Immigration leaves scars

My story.

Here is the story few know about.

July 2016, we visited NZ. Loved it and decided to move here permanently. We started our Residence application out of SA in September 2016. I had a job offer from Herman Roodt at MFS in Auckland. I am a Financial Advisor and sell Insurance and Mortgages.

January 2017 our house was sold, and we moved in with friends. We thought that it will only be for 2 months as it looked as if we would leave for NZ end of February 2017. I declared during the Immigration Medicals that I have high Cholesterol. Immigration New Zealand asked for an ECG that I got done. They then wanted a Stress ECG done by a Cardiologist. By now we were in February 2017.

I struggled to get a Cardiologist on short notice. Luckily, I could get one within a week. He did the Stress ECG and declared me healthy except for 1 small dip on one of the leads. He was unsure what caused it and proclaimed that Immigration could ask for more tests. Keep in mind that I never had any heart problems or even had any symptoms. He suggested doing an Angiogram. I said go for it. This was scheduled for the next week. Dr Nienkemper was the surgeon that did the Angiogram. He declared me the ideal person for a 3 or 4 heart bypass.

After Open Heart Surgery

Now my world fell apart. Totally. I only wanted to move to New Zealand and now I had to have a heart bypass???

1 March 2017 I was wheeled into the operation room and underwent open heart surgery. In an operation that lasted more than 6 hours Dr Voghts cut through my breastbone and did 5 Heart Bypasses. It took me 3 months to get better.

Now the whole Immigration process was delayed for 3 months. When the 3 months passed, I had to do another Stress ECG. Luckily, I was not worried about this as Pick and Pay Pharmacies gave me the wrong medicine. Rather than Cholesterol pills they gave me Anti-Depressants.

Problem veins in my heart

Immigration New Zealand determined that my heart beat was too slow. This was from a pill the Dr gave me after the operation. I was again postponed by Immigration for a further 3 months. I had to have another Stress ECG by 19 September 2017.

We lived in an Airbnb but soon had to leave as it was rented out for the upcoming holiday period. The cardiologist declared me fit and ready for action on the 19th of September 2017. Now we waited for Immigration who had put the whole process on hold.

The Immigration process was restarted. Our original Immigration case officer have left, and we had a new case officer. So basically, everything started all over.

Dr Voghts and Nursing staff in Panorama Hospital

This was the most stressful time in our journey. Immigration was tight lipped about our chances to come to New Zealand. We had no home and we had no answer. This gave us a lot of time to spend with the kids and our parents, which was a good thing but we were treading water.

By end of January we still had no clue if we would even be allowed to move to New Zealand. Our Furniture was in storage for a year already and we have lost hope. We decided to make 20 February 2018 our cutoff point. If we have not heard by then from Immigration New Zealand, we would restart our lives in South Africa.

The night of 18 February 2018 I received a Message from Herman Roodt saying that I should read my emails. There it was. Residence was approved.

My life was saved by our decision to immigrate. I have the scars on my chest for life to remind me.

I hope my story had given someone somewhere hope. Immigration is very stressful. Never give up!

37 thoughts on “Immigration leaves scars”

  1. Avatar

    Thanks Jan for your story which gives me huge encouragement as I find myself in a similar position almost to the “T”. I am also a licensed advisor in SA and my wife is currently in NZ on the west coast. Would you mind telling me how difficult it was to get registered there and possibly any pitfalls that I need to be aware of? Thanks again for sharing as it has given me hope. Regards Curt

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