Permanent Resident Visa

Resident Visa does not have an expiry date, but it does have a Travel Expiry Date from 2 years since you got it.  This means you cannot re-enter New Zealand if that date has been reached while you’re outside the country.

Staying 2 years in New Zealand is one of the qualifications anyway that will entitle you to apply for a Permanent Residency.  Check out INZ for more details on any of the 5 qualifications to show Commitment to New Zealand.

For my case, I am qualified for 3 instances:

  1. You have spent enough time in New Zealand – Together with the application and requirements, I have provided support for this claim by submitting my passport.s during my 2 years stay.
  2. You have New Zealand tax residence status – I have provided my IRD tax contribution statements covering my 2 years.
  3. You have established a base in New Zealand – I have worked with 2 employers during the 2 years so I have provided a Certificate of Employment (confirmation from my employer) from my first job in NZ and my full contract from my second job.  I have provided all my payslips from my second job only because I no longer have access to my payslips from the first job.

I paid NZD 210.  Timeframe estimate was 27 days.  Mine took about 16 calendar days given there are 2 Holidays in between:

  1. I submitted my application on 25 Jan via post.
  2. My application was received by INZ on 29 Jan.
  3. My application was acknowledged/started processing on 3 Feb – Credit card got charged.
  4. I got the decision on 14 Feb (Happy Valentines!) together with my new Permanent Visa document and a notification regarding my passports being returned.

For more info, refer to the INZ website for exact details and official estimates and fees.

Visa Label Transfer

After renewing your passport, you have to apply for a visa transfer.

I used to have label/sticker of my Resident Visa in my old passport but there is an option to have it electronically transferred.  No labels/stickers will be put in your new passport, but, most importantly, e-Visa transfer is free.  You will get a document/file so you have something to use for any reference.

For my instance, I submitted the following documents:

  1. Old passport
  2. New passport
  3. Completed application form (there will be a checkbox in the application where you choose to transfer your visa and then have it be an eVisa transfer which requires no fee.

Processing time for me took about 5 working days:

  1. My application was received by INZ on 18 Sep.
  2. My eVisa was emailed to me and my passports were sent back to me on 25 Sep.

For more info, refer to the INZ website for exact details and official estimates and fees.

Philippine Passport Renewal in New Zealand

Normally, you have to make a scheduled appointment with the Philippine Embassy in Wellington.  But, there are times when they have a mobile consulate set up in your city.  So when I heard that they are having a schedule planned in Auckland, I went ahead and booked a renewal even though my passport is still valid months ahead.

  1. Book an appointment in the embassy website.  Choose location, date and time.
  2. Print and fill up the form.
  3. Bring the requirements on the day of your appointment.  These were my requirements being single and only by myself:
    • Personal appearance
    • Filled up form
    • Original and copy of passport (Data page/page with your photo and info only)
    • Birth Certificate (Although this is required, they just looked at it and didn’t actually take it)
    • Courier Bag with Signature Required (Buy a courier bag in your nearest NZ Post that would fit your passport.  This is used by the embassy to send back your passport/s to your return address.  Make sure you purchased the Signature Required add-on – very important).
    • Cash payment of the fee

Processing time for me took about 18 working days including delivery of passports:

  1. I have my appointment on 19 Aug.
  2. My new passport’s issue date is 23 Aug.
  3. I received my new passport on 12 Sep.

Check out the checklist in the Philippine Embassy website and for more updated details.

Preparing to Move: Where to Live

Living in New Zealand is expensive.

Weekly rent is mostly where your income will be dedicated to.  Yes, weekly.

You have 2 renting options depending on your budget.

Option Pros Cons
Share a flat
  • Cheaper
  • All utilities have been sorted
  • Furnished
  • Depends on your agreement, sometimes the weekly rent consists of the utility expenses.  Otherwise, you’ll divide the monthly electricity, water and internet once it’s billed.
  • Abide house rules
  • Can get too crowded
  • Shared shower/toilet
  • Many flatmates equals possible clash of personalities
Rent your own house
  • Freedom
  • If you get a 2-bedroom house, rent out the other room for income – recommended
  • More expensive
  • You have to apply for utilities
  • If unfurnished, you have to buy furniture and appliances

The popular search place for rentals would be Trade Me: Flatmates Wanted or Property to Rent.

You can browse TradeMe for potential places to stay so you can sort out your budget.

Most of the time though, the renter/property manager will require you to visit the place in person so they can assess you.

Being a flatmate is the easiest option of course especially on your first days here in New Zealand.

But if you are keen on looking for your own place, you can submit applications thru the property manager or house owners and they would be able to guide you through the next steps.

To provide ideas on how much is the living costs in New Zealand, check out the New Zealand Now website.

Preparing to Move: Where to Find Work

If you are on a job search visa like me, it is very important to find one as soon as possible.  You don’t want to consume all of your savings pursuing interviews.  I was lucky enough to find a job prior to my move in New Zealand with the help of these top job search websites:

  1. LinkedIn – Most of you probably have an account on LinkedIn already.  I found my job here even prior to moving to New Zealand.
  2. Seek – Popular job search site in New Zealand and Australia.  You can set up searches with job keywords and locations that can be sent to your email.
  3. TradeMe Jobs – Mostly used to buy/sell products but they have expanded in having job postings now.