Cindy, Ruan & Ruvan – The Journey So Far

Articles > Cindy, Ruan & Ruvan - The Journey So Far

Cindy and I first thought about emigrating a couple of years ago, but it was only in May/June of this year that we decided it was definitely the right path for us. We began the immigration process with IML in August this year.

Our first meeting with IML was with both Meggan and Bernard. We were lucky enough to catch Bernard on one of his visits to South Africa. The meeting was formal but relaxed, and we were able to ask many questions on how life in New Zealand compared with South Africa – costs, education, healthcare, housing, jobs etc.

Both Cindy and I strongly feel that we would not have achieved this without IML’s help. It’s a complex process with mountains of paperwork. We met 2 couples at our medical who had tried to go it alone, and both had failed and were now using agents to guide them.

We have a had a stressful three months getting all the paperwork together. As everyone knows, dealing with bureaucracy in South Africa is always a slow and frustrating process. Our journey was made more difficult by the fact that neither of us can use our phones or the internet during work hours, so everything had to be done during our lunch hour, evenings and weekends.

We found everyone at IML very helpful. Tate’s one-on-one sessions were particularly beneficial. He was very patient with me as I slowly gained confidence during our Skype conversations and mock interviews. Tate gave me the confidence to go into an interview, knowing that I was well prepared.

On the practical side, we flew Qantas into Australia, the flight was amazing but going through customs was a nightmare. I was taken away for random drug testing while poor Cindy had to wait, wondering if she would ever see me again. Customs in New Zealand, just like Australia, are very particular and were concerned about soil on the shoes I was wearing and on the hiking boots in my suitcase. Our advice is fill in all the customs forms accurately and as possible.

On the funny side, when we came back into South Africa, we were a little nervous about going through customs after our recent experiences. We needn’t have worried as there were no police or customs officials anywhere to be seen, as they were all watching soccer in one of the rooms off the customs hall.

We bought a local sim card in New Zealand ($20), so we could make calls and have wi-fi. This gave us 200 minutes of talk time and 1.5 GB of data – much cheaper than South Africa. Also, there’s free wi-fi in all the towns. Cindy and I found most New Zealanders to be friendly, but, like everywhere in the world, there were those who didn’t want to chat.

Arriving back in South Africa, we were again among the terrible taxi drivers, road rage, speeding, electric fencing and locked doors. The friends we stayed with in New Zealand wanted to know why we always locked their doors, as they never did. We were now back in South Africa, battling again to get documents. This is such an easy process in New Zealand.

My advice to anyone going to New Zealand to look for a job is to speak to as many people as you can. I searched for all the relevant companies in the areas I wanted to work in. I then researched them thoroughly and narrowed the list down to 10. I sent emails, with my cover letter and CV, to some of the companies; others, I just turned up and asked to speak to someone regarding a job. The majority of the companies were very helpful, even if they had nothing for me. By my fourth interview I was feeling very relaxed and I now have a job which I start in the new year.

Cindy and I have found IML great. Everyone has been very helpful and given us great service. We were never left in the dark, with IML getting back to us the same day or the following day on any queries we had. While we were in New Zealand, I was frequently stressed and contacted Tate and Bernard a lot. If they weren’t busy, they would help me immediately or they’d ring me back to sort out my worries. Bernard and Grace took us out to dinner and Tate took us out for lunch. What other company would do that?

Cindy and I have found the last three months very stressful but now it’s all over we can say that it was a positive experience. We have grown closer together as a couple and, our marriage of 10 years, is stronger because of this experience. We found solutions to problems together. As individuals, we do things very differently, but the immigration process taught us to compromise. We were living in a pressurised environment and we quickly learnt that communication and compromise were key. As soon as either of us had completed a particular task – such as getting a document notarised – we would inform the other, so that was another task out of the way. Cindy and I have learnt a lot about each other as a couple during the last three months and know that now we can confidently face any challenges together.

Contact: Meggan Conradie, Country Manager. Email: [email protected]