Leaving Brazil with the family on a student visa!

Episode Description

Luiz and I used to work together. I remember being fascinated by his story. What attracted me was the fact that he was running a successful company in his country. He was then working with me as a trade assistant on a minimum wage. What does bring a person to make a downgrade in their career like that? He must have had a pretty good reason.

Luiz is originally from Brazil. Graduated as a business administrator and civil engineer, Luiz, and his business partner opened some computer stores. A few years later, he decided to leave retails to move to construction. He then started his construction company, and it was doing well.

The World Cup in 2014 brought a lot of corruption in the construction sector. He got to the point where he couldn’t live any longer with the crime and corruption of the country he was born. He wouldn’t go to work on Fridays for fear of being robbed and hurt. Friday in Brazil is payday, and people in construction get paid cash.

After going to New Zealand on holiday a few years earlier, he realized how beautiful and safe it was. In 2015 he decided to leave Brazil, and he moved to New Zealand a year after.

At this point, he had a wife and A 2 years old son. His only chance to move to New Zealand was a student visa that allowed him to work for 20 hours per week. He took the opportunity and moved there first to find a job and a place to live before his family joined him 20 days later.

He managed to find a house, and his neighbor happened to be the HR of a telecommunication company. Thanks to his neighbors, he managed to get a job and apply for a work permit.

Get in touch with Luiz


Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Daniel 0:03

Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode number 11 of the Emigrant's Life Podcast, where we share stories of people left their country to chase a better life. I'm Daniel De Biasi, and in this episode, I sit down with a friend of mine in New Zealand. We used to work together and I remember telling me his stories, and I was fascinated by it. He was running a successful construction company back in Brazil, where he was from. He was then working with me as a trader helper on a minimum wage. He was very motivated to leave Brazil, and he was willing to do whatever it takes to do it. So please enjoy this episode with Luis. Hey Luis, thanks for being on the show today. How're you doing?

Luiz Henrique 0:43

How was yourself Daniel?

Daniel 0:45

Pretty, pretty good? Pretty good. We haven't spoken a while. I mean, we spoke yesterday over the phone to to talk about this interview. But before then it's been like a couple of years, right because we used to work together back in New Zealand as a telecommunication technician, right?

Luiz Henrique 0:59

Yes. Good times.

Daniel 1:01

Yeah, Do you still do the same job or, or now you are no?

Luiz Henrique 1:07

No, actually now I am working as a project manager in construction.

Daniel 1:13


Luiz Henrique 1:14

And, because before we were working, doing some fiber Easter's and right now I'm working as a project manager because I'm a civil engineer and I also graduated in Business Administration in Brazil. And then I just joined both courses in doing what I what I really like to do.

Daniel 1:35

Okay, you're originally from Brazil, and you graduated from the university as well what kind of like bachelor do you have in Brazil.

Luiz Henrique 1:44

My first my first course was business administration.

Daniel 1:47


Luiz Henrique 1:49

And then, but I always liked it construction. Okay, so since I was a young boy, and then I studied civil engineer. Civil engineering. was my second, my second graduation - my second degree.

Daniel 2:03

Oh, sweet. So you're doing pretty much what you studied for.

Luiz Henrique 2:06

Yes, yes, I'm doing what I studied for.

Daniel 2:09

Awesome. Congratulations! It definitely was a big - like a step forward in your career from what you used to do it.

Luiz Henrique 2:15

Yeah, actually, I had my own construction company back in Brazil.

Daniel 2:18

Yes. Okay. Yes, I remember I remember that. Actually. Yeah, I wanna I want to ask you one thing about the construction company because I remember when you were telling me about the construction company back in New Zealand, I was kinda like fascinated by the fact that you used to run a company, a construction company. And then you decided to move to the other side of the world I mean from Brazil, probably almost at the side of the world by the middle of the middle of nowhere and in New Zealand. And you started from pretty much from, from scratch from - like you were now doing. You probably were doing, you were doing a job where you were overqualified and probably underpaid. Right?

Luiz Henrique 2:57


Daniel 2:58

So I was - so why did you do the jump? And how was it? How was it to restart all over again?

Luiz Henrique 3:05

Well, it was pretty, pretty tough for me to be honest. But worth for sure worth. I was I was very, I was very sick about the situation in Brazil. Brazil on that time, I came to New Zealand in 2016. Me and my family. And in 2014, after the Football World Cup over there, there was coming up a lot of corruption in Brazil and related to construction sectors and affected a lot what I was doing there because I had my own construction company. I was running my business, doing well, and then the construction sector just just stopped it. It was like many big construction companies having apartments in stock for example -One of the companies that was close to the areas where I was working had 2000 apartments in stock. That's a lot and a lot of crime like massive crime in Brazil it's something really terrible to live with surfing effect like about that if you live in Brazil you don't kind of uh don't realize too much that's really happening because it's just you get used to. And but I had I had been to US and to New Zealand before and I knew there was something different, like a different condition like different environment. When we decided to move out, my son was around one year old. I had a baby,

Daniel 4:53


Luiz Henrique 4:54

And I didn't want my son to work in a situation like that. It was how can I just for example I wasn't going to my construction sites on Fridays anymore. Just because of the presence of crime. Many people they knew - it could be stolen like any Friday because we used to bring cash to the workers.

Daniel 5:23

Oh, so they knew you had money and they will come to you to your side and try to

Luiz Henrique 5:27

Yes, yes. Like all my construction site neighbors they were being stolen like a head pointed like I'm pointed to the the head. It was it's terrible situation that I just was trying to escape from from that situation. I was, for example, to pay for my payments I was going to the mall supermarkets. And I was it was a tough situation like a lot of corruption. Like people ask me extra money all the time for everything and I for my principles I never wanted to do that I never did. Then, one day I just got home, and told to my wife like, yeah, I don't want to live here anymore. She looked at me she just said "What we just we just build this house. Where do you want to move? You want to move closer to our parents? Closer to the city center? Where do you want to live?" No, I don't want to live in Brazil anymore. "Really? How come? Where do you want to live?" Oh, I was speaking in New Zealand, Canada or US, Australia, I don't know. I just I just don't want to live here anymore. And that was very painful like, somewhat of a traffic jam in Brazil. Everyday spending easily easily two hours minimum sometimes four hours, just going around the places and then just things that adding up - just I just got sick of it. I just got sick of that. Then as I came to New Zealand in 2008 then it was was actually my first choice

Daniel 7:11

2008 you mean when you - that means you move to New Zealand 2008 or or you visit New Zealand 2008?

Luiz Henrique 7:18

Yeah, on that time I just came for holidays.

I had my I had my own my own company in Brazil had some stores in 2008

Daniel 7:27


Luiz Henrique 7:28

And I was just I was just starting to be to work in the construction sectors. Then I was waiting for a job to start in construction and I had my I had some computer supply stores. On that time that I was four years without holidays. Then I told you my business partner like I need a break.

Daniel 7:53

Fair enough

Luiz Henrique 7:55

To have a bit of a break. Working hard like making the things work and our company was growing a lot. But I needed that a little bit of time like a to put my head in the place and carry on. And then I came to I came to New Zealand 2008 just for holiday's work going around North Island and South Island was amazing. I went to - to be honest when I decided I needed some holidays I was checking places like Iceland and maybe go to Himalayas and I wanted something different.

Daniel 8:36

Like a remote places like where not people around you that's your kind of places you were looking for.

Luiz Henrique 8:41

Yeah.Then one of the guys in the agency, he was telling me about, "Oh, I went to New Zealand it's a pretty nice place what you think about it?" Well, well, I don't know much about New Zealand. And then he starts showing me some some pictures and tell me, "how was this?" Okay it's English I speak with a bit of English at that time and then they I said, "Why not? Sounds Sounds great." Then I saw South Island in New Zealand. It was amazing though. I just wanted to go there.

Daniel 9:17

Okay, so let's go back a little bit so you said that you after 4 years you didn't take any holiday from your your work and then when you came back you move to the construction career, is that when you made the switch? Or even though why did you make the switch? Why did you switch from being a retail to construction?

Luiz Henrique 9:38

Cause I always wanted to work in construction for some reason. Then, like, I got an opportunity to to start a business in like a retail shop, computer supplies that stuff. And then I got the opportunity to move to construction. The rest I started to do some - cause I had some management techniques, there was a time in my business like that. I had a friend, like a friend of a friend that I had a conversation like my tutorials showing him what I was doing. He told me, why don't you you try here in the construction sector, you can try my business. Okay. Let's see how we go. Then I start to get involved, get involved, get involved in it. When I saw I was working there and applying to my second degree to study civil engineering. Then the things just just happened it was just like flowing to construction. Once, I cannot say like, not much of forte, but it was just happening because it was a lot of fortune, studying engineering and working at the same time running businesses. I was like, I was doing my personal stuff but it was I was always doing something really late even in the weekends. Like Saturdays and Sundays I was checking some stuff and what I have to do with taking my notes. I was keep going.

Daniel 11:06

And so when did you decide to leave Brazil and move to New Zealand?

Luiz Henrique 11:10

It was - I came to New Zealand 2016, I arrived here in March. I decided to move it was maybe 2000 early 2015 around that early 2015. That's the thing it was like very stressed about what's happening and everything else. Then I had my friend who was also in the same point, but at the same point he just didn't want to live in Brazil anymore. And he went to Emirates to teach teach Jiu Jitsu.

Daniel 11:51

In New Zealand?

Unknown Speaker 11:52

No in Emirates, United Arab Emirates.

Daniel 11:56

Oh I in Emirates. Oh okay.

Luiz Henrique 11:58

Dubai, Abu Dhabi.

Daniel 12:00


Luiz Henrique 12:00

And then I was, that sounds great! Tell me more about it then he said, oh man it's so good like they hire like a black belt jujitsu black belts working to work there and I said well that's pretty pretty good. Sounds great. And then he was like a teaching teaching kids for six hours to be honest with money and then I applied, I was approved but there was what's happening a war in Yemen and the biggest the biggest client of the Tom sports is the the army this army in schools

Daniel 12:00


Luiz Henrique 12:42

And then the program was hold. I waited a little bit more, giving some calls, changing emails, I just wait, wait, wait and I thought of the time like I couldn't wait anymore. Because my first choice was coming to New Zealand and I just set off. I told my wife let's go to New Zealand. Forget about Emirates. Let's go to New Zealand.

Daniel 13:05

And why did they approve because you need to have like to be a teacher in Emirates I think you need to be pretty good, right?

Luiz Henrique 13:13

Yes, yes, they hire black belts to Jiu Jitsu black belts to teach you there. You need to have an experience in Jiu Jitsu. To get the black belt to help you involve for at least minimum eight years.

Daniel 13:27

Okay, so that means you've been doing at this point you've been doing like a Jiu Jitsu for a long time.

Luiz Henrique 13:30

I started in 2006 to be honest I started in 1999 for a few months, then I made a few months again, but I was just I was just so busy that I couldn't do it. Then in 2006 I - there was a gym, close to where I was working. Then I was using my lunchtime to train Jiu Jitsu I had - that gap was just what I needed.

Daniel 13:55

Just go there and just find someone

Luiz Henrique 14:00

Jiu Jitsu very present on my on my life to be honest, very very present, helping me a lot here in New Zealand. I got my job in multimedia that we work together I got it cause of Jiu Jitsu.

Daniel 14:14


Luiz Henrique 14:15

What's happened, I came I came to New Zealand 20 days before my wife and my son.

Daniel 14:22


Luiz Henrique 14:22

Just going back a little bit in 2008 sounded very easy for me to find jobs because the guy were the guys that I was sharing you're sharing a bit of a house in just meeting people from from English school and those things. So today I'm going looking for I'm looking for a job they get a job. Then I had in my mind that okay job in new Zeland is super easy to get. Poor boy. When I came to to live in New Zealand, I came 20 days before my wife and my son, then I was trying to find a house and job, then I was waiting then I stopped it to the house that I booked to see for ready. I was waiting there, waiting there and nothing happened. I was waiting inside my car. One guy was just staring, just looking. He was inside his car just looking at me, just looking at me and I was what this guy wants. Then he turned on his car he just drived through straight like miles, a few miles from my door. I couldn't really open my door. He almost hit my mirror and he opened his window, I opened my window he said, "What you wanted here?" And I said, "What? I'm waiting the real estate guy to see this house here when I rent a house here." Then he look at inside my my car, I had my jujitsu bag, my gi and my belt. He saw my black belt. He said, "You do jujitsu?" "Yes I trained and yes, I trained Jiu Jitsu. Actually after here, I'm going to one gym close to here." He said, "But your a black belt?" "Yes." He said, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You should go to these guys. You need to go to HC Jiu Jitsu. Those guys are good." And then he said, "Oh, hold on, hold on a second. Just let me just park. I show you the place." Darren Brown, his name awesome guy. Awesome. Very, very good guy. And he was showing me the place. He called the real estate guy. He booked it. He made it work. I got the house. We became neighbors.

Daniel 16:37

Oh, wow.

Luiz Henrique 16:38

Yeah, just because of Jiu Jitsu 'cause his son was also training Jiu Jitsu and 'cause I was thinking oh, I have many friends in Jiu Jitsu i think it's a good place to make some friends 'cause I'm just new in the city. I didn't know anyone. Here in New Zealand to be honest I knew one guy that I met in 2008. I was -we exchanged some messages, but what happened was when they came to here this guy went to Brazil for holidays. Oh, great.

Daniel 17:11

So, hold on a second. What was the name of your neighbor?

Luiz Henrique 17:15

Darren Brown

Daniel 17:15

Oh Darren Brown.

Luiz Henrique 17:17

Darren Brown. And his, uh, his wife is director in multimedia.

Daniel 17:23

Oh, okay. Now okay, now I can connect the dots. So, that guy was husband of the lady in charge for the HR directory. So you got the job through them, right?

Luiz Henrique 17:35

Yes. But on that time I didn't, I didn't know him so well. Then. I told him I was looking for a job but we didn't go through much. And I was just trying to find a job for trying to find a job struggling to find a job. Many places I was going is people just telling me like oh, you you have too much experience to do these things. And then one day I was in front of the street and Darren was there he started talking to me, "Hey, how you doing? How you doing? Did you go to Jiu Jitsu?" and then just talking a lot then we start to talk a lot to each other. Then he said, "Oh, did you find a job?" I said, "No man it was very, very difficult to find a job." And I was I came as a student, I came in in a student visa, I was allowed to work 20 hours. Then he said, "Maybe I can help you to get a job." Then he took me to his house. His wife was there. She said, "Oh, I think I need some some people to to start working there. Let me let me send a text." She texted the guys there. From Hermitage that's the same same owner of multimedia.

Daniel 18:48


Luiz Henrique 18:49

And I started working 20 hours in Hermitage.

Daniel 18:52

Oh, yes. Now I remember yes it actually started from from the construction company which was the same owner of the telecommunication company. Right?

Luiz Henrique 19:00

Yeah cause they kind of this kind of shared a yard

Daniel 19:03

You say that you came on a student visa

Luiz Henrique 19:06

Yes, I came as a student.

Daniel 19:08

First of all why student visa and how did you get a student visa? What was the requirement?

Luiz Henrique 19:15

I applied from Brazil I think I studied English and that time was pretty would be very good to improve my English as you can see I still have my lack of language barrier and also choose to have opportunity to just start working was I bought at that time we need to buy more than 16 weeks if I'm not wrong or 14 weeks something like that of of English classes. I bought around 20

Daniel 19:47

Okay, I think because I didn't know that so you said that you can. You can get a visa or at least in New Zealand and if it does the same thing in other country but you can get a visa or you could get a visa as a student in New Zealand. If you book or if you pay or if you get some kind of courses for more than 14 weeks.

Luiz Henrique 20:06

Yes yes you need to buy a certified English course to get you get a student visa that allows you to work 20 hours during during the course and as many hours as you want on when you have holidays from your course. Then I went from there I was I knew those 20 hours could help me to find a find a job

Daniel 20:33

Was that was affordable to get a student visa in New Zealand and get a course in New Zealand? Was it affordable or?

Luiz Henrique 20:40

No, very expensive for my my opinion very expensive. It was around like $380 per week New Zealand dollars.

Daniel 20:50

Yeah, it's not cheap, but did that give you the visa for how long?

Luiz Henrique 20:54

It was 20, 20 weeks plus a month and a half something like that.

Daniel 21:02

So you had just a short amount of like or you probably have like a couple of months to find a job, a sponsor and change your visa to student to a work permit, right?

Luiz Henrique 21:11


Daniel 21:13

Oh, wow. That's what your family is. That's crazy. Oh, just

Luiz Henrique 21:16


Daniel 21:18

That's that was a huge risk. How old were you when you moved to New Zealand?

Luiz Henrique 21:21

I was 34.

Daniel 21:25

Okay, so you were too old for the working holiday program

Yes. I'm 39 now.

Okay. You don't look 39 by the way.

Luiz Henrique 21:34

Thanks for that.

Daniel 21:37

Honestly that's so that's super risky. I don't know if I would have done it. Honestly.

Luiz Henrique 21:41

I was. I was decided. I was decided I need to make it work. Yeah, I was telling my friends I was making here if I need to milk some cows, carry some rocks. Dig some trenches that as I made. I will make it, I don't mind. I don't mind. I need to make this work, you know, it's I get to myself in an action. This is it, I'm gonna make it and I made it.

Daniel 22:12

Yeah, I'm yeah, I'm really glad you did. Because that's honestly that's impressive. And how long did it take you to get your visa? Actually how easy was it to get your work permit?

Luiz Henrique 22:23

Oh, that was a bit of a visa nightmare. Okay I was allowed to work Hermitage.

Daniel 22:30

Okay, which is the construction company.



Luiz Henrique 22:34

But for some reason they could not apply for my work visa. I don't know that. I don't know the reasons to be to be honest. But they also had a telecommunication company and on my my retail store. I made a lot of cablings in my during my construction things in Brazil. I was doing the cabling side of the house. It's pretty much I was doing the same I was doing in Brazil. But telecom guys in Brazil they do something different, they just play in front of your house install your modem and go home. They don't do the all the cable because the construction guys does the cable. And when Darren, my neighbor took me to talk to his wife he said that's not you have telecom experience I said no because I imagined it was something send the guys back in Brazil. And then when I started to work in Hermitage I had the opportunity to see how was telecom here in New Zealand. Pretty much what I was doing before and then they helped me to get my my visa, but was kind of at the last I made interview to go to multimedia in the last week of my my student visa. I was really scared.

Daniel 23:53

Yeah, bet.

Luiz Henrique 23:53

And I was really scared. And then they know I was panicking, I think, I think they call me a lot to help me on that time. And Darren, they helped me a lot to message me. And then what's happened? I had an immigration adviser. He said he applied my, my work visa online on the last day because online would be a set we set up just large printed papers in large. He told me that

Daniel 24:23

To do sorry, what printer page?

Luiz Henrique 24:25

Page enlarge for the for the mailbox.

Daniel 24:28


Luiz Henrique 24:29

Not Not Not online physically. Okay. What's happened New Zealand immigration as they set the date when they receive your papers, not when you lodge.

Daniel 24:41


Luiz Henrique 24:42

What's happened? I applied one day after I was allowed to apply.

Daniel 24:48

Oh no

Luiz Henrique 24:49

Because the immigration advisers didn't want to apply online. He told me no, no, it's very large. What's happened, after being a few years here, I hear many stories about immigration advisers they create some difficult to sell you solutions and I experienced that then I could not work until I get my visa because then immigration took three months to reply me. I got a I got a visitor's visa I had to reapply for the - send the same papers exactly the same papers. I had to reapply for work visa then I got my permission. Took me four months. I couldn't I couldn't work for that time.

Daniel 25:38

Oh, wow. And your family was already there? I guess

Luiz Henrique 25:40

Yes. They were here was just draining my savings and a bit of a desperation.

Daniel 25:47

Yeah, bet. And they don't even have their certainty that you actually get a visa that's the problem. When you usually apply for the visa, you're still in that limbo that's what's gonna happen? I gotta get a visa and I'll be able to work or I have to pack my stuff and go back to my country, right?

Luiz Henrique 26:03

Yes, this this uncertainty, it's painful. It's very stressful. Stressed me a lot. To be honest right now I'm waiting for a visa

Daniel 26:11

You renewed your visa?

Luiz Henrique 26:13

I applied for - yes I renew my visa. No that one I didn't renew, I got a different job I'm working now as a project manager, construction project manager.

Daniel 26:25

So you had to get a new visa anyway because it's a different field, right?

Luiz Henrique 26:29


Daniel 26:29

Okay. And now you're waiting - ah yes you said you told me that yesterday that you were waiting for your PR your permanent residency to be approved. Right?

Luiz Henrique 26:36

Temporary. I there was one year now that I'm waiting for my my residence just waiting,

Daniel 26:42

But you're waiting for your permanent permanent residency -

Luiz Henrique 26:45

Temporary residency

Daniel 26:47

What's the difference temporary resident -

Luiz Henrique 26:49

First, first thing you get you get the temporary

Daniel 26:53


Luiz Henrique 26:54

Then after, after two years, you are allowed to get a permanent residency.

Daniel 27:01

Okay, and going back because you told me before that when you decided to move to New Zealand, your wife or thought you were crazy. How did you convince her? How did she get aboard because that's sounds really a risk, risky decision especially with a child, which was he was one year old at the time?

Luiz Henrique 27:21

It was I just I just start showing her. I was because I told her before I was in New Zealand because I came here for holidays. I told her it was good, like almost no crime compared to Brazil. Pretty safe and actually its really safe here. And good, good quality of life in general. It's like a very little corruption. And that's what we are trying to escape from Brazil. Cause in Brazil you are you always aware you're always watching what's going on what's happening any any time something can happen. And here in New Zealand you kind of think you allowed yourself to relax.

Daniel 28:08

Yeah, I know, you're right.

Luiz Henrique 28:10

And then I was telling her about that we was just watching, like a YouTube and TV program that's about New Zealand and she said, Oh, sounds sounds amazing. It's unbelievable. It's hard to believe it's really like that, because she had just went to Argentina and Chile. We traveled together for holidays me and her, but Argentina and Chile it's not - it's different, but not too different from Brazil and about crime in these things. But when I was talking about New Zealand it was very, very different. And then she said, Okay, yes, that sounds great. For me sounds much sounds much better.

The hard parts to live in Brazil was like, apart apart from the crime. We have there like we could have a very, very good quality of life. Good weather, nothing like environment problems as earthquakes, hurricanes, hurricanes, actually happened like once in a while, but not often. The weather is great. Like, couldn't be one of the best place to live in the world, but it's not. Brazilian culture is it's something really good. We love it to death. But this things just just make me think to do to leave. It's too much.

Daniel 29:38

Yeah, you made the right decision, but definitely wasn't an easy one. So your wife at that point she was she was convinced like okay, let's do this and your wife joined you 20 days after you move to New Zealand and at that point, you didn't have a job yet. Did you? Did you have an accommodation at that point?

Luiz Henrique 29:57

Yes. I got the place. Because what I was trying because that we had on that time, Lucas, my son, his birthday is 21st of March. I left Brazil on 22nd in the morning, early in the morning, then I arrived in New Zealand 24th Of March 2016. And Lucas was two years old. What I was trying to do is like a when they arrived in New Zealand there was going to home not to stay in a hotel because with a baby going around to find a house would be more more work, I think it would be easier, faster, quicker, more more comfortable for us if I come in alone for them, and then this happened they just came home.

Daniel 30:42

Yeah, no, that's yeah, that's definitely a smart move. How because, I mean, you already had not a lot of time, you only have two months to apply for your visa. But you didn't have only to apply for your visa you have to apply for your visa and for your family to stay altogether. Otherwise they have to leave the country. Could you apply for the same visa altogether or you have to apply first for your visa and then for your family after once you got your visa?

Luiz Henrique 31:08

I applied for my visa and they came as visitors.

Daniel 31:14


Luiz Henrique 31:15

We made those letters you get the visa when you get to the airport here.

Daniel 31:20

And once you get your work permit after that. So you need a visa for them as well. Right?

Luiz Henrique 31:27

Yes. When I got my my work visa, then we applied. We got a partner, partner visa work visa to my wife and student visa, student visitor's visa for my son the first one. Then after he turned three years old, then he bought, no actually, when he turned five years old, he went on a student visa. This is 10 years long in the school. That was another thing that was really important for us is our son's education. The schools here, I recommend. They're better than Brazilian schools. And then my wife, she's a photographer. She's a family photographer. She started doing this in Brazil, when she got here now she has her own business photographing families here in cashes.

Daniel 32:16

Okay, so you got so wasn't it wasn't too difficult after you got your visa to get a visa for them?

Luiz Henrique 32:22

No, no. It wasn't difficult. It was just just a matter of application. Changing the status of the visa wasn't wasn't too difficult. We just need to prove our relationship those things but it wasn't difficult.

Daniel 32:37

Yeah, with the children in between that's not very difficult to prove the relationship.

Luiz Henrique 32:42


Daniel 32:43

Because that's what I love about New Zealand that a lesson from my experience and from what I hear from you, is the immigration process is not actually that bad because it doesn't take that long to a visa to be approved. In my case. it was only a couple of weeks, I applied online both times and both times I think we're about a couple of weeks and my work permit was approved. Sounds like you're even though you went old school with paper copy, but still wasn't too bad because even four months going through the nightmare you told me that you have to apply twice. You see like a four months to apply twice for a visa I think that's not a long time at all.

Luiz Henrique 33:24

Yes, yeah, it was not not a long long time. Waiting for the visa is kind of a stressful part of immigration. But it was not actually like a long long time. Right now I'm one year waiting for my residence visa. Before when we arrived here used to used to be like a couple months, three months, stuff like that. No more than six months now, I was taking a lot of time to immigration to process the visa.

Daniel 33:56

Yeah I think they're getting more strict. Then now they tried to I think they try to save the country try to make sure they get the right people and understandable I mean, I interviewed another guy I don't know if you listen to that episode Craig, that actually moved from New Zealand to the UK. He's going through a nightmare for application in the UK it's just a nightmare.

Luiz Henrique 34:21

Yeah, for me were a lot of papers to to send immigration because I didn't have actually a job in Brazil. I was working for myself then to prove that you're working for yourself I was just getting receipts and bills from everything I could that I was keeping on my emails to read it was like a big book that I sent to immigration.

Daniel 34:49

Yeah, you're right because it must be harder. Because yeah, you can, you can you can like easily and tell yeah, just like a business I experienced 15 years. But then you have to back it up. You have to prove It

Luiz Henrique 35:01

Yeah, that was tricky to be honest to to prove that because you have you have the papers from from the business. But then I was trying to detail things that I was doing, like, receipts that I was buying materials that I was selling materials that I was selling houses, buying properties, sending properties, these kind of things in these papers they are quite - it was a lot, a lot of money in translation. Really a lot of money translation. I spent.

Daniel 35:30

Oh yes, yes, you're right, because you have to translate every single page.

Luiz Henrique 35:33

I think I set almost a hundred pages.

Daniel 35:39

So I bet that's probably why they take so long to review your application. So when you went to New Zealand, did you, so how was your English level? Because you said you already speak a little bit of English, right?

Luiz Henrique 35:53

Yes, to be honest, my first time that I work in US in - I went three times to make a work experience in a ski resort 2000, 2001 winter 2002, 2003, 2003, 2004

Daniel 36:11

Okay, so three seasons.

Luiz Henrique 36:13

Three seasons. One day I went to a party like from from school, and one of our friends she was working in a travel agency. And she told me about work experience in USA. It's a program. It's a program that I think is still happening. I don't know about the corona virus now what's going on, but was really cool for me. She told me about this program, was costing 2000 US dollars, the money that I didn't have even close on that time. And I didn't speak any English on that time. But I was always dreaming to go out out of Brazil to see the world, to see how it is cause just seeing the things in the movies and dreaming, oh, I want to go to US and see those things. Then -

Daniel 37:11

Hold on a second though. Because you say like, you met the person that we're talking about this, this program to work in the US when you were in were your student? Were you in University at this point or high school?

Luiz Henrique 37:23

I was in university. I had just started university.

Daniel 37:27

So we're like in your 20s or early 20s,

Luiz Henrique 37:31

Early 20s, 19 years old I think when I met we met in a party and I just started going to university to Business Administration. And I had no English but I wanted to go, Oh, well,

Daniel 37:48

Hold on a sec, because you said you have to pay $2,000 to go to the US and work in the US. What was included in this $2,000? Why you were paying for this $2,000?

Luiz Henrique 38:01

Was included the flight tickets,

Daniel 38:05


Luiz Henrique 38:06

The service to get a visa, a work visa, I was allowed to work for four months plus one month of traveling.

Daniel 38:15


Luiz Henrique 38:16

Also they need to encraft because they're providing the service.

Daniel 38:20

Yeah, no, no, I mean, I think just just applied and the service Yeah, it makes more it makes more sense. So you went to the US for three seasons over over winter, which is your summer in Brazil?

Luiz Henrique 38:33


Daniel 38:34

Which was your holiday in university, right?

Luiz Henrique 38:36


Daniel 38:37

Okay. How was your first experience going there, with like no English.

Luiz Henrique 38:42

Yeah, I needed to do surfing. Because if I'm going to work, one of the requirements, we had to make an English test to do the program.

Daniel 38:53


Luiz Henrique 38:53

Then I was, oh, no, what am I gonna do now? Then I was making a plan what I'm gonna do then I saw okay I have no I have no money and I have no English I need to to make something. I got a job in an English school

Daniel 39:11


Luiz Henrique 39:11

To selling courses, it was okay then I bought the job then so can I study English here they said yeah we can we can give you a discount, a good one. Perfect, that's what I need. Then about the English what I was doing there was very a flexible type of English course. Because I was we could book three classes during the week plus conversation on Saturday from eleven to one o'clock it was a two hours conversation class on Saturday. What I was doing I was having my three classes during the week. And on Saturday. I was arriving there eight o'clock in the morning but before eight o'clock in the morning I was asking the teachers because I had worked with them before and it was this I knew everyone there I was asking what if I could go to the other class. And I was doing like eight, nine, ten to eleven classes then go into my conversation class. I was having like a long time of English environment on Saturdays it was helping me a lot. Watching movies with English subtitles on that time and trying everything to study a lot to to improve my English because I had a test to make it I need to pass the test. I was concerned about if if I don't pass I need to wait another year or I cannot even go. And I work on this on this English school from December to February. Because then when I went to my classes, they started in March then I found a job in Eden University. What was like a train you like a four hours per day and not well paid was just a little money I was making to to have any idea ninety, nine-zero dollars per month and I need to save $2,000 was it far from my my worry.

Daniel 41:25


Luiz Henrique 41:26

And I was here again I need to go to parties and need to distance with my friend. Okay, but I have this goal, I need to make it. I was spending around $25 per month on that time.

Daniel 41:43

So you were living on $25 a month?

Luiz Henrique 41:46

Yeah, I was living with my parents. I was not paying the big bills. But I was doing my own stuff with $25 per month.

Daniel 41:56

Oh, you were very determined.

Luiz Henrique 41:58

Yes, yeah.

In doing another like a weekend occational jobs any any type of extra money I could could make , I was trying to do to get it. Like giving flyers on the streets on the weekends just just to make it work. And then okay, when I'm waiting making this test I didn't have enough money. They said okay you can can split in 10 times in your credit card. My credit card doesn't have this much of allowance. Okay Mom and Dad, can you help me out? I want to pay what to do by myself? Can you can I use your credit card? They said, yup. But I have I had a plan. I I have this card we split in 10 in 10. I go there I have enough to go there. Work. Come back then pay the rest. That's what I mean. I went I went there I I saved more than $2,000 I saved around 3000 something. A little bit more than $3,000 then I could pay the credit card it was like a maybe was less than 1000 bucks. I paid that then I had money enough just just saving to to go to here and there was something like a shock of culture when I go to US that about money also I need to pay this credit card and my first job was making snow. I was working in a ski resort there in Big Bear Lake California. And I have never seen this mall in my life.

They said okay, you like you look like a snow maker. Let's make it work. I was working overnight from 5pm to 7am. It was fun fun time but I was not seeing many people other than the guys I was working with. Then I asked to move to ski rental shop and the ski rental shop they had also taking care of the VIP parking and when my new boss told me my supervisor told me We need someone actually to take care of the VIP parking. What do you think? Sounds great. Let's Let's do it. And as you know I needed to to save to pay my credit card. And I found a way to get some tips from from customers.

Daniel 44:54

Okay, doing that.

Luiz Henrique 44:55

Yeah. And then I saw some guys arriving there like on Friday. asking if the VIP parking is completely, full long lines. The guys like was a lot of people coming from Los Angeles, San Diego, California coast. A lot of people and they did like some guys they they needed a place to park you know. And parking was full. Okay, are you coming - one guy around with urgency, I am coming back tomorrow. Yes, yes, I'm coming back tomorrow. What about Saturday? Yes. Were coming back on Saturday. You know what? I like you. I'm going to save you a spot, for you right there. Close to the mountain. Walking distance, short walking distance. Sounds good? Yes. Sounds great. Next, next guy asked, do you have a spot? No, were completely full. Are you coming back tomorrow? Yes, I'm coming back tomorrow. Okay. I had I had my personal tip business. I told to - I told to my supervisor, okay I need 10 spots for tomorrow. Why? Oh those guys are coming back tomorrow I took a note of the plate. I know the cars, they're coming back tomorrow I need ten spots. Sounds good? Sounds good. They went back there on the on Saturday and Sunday. I gave them the spot then they give me tips. Extra 10 here, extra 10 there. I was just making extra money. My supervisor looked at me oh man, you sugar you just just attract money for yourself.

Just doing something else for these guys and then every weekend from there, I was saving parking space for these guys and they are tipping me.

Then me and my supervisor, the guys who shared the tips and we just went for there just became like a something that we should do every every weekend, were just saving their spots.

Daniel 47:04

Speaking of corruptions huh?

Luiz Henrique 47:11

The VIP parking has a different policy, it was paid parking because we had free parking there and we had to pay. And in Brazil we don't we don't have the tip the tip culture but in the US it's very cool like you do something to get. Then the guys will ask me, can I save parking you? Yes, you're allowed to save parking if you're coming back.

Daniel 47:36

Oh okay

Luiz Henrique 47:37

That's the thing. Because because the VIP parking had the permission to save park because it was not free.

Daniel 47:44

Okay, yeah, fair enough

Luiz Henrique 47:45

Then then we just use this rule to to to have something else.

Daniel 47:52

So you're still playing by the rules

Luiz Henrique 47:54

Yes, I was playing by the rules. That was the - it was the game

Daniel 47:59

Sounds like you always had kind of like a this kind of business mentality because you we're like giving away flyers, do these kind of things with tips and open a couple of businesses. I think you can always have this kind of like a mentality well to make extra money that most people don't.

Luiz Henrique 48:15

Yes. My first degree was a was business business management degree. To be honest, I've never wanted to be an employee. I always want to be an employer. Right now it changed a little bit. My mind, I'm pretty comfortable being an employee. I think next step is being an investor. I don't mind to be an employee and have a regular job that's so good. Changes a bit of flexibility that I had before. But, it's so good.Like I opened, I open shoe business in Brazil, I had a retail store I had construction company. Here in New Zealand I'll see what's going to happen. Something, maybe maybe happen. We never know.

Daniel 49:16

Exactly. You never know. And I mean, if you're happy where you are and it just - I mean opening your own business is a lot of problems. It's like your a problem solver, right? It's always like, trying to solve problems. Why if you are an employee just finish your eight hours and you're done for the day.

Luiz Henrique 49:33

Yes, right now I'm working as a project manager I have like a business mind. Even working to my boss. Sometimes we have like 100 people on site. It's a busy busy site and searching problems the whole day. Everyday, all day that's basically what we do.

Daniel 49:55

Yeah, no, yeah, yeah, no, you're right. You're right. If you have be a project manager, you can have - it's kind of like a running your own business, without the risk of running a business, I guess.

Luiz Henrique 50:06

Yes. Yes. That's the that's the thing. That's what's happened.

Daniel 50:11

Um, do you have any regrets about leaving your country?

Luiz Henrique 50:14

Any regrets? Well, I have for sure. Being away from family I think is the hardest part away from, from friends, people that we are just used to to see very often. I cannot see everyday but very often.

I like to connect to people that's and missing the foods. Maybe you won't like being a challenged but we - you probably won't like what I say but we have the best pizza in the world. You know?

Daniel 50:49

Really? Have you ever been to Italy?

Luiz Henrique 50:58

I'm getting Brazilian pizzas a bit different. Its probably the the food that I miss the most from Brazil even more than than Brazilian barbecue, worldwide famous Brazilian barbecue. But the barbecue we can make at home and pizza I have no idea how to do it you know. Brazilian pizzas are pretty good. It's not like in New Zealand we can find good pizzas but it's not the same.

Daniel 51:23

Yeah you're right. I mean what I love about the food in New Zealand is the meat. I miss meat in New Zealand it's such a it's awesome. The meat, the steaks and the lamb in New Zealand is just different kind of meat.

Luiz Henrique 51:37

Yes. That's some sometimes it'll be a little bit hard like we when you for myself my my wife does, she says the same like when you try to have a Brazilian food you feel a bit more at home. It's like not the most important but something we miss, we miss it's a bit hard sometimes. Craving, craving for the good food.

Daniel 52:04

Yeah, I know, I get it, I get it. And often do you go back to Brazil?

Luiz Henrique 52:09

I didn't went back yet.

Daniel 52:11


Luiz Henrique 52:13

Yes. To be honest, it's how can I say that, I'm still not missing Brazil. I miss the people, a little bit of food. But I'm not, I'm not missing Brazil because when I remember like spending hours and hours into traffic inside the car and all these things, especially during the holidays was was like crazy because I was living in - it's south, south of Brazil, its capital of the second state. South to North.

Daniel 52:53


Luiz Henrique 52:54

And is a very touristic place. So I ind, uring Christmas and New Years, it's millions of people go to Minneapolis and then you cannot like when you have a chance you cannot enjoy the place you live. Then and here in Christchurch, I drive less than 10 minutes going to go to work. It's, it's a dream.

Daniel 53:24

Yeah no you're right. But so you've never been, I mean even like - I know you don't like Brazil. But going there just on holiday just to see family and friends I think is different than living there so you don't have to deal with all the corruption you have to deal with the situation there, you're just enjoying people.

Luiz Henrique 53:45

Yeah, to be honest right now I'm waiting for waiting for my residence to be sorted and also the Coronavirus situation.

Daniel 53:52

I mean yeah

Luiz Henrique 53:53

But for yeah for sure. We have a we have a small child and we want to have more connection from my parents, my wife's parents, my son's grandfathers, and uncles and aunts, like connecting with family. Even even though we can use the the online, things to make calls, its much easier than years ago. We - the technology feels more like - connection for sure. And I want to - we want to go there but just just to see the family and friends, not not missing much that the place. It's kind of, well. I'm telling the truth, I'm telling the truth and that's what I feel. My my parent, my parents, they came here to visit us I was expecting also my wife's parents to come here then corona virus started and just put thing on hold at this point and I need to wait to the, to sort the situation of corona virus in Brazil being pretty bad now. And then when this is sorted, for sure we want to go there to, to see to see people.

Daniel 55:17

What's the biggest upside of by integrating?

Luiz Henrique 55:20

I think was - to be honest. What I said before, like for me was not having that concern of always being aware of when you when you relaxing, when I'm going out with my family, my wife and my son going to the parks, we don't need to be aware that could be watching what's happening. Back in Brazil was kind of in anywhere. something could happen. Like, just for example, one day it wasn't - me and my friend in the restaurant, we had an assault, guys pointing guns to our heads. It wasn't nice. I got stressed for months about that situation. And here, it doesn't happen. Nothing like that at all. That's the - I think that's the good part. It's not it's not it's not money. Its not even like education to my son is something good.That, I think is just a bonus. But these things of were, were allowed allowed to relax. I think that's good. That's the main thing. We have the pleasure to just be there. We don't we don't have that too much in Brazil.

Daniel 56:45

So if you could go back in time from, I don't know at any point back in time when you left Brazil to go to New Zealand, is there anything that you now that you know the outcome or you know all the things have Done. Is there anything you would have done differently<

Luiz Henrique 57:03

I would come here earlier way before. Well, I invested a lot of money in Brazil in tough times. If I had invested here I would be a billionaire by this time. I would come earlier for sure.

Daniel 57:26

Awesome. So if anybody wants to get in touch with you, is there any way they can find you on social media or is there any way that they can contact you?

Luiz Henrique 57:36

Oh, Facebook. i think to be honest I don't use too much social media but you can try Facebook, email. If you want to share my email it'd be great because I don't I don't have a look on social media very often to be honest.

Daniel 57:50

Awesome, okay. All right. Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot for taking the time. It was was a pleasure and I think your story, I don't know it just like I dont know, blow my mind. Everything you've done the the strength and the resilience and everything you've done is just impressive. Honestly, it's impressive. I knew a little bit of your story when you told me in New Zealand was I was already impressed by what you've done. But now that I know even more, I'm even more impressed and congratulations for all you've done and it's hopefully you get your your residency soon, have been a little more relaxed.

Luiz Henrique 58:27

Yes, thank you. Tank you a lot Daniel for the opportunity to share a little bit of my experience. Thanks a lot. It was very, very good, very fun.

Daniel 58:37

My pleasure. My pleasure. Maybe we can do a follow up once you get your residency.

Luiz Henrique 58:42

Oh, should be great.

Daniel 58:44

Awesome. Thank you very much.

Luiz Henrique 58:47

Thank you too!

Daniel 58:48

Okay, bye.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you want to get in touch with Lewis, I'll link his email address on the show notes and on our website. He also mentioned that his wife is a family photographer. She has a beautiful Instagram account. There's a link in the show notes if you want to check it out and follow her. If you want to support the show, you can share this episode and leave us a review. And if you want to be on the show, you can visit emigrantslife.com/yourstory. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you in the next one. Ciao!