How Did a Couple of British Sisters End Up in New Zealand,
Running an Immigration Firm?
Running an Immigration Firm?
I came to NZ as a social worker, thinking I would stay for a couple of years.
I vividly remember my first weekend exploring here. I drove North and could not believe my eyes, the beautiful scenery and beaches that were so close and so peaceful. By the time I had been here for a few months, I knew I wasn’t going to leave.
I was warmly welcomed by New Zealanders. Several of them took me to visit their own favourite places and I was invited into people’s families and homes. I really appreciated this low-key casual Kiwi friendliness when I was so far from home.
I remember family and friends from the UK coming to visit me here in my first few years and how proud I felt to show them around NZ. When I went overseas, I couldn’t wait to get back.
I did my own immigration applications and then went on to help lots of my friends and family.
When my son was born, I wanted to find more flexible work.
I undertook the Graduate Diploma in Immigration the very first year it was offered, and then got my license.
I feel proud to help people settle here. I understand the positive and negative challenges that come with migration and it’s great to support people to come to a place which I feel is safe, welcoming and beautiful.
I especially enjoy working with people of different cultures and the fact that I can help people to feel clear and confident about their immigration journey.
I also value the fact that I can help to bring people with much-needed skills and experience to my adopted home.
Several of my clients have had babies since they settled here and it makes me smile to think of these brand-new Kiwis being here in part because of my help!
I first came to New Zealand in 2007 to visit my sister. She had been working here for a few years and I (secretly!) planned to persuade her to come back to the UK.
It was a quick holiday, just 10 days. We went camping to Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula and had an amazing time. The beach was stunning and my whole visit was just magical. I went back to London and could not stop thinking about how beautiful New Zealand was. It seemed so quiet and relaxed compared to life in England. I had a picture of Hahei beach on my screen at work. Every day, I longed to come back.
I returned later that same year to visit for Christmas and during that holiday I was offered a job. I applied for a work visa and decided to stay for a few more months. 12 years later and I am still here! I applied for residency through the Skilled Migrant Category, did my permanent residency and am now a citizen.
Since being in New Zealand I’ve spent 4 years living on Waiheke Island, worked for ACC and in hospitality, become a mum, retrained as an Immigration Adviser, and started my own business with my sister.
Even after 13 years, New Zealand and Auckland still feel quiet to me. I really like how non-commercial it is here compared to living in Europe and I love the relaxed, outdoor lifestyle. I enjoy the multi-cultural feel of my local community and feel ever-grateful that I am lucky enough to be a migrant who was able to settle in New Zealand.
Working as a Licensed Immigration Adviser is such a satisfying job. It’s really rewarding getting to know my clients’ individual situations and assisting them through a process that they are unsure of. Successfully achieving visas for my clients feels great and never gets old! I’ll always remember how good it felt when my own visas were approved.
I like that we keep in touch with our clients even after we are no longer working with them, hearing their updates on life in NZ and seeing them thrive in their new roles or homes.