Another way to help yourself, is to open more than one Internet browser. From last year experience Google Chrome worked the best. I had 3 browsers open: Mozila, Internet Explorer and Safari. Received my place through Safari!
If you got unlucky and didn't get a place, don't be upset, you can still receive a Silver Fern before next year: a few places appear through out the year (these are places that were called back for some reasons from previous applicants). You never know when and how many of them it's going to appear, it's a matter of luck again!
However, there's just a very tiny possibility that there will appear any more places before April 2013. This year there was a big crush on the web site and 300 extra people managed to pay for their visas, even though the quota was full already. A long story short, NZ decided to proceed all 600 applications, so there will be twice more young people with Silver Fern this year. Bad or nor - you tell me.
If everything went well, and you got your place, NZ will send you an official confirmation by e-mail the following day. In this e-mail you will find a list of all documents to be sent to the nearest branch, in London in my case (the same for Russia). You have 3 months to collect and send all the papers, if you fail so, your place is lost and the money is not returned back.
You can read in detail about the program here: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/silverfern/
Please, see the next post for detailed information about documents that need to be send to the NZ branch.
Easy as it is,
30.7.2012 Helsinki, Finland