I shouldn’t have too much problems with this, as I’ve been doing it, not counting the first time when I was a new hire, three times previous, applying for a work permit, now called a work visa, as a guest worker in the Land of the Long White Cloud, or New Zealand.
Unlike many of my kabayan (countrymen) who’ve gotten here under the Work-to-Residence policy stream, my right to work depends largely on whether the visa officer thinks there aren’t enough locals who can do the job and fill the position I currently occupy. Failing that simple test, my status as a work visa-holder ceases to exist and I go home.
It’s as simple as that, every year. Most years the case officer just follows the script, respects that procedure has been properly followed and ticks all the boxes in my favor. Every now and then though, there is someone who is even more than a stickler for the letter of the law, who thinks that New Zealanders enjoy the first, second and last priority for jobs all and sundry, and that as it is, there are already too many migrant workers in Enzed (NZ).
this theoretical visa / case officer is correct on all counts, except for the following: the basic law sometimes bows to the reality that there is no one currently qualified to perform the work for which the permit/visa is being applied for; that the jobs are there for Kiwis and Maoris to take, but what if they’re not interested in particular jobs? and three, it is true that there seem to be a tad more foreign workers, maybe too much for comfort for the previous generation of New Zealanders, but if you take away all of us, who’ll be left to work?
Regardless of the wisdom of the strict officers, and how politically correct it is to allow migrant workers in a country that has unemployment problems up to here (point to neck), I’m just happy to avoid the above kind of bureaucrat, and to keep my nose clean and my application airtight.
By airtight I mean all documents updated, that I’ve done my part to improve my training and education, and that I enjoy the support and endorsement of my employer, which incidentally, I’ve done and I do.
I’ve kept on file my employment contract, which contains all the bells and whistles (anti-harrassment, opportunities for advancement, legal terms of work, etc etc) but also all the bail-out clauses in case the employer doesn’t like me anymore. It’s pretty dated, because it’s deemed renewed if no one objects to it, and since I’ve signed it 2008 it’s been good as gold
I’ve passed at least one training module every year that consists of a written exam and optional quizzes spread throughout a five-month period, supported by the worldwide guild with branches in Australia and Europe, and I only need two more to be certifed in my trade. I’ve kept copies of my passing certificates for the officer’s scrutiny.
Experience has taught me to keep copies of unanswered job ads for my position in publications to show the case officer that no one is qualified, or even interested in my job. It helps him/her a whole lot in deciding in my favor, in short to issue me a new work visa.
Once, my previous boss even went so far as to advertise in Work and Income NZ, a job placement agency staffed by the national government, for eight straight weeks just to show that the physical and technical aspects of the job attracted very few local applicants. That year it was enough to clinch my precious work visa.
All the above, plus the crucial written endorsement from The Man that I’ve been a good little boy and that it would cost them more to lose me and train someone from scratch, I’m to compile, complete all the applications, and not the least, add the application fee, zip to the office in Wellington City, and dump the package onto their dropbox
I hope to be as lucky and blessed as I’ve been the last four years.
Thanks for reading !
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- Bahrain: Abuse of Migrant Workers Despite Reforms (hrw.org)