Let me begin by saying I have nothing against licensed immigration advisers who ask for a fee for their services. All businesses in the world need to make a profit to survive. For their “assistance”, most immigration advisers are charging between $4000-5500 dollars (up to 176,000 pesos) for a Skilled Migrant Category application.
However, before using their services it is good to ask yourself “What value does an immigration adviser provide me?”
Do they have access to a secret vault of knowledge that only immigration advisers are entitled to? Any immigration adviser who tells you this is lying to you as the Official Information Act of New Zealand guarantees that all government information is free and available to the public. Consequently, all information relating to immigration matters is published online. Everything you need to know about the entire application process is found here, also known as the Operations Manual. It’s either you qualify or you don’t.
Do you gain any sort of advantage in the visa application process by using an immigration adviser? As above, Immigration New Zealand states:
Would this immigration adviser help me find a job? The answer would probably be NO.
One time there was a dodgy immigration adviser advertising his services on Facebook when I asked him why I would need his services. To which he replied “One third of applications from Asia are declined if they do not use an immigration adviser.”
This answer is not only misleading but portrays New Zealand as a racist country so I prodded him to provide statistical evidence for his assertion, mentioning the Official Information Act.
He then refused to answer and blocked me which is a violation of his code of conduct. This adviser who I shall not name is currently licensed, so beware of scare mongering and hard sell tactics. Some even earn a big commission by placing international students in certain schools. Again, a conflict of interest and a violation of their code of conduct.
The truth is, self-managed applications actually have higher success rates than agent assisted ones.
Frankly, I would only use an immigration adviser or lawyer on two occasions – one, if I’m too lazy to do the research and paperwork myself (in one of the most important decisions of my life) OR if I have a complex case like Section 61 requiring the intervention of the Immigration Minister.
The whole migration process is already expensive as it is. Do yourself a favor by saving your 4000 or so dollars, and use that for your move and settlement. It will go a long way.