Work permit / WTR / PR - which one?!

Old Oct 9th 2010, 6:08 am
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Default Work permit / WTR / PR - which one?!

Hi!

I’m a 31 year old Occupational Therapist (which is on the long term skill shortage list) and have been working for a DHB since August 2010. I came on a 12 month WHV (as that was the easiest and quickest to get at the time) and am currently deciding on which visa to apply for next...

My intention is to be here for 2-5 years although having lived abroad before I know that things often change! My friends/colleagues here all started on WHV / work permits and have all got residency – so I’m stuck on what to go for. (I’m going home for a month next summer if it’s going to take 9 months to be processed then need to apply now I think!).

I’m just a bit confused on what the pros/cons are of the following visas/permits: 1) work permit, 2) work to residence, 3) permanent residence.

I’m in the fortunate position that I have 150 points (for the EOI) and work for an accredited employer so I think I’m right in thinking that I can apply for any of the above.

Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated!
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Old Oct 9th 2010, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Work permit / WTR / PR - which one?!

Yes you are lucky in your options there!
My personal choice would be to go for residency- you then have the option to stay as long as you like without having to renew visas. That way if you choose to stay longer then there are no problems. Your occupation is on the LTSSL at the present but that can always change. If you look a few years into the future a temporary visa will expire, your job may no longer be classed as in shortage and you may have more problems renewing a visa if you decide to stay in NZ. Worst case scenario but it could happen
So
Work permit- always temporary and liable to the vagaries of change. OK if you're only thinking of staying for the length of the visa and no longer but if you may possibly decide to stay longer then there could be problems renewing. Under certain conditions work permits can last for five years though
WTR: if you can get residency now then why wait two years? I think WTR visas come through quicker than PR but you may as well use the same medicals and police checks for PR under the SMC. After all under the WTR route you apply for a work permit anyway. You can apply for a work permit and SMC at the same time if time is an issue.
PR: once gained you are classed as permanent and can apply for any job. Important should the LTSSL change and not in your favour. Once gained you only have to retain a Returning Resident's Visa. It does give you a lot more security as to whether you can remain in NZ in the future. You can also choose to leave and then return at a later date as a resident should you wish- assuming rules on RRVs don't change!

I'm sure there's plenty I've missed out and it really all depends on how you feel. I gained PR before I arrived as I wanted the security, even though I had all the other options available to me if necessary.

Hope this isn't too waffly!
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