Mis à jour : 10 juin 2020
Tickets taken, little baby born, stars in my eyes, joy in my heart... blah blah blah blah blah....
"HELLO, IT’S REALITY HERE, NOW YOU HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT!”
In the excitement of changing my life I had, for a while, completely omitted the essential (and very demanding) requirement moving abroad: the visa application! Damn borders...
After working for a few years in the field of immigration law, I felt very confident and thought I was fully prepared to apply for a visa. And I was almost a year ahead of time... EASY!
I don't think anyone is prepared for this kind of complex, intrusive and frankly stressful process! This long journey will deserve several posts, until the one where I will proudly announce (hopefully) - the obtaining of the Grail.
I had already done a lot of research on visa possibilities and application requirements. The option that seemed most appropriate for our situation was to apply for residency in New Zealand, based on my partnership with a New Zealander.
But as I began to get serious about it, I realized the magnitude of the task... Not only dozens of pages to fill in but also a lot of documents to provide! It's easy to drown in the paper work, scanning and attaching files to the online application...
My first piece of advice to potential candidates: get organized!
So, I start to gather identity papers, police certificate, but also evidence that my relationship is stable and that we have been living together for more than 12 months.
That's when things get complicated...
Indeed, when my then-boyfriend-now-husband moved to France, he came to live with me. So, we had no official paperwork, apart from the home insurance, mentioning our names together on the same address. So here I am, rummaging through my old letters and postcards to find as many as possible addressed to both our names.
To prove the stability of our relationship I am enclosing our marriage and baby birth certificates. This seems to me rather sufficient to show that we plan to stay together...
But the information on the immigration website indicates that these documents are just one piece of evidence among others! So here I am, in addition, attaching letters, excerpts from conversations on the internet... I'm starting to reread some of the exchanges. We make a lot of jokes, the immigration officers are going to have a good laugh.
Taking stock of my "proofs", I confess that I am tempted to invent some of them, to modify some dates... I am so afraid of being refused that the temptation of fraud is strong! But I resist. My application must be irreproachable.
I thought I was done, but another thing came. Now I was asked to prove that my health is good enough. Of course, there is only one doctor in Paris who can attest to this... A doctor who obviously charges outrageous fees and who also advocates a more than disturbing speech on immigration... During the interview, I refrain from answering, simply because I am afraid of the influence of this doctor on my file. I blame myself, but I am afraid of jeopardizing my visa application if I don't make myself appreciated by this intermediary.
In addition to this expensive and cursory examination: chest X-ray and blood tests. I have the impression that my whole person has to be scrutinized in order to hope to be able to settle in my husband's homeland with our child.
No country is really welcoming when it comes to staying more than a few months, isn't that so?
All the documents collected, it's time to pay the fee... Argh... Another blow to my savings.
Small financial statement of my application for a "Resident" visa for family reasons:
- Visa fee: €1,220 (NZ$2,200)
- Price of necessary translations: €160
- Price of compulsory medical examinations: €370
Total = €1750
My second piece of advice to potential candidates: Save some money!
20 December 2019: My full application is submitted... Waiting period of up to 10 months according to the New Zealand Immigration website.
My third piece of advice to potential candidates: Be patient!
To be continued…