Once Aaron got involved, the threatening letters from Immigration New Zealand stopped and my visa was renewed within 2 working days.
Mandeep has worked for an Auckland herb grower for over five years. When it came time to renew his essential skills visa, he approached his employer, who advertised the job on TradeMe in order to furnish proof that they had made a genuine attempt to fill the role with a qualified New Zealander first.
“It was stressful,” he recalls, “but I understand that it’s an INZ requirement, that their first priority is to New Zealand residents and citizens. But a person who’s already been working somewhere for the last five years, why would they let them go and hire someone else?”
The ad drew just 13 responses, and only five of those were New Zealand citizens or residents. The rest were on work visas like Mandeep. Fortunately for him, his employer felt that none of the five Kiwis was more suited for the role and extended Mandeep’s contract, anticipating a successful visa renewal.
This all happened before COVID-19. When lockdown ended, Mandeep received a Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) letter from INZ, requesting more information about why none of the five New Zealanders was a fit. His employer outlined exactly why so that Mandeep could share that information with INZ.
He thought that would be the end of it. It wasn’t. He describes the second PPI letter he received as “completely threatening. That is the word I would use. It said, ‘The immigration officer must be satisfied that you have given genuine proof or your visa may be declined according to rule XYZ.” By this point, he was frustrated and confused. “I made a genuine attempt through my employer, so why are they asking for still more proof?”
Because of COVID, INZ essentially expected him to repeat the labour market test all over again to prove that, post-pandemic, there were still no qualified New Zealanders for the role.
At that point, a former colleague of Aaron’s suggested that Mandeep go to New Zealand Immigration Law for help. Mandeep was already following them on Facebook and found them to be a reputable news source: “The information is really good, introducing the changes, why INZ is doing this, and why you require a lawyer for a particular scenario.” He also liked that there weren’t any high-pressure sales tactics, only help offered to applicants who might be stuck like he was.
From there, Aaron took over, building the best possible case for Mandeep and corresponding with INZ on his behalf, CCing him on everything. “They were really fast and really good. They submitted my file on Thursday, and by 8am on Monday morning, I got a reply from INZ.”
Mercifully, it was the answer he had been hoping for. His visa is now good for another three years.
Mandeep sums up his NZIL experience thusly: “ Good service, good people, and very efficient.” He really appreciated their attentiveness as well. “Every time I called, they answered immediately, and every time I emailed, they answered within a few hours.”
If you’re in a similar pickle, don’t try to handle it on your own. Get help like Mandeep did: “They do really good work and it helped. Aaron did a really good job, so it’s worth it.”
For expert help with your work visa, get in touch with the team at New Zealand Immigration law.