No Visa for NZ
The story of an unsuccessful migrant
The following is the story of a person who has left New Zealand with a heavy heart. Her name has been held back, but she represents the plight of many.
I had just landed in this country that would be my home for at least the next three years. I was excited and fearful all at the same time. A nice woman met me from the hostel where I was resident. I told myself, “New Zealand is really beautiful, and the country is bigger than what I had imagined. It was clean and green but you hardly saw people on the streets.”
Land Of Plenty
It seemed like a prosperous place, because the roads were good, the buildings looked new and there were new cars on the road. The people I saw were very serious; they rarely smiled and seemed to wear mostly black clothes. New Zealand had more sheep than people, there was a good population of cats and the trees were ‘free and fearless,’ talking to each other without human interference. The sacred cows were beautiful, graceful and healthy.
Education was fun and teachers were helpful. Everyone had the opportunity to work hard and rise in life. The only complaint was about the weather; it is a very cold country and central heating is not common. I also heard that people were prone to arthritis and asthma.
It was a proud moment when I received my graduate degree – Bachelor of Science majoring in Neuroscience – but it was too expensive to bring my family from my native country to share my joy. Instead, I celebrated my achievement with my New Zealand family.
While at the University, I worked part time for a franchise. The firm was a good training ground and my wages, at $13 per hour, were not bad. It helped me to meet my expenses, which I kept to a minimum. I met some very nice people and made lifelong friends.
But I had to go out into the big, wide world to get a job. The New Zealand government was good since as it had given me a year to find a job. I continued to work at the old firm as I searched for alternative employment that would be commensurate with my qualifications.
I was surprised and disappointed. There were very few openings and everyone wanted New Zealand work experience, which I did not possess. The feeling that I was not worthy of employment led me to a state of depression. By now, I really liked New Zealand and wanted to stay. I had a good New Zealand qualification, which had given me confidence of a bright future.
Time was running out, my one-year deadline was fast approaching and I needed a job relevant to my qualification, without which there would be no visa for NZ. Immigration New Zealand would not grant me a residence visa.
I could not afford to enroll in another course, because I could not afford the additional expense. My parents had already borrowed heavily to pay for my education, and I did not want to burden them any further.
With no job in sight, and not wanting to overstay or cheat the system, I left New Zealand, which had been my home for four years. I was proud of my qualifications, willing to work hard and become a partner in New Zealand’s progress. I hope that one day New Zealand will realise that the country ‘is the real loser,’ with qualified and genuine people like me having no visa for NZ and therefore not being allowed to stay.