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Lizaberry Apr 26th 2009 10:18 pm

Help needed - advice about dumping agent
hi. New to this site but have already read quite a few posts to get the gist of things. Recently, my hubby and I paid Migration Bureau to conduct a full check assessment and in the last week gave them the go ahead to proceed with a PR application, etc. It's been bothering us about the way their fee policy works and we still don't feel totally at ease with it all - worst of it is, we handed over a credit card payment of £950 last week as a deposit. Today, something drew me to do some searching on the net about them and hence I stumbled across this site and a couple of others with less than positive feedback. This has left us feeling uneasy and wondered how and if we can get ourselves out of it before things get too involved. I am pretty intelligent and work as an administrator and now wonder if I could actually do this for ourselves rather than passing it on to an agent as we have already. If anyone has any pearls of wisdom or advice to offer, I'd love to hear from you. I plan on ringing their offices tomorrow and see about cancelling things -do we have any cooling off period to fall back on. Thanks for reading. L

Lizaberry Apr 27th 2009 8:10 am

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Are we best to cut our losses now rather than go on with this agent?

Persephone Apr 27th 2009 9:35 am

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Hello and welcome,
I don't know about how easy it is to get out of a contract with an agent once agreed, maybe look at the small print? It is worth asking the agent tomorrow to see if they will let you cancel while you research a bit more and look at what you need to do to apply for PR. If you then feel you would prefer the assurance of having an agent do it for you then at least you've seen for yourself. Most people on here are against using an agent to apply for PR since it is so easy to do yourself. If you have something unusual or difficult about your application then maybe, but if it is straightforward then they generally are waste of money. Especially given how expensive they are! Do the fees you pay include all immigration fees, eg EOI, ITA, medicals, police certs etc or are these on top? Also NZIS do not give preference to dealing with applications from agents.
If you feel confident enough to do it yourself then go for it, you'll get plenty of help from on here:thumbsup: Just ask if you have ANY questions however simple or obvious you think they may be;). It really is not that hard, or that easy to make a mistake, if you do then NZIS will contact you to query it rather than just chuck your application out:lol:
As far as cutting your losses are concerned it does depend on what your further expenditure with this agent is likely to be and what is or isn't included in the cost.
Have a look at this:
Cost of immigration
This is what I spent on gaining PR a year ago, and that is without the cost of an agent:eek:
Ask away if you have any questions:thumbsup: Your first step would be registering online at the NZIS website and starting to fill in an EOI. It is free, it adds up your points as you go through it and you can do it bit by bit and save it inbetween. You can see how easy it is to do then as well. You pay an agent to fill in the forms and tell you what documents to give them as far as I can see:rofl:

sarahw Apr 27th 2009 9:35 am

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
If your application is reasonably straightforward then it's certainly going to be cheaper to DIY. It's time consuming but if you're organised it's not too bad. We got ours through in 2005 so things may have changed a bit since then but the NZIS website had all the info we needed to get us through the process.

Good luck whichever way you choose to go.

Lizaberry Apr 27th 2009 10:23 am

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Thank you. I was beginning to lose all hope of gettting a response so thanks for restoring my faith.:). For a skilled migrant application we have been quoted between £2950 and £4350 which covers between 10 and 15 hours of work. It does not include the fees for the EOI or the medicals or police checks. After reading some of the posts on here about the number of you who are successfully applying and succeeding, I am beginning to wonder what I am paying for. I am pretty intelligent and am confident with forms and paperwork. I had to support my son in 2004 after he was excluded from school because he has Asperger's Syndrome, and confidently dealt with the Director of Education and our local MP at the time, so this shouldn't phase me.
I am currently at home looking after our 2 year old so I do have some time on my hands to do it. It's the worry of all the little extra hidden costs that worry me about MB. I have heard people being charged for storage of their digital information, charges for things they didn't ask for like a letter advising them about wills, etc. I feel frightened to even email them in their NZ branch with any of my queries cos I know I will be billed for it. I know they have their place, but I wish the fees were a set figure and not ones that could ultimately spiral out of control. Like most people, we are on a budget and I just worry about this getting out of hand. Do we not have any cover like distance selling or a cooling off period? As far as I can gather, the cost is for a permanent residency application but should my OH get a job offer he wishes to pursue and accept before the PR application goes through, they want another sum of money to cover the cost of getting him a work permit - up to another £3k I think. This may dash all our hopes if they bleed us dry before we get there. Has anyone used the services of Paul Goddard - the guy the BBC did a programme about when he moved to NZ?
My OH is a Boat Builder and is highly skilled. He completed a 4yr apprenticeship in the late 70's/early 80's and because he has no formal qualification of this because he never went to college, he doesn't get many points. Fortunately, I have a qualification that is recognised and that will get him 20 points but he needs the job offer to take him over the 100 point mark. Any advice there. We don't really want to leave the UK until after our older 3 children's next academic year - so June/July 2010. Is it too soon to do an EOI now and would OH need to get a job offer before this would be considered? There's so much but it is so great to have 'friends' on here that I can bounce ideas and concerns off of.
Thank you again for reading. I have to wait about an hour before I can ring a rep to discuss how I am going to proceed. Wish me luck, L

Persephone Apr 27th 2009 11:12 am

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
The time difference can cause delays at times;)
£2950-£4350 is a lot of money to spend on top of your costs for NZIS fees, medicals etc. The whole process is expensive enough as it is.
The forms are easy enough, the occasional question will throw you but if you ask on here someone will answer and the NZIS website is very useful [if a little convoluted at times:rofl:]. I didn't even consider using an agent and having gone through it all from start to finish I am glad I didn't waste my money.
I am concerned that you are looking at paying that much cash yet feel you cannot ask them for advice without extra charges being levied. It does seem like a licence to print cash:mad:Are they helping you find a job?
As a boat builder maybe you could try contacting various companies to see whether they would consider offering a job. Boat builders are on the long term and immediate skill shortages lists but you have to have a National Certificate to gain bonus points. Having no quals means you cannot claim points for a job on the LTSSL unfortunately.
From previous posts on here it does seem that NZ employers tend to take applications from those in NZ far more seriously though. You say you have a qualification that is recognised, what is that and could it be worth you being the principal candidate? I presume the agent has already considered who should apply and who should be the non principal applicant as far as points are concerned.
From what you've said you need a job offer to take you over 100 pts so you can't even submit an EOI anyway, you need over 100pts or the computer will say no:sneaky:. So it looks like your only option is to find a job first before you can even submit an EOI. With a job offer your residency application will move a lot faster anyway. It does depend on your occupation as to how easy it is to find a job. Would he be willing to go to NZ for interviews[you could have a holiday :thumbsup:]
All the best with the phone call,
Good luck
Sorry this is a bit waffly, it's getting late here!

Lizaberry Apr 27th 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Thanks for that. This is my second time of writing this reply - got nearly to the end and accidently hit a key on my laptop and cleared the lot! Anyway, as far as OH is concerned, he definitely needs a job offer to even submit an EOI. He was chosen as the principal applicant because it is my intention to be the home maker initially as we have 4 children, the youngest of whom is 2yrs. He is highly skilled and I am very proud of him for this but unfortunately whilst he is apprentice-served in his trade (and has a letter dated July 1983 from his employer at the time to the effect that he completed it), he doesn't have a piece of paper (qualification), even though his skill level surpasses what the piece of paper means. If he had this we would be laughing - or if the authorities would consider this in his application that would be nice. That then of course back fires on him not gettting any bonus points either even though his job is on the skill shortage list, etc.
Since our submission of an EOI rests on a job offer, I think the best thing that he could do would be to use the money that was going to be used for using MB to get his little **** over to NZ and start checking out employment opportunities. It's knowing when to time it of course cos how many employers are going to offer a job so early into the process?? I feel a little deflated right now. I have tried to ring and speak with MB but the person I need to speak to is still unavailable. I am expecting a call back any time.
They are supposed to be throwing in jobsearch assistance as part of the package but with a background as an employment adviser with a local government department, I'd like to think that I can support my husband with it. I also have good admin skills so feel I could cope with the paperwork. I am not presently working so have a little time on my hands. We have started to apply to employers but it is so difficult doing this when we don't really want to be moving until the end of our children's next academic year - june/july 2010.
What also is the situation about how you confirm your ability with English language even though it is your mother tongue. Again, no problem for me because I have a post secondary qualification. My husband did some basic exams at school though he doesn't have any certificates and these were not post secondary. The only thing I can think of is that he is a retained fire fighter with our local fire and rescue service and he's had to jumped through hoops with them, especially as he is a leading fire fighter. How can or will he prove this without any post secondary qualifications?
OK, so news just in ... have just been on the phone to MB and explained to the consultant we initially dealt with about my concerns. Naturally he defended them and advised us not to proceed without an agent under any circumstances. We have agreed that they will contact their accounts dept so they can do a recky of what is owed up until now and whether a refund is due (I don't suppose so). Still if money thrown away now, could be money saved overall that's fine by me. I feel terrible. I don't like confrontation and it's not a particularly good way to get started with your dream life. Have also just left message with 'New Life in New Zealand' to see what they have to say for themselves. Can anyone make any recommendations to me regarding other agents and their good experiences with the same, or would I be best advised in do this ourselves? First things first, though - gotta get OH a job offer but where and when to start with this if we don't need the job to start until next June/July 2010 - seems a bit cheeky to try applying for work so in advance. Thanks again you guys for your honest and helpful advice.

Matewx Apr 27th 2009 2:30 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
I hope you get ALL your money back...
Good luck! ;)

Lizaberry Apr 27th 2009 2:34 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Thanks for that. Funny, I was reading some of your posts last night - about your med certs and your trip to Paris, I think! I don't expect my money back - well, not all of it, though it would be nice. I just don't know where to start again. Will wait and see what happens with the call back from 'New Life in New Zealand'. How's your application going and how long have you been working on it?

Matewx Apr 27th 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent

Originally Posted by Lizaberry (Post 7519081)
How's your application going and how long have you been working on it?

Thanks Lizaberry!

I was actually looking... I lodged my work visa application 6weeks ago today. As it's with a job offer from an approved employer it should have taken one or max two weeks... Now due to this medial saga am still waiting to hear from my CO... :) I have faith, she will contact me soon...

I hope! :sneaky::sneaky:

All in all, been into this since beginning of Feb... Even longer if you had the Oz story to it... :unsure::unsure:

weejie Apr 27th 2009 2:45 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Good luck,my advice,for what it's worth, is do not use an agent. If I can fill out all the paperwork and get all the document evidence together then you definitely can if you have admin skills. As for Paul Goddard I would go to his seminars if you like but again you can do all the things he will for yourself. As you say,money wasted now may indeed save some in the long run.never be afraid to ask any questions on here,no matter how daft it may seem to you.......someone else is bound to have asked it before and will have the answers.:D

Phyl x

Lizaberry Apr 27th 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Arh, thanks you guys. That's what I love about these kinds of forums. The sense that you are speaking with like-minded people. I wish you luck with your application - not long now eh. I think I've been reading your posts too!

Can I just ask, how easy you found it to secure a job offer and did you need it, like us, before you could move forward with your EOI. Unfortunately, even with a qualification which gives me 50 points, as the principal applicant I would still only have 95 points and so either way one of us has to get a job offer. How likely are NZ employers going to agree to this? Feel like everything is against at the moment! Doh! I feel so frustrated for my OH cos he is soooooooooooooo good at his job and yet his point situation does nothing to reflect this.

helenlhoppy Apr 27th 2009 3:02 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Hi, I thought about using an agent and went for a free initial consultation but realised that they were far too expensive. Have a look at the link names 'immigration agencies .. are they worth it ? ' Several people have had the same thoughts about how these people rip you off, especially as you still have to do all the leg work yourself.

Click on my name on the left and look for the thread 'immigration agencies .. are they worth it ? That will give you some idea! Good luck. ;)

Lizaberry Apr 27th 2009 4:12 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Can I just ask, how easy have you found it to find work. My OH is a boat builder as I am sure you know from reading my post. He is currently s/e and because of the issue he has with no formal quals, he needs an offer before we can even get the EOI ball rolling. Is it too soon do you think to start applying for work?

helenlhoppy Apr 27th 2009 6:16 pm

Re: Help needed - advice about dumping agent
Some people apply before putting the EOI in. Can't say how easy it will be for him, I'm in the teaching game. Good luck though. :)

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