About Me

ramil at lake tekapo
Lake Tekapo, South Island – the most beautiful place on earth!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

My name is Ramil and I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, where I worked as a television journalist for over a decade and lectured at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Some of the shows I produced included “GamePlan,” “Pinoy Abroad” and “I-Witness” that took me on adventures around the planet — including my first, fateful trip to New Zealand in 2007, where the friendly Kiwis, fine craft beers and breathtaking scenery won me over.

I made the permanent move to New Zealand in 2009 and it’s been a hell of a rollercoaster ride. Now a New Zealand citizen, my aim is to give practical and independent advice to people who would like to follow my footsteps to live, work and study in this beautiful country I now call home.

However, any content from this site should not be taken as immigration advice, and all concerns regarding visa information and how to obtain it should be directed here.

The comment section is open for your questions and reactions.

15 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Ralph,

    Thanks for your message. I applied for Residence Visa through the Skilled Migrant Category initially then I was issued a 9 month WTR Visa to look for work in New Zealand. This is the most common immigration pathway for Filipinos. I will discuss soon in a future article.



  2. Hello Ramil,

    How often do you encounter filipinos who weren’t able to get a job after their student/work visa expired? I am currently in the process of applying for a student visa under a lvl 7 diploma course. I appreciate any advise!




    1. Hi Joseph

      Thank you for your message.

      Due to the recent surge of international students here (statistically the highest in NZ history, look it up), I have seen quite a number of students packing their bags after their studies. Most of these stories we don’t hear about for obvious reasons. Some manage to find employers that will sponsor their work visas, from which they eventually transition to residence. What field of expertise do you specialise and want to study?

      Think about studying as an “icing on the cake.” Even before you set foot in NZ, the skills has to be there to get the NZ job offer at the end of the day. Can you compete with other people from around the world with a similar skillset? What do you bring to the table? These are the questions you need to ask yourself to make that calculated move.

      But I still like to think that the rewards outweigh the risks into coming here as a student, but be sure to bring lot of $$$$. You will need heaps of it, as “survival” jobs to keep you afloat is never guaranteed.


  3. Hi Ramil,

    What would be the best thing i need to do in order for me to get a visa in NZ. I dont have any relatives living there, i am currently working as a call center agent and up to this date that is the only working expreince that i have. I am a practical nursing graduate which is a 2 year course. If i am going to apply for a working visa how much money will i need to have a working visa or atleast a tourist visa? Any advise?

    Hope to hear any response from you soon.

    Goodbless and takecare.


    1. Hi Randy. Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, you will have a problem getting a work visa approved for a call center job unless it is in line with high level IT support but you don’t have the degree to back it up. Remember it is illegal to work if you are on a tourist visa. My best advice would be to upskill to a full nursing degree and gain at least 3 years hospital experience or perhaps an IT/networking degree. Be patient. Your NZ dream might realistically take at least 5 years. You have to plan long term. Good things don’t come easily.


  4. Hi Ramil,

    Is it possible for employers to grant a working visa even though I’m still here in Manila?

    Iniisip ko kasing diskarte is sana may employer na kukuha sa akin rather than me applying for a silver fern visa & take my chance of finding an employer once I’m there. Magastos din kasi unlike yung may sure na akong work. I plan to work in the customer service industry, yun kasi ang may demand na work dyan na may professional experience ako. Music sana kasi nag work din ako sa record label dito pero walang demand dyan for those kind.

    Thank you & kind regards,



    1. Hi Anna. Possible but not likely. Remember that for a NZ company to offer a job to a foreigner they have to prove to immigration that “there is no local Kiwi to do the job” This is a long, difficult and expensive process. So unless you bring a rare, extra ordinary skill, I don’t think they will move heaven and earth just to get you, especially if they are spoilt with a choice of 200+ local applicants per vacancy. It’s a different case if you have a valid visa, on the ground and fit for the job then they will probably give you a second look. But you can still give it a go and try applying at seek.co.nz or trademe.co.nz/jobs if you can get some interest. Goodluck.


    1. Hi Mark. As with my previous reply, all permanent visas now depend on the skills that you can bring. Other than a spouse, immediate relatives can only provide support in your initial settlement which is a big help – perhaps you have a house to stay and free food while you look for a job in NZ.


  5. Hello Ramil! I’m a Nurse and I’m currently processing my papers for me to ba able to work in NZ. My husband is also hoping to find a job there. He’s a doctor with 3 years practice in surgery and general medicine. We have checked the requirements in the immigration site but we still would like to hear personal experiences if you know any Filipino doctor in NZ practicing his profession even without formal residency training in the Philippines. Thanks


  6. Hi Ramel,

    paano po makahanap ng employer pag derekto ako mismo pumunta sa auckland or wellington para lang makahanap po ng employer na mag sponsor sakin? mag walk in ako or mag tatanong ako sa ibang tao ?

    I will be there this year through(whv) . skills ko is Baker skill in bread and pastry?
    possible po ba akong makahanap ng employer na magtutulong sakin to get a working visa like others?

    hope you can advise po sakin? salamt po


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