Hi! We’re sisters, Rebecca and Helen Strange. We run NZ Visa Connections.
We are migrants ourselves, originally from the United Kingdom. We understand what a big decision it is to move countries and how rewarding it is to make New Zealand your home. We’re building wonderful new lives for ourselves and our families in this beautiful country. We’d love to help you to do the same.
We love working together. We’re committed to treating people with respect and kindness and providing exceptional service. We feel that working with all our clients is a privilege.
Skilled expertise and credentials
Rebecca and Helen completed the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice from Toi Ohomai, Bay of Plenty Institute of Technology. This is the programme that all immigration advisers must complete before applying for their license. It equips them with the skills to navigate the New Zealand immigration system and government policies.
As well as continuously undertaking regular training and professional development, we are both members of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment Inc., the professional association of licensed immigration advisers. We meet regularly with colleagues and other industry stakeholders to maintain best practices.
We are both Committee Members of the Licensed Immigration Advisers Association and are active members in this professional forum.
Our commitment to professional development and keeping up to date with changes in immigration means we provide the best advice possible.
Our many years of experience – including our personal experience of emigrating to New Zealand – give us insight and empathy for our clients.
Pro bono work and the charities we support
We are both from a social care background. This means that the values of respect and equality run through our work. In addition, we undertake free work for refugees, victims of family violence, migrants with mental health challenges and migrants who experience exploitation.
NZ Visa Connections is proud to support the following charities:
These choices reflect our view that children are New Zealand’s most precious and valuable asset. They are taonga (treasure).
“I originally came to New Zealand as a social worker, thinking I would stay for a couple of years for a bit of an adventure, then return home to the UK. Little did I know that I’d unwittingly chosen a new home for myself.
I vividly remember my first weekend exploring here. I drove North and could not believe my eyes; the beautiful scenery and beaches were so accessible, so picture-perfect, so peaceful. By the time I had been here for a few months, my heart had settled.
I was warmly welcomed by New Zealanders. Several of them took me to visit their own favourite spots around the country, and I was invited into people’s families and homes as one of their own. I really appreciated this low-key, casual Kiwi friendliness when I was so far from my first home.
I did my immigration applications and then went on to help many of my friends and family, including Helen, now my business partner here at NZ Visa Connections!
When my son was born, I wanted a more flexible schedule. So, I moved away from social work and undertook the Graduate Diploma in Immigration the first year it was offered. Then I got my license, and what a rewarding journey that has been.
I feel proud to help people settle here. I understand the positive and negative challenges that come with emigrating. It’s indescribably moving to support people’s move to a safe, welcoming, and stunningly beautiful place.
I especially enjoy working with people of different cultures. Knowing that I have a role to play in enriching the cultural tapestry of our community here in Aotearoa is a fabulous feeling.”
Rebecca’s Top Immigration Tip:
It’s a good idea to think about how you can work towards staying in NZ permanently from the day you arrive. If you’re like me, you won’t want to leave!
You can take many steps to make a permanent stay more likely. I can help you make the best decisions about things like study or work opportunities from the beginning. I can also make sure you have all the correct documents you will need. (And believe me, there are lots of them!)
It’s essential to respect immigration law and to make sure you don’t do anything that causes Immigration New Zealand to lose trust in you. Staying healthy is also vital. I can help you to get everything in order from the beginning of your first visit to New Zealand. This makes it much easier for you to stay permanently if that is what you decide to do.
“I first came to New Zealand in 2007 to visit my sister, Rebecca. She had been working here for a few years, and I (secretly) planned to persuade her to return to the UK!
It was a short holiday, just ten days. We went camping in Hahei, which is on the Coromandel Peninsula. We had an amazing time; the beach was stunning, and my whole visit was magical. I returned 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 even had a picture of Hahei on my screen at work! Every day, I longed to come back.
I returned later that same year to visit for Christmas, and I was offered a job during that holiday. I applied for a work visa and decided to stay for a few more months. Fourteen 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. Our parents also emigrated to New Zealand, and Rebecca helped us with our respective applications (of course!).
Since making New Zealand my home, I’ve spent four years living on Waiheke Island, worked for ACC and in hospitality, became a mum, retrained as an immigration adviser, and started my own business with my sister.
Even after all this time, New Zealand and Auckland still feel quiet to me. I really like how non-commercial it is here after living in Europe, and I love the relaxed, outdoor lifestyle.
Coming from England, the transition to Aotearoa was much easier for me than for many of our migrant clients. That said, I really appreciate being here. I enjoy the multicultural feel of my local community. I feel eternally grateful to be a migrant able to settle in New Zealand. This incredible opportunity has allowed me to craft a new story for myself and my family.
Working as a licensed immigration adviser is a deeply satisfying job. It’s rewarding getting to know my clients’ situations and helping them through the application process. 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.
At NZ Visa Connections, we love to keep in touch with our clients even when we are no longer working with them. We enjoy hearing their updates on life in NZ and seeing them thrive here.
Recently, we held a seminar for some of our clients, giving them an update on the changes to work visas and some residency visas. Because of the pandemic, it was the first time we met some of our clients in person. We were all so pleased to meet each other in real life. We genuinely do work with our clients as if they were family. (Just like Rebecca did for me when I emigrated.).
Many of our clients have had babies since settling here. It’s fantastic to meet this next generation of Kiwis and know we helped them to be born here in New Zealand!”
Helen’s Top Immigration Tip:
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is in the business of issuing visas. Still, making it easy for them to say yes is always a good idea. Remember, the information on the Immigration New Zealand website is a guide only – everything you need to provide is NOT on the website.
Also, INZ is currently dealing with a vast number of applications. You should expect delays.
You will need to provide a wide range of high-quality evidence with your applications. For example, a letter from a previous employer is not always enough proof of your work experience. Your police certificates and general medical certificates must be valid and correct.
It’s extremely helpful to write a cover letter for your application. Refer to the specific immigration policy and instructions for the visa you are applying for. Explain how you meet those instructions.
Make it easy for Immigration New Zealand to say yes – and quickly.
Sophia DÇruz – Executive Administrator
My journey as a migrant started when I first migrated from India to Singapore in 1999. After six years of living in Singapore, I migrated to New Zealand in 2005. I was awestruck by the breath-taking landscapes and sceneries of New Zealand. I loved the warm nature of the people of New Zealand. After living here for 17 years, I am proud to be a Kiwi.
Having worked as a travel agent and a visa consultant and having gone through the whole process as a migrant with NZ Immigration, I am now thrilled to be assisting others in their journey to settle in New Zealand.
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