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September 2018

Thank you South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and your sponsors for nominating Heartland Immigration for the ANZ People’s Choice Business Excellence Award. It has been rewarding to be recognised as part of the South Canterbury community and it is exactly what we intended when establishing that office. Nils Macfarlane is a local afterall and he shares his thoughts below.

August saw the softening of the rules around Interim Visas and significant changes in work privileges for future international students.

Interim visas have changed for the better as now if INZ declines a visitor, work or student visa application or the applications is withdrawn, the interim visa will valid for 21 days after that action provided it is within six months of the original grant of the visas. Interim visas are electronically granted to most applicants in New Zealand who applied for a new visa before their old one expires. In the past if you weren’t granted a new visa you most likely ended up an overstayer. Reducing immigration options and tarnishing reputations.

Interim visas are therefore now valid until a new visa is approved, or 21 days after an application is declined or withdrawn and if neither of these two options has occurred six months after the grant of the interim visa. This is a game changer and I welcome the introduction of this fair minded and reasoned approach. Well done INZ.

Changes to international students work privileges had been well signalled and in the future will reduced the number of eligible students but will provide greater flexibility to those students who do gain work rights.

Mary Noonan


I was pleased that Heartland Immigration was named as a ANZ People’s Choice finalist in the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Regrettably I couldn’t attend the function itself, as I had pre booked an overseas holiday, but I did spend a winter morning being filmed with our wonderful city as a backdrop for the promotional video and understand the function itself was a great success. Well done Fairlie Bakehouse for taking out the ANZ People’s Choice Award. I am a big fan of your pork belly pies.

Collaborating with the Chamber and sharing my immigration knowledge has been a privilege and I am so glad I moved back to my hometown two years ago.

Timaru offers a great lifestyle and it is rewarding assisting employers to secure staff along with helping migrants gain visas. Since relocating, the complexities of the visa process have steadily increased with no signs of it slowing down in the near future so I am glad to be able to service my community.

I maybe alone in the Timaru office at 9 Victoria St, Parkside, but are in close contact with my Christchurch based colleagues. We take a team approach and with our combined skill base I have access to in excess of fifty years direct immigration experience along with HR, recruitment and legal expertise. Try me by phoning 021 793 981.

Special thanks to the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and their sponsors for the opportunity to participate and for the efforts in promoting South Canterbury.

Nils Macfarlane


Eligible students who completed tertiary qualifications in New Zealand as full fee paying students will now be granted open work visas from 26 November 2018. Previously students who obtained long term work visas had to provide job offers and were limited to work for that one employer and this change eliminates that restriction.

Those with qualifications below degree level will be eligible for one year work visas with an additional one year open work visas for those working towards registration with a professional or trade body. Qualifications at degree level will gain three year open work visas.

Students will now only be able to support work visas for their partners, and student visas for their children, if they are postgraduate students studying subjects leading to occupations listed on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

As an interim measure tertiary students studying below degree qualifications in the regions, that is outside of Auckland, could be eligible for a two year work visa if they complete their qualifications by December 2021.

Students are not limited to post graduations student categories nor are existing students likely to be disadvantaged. To ensure you have the correct advice for your situation it is best to obtain professional advice tailored to the individual’s unique situation. 

Jeremy Clapp