Q & A
ANSWERS TO YOUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. I understand you’ve written columns on NZ visas and immigration issues. Where can I read them?A. Kiwi Time is a monthly NZ-Japanese business magazine. Previously, it was both a magazine and online, but only the web version is now available. It features columns that help professionals who are active in NZ. Since February 2018, I have written a range of columns for this magazine on hot topics such as revisions to immigration law. In March 2020, I also began writing a serialised visa column on NZ's largest bulletin board, NZ Daisuki. In September 2021, I started contributing visa columns to Gekkan NZ- the most prominent and oldest monthly Japanese free magazine in NZ. Sorry, they are all written in Japanese. But I have written an English article for Essence magazine in South Canterbury.
Q. Is your immigrant adviser familiar with Employment Law?A. Our adviser has extensive knowledge of employment law in New Zealand and studied employment law at university. Using the knowledge, he makes sure that the applications are compliant with Employment Law. If Immigration New Zealand decides that employers do not obey Employment Law, visa applications are most likely to be declined.
Q. Why are immigration adviser fees so high?A. An immigration adviser is similar to an immigration lawyer in terms of services provided. Immigration advisers are professionals specialising in NZ immigration law and must obtain a specific law qualification with high entrance and graduation requirements under the new regulations. That said, generally speaking, immigration advisers offer quality services at a lower cost than lawyers. Unlike other companies, we strive to provide the highest quality of service not at high costs.
Q. I can't afford to pay for a visa, but...A. We advise you to make decisions from the perspective of investing in your own future. Are you willing to risk your future in New Zealand by representing yourself when you have little knowledge of immigration law? We will do our best to support you on the journey.
Q.Do you offer a refund if my visa application is unsuccessful? A.The decision to grant a visa depends on a number of factors, including the competence of the immigration adviser, the circumstances of the applicant, information from the partner or employer, and the assessment of the Immigration Officer. Therefore, in the event that a visa is not granted, there is no refund of our professional fee paid by the applicant. However, we will make every effort to improve your chances of being granted a visa.
Q. Should I use an immigration adviser for my visa application? A. Regardless of whether you use our services, we think it is sensible to ask for professional help from a reliable immigration adviser or lawyer from the beginning of your visa application. A tiny mistake could lead to a dire consequence to your application. If you receive a PPI letter or your visa application gets declined in particular, you will definitely require expert advice; thus, consulting an immigration professional would be highly advisable.
In addition, those who have a history of declined visa applications may have a considerable adverse impact on subsequent applications. Furthermore, even if you are issued a visa this time, you may be required to explain the discrepancy by Immigration New Zealand in the following application; if your response is not satisfactory, your new visa application would likely be unsuccessful. A good immigration adviser spends plenty of time analysing the documents with profound immigration knowledge, resulting in higher fees.
Q. Can anyone offer NZ visa advice and help?A. The Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 states that only licensed immigration advisers can provide immigration law advice. (In limited circumstances, some people are exempt from giving immigration advice, such as MP.)It is illegal for anyone else to offer immigration advice or represent a client unless licensed or exempt, and doing so can result in prosecution. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you check only ask for help and support from a licensed immigration adviser after checking their license details.
Q. Being an immigration adviser is an easy job, right?A. Some people mistakenly think filling in a visa application form is all immigration advisers do. The reality is much more complex. An immigration adviser will advise you on the documents necessary for your visa application based on an understanding of your situation. We provide immigration advice throughout the process. At the time of application, we combine all your application documentation and write a cover letter on why a visa should be issued, making full use of existing immigration law, visa rules and case laws. Lastly, the services include correspondence with a case officer. Each client is different and each application is different, so detailed knowledge and experience make a substantial difference to the outcomes.
Q. How should I choose an immigration adviser?A. I think there are three basic points to consider: 1. Does the immigration adviser properly understand and analyse your situation?2. Does the immigration adviser have excellent English and knowledge of not only immigration law, but also in a wider range of areas, including precedents and employment law?3. Does the immigration adviser have a proven track record of complex cases? Some may consider what kind of qualifications or license (full, provisional or limited) they have.
Q. When should I consider changing my immigration adviser?A. Is your immigration adviser really adding value to the process? To give an example, those who do not return your email, provide unprofessional advice and customer service or focus on money-making as the NO1 priority. You need an immigration adviser who understands and appreciates you, and who will work hard on your behalf as well as are knowledgeable and experienced.
Q. Is there anything I should be aware of when applying for a visa?A. You will need to save a lot of money for making applications. For example, the application fee for an SMC resident visa costs around $3000 and medical and Xray are extra. Also, build a good relationship with your friend or boss as they may be contacted by Immigration NZ as part of the verification process. It is also important to be proactive with your immigration adviser to ensure you get value from the service.
Q. I applied for a visa myself but was unsuccessful. Can you help?A. Please contact us as soon as possible. If too much time passes, we will not be able to help. In the worst-case scenario, you may even be deported if you are in New Zealand unlawfully.
Q. Do you offer free immigration consultations? A. We do not offer free consultations as there are many people who take advantage of such services. The product we sell as immigration advisers is our knowledge and expertise. Just as you have to pay for eating and drinking at a restaurant, you also have to pay to get immigration advice and help. However, a simple visa assessment is available free of charge for those who are interested in getting our representation. This assessment involves analysing the possibility of a successful visa application and then deciding whether we can act for you. We only take on cases where we feel we can provide value and positive assistance. There are also non-profit organisations, such as the CAB, that offer free legal consultations if this is what you are looking for.
Q. I live in Auckland. Can you look after my visa application?A. We are happy to accept visa clients wherever you are located as we do almost everything online. We have even had clients based as far away as Germany and yes, we have had many Auckland-based clients.
Q. Is the price fixed?A. For legal representative services other than immigration law advice services, we operate a fixed fee system. However, after the contract is concluded, additional fees may be charged if the number of tasks increases. Examples include unreported medical history or criminal history, or if you have a child that needs to be added to your application. We will always notify you in advance and get your consent whenever an additional fee is required. Furthermore, we always keep the fees we charge fair, reasonable and transparent.
Q. Is it possible to keep my information confidential? A. We strictly adhere to confidentiality requirements. Your information will not be disclosed to third parties, including Immigration NZ, without permission. The only exception is if we are ordered by law.
Q. I'd like to visit the office and talk. Is that okay? A. Yes, but you will need to make an appointment in advance. If you are not using our visa representation service but would like to consult with us on immigration law and your situation, an upfront immigration consultation fee will apply.
Q. Do you provide business trip services?A. For existing clients, we offer a business trip service with additional fees to cover the cost of the trip – transportation fees, accommodation fees, etc – although there are special conditions. If you are not using our agent service but would like professional immigration advice, a consultation fee will be charged on top.
Q. Can you help with issues that arise during the night and on Saturdays and Sundays?A. If there is an urgent need, such as when the final response date to a PPI letter is approaching, we will respond outside business hours.However, if it is judged that there is no urgency, we will respond within our normal business hours of 10:00 to 18:00 on weekdays. We may contact you after hours, but please be aware that this is not normal work.
Q. If I am eligible to apply, do you always take on my case? A. All of our visa applications are handled by our government-licensed immigration adviser, so if we cannot provide high-quality services due to a large number of people in charge, you may be asked to wait. (In that case, we will inform you about the waiting period.)
We believe that client relationship built on trust is the cornerstone of successful visa applications. If we judge that a trust relationship cannot be established, such as by making a false statement, we will not be able to represent you.
Q. I would like to hire you as my immigration adviser. What should I do? A. Thank you for your interest. Please kindly fill in the free eligibility assessment (and your CV if you intend to apply for a work visa or SMC resident visa.)
We will analyse the information and we may ask further questions. We will then decide if we can become a legal agent for your visa application. At this stage, we will provide you with information on our professional fee and visa application fee you can expect to pay.
After signing our service agreement for representation and your payment is confirmed, we will then start our services for you. If your circumstances change during our representation and wish to terminate a contract with us, we assess how much work has been done and provide a refund deducting all the fair and reasonable professional fees incurred up to a point.
If you are only seeking immigration advice at this stage, we will provide you with the details of the consultation by email such as bank details. The fee for the service is $195+GST per hour, and advanced payment is required prior to your consultation. A cancellation fee of 30% will apply if you cancel within 3 days of the proposed consultation.
Please note, if you sign up for our visa representation service within two weeks of your consultation, the consultation fee will be deducted from the professional representation fee (up to $195+GST).
Q. Who should use your service?A. Anyone who wants to get a NZ visa through our trusted immigration services.
Some of you may be a breadwinner needing to get visas for your own family, wants to contribute to NZ with your skills or have worry if you can confidently and logically explain your situations to Immigration New Zealand. We welcome you. We have the background, knowledge, and experience required to deliver the highest standards of client care and superior immigration advisory services, plus we are always available to answer your visa-related questions during our representation.
At New Zealand Visa Partner, we also act as an educational agent, referring anybody to quality schools according to your career path, assisting the enrolment process for free of charge, as well as discounted student visa representation. We also arrange travel and student insurance policies.
As a proud Japanese who put the trust first, I will continue to provide the best services by treating your visa application as my family’s application.