Will You Be Denied Entry Into New Zealand Because You’re South African?

June 24, 2016
Iain MacLeod

The Internet is a double-edged sword. It is the Great Proliferator. This is ideal when you’re sharing news, education or encouragement (or you’re an advertiser…) but when ill-informed discourse proliferates virally, this seemingly innocent “web-chatter” can thwart even the best made plans to move to New Zealand.

Imagine the moment at the airport. It’s the stuff of nightmares. You’ve packed your life up. You trust in your ability to get a job in New Zealand that might result in your permanent residency. You trust in your decisions and your research about the job market and your ability to fit in. You trust in the advice you’ve received from your licensed adviser which is that it is perfectly lawful to enter New Zealand on a temporary visa on a “Look, See & Decide” basis. (In other words, if within the 3 months that your visitor visa is valid in New Zealand (sometimes 6 if an extension is approved) you are offered a job, you are permitted to apply for a work visa and start the ball rolling on your permanent residency process.)

Sometimes it isn’t quite as straight-forward as that.

By sometimes, we’re talking a small percentage of South Africans being turned away at the border, considered dishonest for arriving on a visitor’s visa after selling & packing their lives up with the intention to live in New Zealand. Of course, things would be much easier if everyone filling skills shortage gaps could be employed from offshore, but we all know that’s not how it works. Including Immigration New Zealand.

Our senior consultants and Iain MacLeod, our company director, spent over an hour on the phone this afternoon with senior Immigration New Zealand officials and came to an understanding that further mitigates the already small risk of being denied entry into New Zealand specifically to IMMagine clients by applying for Visitor Visas for some South Africans coming to find work.

These are the actual statistics to dispel the myth that New Zealand has something against South Africans:

3.2 million tourists entered New Zealand in the last year
of this, 3,780 visitors were either offloaded before arriving in New Zealand or were denied entry upon arrival (that’s 0.12%…)
294 of these visitors offloaded or turned away were South African
Sensationalism is rife in digital media and your decision to migrate must always be based on fact, not bitter discourse. (For example, chat forums for the thousands of happy migrants don’t exist online; only those for people who’ve encountered problems making it somewhat one-sided.)

Armchair advisers and keyboard warriors don’t have contextual access to the latest information and misinformation could so easily impact your decisions to migrate and as such, any opportunity moving to New Zealand might provide you.

Given our relationship with Immigration New Zealand and their dedicated consideration of our qualified clients coming in to the country on a Look See & Decide basis, the tiny risk is even tinier. Spread the word.

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