Moving overseas

How (not) to get a Resident Visa – Part 2

About a month after our return to Europe we sent documents to Immigration Office in New Zealand (I’m not mentioning the branch on purpose). I’m not sure but I think nowadays you can fill all the necessary documents online which makes it so much easier.
Two or three weeks later I received email that Immigration Office received the documents and they’re going to check them if everything is filled in properly. Once it’s done, documents will be forwarded to Immigration Officer who will decide about my application. Till this point things were just fine.
Then the fun started. Forms weren’t filled in properly claimed new email message. Ha! I checked it so many times and I forgot to fill in something, am I so goofy?? Yes, I am. I forgot to put ‘No’ in one question and I didn’t fill in N/A where we had nothing to fill in (both you and your partner have to fill in the forms). We didn’t find it in guidelines but it didn’t matter, we were the only one to blame at that time. Poor documents went all the way from NZ to Europe so that we can add ‘No’ and fill in N/A and then they went back to NZ again. Days passed, weeks passed…and yippee! Everything was finally alright and Immigration Officer opened my ‘case’. What a case it was…
Immigration Officer wasn’t happy with documents that should proof our relationship. The only thing to do was to keep Immigration Officer happy so we sent more documents as wanted. By the way as I come from the country where English isn’t official language all the documents have to be translated by the ‘official’ translator. We ‘have’ one since my partner was applying for visa in Europe and she’s great, so we always had all the documents within few days translated.
After this, Immigration Officer went to the land of silence. Days passed, weeks passed, and nothing. No more emails. Deep thoughts on my side followed. What happened? I sent another email to Immigration Officer asking about the processing of my application and empty mailbox was the answer.
NZ Immigration has one really wonderful service. It’s called General Inquiries. Every time and for some reason it was quite often I had troubles to get answer I needed these guys always at least replied. And that counts. In this case it counted a lot. Another email went to General Inquiries. Next day reply that they’ve received all the documents while ago. Soon email from Immigration Officer that my application is still in progress.
Days passed, weeks passed and nothing again. We lodged a complaint. Immigration Office has to carry out complaints in a certain time period. It didn’t work that time and we get in so-called infinite loop. I sent email to my favourite department called General Inquiries. First time I wasn’t happy with their reply: If you’re not satisfied with services, please lodge a complaint. Haven’t we done it a while ago?
I thanked General Inquiries for their reply and asked them what to do next when we have already done what they adviced. Guess what. Things started to move!
I received reply to my complaint. The next day I received reply to my complaint again. Same one. Immigration Officer started to communicate. After more then two months having our documents we were told that’s it’s not enough. Immigration Officer still wasn’t happy. Obtain more and send more. The only thing we didn’t send yet were our DNA samples. Translator was wondering about few documents we needed to translate. When she told me that she had never translated anything like that before (and yes, she already translated documents for someone else who was applying for visa in NZ as well), I was confused. Something wasn’t right.
My resolution was to be nice and decent. After another email that we didn’t proof our relationship enough I decided not to be nice and decent. Another email for Immigration Officer, polite, but telling the officer what I think. Another email to Immigration Complaint Officer. Things started to move again.
In next few days I received email that my original Immigration Officer was taken of the case and now I have another Immigration Officer. Few days after this I was granted Resident Visa.
End of story (Resident Visa, another types of Visas are about to come so stay tuned).