The short answer to whether or not New Zealand have a good quality of life? Absolutely!
Time and again, New Zealand performs well in quality of life reports. Even during times of hardship, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s look at four recent indexes and reports that measure the quality of life to see how New Zealand performed compared to other countries around the world:
1. Better Life Index – OECD
The OECD Better Life Index measures the well-being of societies by looking at 11 topics. These topics reflect what the OECD identified as essential to well-being in terms of material living conditions and quality of life.
The 38 countries that form part of the Index are all OECD members and include the world’s most developed economies and several emerging economies, plus Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
What is the OECD?
The OECD is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and it’s an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. The OECD’s goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity, and well-being.
Here’s how New Zealand performed:
New Zealand performs well in many dimensions of well-being relative to other countries in the Better Life Index. New Zealand outperforms the OECD average in income, jobs, education, health, environmental quality, social connections, civic engagement and life satisfaction.
- Disposable income: The average New Zealand household’s net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD39,024 a year, which is more than the OECD average of USD30,490 a year.
- Employment: About 77% of people aged 15 to 64 in New Zealand have a paid job, which is above the OECD employment average of 66%.
- Education: The average New Zealand student scored 503 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 488.
- Health: At birth, New Zealanders have a life expectancy of around 82 years, which is one year higher than the OECD average of 81 years.
- Social Connections: There is a strong sense of community in New Zealand, and 95% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need.
- Life satisfaction: When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, New Zealanders gave it a 7.3 grade on average, which is higher than the OECD average of 6.7.
2. The Global Liveability Report 2021 – The Economist Intelligence Unit
The Global Liveability Report ranks 140 global cities for their urban quality of life based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure assessments. In 2021, the Report measured how COVID-19 affected liveability worldwide.
Who is the Economist Intelligence Unit?
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper. The EIU has a global team of economists, industry specialists, policy analysts and consultants.
Here’s how New Zealand’s cities performed:
The 10 most liveable cities in the world in 2021 were as follows:
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Osaka, Japan
- Adelaide, Australia
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Tokyo, Japan
- Perth, Australia
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Melbourne, Australia
- Brisbane, Australia
As you can see, Auckland is the world’s most liveable city! The city owes this ranking to its ability to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic faster and thus lift restrictions earlier, unlike other cities around the world.
Wellington moved from 15th place in the 2020 Report to 4th place in the 2021 report, also due to its relative freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Quality of Life Index 2022 – Numbeo
Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index is an estimation of the overall quality of life. It considers purchasing power, pollution, house price to income ratio, cost of living, safety, healthcare, traffic commute time, and climate.
Who is Numbeo?
Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.
Here’s how New Zealand performed:
New Zealand is in 9th place on the latest Quality of Life Index from Numbeo. The rest of the top 10 are Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Iceland, Germany, Austria, and Norway.
When looking at the indices, New Zealand ranked at number 19 for purchasing power, which means your money will go further in New Zealand than in many other countries. New Zealand also came in the top 20 for healthcare.
4. Quality of Life Ranking – US News
The Quality of Life Ranking from the US News measures the quality of life in 78 countries worldwide. The Ranking considers a variety of factors, ranging from the state of the job market to how family-friendly a country is.
Who is US News?
US News & World Report is a digital media company dedicated to helping consumers, business leaders and policy officials make important decisions. They use world-class data and technology to publish independent reporting, rankings, journalism and advice.
Here’s how New Zealand performed:
According to the Quality of Life Ranking from the US news, New Zealand has the tenth-highest quality of life globally. The other countries in the top 10 are Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany.
New Zealand scored particularly well for:
- Being family-friendly
- Being economically stable
- Its well-developed public education and health systems
- Being politically stable
- Being a safe country to live in
Why is New Zealand’s quality of life important?
Your quality of life matters because it directly affects your physical and mental well-being.
Someone who lives in a clean, safe and thriving country with quality healthcare, access to education and jobs, a stable economy, and plenty of opportunities will be much happier than a person living in a country that misses the mark on some or all of these indicators.
Thus, you want to ensure that when you move to another country it offers an enviable quality of life.
You don’t want to be worse off than where you are – you want to maintain or improve your and your family’s quality of life.
As we saw, New Zealand’s quality of life is among the best in the world. When you decide to call this beautiful country your home, your overall well-being will benefit tremendously!
Do you want to learn more about the Skilled Migrant Visa of New Zealand? Then you’ve come to the right place!
We’re answering all of your burning questions about this visa in this article. If you’re eager to find out if you can apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa by the end of the article, you should book a consultation call with our licensed advisor.
Now on to those frequently asked questions:
1. What is the Skilled Migrant Visa?
The Skilled Migrant Visa is a work visa. This visa enables you to live and work in New Zealand permanently.
You may also study if you wish, but you may not be self-employed. If you want to run your own business, you’ll have to look into the Entrepreneur Visa.
2. What are the Skilled Migrant Visa requirements?
Immigration New Zealand seeks skilled migrants to fill labour gaps in the country’s workforce. For this reason, you’ll have to meet strict requirements that are mainly related to your:
Apart from this, you’ll also have to be under the age of 55 and meet the following criteria:
- English language requirements associated with the Skilled Migrant Visa
- New Zealand’s health and character requirements
3. For how long is a skilled migrant visa valid?
The Skilled Migrant Visa is a residency visa and is thus valid indefinitely. You can work, live and study in New Zealand, and include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application.
4. What is classed as skilled work in New Zealand?
Immigration New Zealand uses the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO) to classify ‘skilled work’.
ANZSCO is used within the skilled migration programs to set guidelines for the skills and work experience visa applicants must meet to work in specific occupations in Australia or New Zealand.
Here’s how it works, as explained by Immigration New Zealand:
When applying for a Skilled Migrant Visa, you must find the closest matching ANZSCO occupation for your current job or job offer. You must also be suitably qualified to do the job, which means your training and experience should match your occupation’s ANZSCO skill level.
INZ will assess your occupation as skilled if it is:
- Is described in the ANZSCO as a skill level 1, 2 or 3, and it:
- Mostly matches the ANZSO descriptions of that occupation
- Meets the pay rate threshold of NZ$ 27 per hour (or equivalent annual salary) or more, or
- Is described in the ANZSCO as skill level 4 or 5, and it
- Mostly matches the ANZSO descriptions of that occupation
- Meets the pay rate threshold of NZ$ 40.50 per hour (or equivalent annual salary) or more, or
- Has no matching description in the ANZSCO and meets the pay rate threshold of NZ$ 40.50 per hour (or the equivalent annual salary) or more
5. What jobs are in demand in New Zealand?
Jobs that are in high demand in New Zealand are in a few key industries:
- Healthcare: Nurses, General Practitioners, Specialist Physicians, etc
- Education: Early Childhood Teachers, Academic Advisers, University Lecturers, etc
- IT: Developers, ICT Project Managers, ICT Security Specialists, etc
- Construction: Construction Project Manager, Civil Engineer, Quantity Surveyors, etc
As New Zealand’s needs change, those industries change.
For example, New Zealand focused heavily on healthcare at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Immigration New Zealand even went as far as creating border exceptions specifically for healthcare workers.
6. How do I get a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand?
The first step to getting a Skilled Migrant Visa for New Zealand is meeting the basic criteria:
- You’re 55 or younger
- Your occupation appears on one of New Zealand’s Essential Skills in Demand Lists
- You have a job offer
- Your points score from your skills assessment is 160 or more
- You meet the English language requirements
- You meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements
The second step, once you’ve been assessed as skilled and you scored at least 160 points, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
If Immigration New Zealand selects your EOI, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
At this stage, you’ll get to lodge your visa application – and if it’s successful, you’ll get a Skilled Migrant Visa.
7. What are New Zealand’s Essential Skills in Demand Lists?
New Zealand has three Essential Skills in Demand Lists. These lists capture all the highly-skilled occupations for which there are a shortage of local skilled workers.
Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)
The Long Term Skills Shortage List identifies occupations with a sustained and ongoing shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand. In other words, your occupation is in demand not just now but also for the foreseeable future.
Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL)
The Regional Skilled Shortage List (RSSL) identifies 15 regions with occupations with an immediate shortage of skilled workers, which gives migrants a better idea about opportunities in regional areas.
Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL)
The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List also contains immediate short-term skills shortages, but these shortages are specific to the construction industry.
You can only move on to the next step of the process if you meet all of these requirements – submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI). If your EOI is selected from the pool by INZ, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
8. How many points do I need to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa?
You’ll need at least 160 points to submit an Expression of Interest. Immigration New Zealand only invites EOIs with 160 points or more to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
What if I can’t score 160 points?
You might have to consider another work visa if you cannot score 160 points or more in your skills assessment. You could also explore other visas that allow you to live in New Zealand, such as the Entrepreneur or Investor visas.
How can I increase my points score?
The best way to score more points is with a job offer. As explained earlier, it’s near impossible to achieve 160 points or more in your skills assessment without a job offer.
However, it is best to speak with a licensed immigration advisor regarding your points. That is the best way to get an accurate points score.
9. What is an Expression of Interest?
Your Expression of Interest (EOI) is how you notify Immigration New Zealand of your desire to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
Your EOI will contain information related to the criteria of the Skilled Migrant Visa, which means your:
- English language ability
INZ will review all EOIs in the pool and select the EOIs it feels are the best candidates for immigration to New Zealand. Remember that you’re applying under a skilled category, so competition is fierce!
How long does an EOI stay in the pool?
Your Expression of Interest will stay in the EOI pool for six months. You’ll have to reapply if INZ does not select your EOI during this timeframe.
However, if your EOI is selected, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
10. How long does it take to get a skilled migrant visa for New Zealand?
Immigration New Zealand publishes how long it takes them to process applications on their website.
Currently (March 2022), INZ completes 50% of applications within 26 months, while it completes 75% and 90% of applications within 28 and 31 months.
Your immigration advisor should also be able to give you a timeframe for the entire process.
On 16 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand is bringing forward the date for opening the borders to Australians and arrivals from visa-waiver countries.
This announcement comes after New Zealand also brought forward the date for allowing New Zealanders and other eligible travellers through the country’s borders.
Australians welcome from 12 April, and borders are opening to visa-waiver travellers from 1 May
In New Zealand’s original 5-stage border reopening plan, its borders would’ve opened to Australians and travellers from visa-waiver countries in July.
Now the borders will open to these groups of people two months earlier than planned!
Australians can once again travel to New Zealand from Tuesday, 12 April at 11.59pm, while vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries are welcome from Sunday, 1 May at 11.59pm.
“Reopening in time for the upcoming Australian school holidays will help spur our economic recovery in the short term and is good news for the winter ski season,” said Prime Minister Ardern.
She added, “In a world still battling COVID-19, travellers will be discerning about where they go in the short term. Our strong health response, including the lowest death rate in the OECD over the past two years and our high rates of vaccination, alongside our reputation as a beautiful place to visit, will be an asset in this market. I am proud that New Zealand is a country which is able to provide a safe place for tourists to return to due to our strong health response to COVID-19.”
New Zealand’s also welcoming temporary visa holders and international students from 12 April
As per New Zealand’s original 5-stage plan, its borders will reopen to current offshore temporary visa holders and international students on 12 April:
- Temporary work and student visa holders who still meet their visa requirements — this includes people currently outside New Zealand and those who leave and want to return
- Up to 5000 international students to study in semester 2
The rest of the border reopening plan also remains as is
Immigration New Zealand has announced no other changes to date. That means the following:
- From July: New Zealand’s borders will open to Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) holders.
- From October: The border reopens, and standard visa processing resumes for all categories, including visitor and student visas, unless the visa is closed or paused.
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