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    Meet NZ Visa Connections

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NZ Visa Connections is led by sister-duo, Rebecca and Helen Strange.

They’re migrants themselves, having come from the UK originally. They are both happily continuing to build new, vibrant lives and stories with their families in the beautiful community of New Zealand. This means they understand the gravity of the decision to emigrate, but also how rewarding it truly is to make Aotearoa your home.

Rebecca and Helen love working together and value the chance to offer something special to clients. They are committed to working with respect and kindness and feel that offering migrants good information and a thorough service is a privilege.

Skilled expertise and credentials

Rebecca and Helen have both successfully completed the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice from Toi Ohomai, Bay of Plenty Institute of Technology. This is the compulsory programme that all immigration advisers need to complete before they can apply for their license. It equips them with the skills required to navigate the New Zealand immigration system and government policies.

As well as continuously undertaking regular training and professional development, Rebecca and Helen are both members of the New Zealand Association for Migration And Investment Inc., the professional association of Licensed Immigration Advisers. They meet regularly with colleagues and other industry stakeholders to ensure best practice.

Staying connected to the association, perpetually upskilling and generally being on the pulse of immigration news means that assistance with your application from the NZ Visa Connections team is best-in-class. Their personal experience with the process adds a dimension of empathy and human connection that’s second to none.

Pro bono work and the charities we support

Given we are both from a social care background our values of respect and equality run through the work we do. 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).

Meet Rebecca Strange

“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 own immigration applications and then went on to help lots of my friends and family, including Helen, who is of course 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 I undertook the Graduate Diploma in Immigration the very first year it was offered. Then I got my license, and what a rewarding journey that has been in itself. 
 
I feel proud to help people settle here. I understand the positive and negative challenges that come with emigrating, and it’s indescribably moving to support people in their move to a place which is safe, welcoming and stunningly beautiful. 
 
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 Right Now:  

It’s worth having your eye on 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! There are so many steps you can take to make a permanent stay more likely – choose the right course, partner with your employer or ensure you have relevant documentation with you. It’s very important to respect immigration law and ensure you don’t do anything that makes Immigration New Zealand lose trust in you. Of course, staying healthy and on the right side of the law are also vital.

Meet Helen Strange

“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 come back to the UK! 

It was a quick 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 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 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 during that holiday I was offered a job. 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 emigrated to New Zealand as well, and Rebecca helped all of 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, become 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 compared to living in Europe and I love the relaxed, outdoor lifestyle. Coming from the UK, the transition to Aotearoa for me was much easier compared to many of the migrants we work with, but I still appreciate the value of being here. 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 and craft a new story for myself and my family. 

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. 

At NZ Visa Connections, we love to 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. Recently we held a seminar for some of our clients, giving them an update on the changes to work visas and some of the residency visas. It was actually the first time we had met some of our clients in person. We were all so pleased to meet with each other, we really 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, and it’s fantastic to meet this next generation of Kiwis and know we had a hand to play in their existence!”  

Helen’s Top Immigration Tip Right Now:

Immigration New Zealand are in the business of issuing visas, but it’s always a good idea to make it easy for them to say yes. Remember, the information that’s available on the immigration New Zealand website is an outline & shouldn’t be taken as everything that you need to provide. They’re also currently swamped with a record-setting number of applications as of early 2022.

You 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 evidence of your work experience. You need to be sure that your police certificates and general medical certificates are valid and you have provided the right ones.

It’s also incredibly beneficial to write a cover letter for your application. Refer to the specific immigration policy and instructions under which you are applying, and then detail how you meet those instructions.

Make it as easy as possible for Immigration New Zealand to say yes – and say yes quickly.

Meet Sophia DÇruz – Executive Administrator

My Journey as a migrant started when I first migrated from India to Singapore in 1999. After 6 years of living in Singapore I migrated to New Zealand in 2005. I was completely awestruck by the breathtaking landscapes and sceneries of New Zealand and 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, a Visa Consultant and also gone through the whole process as a migrant with NZ Immigration, I am now thrilled to be assisting others in their journey to settle down in New Zealand. 

 

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  • "Overall, my experience with NZ Visa Connections has been very pleasant and enjoyable. They provided me with the peace of mind and confidence that everything will be sorted, and that my visa application was in very good hands. The team was very efficient, organized, and “on-the-ball” on all immigration policies and requirements. The weekly video chats to check on the progress of my “paper trail” was very helpful. It was a very professional engagement with a personal touch. "

    Jessica Misa Baird, Work Visa Support

  • "My experience has truly been nothing short of easy and amazing. NZ Visa Connections has been thorough since the inception of our relationship. Understanding the ins and outs of the process has been overwhelming and not always easy to follow. But, they've been transparent, calming and honest during an otherwise difficult to navigate process. The team goes above and beyond and it's very evident they are passionate about the work that they do."

    Ashley Bent, Work Visa Support

  • "Outstanding work from NZ Visa Connections in regards to helping our company secure visas for two of our key staff members. These two wonderful ladies have gone above and beyond for our company. Rebecca was the case manager for two of our staff members and  she worked exceptionally hard to renew their visas on the 11th hour. I was so impressed with her amazing ability to make things happen with such a positive outcome. "

    Lee Dewerson, Employer / Business services

  • "We first meet NZ Visa Connections back in 2017 when we were looking for an advisor to apply for Reon's first work Visa, We have continued to work with NZ Visa Connection ever since. With that said we have found them to be very professional throughout this process and have been Successful with our application for Reon Visas. Reon and myself would have no problem with recommending NZ Visa Connection to any person who needed Visa advice. "

    Ross & Reon Laird, Work Visa Support

  • "I was very nervous about trying to employ an international applicant, but NZ Visa Connections helped me employ the perfect person for our team, even making suggestions so we could apply for a 3-year Visa straight away. They assisted and supported me every step of the way, from helping with the advertisement to preparing Visa application documents, through to procuring the visa’s required for our employee. They were knowledgeable and eminently capable, and I would have no hesitation referring them to any other business thinking about hiring internationally."

    Lisa Coleman, Employer / Business services

  • "NZ Visa Connections basically took the stress out of my work and residence visa applications. I honestly feel so lucky to have found them in the first place --through my sister's colleague's recommendation. They were as amazing to work with as what we heard about them. The whole process was already quite streamlined for us (my partner and I). We simply had to follow through a well-defined checklist with details like: the importance of a specific document, suggestions and prompts for letters and other write up. It was very clear to us that they are the expert we needed."

    Donna Dychinco, Residence Visa support

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