Murli, an engineering graduate from India, came to New Zealand in 2017 on a Work to Residence Visa(WTR) to work as a Database and Application Engineer.
After holding the WTR visa for 26 months, in December 2019 Murli applied for his Residence from Work visa application on his own. His WTR visa was expiring in April 2020. Since his Residence from Work Visa processing was taking longer than expected due to pandemic, Murli decided to apply for a subsequent visa to remain lawful in New Zealand. He intended to extend his WTR visa, but he instead selected the Essential Skills Work Visa option since the required one option was not available at that time. The WTR extension appropriate option came into effect from 28/9/2020. Due to this, INZ raised a concern for his Residence from Work Visa application as one of the requirements of this category is that the applicant should be on a current WTR when processing his residence visa.
The Potentially Prejudice Letter (PPI) letter received from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) stated that Murli was not a holder of a WTR visa – Long Term Skill Shortage List(LTSSL). This, although true, was not what Murli had intended or desired when he had applied for his visa. Shocked at receiving a PPI and not knowing what to do, Murli immediately contacted Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd, the best immigration advisers in New Zealand.
During the initial assessment, it became apparent to experienced and SeniorLicense Immigration Adviser Vandana Rai that neither INZ’s case officer nor the client was at fault. INZ policy had a gap, and there was a need to fill it. There was only one option – to buy some time. Murli’s application had already been with INZ for almost two years. If it were to be declined for not meeting a technicality, it would mean two years of futile efforts for Murliand he would have to apply again for a Work to Residence visa and redo the entire process.
In a well-drafted response to the PPI, Vandana Rai and her team consisting of Licensed Immigration Adviser Vineet Bhardwaj advocated Murli’s case before INZ by accentuating his genuine circumstances and successfully conveying to INZ that the past occurrences were not intentional and beyond his control The non-availability of a relevant policy at that crucial juncture also did not help Murli’s cause. The case officer was satisfied with the explanation provided and granted time to apply for new work to residence visa.
Accordingly, Vandana lodged a new WTR – LTSSL visa on Murali’s behalf. Based on the detailed explanation, INZ was satisfied that Murli had met all the criteria and there was nothing more to be clarified. His Work to Residence visa application was subsequently approved, and the client will now be able to approach INZ for his Residence from Work application to be assessed based on the new evidence.
From this case study, it becomes evident that even the relatively more straightforward pathways also need overall scrutiny and preparation by the experts such as Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd. It is always better to seek expert advice from professionals who have a proven track record. A case in point demonstrates the same.
(The names of clients have been changed to protect their privacy.)
This article does not constitute immigration advice. Individuals need to seek personal advice from a licensed immigration adviser or lawyer to assess their unique situation.