Immigration consultant or not?

  • Last Post 09 May 2017
BrendaP posted this 22 April 2017


Greetings all

Has anyone on the forum used specialist immigration services?

If so, can anyone recommend a reputable company in Cape Town and is it really necessary to go through an immigration consultant?


Thank you 

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Shaun posted this 22 April 2017

Hi Brenda and welcome to the forum!

This is always a huge discussion topic and I feel it comes down to your budget and how complicated your application will be.

I made use of an agent because my wife and myself were still working full time and I didn't want to make a mistake on any of our applications. I also liked the idea of being able to call some one up with questions (which I did quite a lot), they also did full assessments on our chances of making it to residency and I did some research (well mostly google searches) on their track record which was pretty good.

Basically, you still do all the hard work, they pretty much review all the documents, make sure you get everything you need and put their stamp of approval on it.

I used New Zealand Migration Services they are based in Cape Town with offices in JHB.

But... That was my choice, others have had huge success without an agent and the INZ website and other content available on the web is really good.

Facebook and forums such as these also offer a whole bunch of advice, but be careful when taking advice, you should only take advice from a licensed immigration consultant.

Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress!


BrendaP posted this 23 April 2017

Hi Shaun

Thanks very much for the reply!

We are pretty much in the same situation, both will be working to the last day and don't want to make any mistakes that will set us back or worse. My husband also went to NZ Migration Services and it looks like Sharon will be assisting us. We both feel that is the best way forward.

I have so many questions and I'm not sure if I have to create a new category each time or how does it work?

We have two dogs that we want to bring over but trying to find pet friendly rentals in Auckland seems like mission impossible Has anyone on the forum brought any pets over? I also have questions with regards to moving our pension/investments out of SA.

I would appreciate guidance from you in this regard.

Thanks a ton






hugo_nz posted this 23 April 2017

Hey Brenda,

We did the DIY route with our application, but with all the recent changes to the Immigration rules you are probably best going with an agency.

As for dogs, it is quote a process. We were going to bring our pets over, but in the end opted to re-home them instead. The SA side of the process needs to start well in advance, and is quite expensive. Then you have all the costs on this side, which are also quote high and need to be paid in advance as far as I recall. Lastly, as you mentioned, finding a place to stay that is pet friendly. In my experience where you end up staying is going to bee dictated by the fact that you have pets, and this might not be ideal. 

As tough as it was we believe that rehoming our pets was the best decision in the end. We have since found a wonderful pet-friendly rental in the suburb we first fell in love with, and have added two furry fiends to household.



Going on two years and still enjoying the ride.

Shaun posted this 23 April 2017


Yup, we found Sharon and her team to be very professional. There is still heaps of work that you will need to do though, but they will ensure that you have all the right documents.

I believe getting pets over is quite an expensive exercise, then there is also a quarantine period too. Finding houses which are pet friends is a mission, we found a lot of houses are advertised as pet friendly but they might only allow cats and still the owners arent really too keen on having pets.

In terms of pensions and financial, I am not too sure but have invited someone who is in the know to register on the forum this morning and hopefully would be able to post a response soon.

Else maybe some else who does know will be able to post a response.


BrendaP posted this 24 April 2017

Hey Hugo

Yip, the process needs to start 6 months in advance and quarantine is 10 days in NZ.

It's not an option to leave our pets behind, you probably think I'm crazy but we would not consider this move if we could not afford to bring them along. 

My husband will probably go over before I do so at least he'll have the opportunity to 'shop around' until we do find a place that is dog-friendly  

Thanks for all the info, appreciate it!






Hope2Go2 posted this 08 May 2017

Hi Brenda, this is a difficult question, because everybody has different circumstances.

We first tried going to Oz and used an agent.  The agent came highly recommended by friends and they even won some award for their services a year or 3 earlier. It was a terrible experience.  The agency (run South Africans in Perth, by the way) completely stuffed everything and ended up being criminally prosecuted by Australian authorities.  The Australian authority for Migration Agents even contacted us an asked whether they could include our story in the evidence.  (In short, they 'phoenixed', by declaring bankruptcy shortly after accepting lots of new clients - including us - and then continued to exist under a new name they registered a few months earlier.)  Due to changes to legislation, we were no longer eligible to go to Oz should be try another application.  Door closed.

So when we decided to go to New Zealand we were adamant to do it ourselves.  Getting through the process was so much easier than we expected and we never had to wait for the agent to do supposed checking of the docs, etc.  We got our Residence Visas in a much shorter time span than we expected and saved a ton of money in the process.  I'm so glad we did the application ourselves. 

If you're good at reading through documentation and organized and if you're application is relatively straight-forward, I think doing it yourself is a good route.  On the other hand, many people who used agents were happy with the route they chose.

All the best!  I hope it all works out perfectly for you.


BrendaP posted this 08 May 2017

Thank you for the info!

We have opted to go with a consultant. My husband has the option to go over through his company so we initially thought it would be a relatively easy process - not so!  We have been told that his company will have to advertise his position for a minimum of three months and they will have to prove why NZ candidates are not suitable for his role. It's an SA based company and his job is very specialised so nobody else other than employees working for the company is familiar with the product and systems used. 

The consultant sent us document checklists - 19 attachments...Some really weird requirements, like your BMI may not exceed 37 and we have to provide proof of relationship - a typed summary of how we met, a collage of photographs including wedding pics etc.

My head is already spinning and I'm having sleepless nights wondering if this is the right decision but my husband is adamant about leaving SA. We have no children (only 4 legged) but he believes there is no future in this country anymore and that we will have a better life in NZ but I have these nagging doubts, which I suppose is completely normal!

Wish us luck. Needless to say, I've been consuming a lot more wine lately!  









Shaun posted this 08 May 2017

Hi Brenda,

Welcome to the ups and downs of immigration! It makes me smile in a way because you are going through/about to go through something that will change you forever, you will talk about for years to come and you can never really put into words to someone who hasnt gone through it themselves. Enjoy every moment, the wine and beer is good this side too and you will need it here

I think reputation is key when it comes to choosing agents, we also looked first at moving to OZ, the agent was more than happy to come meet at our house, which I thought was awesome, I now think she never had offices to begin with. Turns out we couldn't go to OZ either because they changed the requirements just before we were about to pay the agent her fees, this I found out myself and brought to the agents attention!

Then our agent for NZ said no they wont come to our house to meet and only operate during working hours. I was a little peeved because I had to meet during work time, but then I went to their offices and sat in their boardrooms and got a feeling that they have a brand and a reputation which I only realised at that stage and it means a lot because you tend to put a lot of money and trust into these people.

I still recommend our agent and using one because I feel it was best for us. I think doing it yourself is also great and would love to hear more stories from those who did do it themselves.

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences Hope2Go2 but glad things have turned out they way they have!

And good luck Brenda, please keep us posted!


hugo_nz posted this 09 May 2017

Like the old adage goes "you eat an Elephant one bite at a time". The paperwork looks crazy, but if you approach it one bit at a time its really not that bad. The relationship was the 2nd most detailed portion of our application. We supplied screenshots off Facebook from our earliest dates, letters from our personal banker confirming authority over each others' accounts, payment receipts for our wedding, etc. It wasn't all that difficult in the end. Your adviser will guide you through it and it will all be done and dusted in no time.

The doubts and sleepless nights are to be expected. I am certain that everyone goes through it; I know that I did. In the end your commitment and willingness to make the move work will have a huge impact on how successful your move to NZ turn out to be.

Keep us posted and check back frequently for updates and anecdotes from other members :-)

Going on two years and still enjoying the ride.