IRINA AFANSOVA ULYANOVA    |     Russia    |    Family Residence


Love Conquers All


Before she met her partner Antonio, Irina Afanasova worked as an accountant in her home-town of Saratov in Russia and didn't know where New Zealand was located. "When he showed me photos I thought it was a beautiful country," she says. So she travelled to New Zealand in April 2006 on a limited purposes three month visa.

"We wanted for me to stay but I struggled to get another visa to come back as the New Zealand authorities would only give me a limited purpose visa," says Irina. "One of the reasons they gave, was that my relationship with my partner Antonio was not long enough."

That's when she contacted McLeod & Associates. "Thanks to them I got an open visa and was granted permanent residence on the 10th July 2008," she says.

It was easy for Irina to adapt to living in New Zealand. "I have found the love of my life and his family and friends have become my family and friends and they give me a lot of love and support. I love the beautiful beaches and scenery and how you don't have to drive a long way to get to places."


Anna Ulyanova used to live in Moscow where she finished studying English and German at the Moscow Academy of Natalya Nesterova. She worked as a sales manager in a sport club and after that as director of a family company.
As she had been to England before, Anna was thinking that New Zealand would be something like England. "When I came here, I found out that it was much better. People are very nice and friendly. The best thing I like here is the weather," she says. "I have made a lot of friends from different cultures and have found it very interesting talking with them and comparing our countries"
Anna entered the English Language Academy in Auckland to improve her English language and then began an Introduction Certificate in Business at Unitec in Auckland.
"The study part was different for me because, here it's mostly self-study but in Russia it's not," says Anna. "The culture and life style is very different. People in New Zealand prefer an active way of life. They spend a lot of time out, dine out and travel a lot within the country. That is when I decided to travel too."
Anna went to the South Island, to Queenstown, Christchurch, Picton, Kaikora and Wellington

Irina, who works for the ANZ Bank in Auckland, reports that it was easy to find a good job in New Zealand and settle here. "Compared to Russia, New Zealand is a more relaxed country, the people are friendly and the weather is of course different.

 "I would give McLeod & Associates 10 out of 10. I was blessed with amazing support and communication from this firm and great encouragement in my time of need. I would recommend them to anyone who has any immigration problems."

 Irina and Antonio (who is a professional stunt man) are now looking forward to travelling and starting a family. Her advice to anyone considering moving to New Zealand, is: "Don't be afraid! New Zealand is a great country to live in, whether you are here to work, study or play."



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