Bring Family to New Zealand

After 1,5 years, alhamdulillah my whole family finally come to NZ. My husband already here since my 2nd semester, and I believe his presence helped me to optimize my brain during masters study. And after passed postgraduate diploma study, I became more determined to prepare my kids and my mums departure. Here are the details.

Husband's Visa
NZ, as well as Aussie and UK (I don't know about other countries), can grant an open work visa for student's or worker's partner. This is a great opportunity since to have a work visa usually requires certified skills demanded in NZ and letter from the employer. Meanwhile, my husband just need to attach my student visa in his work visa based on partnership application. Although the work mostly casual, but we believe this experience is valuable, insya Allah.

Children's Visa
Kesturi and Firyal have different visa types. While Firyal has visitor visa (dependent), Kesturi has student visa. Again, alhamdulillah, because my husband has a work visa, she can be considered as a domestic student. Domestic student status means she does not have to pay the very-expensive international student tuition fees. How Kesturi adapt to a new study environment that is not only has different learning method, but also has different language? We will write about this in another post.

Mother's Visa
My mother obtained a visitor visa which is granted for 9 months. It is longer than my visa (and husband's and kids') that should be renewed every 6 months. Her visitor visa can only be used to visit, not to study or to work. Does this means she should be traveled around NZ? Not just stay at home.

The Application Process
We applied my husband's visa when I was in Indonesia so the process is kind of similar to my student visa application. He was granted the visa a day before our departure. So it was indeed a nerve-wracking process. Maybe that is why I have an influenza during flight to NZ. And influenza is a torture when you're in a plane! Your ear will extremely in pain when the plane is taking off and landing. And you can do nothing about that, except eating candy to reduce the pain.
My kids and my mother applied for their visa when I was in NZ. I filled their application forms and sent to my mother's email to be printed. After they signed the forms, a courier from VFS picked up the documents to be submitted. This means we do not have to come all the way to Jakarta to submit the application. Although my mother still needed to come to Jakarta to do a chest x-ray, because there are no doctors listed by Immigration NZ in Bandung.

Get an Accommodation
Previously me and my husband stayed in a studio apartment. When you bring family, you will need a bigger apartment if you stay in the city, or a house if you stay in suburbs. If you have car, a suburbs house would be more comfortable for kids. But if you don't have car or prefer to stay near uni, an apartement is not a bad idea. I personally prefer to stay near uni, and was lucky to get a nice two-bedroom apartment.