How to prepare for your appointment with an immigration lawyer
If you’ve booked or are planning to book an appointment with an immigration lawyer in New Zealand, it can be hard to know what the process is, and what you need to bring.
Firstly, if you are yet to book your appointment, it’s best to check that you really do need an immigration lawyer. If you’re unsure, check out our article: immigration adviser vs immigration lawyer – whose help do you need?
We understand that immigration cases and New Zealand visa applications are expensive.
We want to make sure you get cost-effective and timely advice during your appointment. We’ve compiled a list of what you need to prepare before your appointment with a New Zealand immigration lawyer to make sure you get the most out of it.
For all appointments, bring:
- Your visa (a photocopy is fine)
- The date of your last police clearance check
- The date you supplied your medical and x-ray certificates to Immigration New Zealand.
We strongly recommend preparing a list of any questions you might like to ask on the day. It is also helpful if you write a brief summary of your situation covering everything you think we may need to know. It is in your best interest to be honest and upfront about your situation with your immigration lawyer so that missed information doesn’t trip you up later on.
You are welcome to bring a support person(s) and/or a translator if you struggle with English. Please keep in mind, however, that you will be discussing highly personal matters, so you need to trust this person to keep your information confidential.
There is no need to arrive early before your appointment, but do arrive on time. If you need tp change your appointment or are running late, please let us know as early as possible.
Other documentation required for your appointment is dependent on your reasons for going to an immigration lawyer in New Zealand.
If you are applying for a New Zealand residence or New Zealand work visa, you will need to bring:
- Photocopies of your offer of employment and, if possible, contract and job description
- Background information about your employer, including:
- The size of the company
- How many employees it has
- Whether it has supported work/residence visas in the past
- Photocopies of any qualifications
- Work experience references, and/or details of your prior work experience including dates of employment and descriptions of the tasks you performed
- Copies of any correspondence from Immigration New Zealand relating to previous applications.
If you are wishing for help or intervention on a case you have filed, you need to bring:
- A timeline of events, and any evidence to support this
- A copy of the application documentation (especially in the case of an unsuccessful New Zealand visa application)
Copies of letters from Immigration New Zealand that detail the problems with the case.
Perhaps you have prepared your own case or visa application and just want:
- A review of your application to ensure you have everything covered
- A review of your documentation to ensure it meets the right visa criteria, and that you have everything you need
- An assessment of whether your case is strong enough.
In this case, we recommend our 90-minute immigration clinic appointment. This appointment has a set fee and is the most cost-effective way to ensure your application is as strong as it can be, saving you the risk of spending time and money on an unsuccessful application.
You can book or find out more about our 90-minute immigration clinic appointment here.
If you are an employer in the process of hiring a migrant employee(s), you must bring:
- Copies of any advertisements for the position
- A draft of the employment agreement and job description.
If you are a migrant and already have an employment or skilled migrant visa, but feel you are being exploited by your employer, you will need to bring:
- A copy of your contract
- Evidence of exploitation. If this is on your phone (i.e., text messages or voice mail) you are welcome to simply bring that. If you don’t have evidence, please write a detailed timeline of the events that took place.
We understand that this is a very difficult situation, as your New Zealand visa can depend on your employer complying with New Zealand law. We take these situations very seriously, and we are legally required to keep your information private, so you can be sure that anything discussed with us won’t be shared. If you are unsure whether you are being exploited in your place of work, you can find out more about your rights as an employee here.
After your first appointment, you can expect to have gained:
- An understanding of your current legal position
- An understanding of the application process and your chances of securing the type of visa you want
- An understanding of any weaknesses in your case and whether they can be strengthened
- A strategy for your application to ensure best chance of success.
We will provide you with a written Terms of Engagement that will map out the work we intend to undertake, as well as an estimate of fees, how long it is likely to take to receive a decision, and, finally, our terms and conditions.
As each case is hugely different from the next, we do not charge a set rate for case appointments (except for our 90-minute immigration clinic appointment). However, the first half hour of the initial appointment is free, which should give us enough time understand the situation and estimate costs, and allow you to decide whether you wish to proceed.
Find out more about our process here.
Aaron Martin, principal lawyer of NZIL, has been working as an immigration lawyer in New Zealand for over 20 years. In this time he has worked with many clients with a wide range of situations – from New Zealand visa applications to deportation. If you’d like to hear some of our client’s success stories, check out our client testimonials here.
If you have any other questions about your specific case, or what you may need to do to prepare for your case, please do not hesitate to contact the office either through our website, or by emailing email@example.com, or calling +64 (0) 9 869 2952.