Getting a one year permit to stay in NZ is definitely not an easy task. Regular visitor visas (free) have a maximum period of 3 months, however they can be extended up to 9 months when paid for. Looking for a job our founding a company in NZ just to be able to stay longer is an incredible administrative and costly overkill too, but… There are student visas! So we’ll apply for international student visas for our children, I’ll be guardian person for them and Eva hopes to get the very-extended 12 months visitor visa that can be requested under special family circumstances.
So far so good. Filled about 80-100 printed pages of visa applications and additional forms and forwarded them to the visa experts in NZ for a final check and submission to the NZ immigration office. Sent via priority mail the documents should have arrived within 3-4 days, but they didn’t. At all! Damn… Online postal tracking doesn’t show anything and the lady at the post office told me that it takes 1-2 months to get a feedback from their ‘lost mail’ department.
We’ve lost about two weeks before we made another series of passport photos of all of us (thanks Atelier Lichtblicke in Thalgau for the reprint discount), filled the 430 grams of printed sheets again and sent them via express delivery (60 euro!) once again.
The docs finally arrived at the visa experts who have forwarded them to the NZ Embassy in Berlin for approval. At the same time, I had to send our passports and the visa fee also the embassy in Berlin. Next challenge: The embassy doesn’t accept credit card or wire transfer payments for the 290 euro fee, only checks and cash. I asked at the local bank for a check, but their general manager told me that they have created their last check about 5 years ago and nobody there really knows how to make one! Seriously. Couldn’t believe that, but they would have required several working days to prepare a check in their head office. So I sent the money in cash in an envelope to the embassy. ;)
That’s the visa story so far. Waiting for approval, but I somehow feel that this story hasn’t ended yet…