Sheila was born and raised in Tabuk, Kalinga. She graduated from Saint Louis University, Baguio city. She is a licensed Electronics and communications Engineer in the Philippines. She spent 12 years working for well-known electronic companies where she held management positions in Calamba and Batangas before immigrating to New Zealand in 2014. She is fluent in Ilocano, Tagalog, and English.
Our Immigration story
People move to other countries to seek a quality of life which they have not found in their own homeland. Like other migrants, there are several reasons why we have chosen to migrate but the most significant is the opportunity to live as a family. Let me share our journey from our home country Philippines to New Zealand (NZ).
Before we left, my husband was a baker in a cruise ship, he was one of the many seafarers in the Philippines who worked for 10 months at sea and spent the remaining 2 months with their family. To work as a baker in the Philippines was not an option as the average salary for this job is minimum which was not enough to raise a family. In contrast, a baker was included in the list of immediate skill shortage of NZ, thus, employers were willing to sponsor overseas workers.
My husband came first to New Zealand in March 2014, he was approved for a three-year work visa. We waited for him to settle and finish his probationary period before we followed. In June 2014, my work visa under partnership and my daughter's student visa were approved. We arrived in Timaru, NZ in July 2014.
My husband and I decided that I stayed home for a while to accompany my daughter as she adjusts to NZ life. We enrolled her in a primary school 5 minutes away from our flat. School time started at 9 until 3 pm so while waiting for her; I devoted my time learning how to process our residence visa. I lodged our application in August 2014 and it was approved in four months.
As I researched and read information on NZ immigration, I have helped my family in preparing their documents to process their visa. I enjoyed sharing our immigration journey with friends. Many Filipinos reached out for help with their visa applications. I have directed them to immigration website and forums. However, I realised that not all have the patience, capability and time to read and understand NZ immigration policies and procedures. Many needs assistance to navigate the constantly changing immigration rules.
In New Zealand, Immigration advice should be provided only by a licensed advisor or an exempt person. The only legal way to help others with their visa applications is to become a licensed advisor.