13 June 2011

How to sponsor a visitor to New Zealand

We have recently received word that my mother-in-law's Visitor Visa has been approved.  If you are also thinking of sponsoring your relative based in the Philippines for a visit here in New Zealand and you are looking for information, I hope our experience will be of some use to you.

What we did was we accomplished the papers here in Wellington, then had these papers delivered to my mother-in-law, who then affixed her ID photo and signature where applicable and then sent these off to the Manila Branch of NZ Immigration.  There is a provision in the Application Form for this where you declare that you are assisting the applicant in filling out the documents, so this is legal.

I think you can also have the papers processed here, but I could not understand how it is done so we worked on the more straightforward way.

First, you need to visit this page in Immigration New Zealand where you need to download Form INZ1017.  If you need help in accomplishing this, download the help file too (INZ1018).

Essentially, you will also need to attach proof that you can support the visitor's stay in the country.  For this, you will need to accomplish the Sponsorship Form (INZ1025) which stipulates how you will support the visitor; accommodation and financial are the two most important factors.  For the financial part, the easiest way I did was to ask our HR Department for a certificate of employment stating that I have a full-time job, with my annual salary indicated there as well.  Our company did not regularly issue pay slips and so I just asked for a letter instead.  Another document you need is your residential contract if you are also providing accommodation.  And finally, you will need photoduplicated copies of your Permanent Residence Visa (which is what we currently have) and the page where you have your photo and details.

Bring these documents to a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace for authentication purposes.  We went to a Justice of the Peace, who holds office in the Community Centre.  To verify, visit the website of your respective centre, or make an inquiry at the Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB).  There is no charge for the authentication service.  Remember to bring the original documents so the Justice of the Peace reference these with your copies.

You also need to download a form required by INZ Manila.  This can be found in the Manila Branch Checklists page.  Download the file "Manila visitor visa checklist" PDF file.  The document contains  guidelines, with the last section including the form that you need to fill out and accompany INZ1017.  This is named "Supplementary Questionnaire to Accompany Application for Temporary Visa".  This does not need to be authenticated.

Finally, enclose the INZ1017, INZ1025, the INZ Manila form, and all authenticated, supporting documents in an envelope and head off to your nearest Post Shop.  If you are in a hurry, the fastest delivery will take 4-5 days, and will cost you $40-45.00

We applied my mother-in-law for a six-month vacation.  A stay of over six months will require the visitor to have a medical exam.  We felt that six months will be a good length of time for a first vacation anyways.  We also needed to pay INZ Manila P4,650.00 via bank check (there is no charge if the length of stay is 59 days or lower), which my mother-in-law got from her bank and enclosed with the other documents and sent off to INZ Manila.  We opted for the Call Center option, whereby they pick up the documents from your home and deliver the passport.  This is much more convenient.  The cost is P350.00 for this service.

My mother-in-law received the passport with approved Visitor's Visa within three weeks after it was picked up.

During the time of processing I had been emailing INZ Manila for my questions on the process and they have been prompt to reply (less than 24 hours).  They are a friendly bunch.  Feel free to ask them if you need clarification.  Their contact information is in the INZ Manila document.

Related Links:
Immigration New Zealand
Immigrantion New Zealand (INZ) Manila

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