It’s that time again.
Yes, the time when you are reminded that you are a foreigner in a foreign land, and your residency in tenuous. That you are only here because you are allowed to be here.
Ah, the joys of being an international student. Yes, it’s the visa application.
I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t had to worry about my visa in 3 1/2 years. Yes, I was one of the lucky few who received a term-of-study visa. Meaning, when I started my PhD, they issued me a visa for the entire duration, plus a little extra.
But now, sadly, that little extra time is up, I’m not yet finished with my thesis, and I need a new visa. Since it’s been 3 1/2 years, I get to do all of the fun visa requirements, most especially: the medical certificate. This is my fave. Not only does it cost a small fortune ($400-500NZD), but everyone loves a full physical, including chest x-ray (to make sure you don’t have TB, of course!). The visa itself costs another $200NZD (not to mention my passport expires end of June this year, so I renewed that back in Nov at $150NZD). So all up – it costs a small fortune to get a visa (although this is a drop in the bucket compared to applying for residency).
Oh, lets not forget a receipt that shows that you’ve paid your tuition fees. Evidence of sufficient funds ($1250/month or $15,000 for an entire year). Evidence of onward travel (or sufficient funds for onward travel). Copy of your last 2 year’s results. A police certificate if you’re applying for visa of 2 years or more (thankfully I don’t need that this time!). A passport photo. The application form (obviously)…
You know, just a few little things.
But this is what we must endure if we want to have the privilege of studying in New Zealand. Fortunately, it’s only January and I’m already planning for all of the requirements so I can get my application in at mid-end of Feb at the latest.
And since it’s fabulous frock friday…
Yes it is cold enough today that I needed a jacket. And yes, that was taken at the Uni – in front of a piece of art, would you believe? Yes, it’s the wooden archway. I don’t really get it (I also don’t understand the Dunedin harbour teeth – but that is a story for another day) but whatever, it’s a fixture on campus.