All we have to do now is send our passports off and pay the migrant levy. I am honestly very happy and incredibly relieved that this is now over with. It feels like we have had to jump through numerous hoops and that our identities, qualifications and health has been scrutinised to such a degree that our immigration officer must now know all our inner most thoughts! Okay a slight exaggeration, but not much.
I thought it might be helpful to post a time line to give everyone an idea of exactly how long it has taken us to gain residency.
27th February 2009 - Arrived in New Zealand on a Work to Residency Visa.
March 2010 - Put in Expression of Interest (initial request for residency).
May 2010 - Invited to put in an Application for Residency.
June 2010 - Residency application submitted.
October 2010 - Residency granted in principle.
Written down like this it doesn't seem to have taken that long at all. It has however been quite a stressful process. The medicals were very thorough and lengthy with mountains of paperwork to complete. The forms required paperwork from decades ago to prove qualifications and work experience. I would like to thank the kind Welsh ladies at our University who having informed us that most of our degree records were not on computer then presumably trawled through all the paper records to produce our Transcripts. I would also like to thank my husbands old colleagues who gently pushed along his old Human Resources department from 10 years ago to get a statement of employment from them which was apparently impossible for them to initially produce.
All in all it feels like it has taken a mountain of paperwork and a lot of stress to get permission to stay in the country. However I have no regrets it is definitely worth it. To think that we now know that the kids can stay in their schools and with the friends that they have and we can offer them the kind of childhood that I don't believe we would have been able to give them in the UK. As I sit and write this I have a view across the valley to the sea and we can watch the weather coming towards us across the water. My husband no longer has a 4 hour commute into London every day and can be a part of his kids lives rather than just an occassional visitor. I am able to return to work without horrendous childcare costs and we are working to live rather than living to work.
So I am now off to pack yet another picnic lunch and we are off to have a mini trek through the forest at Katoke again. This is why we moved here and why I am now delighted that we can stay.