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Grass looks greener in land of kiwis

Nina Varghese

Though IT jobs continues to be the major draw, more Indians are migrating to New Zealand is to start their own businesses.

CHENNAI, Sept. 19

NEW Zealand, a favourite with Indian moviemakers, is now becoming a preferred destination for an increasing number of the Indian middle class looking for greener pastures either for study, work or immigration.

Enquires for work, to set up business and for studies are pouring in, says an official at the Consulate office in Chennai. The New Zealand Immigration Office in New Delhi processed in 2001 almost 13 per cent of all immigration to New Zealand.

According to the 2002-03 New Zealand Immigration Programme, 60 per cent of allocation is for skilled and business people — there are 27,000 places for skilled workers and 3,000 places for business people. The other categories are family sponsored, international and humanitarian.

Though IT jobs continues to be the major draw, one other category under which Indians are migrating to New Zealand is to start their own businesses, says Ms Teresa Mathew, Business Associate for Tamil Nadu of Wenlyn Immigration Ltd, consultants for immigration to New Zealand and Australia. Besides India, Wenlyn has consultancy and advisory services in 15 global locations. When an Indian immigrant lands in New Zealand, employment is foremost in their minds. Ms Mathew says that since one cannot apply online, the job hunt starts only after arrival. But to their surprise they find that all employers ask for local experience.

Companies like Wenlyn Immigration advise people who migrate to take any job that comes their way. This will get them the much-needed local mileage, Ms Mathew says. From previous experience it has been seen that the most successful are the ones who start small family businesses like groceries and laundry services. Ms Mathew says that one requires around Rs10 to 15 lakh to set up a business in New Zealand. Wenlyn Immigration's area of competence lies in creating a business plan, which will suit the situation, she said.

Most people who migrate are required to know English and a pass in the Internal English Language Testing System (IELTS) gains them additional points for immigration, Ms Mathew says.

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