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New Zealand Visa Interviews

New Zealand Visa Interviews

What is an interview?

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.

What is a visa interview?

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.

How are NZ Immigration interviews conducted?

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.

Important points to note:

  • Do not panic when you receive the call. A call does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with your application. It is common for the visa officers to talk to the applicant to assist with the decision-making process. Try to keep calm.
  • If you are unable to talk (Eg. Phone reception is not good, or you are not in a quiet place to concentrate on the call, or you are unwell & hence unable to talk etc.) inform the interviewer about your situation immediately and request a call back at a more convenient time.
  • If you need an interpreter, inform the interviewer about it right at the beginning. Not everyone speaks the same language as you, it is absolutely okay to ask for assistance.
  • It is good to be prepared but avoid memorizing the lines, try to be spontaneous. Spontaneity is an important aspect of the visa interview.
  • Provide truthful answers. It is okay to be nervous and suffer a mental block but do not lie i.e. falsify information. Remember, if you are honest then you have nothing to hide. Avoid withholding crucial information or providing misleading information as it can have a negative impact on the outcome of your application. Honesty is the best policy.
  • Avoid answering questions you do not understand. Ask the interviewer to rephrase the question instead.
  • Keep your responses short, simple and to the point. Do not beat around the bush.

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.

Please do not hesitate to contact Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd. at [email protected] or call on +64 09 3790219.  We will be happy to guide you.

Author Details

immigration consultant hamilton

Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

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.

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