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Pinoy Abroad

New Zealand mulls expediting visa application process for Filipinos 

The New Zealand government is planning to hasten the process for visa applications for Filipinos who seek greener pastures abroad. 

“We are looking at the question of expediting visas, simplifying them, making them more obvious in terms of applicants so that there’s not extraordinary delays and ensuring that there are digital and focus on the visa issued is aligned with our employment needs,” said Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

He said there are many opportunities that await interested Filipinos, especially in the agricultural sector. 

In Mariz Umali’s report in “24 Oras” on Tuesday, some Filipinos tried their luck in “The Land of the Long White Cloud,” like 32-year-old Janela Sibug.

 Sibug is working in New Zealand under a working holiday visa, which allows foreigners aged 18 to 35 years old to work and travel for up to 12 months. 

“This is my dream country,” she said. “New Zealand kasi is a very peaceful place.” 

Sibug said that the salary in New Zealand is promising compared to what she earns in the Philippines despite her bachelor’s degree in business administration. 

“Yung sinusweldo ko kasi sa Pinas is not ganun ka-worth it,” she said as she noted how she needs to provide for her father’s medications. 

(What I’m earning in the Philippines is not that worth it.) 

Sibug is currently working in a temporary hustle, but she has to look for a permanent job soon before her visa expires in November. 

Meanwhile, the Philippine government welcomed New Zealand’s plans. 

“I expressed appreciation for New Zealand's recognition of the vital contributions of the Philippine diaspora to New Zealand's continued economic prosperity and the richness of its social fabric, and conveyed the hope that their government will ensure the well-being of our Kababayans, including safeguarding their hard-earned social security pensions,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo. — Vince Angelo Ferreras/BM, GMA Integrated News