My Speedy Work Visa!

November 14, 2013

While at work on Monday we missed a mail parcel. There was a note to come pick up a package at the post office. I hadn’t ordered anything recently, and Scott’s birthday is coming up- so I figured it was an early birthday arrival.

A side note about the post shops in New Zealand. They are everywhere. In a complete contradiction to my California hometown where there was one official post office, there is a post shop in almost every suburb of Christchurch. I’m sure that some of the larger ‘burbs have two. There are four post shops within a 10 minute drive of our house. There are two types: the one is a post shop in the mall or as a part of another business- and there you can send your mail, buy lotto tickets, etc. At the larger post office though, the options are endless! Here you can have your PO Box, pay your cellphone bill, do your banking (if you belong to KiwiBank), get your passport photos taken, exchange your foreign currency, get travel insurance, register your car, apply for your tax number …oh, and send and receive mail. If you can’t tell, I’m really impressed by the post shop services. And at mine, there’s rarely even a line.

Ok, back to our parcel. Since I figured it was an early birthday gift for Scott I was a bit slack on getting down to the post shop. His birthday isn’t for another 13 days (not that he’s counting), so what’s the rush?

Then on Wednesday morning I got an email from the Immigration Office New Zealand. It began like this, “Dear Kristen, Congratulations on your recent acceptance for a work visa…”

Right then it clicked what the parcel at the post shop was! Our visas got processed! The immigration website states an average of 24 days for processing so I wasn’t even beginning to worry yet about our applications since it had only been 12 days. Needless to say I rushed down to pick up the package, and there they were:

P.S.: Scott is still annoyed this was not a birthday package

Ok, I know… they’re not much to look at. But what a relief! And they got processed on November 6. A one week turn around. Impressive, guys!

So here’s the one thing. As I explained before, we applied for 5 year work visas. Basically, we wanted the maximum time allowance to figure out a plan. But as it turns out, we were granted 3-year work visas. Good to go ’til November 6, 2016.

Although it wasn’t our goal, I feel really good about it. By then we will have been in New Zealand just a month shy of 4 years. That’s nearly double our original intentions. We can, of course, come home earlier than then. We still have time to figure things out. Actually… our goal was to get work visas. So the goal has been accomplished. And we got a year longer than the majority of folks get.

I’d like to think that by 2016 we’ll be ready to put some roots down somewhere.

But no promises.


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