An interview is essentially a well-defined conversation where one participant i.e., the interviewer asks questions and the other i.e., the interviewee provides answers.
A visa interview is when an immigration officer (representative of a country you want to visit) tries to verify whether the information you have provided in support of your New Zealand visa application is correct and if your intentions are true i.e., if you are bona fide applicant with a genuine intent of travel.
Applying for a visa is a complicated process. The right information needs to be provided in order to get a positive outcome and to avoid disappointment. Analyzing the information provided is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Often, there are gaps in the information provided or the information that is provided raises more questions than provides answers. In such cases, an immigration officer might interview an applicant to establish the credibility of the information provided and to gather more information.
New Zealand Student visa interviews are usually about the academic qualifications, choice of course & institute, availability of funds and future plans. Partnership-based New Zealand visa (i.e. Spousal visa) interviews include questions about relationship related matters in order to determine if the relationship is genuine and stable. New Zealand Visitor visa interviews are usually about the purpose of their visit and commitments in the home country.
Interviews play an important part in the decision-making process. They can be conducted either face-to-face in person, via a video call or over a telephone call. Interviews conducted over the telephone are usually quick and hence the most preferred way of interviewing by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
Telephone interviews are usually spontaneous and an applicant might receive a call from the visa officer at any moment. Anyone can be interviewed – be it a student, a worker or a partner who has applied for a visa. Imagine being at work or out shopping or waiting at a crowded train station when the phone rings or while driving and it turns out to be an interview call for your visa. Answering questions, especially probing ones, when in a hurry or when in close proximity with other people can be difficult.
Visa officers will record your answers either verbatim or by summarising the information you have provided and in some cases by electronically recording the interview.
Interviews are often a decisive factor that can make or break a case. A fair and just decision will be made based on the information provided by you. Hence it is crucial to keep the above pointers in mind while giving an interview.
To gain a better understanding of New Zealand immigration interviews, kindly get in touch with us.
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.