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PhD Student Visa Rejected

Greetings people!

I've been following this forum for quite a while now. Worst has come to worse, unfortunately, and I need some feedback on my situation.

I was accepted at a University in Canterbury to do a PhD program and it was such a daunting task.
I am self-funding the program as the scholarship was rejected. I was set to start on February. Unfortunately, my student visa was rejected on the grounds that a) I am not established as a bona fide student and b) I have no reasons to return to my home country (I applied with my wife and children).

After taking the initial shock I decided to reapply again and send all sorts of documents to support my application. With the first application I've basically only sent the written application, bank statements, the PhD offer and passport (as well as an untranslated police certificate and e-medical).

This time around I have sent proofs of the sources of my fund (official documents translated), support letter from my professor here in Egypt, tuition payment receipt, academic degrees and transcripts, a cover letter with detailed explanation of my situation, marriage and birth certificates of my children, my Masters thesis and PhD proposal as well as my bank statements.  I have also attached some samples of the correspondences between me and my supervisor at New Zealand. I have also applied for myself only this time around but have declared my intention to bring my family with me if my own visa is accepted this time around.

I was wondering if you think I have a better chance this time or if someone had similar experiences with success/failure stories with a second application.


It may work. But the reason they showed means they don' t think a student coming with his family has any reason to get back to their home. So, applying with wife and children might be the main reason for your rejection.

One thing you can do is that you apply for a PR if possible, though it has become very hard. So, at first you can apply as a single person. Getting rejected once makes the next time harder.

Thanks for your reply.
I understand where they are coming from but a PhD takes a long time to complete and I think it's normal to seek unity with the family. In all cases I have been notified that my application has been processed and will know tomorrow when I receive the package.
Fingers crossed!

Whilst I understand where you are coming from with agreed to your family, I suggest that it would be better for you to initially come to NZ by yourself.

Once settled in here you then start the visa process for your family

Thanks for your reply Stumpy!
I get it now that it would have raised much less alarms if I applied alone. But honestly I can't see why that would be an issue for a PhD student with children. There is reasonable doubt and there is this .... I don't know what to call it.

I am quite attached to my children and they are too young (2.5 years and 4.5 years) I can't process long seperations even if for a few months and it'd be quite damaging to everyone.

Anyway, I did apply by myself this time around and will see how it goes.

Fingers crossed!

What's the update, bro?

They returned the passport but application itself is in que :(

Looks like it's gonna be a long wait. Thanks for asking mate ^_^

There could be another issue that they are looking at. The length of the program at the Uni and the chance that it could be dropped from their program list at a moments notice. Then where is your funding going to come from?
That would make you a burden to the tax payer. You can do that in your home country, why come to New Zealand with your whole family. They have nothing to do with your assignment at the Uni.
What you might want to consider is having the Uni sponsor you and your family for the duration of the program. If the Uni thinks they can make a good start with the program they will sponsor you but if they are doing test run of the course. You could be out of luck and if you are there, you will be out of work and then be needing assistance to live there. That is what they don't want in New Zealand. Most Asian countries are dumping their children on New Zealand in Unis and they are out doing P and street racing. Then they get busted and they call home and the parents complain to the NZ govt. New Zealand is getting very tired of that real quick.

Hi Royallypissed and thanks for your reply. The Anthropology program in Canterbury is one among the best in the country and has a worldwide reputation. I don't think it's going anywhere soon. But you are right about underlining reasons of rejection that were not necessairly spelled out.

Thing is; I have earned my Bachelors and Masters from an American University (they don't offer a PhD program) in Egypt so I could only reasonably pursue a PhD in a university where English is the language of instruction. And even if I can bypass the language barrier in national universities there is the issue of academic freedom which is quite lacking at said universities and, hence, the need to pursue my PhD degree outside Egypt.

I am self-funding my studies (I have accounted for the source of funds in the re-application which is a reasonably good sum to cover my tuition and expenses for myself and my family for the duration of the program). So I don't fit the profile you have mentioned and I hope that in the reapplication I'd been able to demonstrate that.

Given the long duration of the PhD (3 to 4 years) I quite naturally need to be united with my family. Now, of course, I will be going back to Egypt during the program but the bulk of work needs to be done on campus to 1)use its facilities 2) meet with my professors 3) engage in academic life which is crucial to my development as a PhD candidate. I can't just leave my boys and wife for at least 2 years (which is the minimum time required by the University to earn the degree).

What do you think?

The other option is to get the Uni to give you a contract in writing.
Then apply for a Business Visa. That will allow you to travel back and forth.
Like go to New Zealand for the duration of the course for that year and while students are on their breaks you can go back home to be with family and then return to continue teaching and your studies.
That might work for you even faster than applying for a Work Visa as they won't allow your whole family. That only works with Work to Residency or Permanent Residency.
Me, I am IT, Microsoft Specialist, Computer Graphics. I nearly have a Master in Computer Science with evaluation from state of California. I can be my own company and I am part time.

Good Luck Mate

Thanks for your good wishes. I hope it works because I have already invested a lot of time and effort in securing that PhD offer.

The only visa I am eligible to is a student visa. I am not seeking anything but finishing the doctorate. But even if I can go there for my studies for 2 out of the 3 years as required by the University I can't possibly leave my children behind. They are too young (2 and 4 years old) and long seperations would hurt me and my kids. It seems like a risk I might be taking but I hope that it never gets to that.

Thanks for the pointers. I will keep this thread updated with the outcome for those - like me - seeking information about personal experiences with acquiring the visa.

Some updates: a case officer has been assigned and it passed initial assessment and is sent to MA (I declared that I have type 2 diabetes but it's under control and all blood tests were good). Is this a good sign?
I will hear from them soon.

Happy to update you that my medical has passed and the application is now at the final phase which has been prioritized and should be finalized soon. Fingers crossed! Can't wait to start my research!

I am very happy to update you that my visa has been accepted.

Timeline for those who need it

December 8 2016: First Application Lodged (missing tons of documents - refer to original post)

December 29 2016: Visa rejected

January 31 2017: Second Application Lodged

February 22 2017: Urgency Request

March 12 2017: Initial Assessment Through and Medical Assessment Required

March 22 2017: Medical Assessment Cleared

March 29 2017: Visa approved

Congratulations !

Wow congrats! Happy for you and your family!

Hi, congrats on your visa, i would like to ask you, how do you know the status changes, does recieve of the medical exam mean it has passed initial assessment? And does the status of medical change from recieved to something else?
Thank you in advance

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