Entering our thirties, many of us have accumulated some significant work experience. But what happens when we feel like we’re in a bit of a career rut? For some, the solution lies in taking a big step: pausing our careers and returning to studies. While this decision can be intimidating, it can also be incredibly rewarding.
By undertaking further studies, we can gain new skills and perspectives that may open up new career pathways. So, if you’re considering hitting the pause button on your career, remember that it’s never too late to invest in yourself and pursue your passions.
I start by explaining the pathways to obtaining residence in New Zealand as a skilled migrant. Essentially, there are three pathways.
While the Skilled Migrant Category is a point-based system where one is awarded points for factors such as age, recognised qualifications, work experience, a job offer in New Zealand etc., the other two categories only require a job offer in New Zealand, in an occupation that is listed on the Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) Green List and relevant qualifications. Notwithstanding the differences, the two important things for all three categories are a Job offer in New Zealand and recognised qualifications. If you are residing outside of New Zealand, getting a job offer in New Zealand can prove insurmountable.
The challenge can, however, be overcome by opting to study towards a qualification most suited to your unique circumstances. New Zealand universities and colleges offer a wide range of postgraduate and undergraduate courses that not only offer post-study work options to the students but also work options for their partners for the tenure of the course. The student also has the right to work part-time, i.e. 20 hours per week, while studying.
Suppose the chosen course is a requirement for an occupation which is either on the Green List or the Long Term Skill Shortage List. In that case, there is the added advantage of being highly employable and the possibility of a smooth transition from student to the resident via the Straight to Residence category. In addition, dependent children will be considered as domestic students for primary and secondary school education and can study for free. No offer of place from a school in New Zealand is required.
During the time you spend studying in New Zealand, you also make important connections, whether in your classroom or your place of work or your neighbourhood and keep growing your network. In addition, your family continues to be with you, working or studying. Therefore, you are no longer sitting and waiting but moving steadily towards the ultimate goal of becoming a PR in New Zealand.
The difficult, and the most important part, is not the decision to study but deciding on the qualification to pursue. This is where most people may falter when they do not receive accurate guidance tailored to their own unique circumstances and immigration goal. Most student agents tend to suggest qualifications and/or colleges that either pay high commissions or have a high approval rate. Both these reasons would be entirely incorrect to base the choice of course on as the outcomes may not be a desired one.
In conclusion, rather than waiting in the hope of getting a job offer sitting outside of New Zealand and watching your dream of migrating to a beautiful country fade away, seriously consider studying in New Zealand as a means to fulfil that dream.
Once this hurdle is crossed, approach experienced industry people who understand the New Zealand employment market and immigration instructions and can provide guidance tailored to your unique migration goal.
Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.