Tips on Securing a Silver Fern Visa Slot

My friends and contacts shared my post about the Silver Fern Visa application on Facebook and I distinctly remember one Facebook user’s comment that this visa is nearly impossible to get especially with the quality of internet connections in the Philippines. I beg to disagree. Of course there are only 300 slots and applicant number 301’s (and so on) hopes will be crushed on that day BUT you can work on improving your chances in getting a slot and I will share with you here what to do to secure a slot.

Few days before application day

  1. Create an INZ Online Services account

You can create the account from here. I know some people who tried to register on the same day of the application and guess what, they are not able to secure slots. The website will be very slow on that day and you must not waste time by not having an account ready. Another important thing to point out is that you have to remember your log-in credentials. What is the use of creating the account on another day but forgetting the username and password on application day?

  1. Automatically sync your clock to a trusted time server

I do not set time manually. I just set my computer’s setting to automatic and trust that it is accurately calibrated. It has not failed me. Or you can manually select a time server that you trust. I would choose a server in New Zealand. http://www.pool.ntp.org/zone/nz

Here are my computer’s current settings:

Date and Time Time Zone

  1. Ensure the stability of your internet connection

The Philippines is notorious for having really slow internet connection speeds but internet speed is not the only thing that you should worry about. Your connection must be stable. Your 100 Mbps internet would not help if the connection keeps on dropping. Make sure nobody else will be using the internet when you are applying, talk to your family, housemates, whoever. Turn off your other devices’ WIFI connection.

If you really cannot do something about your internet service quality, then maybe you can use your office internet or your friend’s internet. Try to find a 24-hour internet cafe.

  1. Know how to navigate the Immigration New Zealand website

You would think that this would not be a problem but it was for some. Months ago, the Immigration New Zealand website did not look like how it looks like now. The website was confusing! There was a Silver Fern information page and there was an “Apply” button on that same page. Clicking the button did not lead to the form but it lead to the login page. People spent precious time clicking this when they could have logged in before the application started.

  1. Have an idea what the Silver Fern application form would ask

Unfortunately for you I have not seen the Silver Fern application form yet so I cannot share with you the actual form but I have seen and used the Working Holiday application form. I have been told the questions are similar. Fortunately though I found out from my friend that the sections of the form are the following:

Page 1: Personal Details
Page 2: Silver Fern Requirements
Page 3: Health Details
Page 4: Character Details
Page 5: Contact Details

Using my knowledge of the Working Holiday application form, here are the information that I think that may be asked on the form:

Personal Details
Surname, Given Names, Date of Birth, Country of Birth, Passport Details, Secondary ID Details (You can use your driver’s licence, SSS ID or Birth Certificate)

Silver Fern Requirements
Qualification Details (Date of Award, School/University, Degree), English Language Proficiency, Funds

Health Details
The questions may be similar to the screenshot below. I got this from the Work Visa Application form.
Health Details

Character Details
The questions may be similar to the screenshot below. I got this from the Partnership-based Temporary Visa Application form.
Character Details

Contact Details
Mailing Address, Postal Address, Email Address, Landline, Mobile number, Email Address

Prepare the above-mentioned details on a Notepad text file and just copy paste information on application day. Make sure that the information listed do not have special characters. For example, those with “Ma.” in their names would have to type their name as “Ma”. Write your address as 18 Malingap St UP Village Quezon City; your phone number as +63 2 9999999.

  1. Verify and double/triple check the information you have prepared on a Notepad and familiarise yourself on where you put each data

Self explanatory.

  1. Secure a credit or debit card (Visa or MasterCard) and ensure it works online

If it is months before application day, then you can apply for a credit card (subject to approval) or convert your ATM card to a debit card (with Visa or MasterCard logo) if your bank allows for it. If you still do not have a credit or debit card by now, then borrow from a friend. Make sure that it works for online purchases by test purchase in Lazada or wherever.

Some cards have online usage protection by sending a confirmation code or one-time pin (OTP) to the cardholder’s phone number. If you are borrowing a card, make sure that the card you are using does not have this feature or else you will be waking a friend at 5 AM in the morning (Philippine time). Or you can sequester your friend’s phone as well.

And one last thing about cards, make sure that the card has sufficient balance and leave overhead for conversion fees. Most Philippine cards have 3.5% foreign exchange service fee so at NZD 1 = PHP 35, the application fee of NZD 298 will be around PHP 10,800. Here’s the math: (298*35*.035)+298*35 = 10,795.05

On application day

  1. Prepare your body

Wake up before 10 AM New Zealand time. Take a leak, take a dump. Be hydrated enough. Do not be hungry if you know your hunger will bother you. You know this.

  1. Prepare multiple devices and login in each of them

I prepared two computers (my Mac notebook and my brother’s Windows laptop) with 3 browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) opened in each. I used both computers to log-in before 5 AM Philippine time/10 AM New Zealand time. First one that loads the form will be your “primary” station. In my case it was my Mac that was able to load the form. Firefox is my favourite browser and I was delighted that this got into the form first.

  1. Once logged in, select “Silver Fern Job Search” on the lefthand site of the screen

INZ Online Servics

The page that will pop-out must be the page you are looking at before 10 AM New Zealand time. When the application opens at 10 AM refresh this page and you will be able to click “Apply”.

INZ Silver Fern Application

  1. Skip not required fields

You do not have to fill out everything. You only have to fill out required information. Required information usually is appended by a red asterisk (*).

  1. Do not refresh the page unless you are directed to an error page (connection has timed out, no internet connection, etc)

Applicants during the previous years had reported seeing blank white screens and perpetually spinning loading icons. Just be patient. Your internet is trying to load the information little by little and if you refresh before getting an error page, you will just start from the beginning. Also do not make unnecessary clicks.

  1. Do not sacrifice accuracy for speed

Answer the form correctly. You do not want to answer YES to the have you ever been deported especially if it is not true.

  1. Click Next and not Save Details

The form has sections and before going to the next section it would ask you to save or to go to the next section. Since if you followed my advice and you have made sure your data is accurate before the application day, be confident in clicking Next instead of Save Section/Save Details.

After application day

If you have managed to secure a slot, then congratulations to you!

If you have failed to secure a slot, try to log-in days or weeks after as there may have been denials. A declined visa application means there is one more slot that has opened again!

If you really did not chance upon an open slot, review your Silver Fern application form, take note of the questions and answers, and apply again next year. This year’s form will be deleted before the next year’s application period starts which is only fair for those who have not tried applying.

I hope this post has helped you improve your chances in securing a slot. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you have tips to share, then please put them in comments below. Help a brother or sister out!

33 Replies to “Tips on Securing a Silver Fern Visa Slot”

  1. Hi! In the “English Language Proficiency” field, since I understand that they no longer accept the “English as a medium of instruction used”, hence, if I do not have the IELTS yet, what should I indicate? Is there a drop down list to select?

    Thanks! Your blog is very detailed and concise!

    1. Hi Trinity

      As I have mentioned earlier, I have not seen the Silver Fern form. Most of the working holiday questions are answerable by yes or no so I suspect that it is the same for the Silver Fern visa application as well. I suspect that they will ask something like, “Do you meet the minimum English language proficiency required by this visa?” If it won’t be like that then I would probably put Academic IELTS 6.5. (if text box).

      I don’t think there would be a dropdown because at the moment only IELTS is accepted by Immigration New Zealand.

      I hope I am correct. Let me know once you applied, ha?

      Thanks for your question!

      1. Hi! I was told that IELTS is not required for Silver Fern visa application. But based on the question above it may not be the case. If I understood ur answer correctly, did you mean that if asked “Did you meet the minimum English language proficiency required by the visa?”, I can just write Academic 6.5 in the text box? Even if i did not take the ielts?

        1. Hi Jen

          As I said in the blog, that’s lapsed infomation. The policy changed only recently (12 October) so I guess it is understandable for people to think otherwise.

          In my opinion, I don’t think they would ask you your scores come application day. The question, “Did you meet the minimum English language proficiency required by the visa?” is a yes or no question. 🙂

          If however the application form asks the scores, then don’t apply. Don’t risk putting false information. What if you got 7.5 in the IELTS?

          1. Thanks for info! Your blog has been very informative and a big help in my preparation for the application.

            Another question though, if I may, is it necessary to sync my time settings in my computer to the link you gave? Is there a difference if I just leave it as is?

            Thanks again!

            1. Hi again Jen

              It’s more of a preference. But I know people who keep wrong times on their computers so make sure yours got the right one (if you’re in the Philippines) + 5 hours.

              Good luck later! 3+ hours to go.

  2. INZ has changed policies around the English requirement, thus making IELTS mandatory unless you come from Canada, Ireland, UK & USA or have a level 7/8 qualification comparable to qualifications gained in Australia, NZ, Canada, Ireland, UK & USA.
    They will most likely ask how you meet the English requirement and provide a drop down box asking whether you are from the above countries, have IELTS or have a recognized qualification gained from the above countries.
    If you say you have IELTS, they will most likely ask for the IELTS certificate number, exam date and your overall band score.
    Your citizenship will obviously state which country you are from and whether you meet the English requirement.
    If you say that you have a qualification gained from any of the above countries, they will most likely also ask what qualification you gained and the start and completion dates.
    The Character section will also most likely ask which countries you have spent more than 12mos in in the last 5yrs.
    I am basing above advice on online EOI forms for Skilled Migrant Category which I do as part of my work. Hope this helps 😊

    1. Hi Ivy

      The EOI is a bit more complex than the Silver Fern and I sure hope they won’t ask for the scores in the Silver Fern form. They just changed the rules and I don’t think the people anticipated the requiring of IELTS documentation.

      Thank you for sharing!

  3. Wow. This article is really helpful! I hope the online application process for the WHV this coming 2017 would be similar to the information shared here. Fingers crossed.

    Thank you for this!

      1. Hi! The WHV application is fast approaching and I’d just like to ask, just for good measure, in which method did you pay for your application fee? Is it through debit or credit card?

        The NZ Immigration website (https://t.co/rtFL1pMDsk) isn’t very specific if debit cards are allowed or strictly credit. I have a MasterCard debit card which is capable of purchasing online (I paid the IELTS-British Council with it), but I don’t have a credit card. I just might have to borrow from a friend just to make sure.

        Thanks again!

        1. Hi Choi

          I used a Citibank credit card which I borrowed from my father. You can use a debit card as long as it has a Visa or MasterCard logo. I hope it is not a BDO MasterCard debit card though because that sometimes fails for online/international transactions. If using a debit card, put extra money as you have to allot some for the fluctuating exchange rate and the foreign currency service fee. You can also borrow if you’d like.

          I just published my WHV article which is very similar to my Silver Fern one, I hope you check that out as well. http://flippingchoices.com/2017/01/working-holiday-visa-in-new-zealand-for-filipinos/

          Good luck!

  4. Good day,

    Thank you for sharing this information. Please enlighten me. By acquiring WHV will it allow me to look for a job and get hired as a permanent employee? Granted that I have to go back to the Philippines before my working holiday visa expires, from there am I allowed to apply for a working visa this time?

    1. Hi Jacky

      While the WHV allows you to come to NZ and work here, you must not work permanently on a working holiday visa. Hope that is clear to you. If you found a permanent job right away after arriving in NZ, you must convert your visa to a regular work visa so you won’t have problems with immigration. You don’t need to leave NZ.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Good day!

    What if I wasn’t able to complete my application because my passport will expire this year. Can I continue filling up the forms after renewing my passport? My application is still pending. Lastly, is there a chance that I could get a slot in that case or the slots will be filled even if I have a pending application?

    Thank you in anticipation.

    1. Hi Janine

      If you’re referring to the Working Holiday application, there’s a slim chance you’ll be able to chance upon an open slot. All the slots have been filled. When do you know someone has been declined anyway?

      You can try again next year.

      1. How would I know if the quota was reached for this year? I can still edit my application, however, it was indicated that I should renew my visa first before completing the said application.

        1. If you try to complete your form now (bogus details for passport)/make it ready for submission, the form would show this:


          Please click to open the larger image.

          The 100 slots have been filled 🙂

          1. Thank you so much for your help. I don’t have the courage to do the bogus details. I thought that if I have a pending application and reference number my slot is secured. I guess this is a hopeless case, as the earliest possible renewal of passport is on April 2017.

            1. I meant filling bogus details just to see the error. It won’t have repercussions if you don’t submit it (you can’t anyway since all slots are filled).

              Try next year if you’re not yet 31!

              1. Okay, I will. Anyway, how long does it take to accept WHV applicants? Does it end after an hour after it opens or it will automatically close when the quota was reached?

  6. Hi Ms. Lab,

    Good evening. Your blog is very helpful to me. I’ve been reading all if your post regarding silver fern and working holiday visa in NZ. I am really interested to apply both (silver fern and WHV) but I have some queries.

    1) Silver fern – when it comes to funds, how much do I really need to reflect in my passbook?
    2) Silver Fern – Do you have any idea what is the required band score for IELTS?

    Thank you soo much im advance 🙂

  7. hi, good day!

    do i need the ielts result on application day? or it will be fine to take the exams when i already have secured a slot for silver fern?
    thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Zarina

      As discussed in the comments section above, I don’t think they ask it since they give you 3 months to comply with the requirements.

      Please try to backread first in case the questions you want to ask have been asked and answered before.

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