Do you have your heart set on emigration to New Zealand? Ready to set yourself up for success?
The nine tips we have for you today are just what you need. We’ll cover all areas, from visas and finding a job to healthcare and taking your pets with you.
Let’s get straight to it.
1. Start early
Trust us when we say that it’s not easy to immigrate. There are many moving parts, and not all of them are under your control.
The key to managing your immigration well is starting long before you intend on moving. The earlier you start, the easier it’ll be to deal with issues or surprises that may arise.
Give yourself at least six months to a year if you can. Draw up a list of priorities and then get stuck in.
2. Explore your visa options
The first item on your list of priorities should be exploring your visa options. The last thing you want to do is spend money on an application for a visa you don’t qualify for!
You have two options for finding out your visa options:
- Doing the research on your own
- Consulting with a licensed advisor
You’ll incur costs when going the second route, but it is the safest option for your immigration. A reputable licensed advisor will assess you against New Zealand’s immigration requirements to determine your best visa options.
You could make a mistake when doing it on your own, which could also mean that you pay for a visa application that has no chance of success.
3. Get the right advice
Should you choose to trust your immigration to an advisor, you must make sure you’re speaking to a professional you can trust.
Check for a license from the New Zealand Immigration Adviser Authority, as that’s a stamp of approval from New Zealand itself. It’s the best sign to look for!
IAA licensed advisors are authorised to give immigration advice and are held accountable for the advice they give.
4. Check your passport
You must have a valid passport to apply for a visa, so make sure your passport is still valid. The same goes for every family member involved in the migration application.
Ideally, your passports should be valid for at least another four years. If the remaining validity period is three years or less, renewing your passport is advisable.
Remember to also apply for passports for children who may still need to get passports.
5. Get your documents in order
Ensure that you have important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates. Many people underestimate how long it can take to get such documents from the relevant authorities.
Want to apply for a work visa? Then you must also have your CV and qualifications in order.
When you work with a licensed advisory, they’ll tell you precisely what documents you need and whether they should be original, colour copies, or certified.
6. Find a job
You’ll need a job to immigrate to New Zealand using a work visa.
The Accredited Employer Work Visa requires that you have a job to apply, and it’s near impossible for most migrants to get an invitation to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa without a job offer.
You can find a job by:
- Standing out from the crowd with a New Zealand-friendly CV and a cover letter that includes mention of the fact that you qualify for a work visa
- Contacting recruiters in New Zealand for assistance with your job hunt
- Networking with connections in your industry
- Signing up for job alerts on career websites
- Identifying companies you’d like to work for and applying for suitable jobs
You can find more advice for your job search on our blog:
- Working in New Zealand: Is it easy to get a job? (Plus, 7 other questions)
- How to get a job in New Zealand: 10 Top tips (plus a LinkedIn profile checklist)
- Ace your New Zealand job interview
7. Improve your English
New Zealand expects immigrants to speak a reasonable level of English. You might have to complete an English test to prove your abilities, so if English is not your first language, work with a tutor or English Language teacher to improve.
8. Do plenty of research
It’s common knowledge that New Zealand is a beautiful and safe country, but you’ll have to know more as someone who intends to move there.
Here’s what you’ll have to research:
- The cost of living: You’ll have to be able to provide for your family on the salary you’ll earn. Everyday costs include groceries, clothing, transport, rent or bond repayments, utilities, schooling and childcare. You can use Numbeo as a starting point and consider joining Facebook groups for advice or reading blogs by expats.
- Cities, towns, and neighbourhoods: Read up on New Zealand’s cities and towns, and decide which areas suit your lifestyle best. Once you have a list of suitable cities or towns, you can zone in on neighbourhoods to choose where to buy or rent a home.
- Banking: You want to set up a bank account shortly after arriving in New Zealand or even before you go. Find out how to do this as soon as possible to access funds when setting up debit orders or applying for credit.
- Healthcare: New Zealand has free public healthcare and private healthcare. However, you might not qualify for free healthcare, which makes it necessary to investigate private healthcare providers.
- Schools and universities: The deciding factor on where to live for parents could be their choice of school. You must research New Zealand’s schools if that’s true for you. The same goes for students who wish to take up tertiary studies in New Zealand.
- Importing your belongings and pets: New Zealand has strict import requirements, making it important to know what you can take and can’t. Import requirements also apply to pets. Some dog breeds, for example, are not allowed in New Zealand.
9. Save for your move
Immigrating is expensive! It’s not only visa costs. There is also the cost of flights, insurance, international movers, a deposit on a new home, buying new furniture… The list goes on and on!
It’s good to have money saved up to cover these costs (and those unforeseen expenses). A good rule of thumb is three to six months of savings. Your research will guide you as to exactly how much you’ll need.
Here’s a tip – whatever the final number, add 10% to 20% on top of that as an emergency buffer.
To set yourself up for success when moving to New Zealand, you must ensure that you:
- Start early – The earlier, the better!
- Explore your visa options – You can’t immigrate without qualifying for a visa
- Get the right advice – from a licensed immigration advisor
- Check your passport – Renew it if it expires within the next three years
- Get your documents in order – such as birth and marriage certificates, and your CV
- Find a job – You’ll need one if you want to apply for a work visa
- Improve your English – New Zealand has strict language requirements
- Do plenty of research – Understand the cost of living, decide where you’ll stay, see if you qualify for free public healthcare, and know how to open a bank account and what you can take with you
- Save for your move – Three to six months of savings, plus up to 20% as an emergency buffer
You’ll significantly minimise the chances of your immigration failing if you follow these tips!