Should I move to New Zealand or Australia? We bet that’s a question you’ve asked yourself at least once before.
Here’s our tip to help you choose – let the reason for your emigration guide you.
For instance, do you want to grow your career or is it so that your family can live in safer country? Australia has been proven to offer more work opportunities while New Zealand is the second-safest country in the world.
Do you see how the motivation for your move could help you decide where to go? Then let’s work through a couple of ‘pull factors’ together to help you decide between New Zealand and Australia.
(You can also skip to the end of the article where you’ll find a handy recap of all the information.)
Are you moving for the money?
Most of us want to immigrate to enjoy a higher quality of life and for many people that means earning more. If this is your motivation too, then Australia is the better country for you. In 2020, Australians earn a median annual income of AUD79,632 while New Zealanders earn NZD52,000.
However, looking at salary alone doesn’t give us the complete picture. One also has to consider the cost of living. By doing this, you determine how much life you can squeeze out of your salary.
Numbeo tells us that, on average, consumer goods and services, rent and groceries are cheaper in New Zealand than in Australia. Overall, however, the local purchasing power is 14.99% lower in New Zealand than in Australia.
Averages can be extremely abstract, though. Let’s instead look at actual prices for everyday items, as shared on Numbeo. To compare apples with apples, we’re going to show all prices in New Zealand dollars.
Please note: At the time of writing, the exchange rate was 1.06(NZ) to 1(Aus).
On average, rent in New Zealand is 8.58% lower than in Australia. You can expect to pay $2,603.29 for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city centre in New Zealand, while the same apartment in Australia will cost you $3,035.28. Choose to live outside of the city centre and your rent will decrease to $2,125.85 and $2,094.74 respectively.
To keep the lights on and the water running, you’ll have to fork out $176.20 a month in New Zealand, while it will cost you $229.93 in Australia. This is for an apartment of 85sqm and the cost also includes other basic utilities such as refuse.
Another utility we all surely consider as basic these days is the internet. This is actually going to cost you more in New Zealand than in Australia. With that said, the difference is minimal. The price for uncapped data over ADSL or a cable at 60mbps or more, will cost $83.68 a month in New Zealand while you’ll pay $78.88 a month in Australia.
On average, you’ll spend 6.29% less on your groceries in New Zealand than in Australia. With that being said, it’s not all groceries that are cheaper in New Zealand.
Let’s take a closer look at grocery prices, shall we? We’re going to break it down in four categories:
|1L of Milk||$2.66||$1.71|
2. Meat and diary
|1kg Chicken fillets||$12.88||$11.61|
|1kg Beef round||$18.67||$18.20|
|1kg Local cheese||$10.23||$11.08|
Do you live for work or work to live?
In other words, which one do you value more – your career or your free time?
If it’s the former, Australia is a good first choice. Australia will offer you more opportunities, both in the number of jobs and in chances to progress your career. That’s simply because Australia has a many big cities with booming industries. New Zealand’s big corporations are concentrated mostly in and around Auckland.
However, if work is more of a means to an end, you’ll find settling in New Zealand will do you good.
New Zealanders are known for their ‘life is for living’ ethos. They believe a good day’s work should be balanced with time for family and friends as well as the many leisure opportunities presented by New Zealand’s great outdoors. In fact, when it came to work-life balance, New Zealand ranked 2nd in the world in the 2019 Expat Explorer Survey.
Do you prefer life fast or slowed down?
Life in New Zealand moves at a more relaxed pace than in Australia. This can be attributed to New Zealanders’ love for downtime, as mentioned above, and also to the fact that New Zealand’s cities and towns are smaller than those of Australia. As we all know, fewer people equals less frenzy, less traffic, and less crowding of spaces.
This is not to say that you won’t be able to enjoy a more relaxed life in Australia. It just means that you might have to skip the cities when choosing where to settle down.
Do you have children?
You can rest assured that whatever your choice, New Zealand or Australia, your children will enjoy a world-class education.
The New Zealand education system puts the student at the center of everything it does, while keeping an open mind about learning and teaching techniques. The mission is to teach children to:
- Problem solve
- Process information
- Work with others
- Create and innovate
You’ll find New Zealand’s best schools in Wellington and Auckland. The schools are a mix of private and public schools, and offer both co-ed and single gender schooling options.
Over in Australia, the world-renowned Qualifications Framework guarantees that schools as well as tertiary education institutions are government authorised and accredited.
Further to this, Australian schools have:
- small classes,
- university-trained and qualified teachers,
- specialist teachers in subject areas, and
- additional learning support for children who need it.
To send your children to the best schools in Australia, your main considerations would have to be Melbourne and Sydney. These cities are home to Australia’s five top primary schools as well as the five high schools. The schools are a mix of co-education and single gender facilities.
Is good, affordable healthcare high on your priority list?
Again, both New Zealand and Australia are good choices. Both countries have public and private healthcare system, and the healthcare you’ll receive is world-class.
In New Zealand, eligible residents get free or subsidised health and disability services under the public healthcare system. These services include:
- Primary healthcare visits such as doctor’s visits
- Prescribed medicines
- Public hospital services
- Support services if you have disabilities
Your children will qualify for a range of free healthcare services, all of which are related to their age. For instance, children up to the age of 5 qualifies for Well Child/Tamariki Ora. This service gives children access to a range of health checks and provides support and advice to new parents.
Australia’s public healthcare system is called Medicare. Just like in New Zealand, public healthcare offers access to free or subsidised medical services and care. Australian citizens, permanent residents, and some temporary residents qualify for Medicare.
If you do qualify for Medicare, Medicare will cover part or all of the following health services when you need it:
- Seeing a GP or specialist
- Tests and scans, like x-rays
- Most surgery and procedures performed by doctors
- Eye tests by optometrists
Medicare also assist with the costs of medicine, mental health care, and screens, tests and scans.
If you do not qualify for Medicare, you’ll have to ensure that you have private medical aid for the duration of your stay in Australia.
Is your family’s safety your main concern?
Perhaps you’re emigrating because your home country is not the safest place. In that case, there is only one choice – New Zealand. In 2019, New Zealand was – yet again – the second safest country in the world, as per the 2019 Global Peace Index.
For the index, the state of peace in countries are measured using three domains:
- The level of societal safety and security.
- The extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict.
- The degree of militarization.
A number of indicators are captured within each of these domains, including violent crime, violent demonstrations, the homicide rate, and political instability.
The only country that did better than New Zealand was Iceland. Considering that Iceland is an island nation with a population of only 364 134, we reckon New Zealand might as well have been at number 1.
Australia slipped down one spot in 2019 to come in at number 13 on the Index. Thirteenth place does, however, put Australia above countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden.
To recap the answer to the question “Should I move to New Zealand Australia?”
There really isn’t a standard answer to the question of whether you should move to New Zealand or Australia. As you can see now, it depends on what you want for yourself or your family.
- Is it a better salary? Australia is the winner. Australians earn more and have more spending power.
- Is it grow your career? Then Australia with it’s many big cities and career opportunities should be your first choice.
- Do you want a better work-life balance? Choose New Zealand, where the motto is “life is for living”.
- Is it so that your children can have a good education? They’ll get that no matter which country you move to.
- Do you value good, affordable healthcare? Again, either country is a great choice.
- Do you want to move to a safe country? New Zealand is the second-safest country in the world!
Chances are, the reason for your emigration is a mix of one of more of these factors. In this case, our suggestion is to draw up a pro and con list to help you decide.
Let us not forget however…
Whether you go to New Zealand or Australia is also dependent on your family’s eligibility to emigrate to either country. That’s why it’s important to consider your reason for moving but to also do an immigration assessment so that you can ensure that you are making an informed decision.
If you qualify for both countries, as some people do, lucky you! Then you’ll be able to pick and choose the country that’s the best fit for your family.
A licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand is a professional who is there to help you with your immigration. They operate in a regulated environment meaning you get qualified advice and expert guidance with the backing of the Immigration Advisors Authority.
Not just anyone can call themselves a licensed advisor though and below we guide you through what an advisor is.
Moving to a new country is never easy. In fact it can be one of the most stressful times of your entire life.
One of the best ways to lighten the burden and to get some much needed support, is to make use of a fully licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand.
Therefore knowing the difference between someone who is licensed as opposed to someone who isn’t will prove extremely valuable.
All about Licensed Immigration Advisors for New Zealand
How do you find a Licensed Immigration Advisor for New Zealand ?
The role of a Licensed Immigration Advisor
According to the law, anybody who provides advice with regard to immigration to New Zealand is required to be licensed by the Immigration Advisor’s Authority, unless they are exempt. No other person or company may provide you with advice concerning New Zealand immigration and visa applications.
Not all Licensed Immigration Advisor’s are the same
There are three types of licensed immigration advisors:
Let’s discuss each one of these in more detail in order for you to gain a better understanding.
1.A Fully Licensed Immigration Advisor. Provides you with information pertaining to a vast range of immigration matters. They have the knowledge and expertise to deal with all immigration related matters.
2.A Provisionally Licensed Immigration Advisor. Provides you with information about all immigration related matters, however the fundamental difference is that they need to be fully supervised by a full license holder.
3.A limited Licensed Immigration Advisor. Only able to provide you with advice on specific and limited immigration matters.
Code of Conduct of a Licensed Immigration Advisor
A Licensed Immigration Advisor also has to meet very high competency standards and they follow a highly professional code of conduct.
This code of conduct require advisor’s to:
- Be professional, honest and respectful at all times.
- To provide clients with updates on an ongoing basis.
- To only charge fees which are reasonable and fair.
What is the scope of a Licensed Immigration Advisor For New Zealand?
Some of the many things a New Zealand immigration advisor can help you with:
- Assist and prepare your visa application.
- Assist you with settling into New Zealand.
- Assess the process with regard to if you are able to appeal a visa which was declined.
- Have the competency to assess if you are in New Zealand unlawfully.
- Help you to explore the broad range of visa options.
- Assist you in choosing the best via option for you.
Company versus individual licensing
It is important for us to stress that a person is licensed and not a company. Therefore a company is not able to market themselves as being “licensed” for New Zealand immigration. They are only allowed to market the person who is licensed.
Be sure of your Licensed Immigration Advisor
- Any person who provides you with New Zealand immigration advice; that is not licensed or exempt; is actually committing an offense under the immigration act.
- If you were to use such a person your application will be turned down.
- Unlicensed ‘sales people’ are not qualified to provide you with advice. They may also end up costing you money and your chances of emigrating.
Therefore always check that your ‘advisor’ is indeed a Licensed Immigration Advisor for New Zealand.
Does Intergate Immigration have a fully licensed immigration advisor?
Intergate Emigration has 3 licensed immigration advisors:
- Katrin Maja Maehl (IAA License No. 201400975). You can view her license information on the Immigration Advisers Authority website.
- Sarah Hewitt (IAA License No. 201600296). Sarah’s link on the Immigration Advisers Authority website is here.
- Maike Engelke (IAA License number 201600505). Maike’s link on the Immigration Advisers Authority website is here.
Booking a New Zealand assessment or finding out more:
To find out more about our services or book an assessment with us simply call us on +27 (0) 202 8200. Alternatively, send us an email.
Criteria to emigrate to New Zealand – For skilled workers, partners, parents, students, investors and entrepreneurs
It is no easy feat trying to learn the criteria to emigrate to New Zealand. Kudos to you if you have managed to do that! But if you haven’t yet, don’t waste another minute trying to do it on your own. Just read through our guide below.
What you’ll find on this page is the most important requirements for emigration routes to New Zealand. For ease of reference, the information is broken down into four categories:
- Joining a partner or adult child
- Starting a business
You can read through all sections or jump to the immigration route you’re most interested in. You could also just jump to the end of the blog post to get a short summary of all the main requirements.
If you have any questions at any stage, please do not hesitate contact us. You can call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200.
Now let’s get started…
1. To work in New Zealand
Is it your dream to live and work in New Zealand? Then you’ll have to meet one of the criteria we discuss below to emigrate.
You must have the skills New Zealand need
To work in New Zealand on a work visa, your occupation must appear on a skilled occupation list or an essential skills list. Further to this, you must have the experience, skills and qualification necessary to do the job.
The reason for this is two-fold. Mainly it’s because there is not enough skilled New Zealanders to fill all the most important job openings in the country. At the same time, though, the New Zealand government wants to be clear about what type of foreign national can be employed. This is to protect the job security of New Zealanders.
However, having the right skills isn’t the only requirement when applying for a work visa. Depending on whether you apply for the skilled migrant visa or the essential skills work visa, you’ll also have to meet these basic criteria to emigrate to New Zealand:
Skilled migrant visa:
To apply for the skilled migrant visa, you must:
- be 55 or younger
- score enough points to submit an Expression of Interest
- have a job offer for skilled employment or be in a skilled job in New Zealand
Please note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, selections for Expressions of Interest are suspended until further notice.
Essential skills work visa:
To be eligible for the essential skills work visa, you must meet these requirements:
- You have a written full-time job offer from a New Zealand employer
- Immigration New Zealand is satisfied that there aren’t any suitable New Zealanders to fill the position.
- Your salary is according to the ANZSCO level of your occupation.
Or have a New Zealand partner
If you have a spouse or partner who is a New Zealander, you can apply for a partner visa. This visa not only enables you to live in New Zealand but also allows you to work.
For your partnership to be eligible for a partner visa, it’ll have to be one of the following:
- Legal marriage
- Civil union (whether opposite or same sex)
- De facto relationship (whether opposite or same sex)
In all cases the relationship must be of a genuine nature and stable. In other words, you and your partner entered into the relationship with a view of it being exclusive, long term, and likely to last.
In addition to these requirements for your relationship, there are also criteria your partner has to meet. He or she has to prove:
- his or hers New Zealand residence status
- that New Zealand is his or her primary place of residence
- That he or she is an eligible supporting sponsor
Read more about the partner visa.
Or have a partner who’s a work visa holder
When your spouse or partner applies for an Essential Skills Work Visa to New Zealand, it goes without saying that you’d like to join them in New Zealand if the visa gets approved. The good news is that there is partner visa for this purpose. This visa allows you to go to New Zealand with your spouse or partner and also enables you to work.
There are two great positives about this partner visa. For starters, you don’t have to have a job to apply for the visa. Secondly, it is an open visa so you can work for any employer you want to. You’re not tied to any employer and you can move employers as you wish.
Unfortunately, you cannot include dependent children on this visa. Depending on your children’s ages, you’ll have to apply for either the appropriate visitor visa or a student visa.
Read more about this visa.
2. To join a spouse or partner in New Zealand
Sometimes life throws you a massive curve ball. Like falling in love with someone from another country, your spouse being offered a job overseas, or your girlfriend getting accepted for her dream course…at a university 12,000 kilometres away.
In any of these instances, you’d obviously want to join them if you can. The good news is that you can if that destination abroad is New Zealand. That’s because Immigration New Zealand has various visas to keep couples together when one person is heading to their shores.
These visas cater for when your partner is one of the following:
New Zealand citizen or resident
When your spouse or partner is a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can apply for a partner visa. If you’re granted the visa, you’ll enjoy permanent resident status. This means you can live, work and study in New Zealand.
As discussed under the work section, your partnership must be a legal marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship. Furthermore, the relationship must be of a genuine and stable nature.
Read more about the partner visa.
Work visa holder
You can apply for a partner visa if your spouse or partner is applying for or has an Essential Skills Work Visa. If granted the visa, you’ll also get to live and work in New Zealand.
To be eligible for this partner visa, you and your partner must live together in a genuine and stable relationship that is a:
- legal marriage,
- civil union, or
- de facto relationship.
Read more about this visa.
Student in New Zealand
If your partner is going to study in New Zealand, you can join them using a visitor visa that caters specifically for the partners of international students. Once in New Zealand, you can explore the country as a tourist but also study for up to three months.
To be eligible to join your partner, your relationship must be a legal marriage, civil union or de facto relationship. Qualifying for this partner visa is about more than just your relationship, though. You’ll also have to prove that you can support yourself financially during your stay in New Zealand.
Read more about this visa.
3. To join your adult children in New Zealand
Let’s be honest – the children you actually want to join in New Zealand are your grandchildren. Watching them grow up over Skype is just not the same as holding and hugging them every day!
Luckily, you can immigrate to New Zealand to live with your grandchildren (and children) permanently – but you’ll have to meet this criteria:
Your child must be a New Zealand citizen or resident
The parent retirement visa lets you join your adult child in New Zealand. To be eligible, your child must be a New Zealand citizen or resident.
However, having an adult child is not the only criteria you’ll have to meet to emigrate to New Zealand. You’ll also have to:
- prove an annual income of NZD60,000
- invest NZD1 million in New Zealand for four years, and
- prove that you have another NZD500,000 to live on.
If you can meet all of these requirements and you do get the visa, you’ll be eligible for permanent residence after the four-year investment period.
There is also a parent and grandparent visitors visa that you can apply for. This is a three-year multiple entry visa and allows for stays of up to 6 months at a time.
Read more about the parent retirement visa instead.
4. To start your own business or invest in an existing business
It should come as no surprise that you’ll have to have finances and sharp business acumen to start or buy into a business in New Zealand:
Capital, a business plan, good business character, and enough points
To emigrate to New Zealand as an entrepreneur, you’ll first and foremost need a minimum of NZ$100,000, which does not include working capital. The only industries exempt from this requirement is IT and science.
Secondly, you’ll need a comprehensive business plan that shows that the business will add value to New Zealand and can succeed.
Thirdly, you must be able to prove that you have ‘good business character’. To evaluate your business character, INZ will review any instances of business failure, fraud and bankruptcy.
Finally, you must score enough points in your assessment. If you don’t, you may have to explore other visa options.
Read more about the entrepreneur visa.
5. To obtain New Zealand residence through making a financial investment
Are you looking for a residency by investment route into New Zealand? Then you’re at the right place. New Zealand has two investor visas. The main criteria is that:
You must invest at least NZ$1.5 million for four years
New Zealand has two investor visas: the Investor visa and the Investor Plus visa. For the former, you’ll have to a minimum of NZ$1.5 million for four years. For the Investor Plus visa, you’ll have to invest at least NZ$10 million for three years.
In addition to the financial criteria, you’ll also have to meet the following requirements to apply for the Investor visa:
- You’re 65 or younger.
- You can only invest in acceptable New Zealand investments.
- The investments must made through the New Zealand banking systems and must be from a validated source.
- You must have settlement funds of NZ$1 million available to prove that you can support yourself.
- You’ll have to demonstrate three years of business experience in:
- owning a business or being in a senior management position,
- within a business with an annual turnover of at least NZ$1 million, and
- with at least five full-time staff members.
- You have to spend at least 146 days of the last three years of your visa in New Zealand.
- You have to score enough points in your points test.
To apply for the Investor Plus visa instead, you’ll have to meet these criteria to emigrate to New Zealand:
- The investment must be in an acceptable New Zealand investment.
- The investment must come through the New Zealand banking system from a validated source.
- You must spend at least 44 days of the last three years of your visa in New Zealand.
You do not have to prove settlement funds or business experience, and you can apply for the Investor Plus visa at any age. Furthermore, you do not have to do a points test.
Read more about the investor visas.
6. To study in New Zealand
There’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to study in New Zealand! You’ll get to explore some of the most beautiful spots on our planet, live in the second safest country in the world, and get a world-class education.
You must have been accepted by an appropriate New Zealand educational provider
To join thousands of international students already in New Zealand, you’ll have to get accepted by an appropriate New Zealand educational provider. Their letter of acceptance must include:
- the name and contact details of the educational provider
- the course you’ll be attending and the duration of the course
- proof that your course and the educational provider meet New Zealand’s requirements
- the cost of the course and, if the course if longer than one year, the annual tuition fee
- the details of the person who’ll pay the tuition fees
- if the course if full time or part time
- confirmation of meeting the requirements under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students
This is not all, though. You’ll also have to:
- have medical and travel insurance,
- prove that you can support yourself financially during your studies
- prove that you have the means to leave New Zealand once you’re done studying
Read more about the study visa.
Recapping the criteria to emigrate to New Zealand
There are many ways to make living, working, running a business or studying in New Zealand a reality. That is, if you can meet the requirements to do so:
- Work: The required skills, a New Zealand partner, or a partner with a work visa
- Joining your partner: A New Zealand partner, a partner with a work visa, or a partner with a study visa
- Joining your children: An adult child who is a New Zealand citizen or resident.
- Running a business: Capital, a business plan, good business character, and enough points
- Investing to get residence: Invest at least NZ$1.5 million for four years
- Studying: Acceptance from a recognised New Zealand educational provider
Want to find out if you meet the requirements to apply for any of these visas?
Qualifying for a visa is not as easy as ticking a couple of boxes. There are many factors that could influence your eligibility to immigrate. Your health, for instance. Most online assessments won’t take all of the necessary factors into consideration. A licensed advisor, however, will most certainly do so.
To speak to one of our licensed immigration advisors, please book an initial assessment online. This initial assessment is free and you’re under no obligation to use our services once you’ve done this assessment.
We also guarantee that you’ll get feedback within 1 hour. So within 60 minutes of completing your initial assessment, you’ll know if you stand a chance to emigrate to New Zealand.
What are you waiting for? Book your initial assessment right away!