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NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Old Oct 11th 2002, 7:18 pm
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Default NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Hello!

PhD's seem to have special problems with determining work experience points. NZIS says work experience must not have been "an integral part of the course requirement for the qualification for which you are claiming points".

My husband, a PhD in Physics, worked 60-80 hrs per week as grad student for 8 years or so, but was paid for only 20 hrs per week. His 'employer' , the University, agrees with us that those 20 paid hours were not a required part of his studies, not "an integral part of the course requirements etc...", and therefore can and should be counted under work experience. So we've counted them in (on pro rata basis of course) to reach our present 25/26 pts without job offer.

Obviously, with passmark at 30 points, it 's essential to us that this work experience is counted. Any idea how NZIS treats this? Seems they could go any way they want on this (and just about anything else for that matter), and it's really tough not knowing if there's a chance they'll not grant us those needed points. Anyone else been in this situation who can advise??

Thanks!

TA
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Old Oct 11th 2002, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Originally posted by The American:
Hello!

PhD's seem to have special problems with determining work experience points. NZIS says work experience must not have been "an integral part of the course requirement for the qualification for which you are claiming points".

My husband, a PhD in Physics, worked 60-80 hrs per week as grad student for 8 years or so, but was paid for only 20 hrs per week. His 'employer' , the University, agrees with us that those 20 paid hours were not a required part of his studies, not "an integral part of the course requirements etc...", and therefore can and should be counted under work experience. So we've counted them in (on pro rata basis of course) to reach our present 25/26 pts without job offer.

Obviously, with passmark at 30 points, it 's essential to us that this work experience is counted. Any idea how NZIS treats this? Seems they could go any way they want on this (and just about anything else for that matter), and it's really tough not knowing if there's a chance they'll not grant us those needed points. Anyone else been in this situation who can advise??

Thanks!

TA
8 years at 20 hours (acceptable work experience) per week would equate to 4 years full time ie 2 points
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Old Oct 11th 2002, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Originally posted by pleasancefamily:


8 years at 20 hours (acceptable work experience) per week would equate to 4 years full time ie 2 points

Don,

?? Actually it equates to 5+ years full time, since it's added on to his other work experience.

I should explain, we just received back today a free online assessment we did through Malcolm Pacific ages ago and had forgotten about. It may just be because they're trying to sell us their services (at $3500 they'd have to do a pretty hard sell on us!), but they've succeeded in sowing the seeds of doubt in our minds about how NZIS will view those 8+ years work. Of course, they also insinuated that if we use them (i.e. PAY them $3500) there might be something we can do about this (god knows what - get the documentational proof done on it in a way NZIS will accept I'd assume). They did assess us at 25/26 pts IF NZIS accepts those 8+ years (on pro rata basis of course).

Thanks, TA
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Old Oct 12th 2002, 5:44 am
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

American, I took this from the op manual:

'G4.1.10 Part-time work
a. Calculation of levels of work experience must be for complete weeks
based on a 30-hour week.
b. Credit is given for 30-hour weeks only, even though a principal
applicant* has worked more than 30 hours in any week.
Example: Fifty-two 60-hour weeks are equal to one year's work
experience.
c. Credit for part-time work experience may be given on a proportional
basis.
Example: Four years' work experience for 15 hours per week is
equal to 2 years' work experience for a 30-hour week, and would
therefore be awarded one point.'

So I'm not sure where you get 5+ years from though my maths have been known to be screwy in the past. Of course, 5 years' points is no better than 4 years' points anyway - you need to pass 6 years' work experience to get 3 points.

Cheers
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Old Oct 12th 2002, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Originally posted by pleasancefamily:

So I'm not sure where you get 5+ years from though my maths have been known to be screwy in the past. Of course, 5 years' points is no better than 4 years' points anyway - you need to pass 6 years' work experience to get 3 points.

Cheers
Well hit me with a stick Don, this time you're a bit wrong and a bit right - partly my fault, my explanations have complicated rather than simplified:

Before job offer or work experience, we have:
Qualif's = 12 pts
Age = 6 pts
Settlement funds = 2 pts
TOTAL = 20 pts

For work experience it breaks down as follows:
8 yrs @20 hrs per week as grad student = (roughly) 5 yrs full time = 2.5 pts
5 years full time = 2.5 pts
TOTAL = 5 pts
(further work exp could add up to extra 1 pt)

GRAND TOTAL = 25 pts

Yes, 5 yrs full time exp is only worth 2 points by itself, but when added to our other 5 yrs work experience it has full 2.5 pt value.

(20 hrs = 2/3s of 30 hrs. So 8 yrs @ 20 hrs = 5 1/3 yrs @ 30 hrs using formula 8 yrs X 2/3 = 5 1/3 yrs. )

Our problem is that NZIS gives 0 points for any work experience that was "an integral part of the course requirement for the qualification for which you are claiming points". Malcolm Pacific stated in their assessment of our points that "It would appear that some of your work experience [i.e. those 8 years as a grad student] may have been a requirement for the granting of your qualification... therefore your points may be affected". Meaning NO POINTS for those 8 years presumably.

We are trying to find out how other PhDs or Masters have had this situation dealt with by NZIS - I mentioned earlier that the University where hubby worked assures us that the 20 paid hrs per week cannot be regarded as requirement for qualification because they were in addition to the 20-40 unpaid hrs per week that hubby was expected to work to fulfill research requirements.

If NZIS wants to get sticky about this, what do we do?
Malcolm Pacific states that "There are a number of issues in relation to your case and the category under which we have recommended you proceed. These are issues that we believe can be overcome otherwise we would not have recommended that policy as an option. They do, however, present complexities that need to be very carefully worked through to ensure the best possible case is presented to the Immigration Service and that your case is not compromised".

Well, we don't have $3500 to pay Malcolm Pacific to help us present the 'best possible case'. Any ideas??

Live in hope...

TA!
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Old Oct 12th 2002, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

First thought - don't worry too much because sometime within the next 6-8 months you'll have points a-plenty provided you don't mind getting the 6 month 'job seek'. (Points passmark unsustainable at anything over approx 26/27.)

Second - with your/hubby's scholastic ability to present pith succinctly, don't think for a mo that MP can get you extra points out of the ether. You can do it yourselves, better - ie can get max points due to you by positive presentation of the facts.

Third - NZIS are unlikely to be sticky - find a positive case officer/ NZIS immigration advisor and ask his/her advice re: your 'math'. NZIS will be merciful!

Cheers - Don
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Old Oct 16th 2002, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Originally posted by pleasancefamily:
First thought - don't worry too much because sometime within the next 6-8 months you'll have points a-plenty provided you don't mind getting the 6 month 'job seek'. (Points passmark unsustainable at anything over approx 26/27.)

Second - with your/hubby's scholastic ability to present pith succinctly, don't think for a mo that MP can get you extra points out of the ether. You can do it yourselves, better - ie can get max points due to you by positive presentation of the facts.

Third - NZIS are unlikely to be sticky - find a positive case officer/ NZIS immigration advisor and ask his/her advice re: your 'math'. NZIS will be merciful!

Cheers - Don
Sorry, haven't been on for a while so have been sifting through back-log and noticed this.

I would second what Don has written. Our situation was like this, although we had 10 points for work experience (hubby is 43) some of this time was spent self-employed. Although we could get a NI contribution print-out NZIS said this wasn't sufficient to prove length of work experience. Some of the companies that hubby worked for had long since hit the wall and despite lots of digging to try and track down ex-employees we couldn't come up with sufficient references to prove total length. In the end our case officer "gave us the benefit of the doubt" (we were only 1 year short however). Hubby leaves in 4 weeks on a work deferral visa and will hopefully get the all important job needed for PR!!!

So .... it does seem like it depends on your individual case officer as to how accommodating they are. Ours went away on holiday for a few weeks and the one who took over was equally as "nice"!

Good luck

Lizzie
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Old Oct 16th 2002, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Thank you Don, thank you Lizzie!

Really good of you both to wade through these long and complicated posts of mine! Your advice/reassurances are greatly appreciated...

Good luck to your husband with the job search, Lizzie. Fingers crossed, mine too will be in NZ about the same time for same reason...

And what about you Don? What's your own situation now? This forum's running a bit dry lately on the Kiwi news & views front - how about a new thread someone?

ta ta
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Old Oct 16th 2002, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: NZ - counting work exp. while grad student

Originally posted by The American:



If NZIS wants to get sticky about this, what do we do?
Malcolm Pacific states that "There are a number of issues in relation to your case and the category under which we have recommended you proceed. These are issues that we believe can be overcome otherwise we would not have recommended that policy as an option. They do, however, present complexities that need to be very carefully worked through to ensure the best possible case is presented to the Immigration Service and that your case is not compromised".

Well, we don't have $3500 to pay Malcolm Pacific to help us present the 'best possible case'. Any ideas??


TA!
The best thing to do is to speak to NZIS themselves. A common perception is that all they are there for is to simply 'keep people out of NZ' whereas the reality is that yes, they are there to enforce Immigration Law, but also there to help applicants - NZ like any other country needs migrants to contribute to its economy. When I applied for PR, I had several questions similar to yours (I applied under the IT specialists scheme which has several extra conditions namely must have 3yrs related work experience which you cannot count towards the 'normal' work experience requirement). I spoke several times with NZIS here in Auckland and visited them twice, every time they were helpful and explained how a case officer would assess my application. They also asked for payslips to prove employment, something I never would have thought of (the application form/self assesment guide doesnt even mention providing payslips!) When I finally submitted my application it took just 8 weeks for it to be approved.

Another thing worth remembering is that NZIS case officers go by the operations manual - every PR application is assesed against this. It's available on the NZIS site so you might find it useful to take a look. As I have a very healthy distrust of Immigration 'specialists/consultants/blah blah blah' if I were you I'd give NZIS a call - after all, they are the ones assessing your application not Malcolm Pacific!

Regards,
Russ
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