To date, New Zealand has only had 2 763 cases of COVID. This is of course due to the country closing its borders early in the pandemic and maintaining strict border restrictions.
Unfortunately, the restrictions also means that it’s impossible for most people from overseas to enter New Zealand.
It is for this reason that Immigration New Zealand now has decided to refund levies and fees for visa applications that cannot be processed and approved.
Eligibility criteria to have your visa application lapsed or returned, and refunded
Immigration New Zealand will mainly refund visitor, students and work visa applications. The following criteria will also apply:
- You applied for a temporary visas from outside New Zealand before 10 August 2020
- Your visa application will lapse and you’ll get a refund.
- You applied for a temporary visa from outside New Zealand after 10 August 2020 when INZ suspended offshore applications
- Immigration New Zealand will return your visa application and you’ll get a refund.
You do not need to do anything if you’re eligible for a refund. You or your representative will get an email from Immigration New Zealand when INZ is processing your refund.
These visa applications and categories do not qualify for lapsing and refunding
INZ will not lapse and refund the following applications:
- Applications made from a COVID-19 quarantine free travel zone where you have notified INZ in writing before 30 June 2021 that you are still in a COVID-19 quarantine free travel zone, and want INZ to process your application
- Applications based on a relationship – partner or dependent children – to a New Zealand citizen, resident class visa holder or temporary visa holder
- Work visa applications under any of the following categories:
- Post-study work
- Work to Residence
- Entrepreneur Work Visa category
- Global Impact Visa categories
- An application for a work visa to arrange the transfer to and investment of funds in New Zealand after your application for residence under the Investor 1 or Investor 2 category has been approved in principle
- Applications based on a relationship – partner or dependent children – to a principal application with a temporary visa application that is listed above
You can decide how to proceed with your application if you’re in New Zealand with an automatically extended temporary visa
Immigration New Zealand is also going to give applicants whose temporary visas were automatically extended by special direction the choice to withdraw or proceed with their visa applications.
If you fall within this group instead and you choose to withdraw your application, you’ll only get a refund for the application fee. You won’t get a refund for the levies on your application.
As with refunds for overseas applicants, INZ will contact all eligible onshore applicants – it is not necessary to contact INZ yourself.
This is how the refund process will work
According to Immigration New Zealand, there are up to 50,000 eligible visa applications in the system!
INZ is going to process all of these refunds in batches, and contact eligible visa applicants, or their representative, via email over the next few months.
- If you submitted and paid for your application online:
- INZ will refund you credit card
- Where a third party such a licensed immigration advisor made payment on your behalf:
- It is your and your representative’s responsibility to arrange reimbursement of the refund. Immigration New Zealand is not able to mediate between you and your representative.
- For payments made more than 12 months ago:
- INZ will contact you to complete a refund form and provide a bank account number for the refund
- For applications submitted through other channels:
- INZ will contact you to obtain payment details
Please note that Immigration New Zealand may ask you to complete a refund request form in some cases.
Please be patient!
Processing these refunds is going to be a monstrous task for INZ! We urge you to be patient if you qualify for a refund.
In the meantime, contact us to if you’d like to see if you qualify for a visa that has a border exception. Our team can also help with immigration to Australia, so ask us about your options if you’d like to explore your options.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced on 3 July that 300 overseas qualified teachers will be able to enter New Zealand under a new class border exception.
Eligible teachers to get invitations from September
The overall outlook in New Zealand for domestic teachers supply remains positive but Early Childhood Education (ECE) services and schools continue to find certain locations and subjects difficult to recruit for.
It is for this reason that Immigration New Zealand decided to create a border exception for teachers. “This will give principals and services additional support, especially for 2022 recruitment, and complement existing teacher supply initiatives”, said Minister Hipkins.
The Ministry of Education will work with the education sector to ensure that the ECE services and schools with the greatest recruitment needs get priority. The Ministry will invite applications for these teachers from September.
The exception may also be open to teachers who worked in New Zealand but who had to leave the country and were unable to return to their job due to border closures.
INZ is also making family reunification possible
Immigration New Zealand is creating a family reunification border exception for the partners and dependent children of teachers who are already in New Zealand on temporary visas. These teachers will be able to request for their family to join them for the duration of their visa.
“A lot of families were separated when border restrictions were put in place to protect New Zealand from COVID-19 and we know this has been hard for them. We’re pleased we’re at last able to reunite teachers with their families”, said Minister Hipkins.
Contact us if you want to apply to teach or join a your teacher partner in New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand is still ironing out the finer details of the border exception but book a consultation with our licensed advisor in the meantime if you want to find out if you’re eligible to teach in New Zealand.
Our team can also help you and any children apply for the appropriate visas to join a partner in New Zealand who’s working there as a teacher.
Just want to stay up to date with immigration news out of New Zealand? Then we suggest joining our newsletter. You’ll get your newsletter once a month, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
InterNations has released the results of their annual Expat Insider survey – and New Zealand did well!
The survey quizzed expats on topics ranging from their financial situation to career prospects, and expats in New Zealand rated the country highly in most categories.
Overall, New Zealand ranked in the top 10.
What expats think of New Zealand
When it comes to life in New Zealand, expats are most impressed with the excellent work-life balance the country offers. A whopping 83% of respondents were generally satisfied compared to 66% globally, and 39% of expats were completely satisfied with their work-life balance.
Expats in New Zealand also feel their jobs are quite secure, with 81% of respondents rating their job security favourably. This is 20% higher than the global average.
Prospects are also good for those looking for a change, with 64% of expat rating the local career opportunities positively. The global average was only 45%!
In terms of remote work, only 62% of respondents said they are able to work from home. For nearly half of these expats the reason is the nature of their work. That is most likely at least partly due to the fact that 26% of the respondents work in the healthcare field.
Keep in mind also that New Zealand managed to rapidly contain the COVID-19 pandemic, so being able to work from home is not such a priority as elsewhere in the world at the moment.
How does the Expat Insider survey work?
For the 2021 Expat Insider survey, 12,240 respondents representing 174 different nationalities and living in 186 countries or territories worldwide were asked to evaluate life abroad.
What factors into the ranking?
The overall ranking of each country was determined by the answers of respondents to questions across four categories:
- Quality of Life – Leisure Options, Personal Happiness, Travel and Transportation, Health and Well-being, Safety and Security, Digital Life, Quality of the Environment
- Ease of Settling – Feeling at Home, Friendliness, Finding Friends, Language
- Personal Finance
- Working Abroad – Career Prospects and Satisfaction, Work and Leisure, Economy and Job Security
Expats also had to answer the question “How satisfied are you with life abroad in general?”
Who responded to the survey?
The Expat Insider survey breaks down the statistics of respondents as follows:
- Gender: 48% female, 52% male
- Relationship status: 63% in a relationship, 37% single
- Family status: 80% without dependent children abroad, 20% with dependent children abroad
- Age: 46.1 years on average
- Level of education: 83% with university degree (2% with no degree, 7% high school graduate, 8% commercial/technical/vocational training)
What countries were in the top 10?
The top 10 countries overall were:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
Top findings from the top three countries
Taiwan has always scored highly for both the affordability the quality of local healthcare, among other factors. In 2021, an astounding 96% of respondents in Taiwan rated the quality of medical care positively, and nearly 66% couldn’t be any happier.
Mexico is known for offering expats a hospitable, welcoming and affordable environment. Not only has it landed in the top 5 of each ranking since 2014, but it also lead in the 2021 Ease of Settling Index.
Costa Rica ranked second out of 65 countries in 2017 and then dropped all the way to the 21st position by 2019. Now, it has managed to climb back up again. Similar to Mexico, Cost Rica does particularly well with regard to personal finance and the ease of settling in. The country also impresses expats with its natural environment and great work-life balance.
Want to read the complete Expat Insider survey?
If you want to know more about New Zealand’s performance on the 2021 survey, click here to download it from InterNation’s website.
Immigration New Zealand is continuously amending their visa regulations to help the country bounce back from the economic effects of COVID-19. This month’s changes affect Essential Skill visa holders, dairy farm workers and three short-term work visas.
Changes to Essential Skills visa
Immigration New Zealand has announced three changes to the Essential Skills visa category:
- INZ has increased the duration of new Essential Skills visas for those who are paid below the median wage from 6 months to 12 months. This change applies to all Essential Skills visas granted on or after 10 June 2021.
- From 19 July, Essential Skills visa applications will be assessed using the median hourly wage of NZ$27, in line with the 2020 Statistics New Zealand median wage. This is an annual adjustment, and it’s an increase from the current rate of NZ$25.50.
- The stand-down period for Essential Skills visa holders who are paid below the median wage will be further postponed until July 2022. This stand-down period requires visa holders to leave New Zealand for 12 months after three years before applying for another lower-paid Essential Skills visa.
Border exception for dairy farm managers, dairy farm assistants and veterinarians
Immigration New Zealand is introducing a border exception for up to 150 dairy herd managers, up to 50 dairy farm assistants and up to 50 veterinarians to assist with the upcoming calving season.
“It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long way towards relieving those pressures,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.
To apply for the exception, you must meet the following criteria:
- Assistant Dairy Farm Managers
- who earn above $92,000 per year, and
- have 2-4 years of relevant work experience, and
- will enter New Zealand before April 2022.
- Dairy Herd Managers
- who earn above $79,500 per year, and
- have 2-4 years of relevant work experience, and
- will enter New Zealand before April 2022.
- Dairy Farm Assistants
- who earn at or above the median wage per year, and
- will fill roles in regions with acute shortages, and
- are entering New Zealand to support the 2021/22 season, and
- will enter New Zealand before April 2022.
- who earn at or above NZD85,000 per year,
- with 3 to 5 years of experience across key roles in both urban and rural veterinary settings, and
- the necessary qualifications and experience to get licensed and registered with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.
Extensions for three short-term work visas
INZ has extended the validity of Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employer work visas. INZ is also granting Pacific Recognised Seasonal Employer workers longer stays.
Working Holiday visas
Working Holiday visas that are expiring between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 have been extended a further six months. To qualify for the extension, visa holders must have been in New Zealand on 14 June 2021.
This extension is already legally in effect, and INZ will update visa records in July. Visa holders can use the confirmation email from INZ as proof of their right to work when engaging with prospective employers.
Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) work visas
Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) work visas expiring between 30 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 have been extended for six months.
The extended SSE visas now have open work rights allowing them to work in any sector.
Immigration New Zealand will contact visa holders to confirm their extension. The visa extensions are however already legally in effect, and INZ will update visa records in July.
Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) visa
If you are a Pacific RSE worker who came to New Zealand through the border exception you can apply for a new visa and will be able to stay beyond the normal maximum period.
Stay up to date with the latest news from New Zealand
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There are many parts to a Skilled Migrant visa application. One of these parts is the New Zealand Expression of Interest. Continue reading to find out what it is and where it fits into the process.
1. What is the Expression of Interest?
The Expression of Interest is an initial application to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) indicating your interest in applying for a Skilled Migrant visa.
2. How do I qualify to submit an Expression of Interest to INZ?
As someone who wants to immigrate to New Zealand as a skilled migrant, everything hinges on your points score. You must score at least 100 points in an immigration eligibility assessment to submit an Expression of Interest.
3. Where does the EOI fit into the Skilled Migrant application process?
The EOI is the third step in your Skilled Migrant visa application:
The first step is making sure that you meet the basic requirements:
- You’re 55 or younger
- You’re of good health
- You meet New Zealand’s character requirements
- You meet the English language standards for the Skilled Migrant visa
The second step is doing your points-based immigration eligibility assessment. If you score 100 points or more, you’ll move ahead with the process.
You submit your Expression of Interest.
You get an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa if your EOI is selected by INZ.
4. Does submitting an Expression of Interest mean I’ll get a visa?
Unfortunately, being able to submit an Expression of Interest does not guarantee that you’ll get a visa.
Let us explain:
Your EOI will go into an Expression of Interest pool, along with the EOIs of everyone else who want to apply for a Skilled Migrant visa.
From this pool, Immigration New Zealand selects the EOIs it feels are from the best candidates for immigration to New Zealand. In our experience, that means EOIs with at least 160 points and a job offer.
5. How long does my EOI stay in the pool?
Expressions of Interest are valid for 6 months. If you haven’t been selected from the pool of applicants in this time, you’ll have to submit your EOI again.
6. Can I increase my points score?
INZ awards points for age, qualifications and experience. There’s not much you can do to change any of these to get more points.
However, a job offer does increase your points score and it earns you enough points to make a significant difference to your Expression of Interest.
Our advice is to secure a job offer to give your EOI a greater chance of selection.
7. Should I wait to submit my Expression of Interest until I have a job offer?
You don’t have to but remember that your Expression of Interest is only valid for 6 months:
- Are you confident that you’ll secure a job offer in 6 months? Then you can go ahead and submit your Expression of Interest. INZ allows you to amend your EOI once it’s been submitted.
- Don’t want the pressure of having to find a job in 6 months and having to submit and pay for an EOI more than once? Then you might want to wait with your EOI until you have a job offer.
8. What if I can’t secure a job offer and 160 points?
You could still submit or leave your Expression of Interest in the pool but you should also consider other visa options if you’re determined to work in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Expression of Interest in summary
- The Expression of Interest is the third step in the Skilled Migrant Visa application process.
- To submit an EOI to INZ for consideration, you’ll have to score 100 points in an immigration eligibility assessment.
- Your Expression of Interest will stay in the EOI pool for 6 months.
- INZ usually selects Expressions of Interest with 160 points and a job offer from the EOI pool.
- If you can’t secure a job offer and 160 points, you might have to consider applying for another type of visa.
- However, if you’re successful and INZ selects your EOI from the pool, you’ll get an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.
Do you have more questions?
Please feel free to contact us should you have any other questions about the Expression of Interest. Our immigration agents are licensed to give advice and happy to help!
Immigration New Zealand announced this week that it’ll allow the immediate family members of some temporary visa holders to travel to and enter New Zealand, starting 30 April. This decision will allow families to reunite after spending many months apart!
Who qualifies for the border exemption?
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has enacted several border exceptions to enable specific groups of people to enter New Zealand.
The latest border exemption will enable the partners and dependent children of temporary visa holders who are still outside of New Zealand and fall within three groups to travel to New Zealand under the border exemption.
The three groups are:
- Partners and dependent children who held – and who continue to hold – a visa for New Zealand but were unable to join their partner or parent in New Zealand before the border closed
- The partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services
- The partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers
1. Partners and dependent children who held a visa before the border closure
To be eligible to enter New Zealand, partners or dependent children outside of New Zealand must:
- hold a current visa based on their relationship to the person in New Zealand.
The partner or parent must:
- be currently in New Zealand, and
- have 12 months or more remaining on their work or student visa when the request to travel is submitted.
2. The partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services
To apply for an exemption to travel to New Zealand, you must:
- be the partner or dependent child of a person who is currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa.
The partner or parent must:
- be currently in New Zealand, and
- have a visa specifying they work in an occupation to deliver critical health services in New Zealand, and
- hold a visa that is valid for 12 months or more after the date the request to travel is submitted.
You’ll get an invite to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor visa if your request is successful. Your visa application must include evidence of your relationship with the primary visa holder. For example:
- Any supporting documentation demonstrating your partnership
- Evidence that your partner supports your travel to New Zealand
- Any other evidence showing a commitment to a shared life
3. The partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers
You’ll be eligible to apply for an exemption to the border restrictions if you are:
- the partner or dependent child of a person who is currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa.
The partner or parent must:
- be currently in New Zealand, and
- earn at least twice the median salary, which is NZD106,080 per year at the moment
- hold a visa that is valid for 12 months or more after the date the request to travel is submitted
The person in New Zealand must also meet one or more of the following requirements:
- They have unique experience and technical or specialist skills not readily obtainable in New Zealand
- They have a role essential for the completion or continuation of a science programme under a government-funded or partially government-funded contract, including research and development exchanges and partnerships, and have the support of the Science, Innovation and International Branch at MBIE to carry out this work
- A role essential for the delivery or execution of one of the following:
- An approved major infrastructure project or a government-approved event, or a major government-approved programme
- An approved government-to-government agreement
- Work with a significantly wider benefit to the national or regional economy
If your request is successful, you’ll get an invite to apply for a Critical Purpose Travel visa. Your visa application must provide evidence of your relationship with the visa holder in New Zealand. This evidence could be, for example:
- A description of your partnership, including details of any previously shared living arrangements
- Travel movements of you and your partner
- Any other evidence showing a commitment to a shared life
How do you request to travel?
To request to travel to New Zealand, you must submit an Expression of Interest. If INZ agrees that you have a critical purpose to travel to New Zealand, i.e. that you meet the requirements of the border exemption, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa.
How long does INZ take to process requests to travel?
INZ has published on their website that they aim to respond to requests within five working days. However, it may take longer depending on the volume and complexity of the requests INZ receives.
Can Intergate Emigration help me with my application?
Our team can assist you if you’re the partner or dependent child of a critical health worker or a highly skilled worker. You can reach us at +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our licensed advisors have helped many people apply for travel exceptions over the past year, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
New Zealand is regularly voted one of the best countries in the world to live.
Parents choose New Zealand because of the high quality of education and the lifestyle the country offers their family. Not to mention the fact that New Zealand is one of the world’s safest and most peaceful countries.
But how do you choose where in New Zealand to settle your family? It’s almost impossible to single out a specific place! It really comes down to what your family is looking for.
Big city lights
New Zealand’s three largest cities also happens to be three of the most popular cities with migrant families settling in the country.
Auckland, on the North Island, is New Zealand’s most populous city. Auckland is also New Zealand’s economic hub, and it’s known as a diverse and cosmopolitan city.
When it comes to things to see and do, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Auckland is home to many museums and historic sites and regularly hosts festivals and sporting events. Auckland is also within travelling distance of magnificent natural attractions such as Rotorua Island, Muriwai beach, and Waitakere Rages Regional Park.
Auckland isn’t short on exceptional schools either. Six of the eight top schools in the latest Crimson-QS New Zealand school rankings are in Auckland!
These schools are a mix of girls’, boys’ and co-ed schools:
- St Cuthbert’s College: A private day and boarding schools for girls.
- Macleans College: Co-education state secondary school.
- ACG Parnell College: Independent co-educational school.
- Auckland International College: Independent co-educational secondary school.
- Auckland Grammar School: State secondary school for boys.
- Diocesan School for Girls: Private girls’ school.
When exploring Wellington, you can visit several of New Zealand’s largest and oldest cultural institutions, quench your thirst at one of its many bars, cafes and restaurants, and indulge in the arts and cultural events.
With six of New Zealand’s eight best schools in Auckland, there are only two spots left – and both schools are in Wellington:
- Scots College: Independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys and girls.
- Queen Margaret College: Independent girls’ school.
Just like Auckland, Wellington can also boast one of the best universities in New Zealand. The Victoria University of Wellington continuously performs well in world university rankings as well.
There is much to see and do in New Zealand’s oldest city. You can admire street art, marvel at state-of-the-art architecture, dine at world-class restaurants, and take in the creative scene.
Some of the highlights of Christchurch are:
When it comes to education, Christchurch is home to two of New Zealand’s top universities. The first one is the University of Canterbury, which is one of New Zealand’s oldest universities. The second institution is Lincoln University. This University prides itself on giving students ‘personalised attention’, which is made possible by keeping classes small.
Living life at a slower pace
Living in big cities isn’t for everyone. Some of us prefer smaller cities and cities with a more relaxed pace of life.
Known as the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, Queenstown sits on the edges of Lake Wakatipu on the South Island.
Queenstown’s lakeside location offers residents the chance to indulge in numerous activities ranging from jet boating to fly fishing. The surrounding mountains are perfect for walkers and hikers as well as photographers eager to capture the area’s beautiful landscapes.
Despite all of the adventure activities on offer, Queenstown is described as quaint and relaxed. The city also hosts many cultural events throughout the year, and it has numerous fine-dining restaurants and cafes.
Whanganui is home to approximately 43,000 people, and sits at the mouth of the at the mouth of the Whanganui River.
The city offers plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. You can visit history museums and art galleries, treat your kids to a day at Kōwhai Park, or take a leisurely cycle or walk in one of the area’s nature reserves.
Living in Whanganui also means you’re only an hour’s flight from Auckland. It’ll be easy for family and friends to visit!
Here’s something you may not know – Gisborne is the first place in the world to see the sunrise each day.
Rise with the sun and you’ll get to make the most of the city’s beautiful coastline, forested mountain parks, and surfing and fishing opportunities. Many people do! It’s common to see Gisborne locals surf or cycle before work.
You may also want to indulge in the magnificent food and wine the city has to offer. Gisborne is especially known for its chardonnay.
You want to be close to all of the best sights and sounds New Zealand has to offer
If you want to experience as much of New Zealand as possible, Hamilton and Rotorua should be at the top of your list.
Hamilton is set on the banks of the Waikato River and only 90 minutes from Auckland. However, the cost of living in Hamilton is much more affordable than in Auckland.
Living in Hamilton means you’re never too far from somewhere to go or something to see. You’ll find New Zealand’s surfing capital Raglan, the Hobbiton movie set, and the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves within driving distance of Hamilton.
Rotorua is a tourist hotspot and an all-year-round destination thanks to its mild climate. It’s never too hold or too cold. Another reason for Rotorua’s popularity is its central location on the North Island. You’ll get to Auckland, Napier, the Coromandel Peninsula, Mt Maunganui, and Mt Ruapehu in just under three hours.
The icing on the cake? Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most affordable cities to live in.
Want to find out if you and your family are eligible to live in New Zealand?
Finding out if you can call New Zealand ‘home’ is as easy as booking a consultation call with us. Our licensed immigration agent will assess your eligibility and discuss your visa options with you.
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 offers more job opportunities but 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?
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.)
Is an affordable cost of living important?
When drilling deeper into these averages, the highest and lowest annual salaries for New Zealand are listed as NZD434,000 and NZD24,600 respectively. Australia’s highest and lowest annual income come in at AUD405,000 and AUD23,000.
However, looking at salaries alone doesn’t give us the complete picture. One also has to consider the cost of living. It’s the only way to determine how much life you can squeeze out of your salary.
Numbeo tells us that the average prices of consumer goods and services, rent, and groceries are lower in New Zealand than in Australia. However, New Zealand’s purchasing power is 17.49% lower than Australia’s.
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 0.92(NZ) to 1(Aus).
On average, rent in New Zealand is 7.58% lower than in Australia. You can expect to pay $2,640.79 for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city centre in New Zealand, while the same apartment in Australia will cost you $3,012.19. Choose to live outside of the city centre and your rent for the same size apartment will decrease to $2,131.72 and $2,082.47 respectively.
To keep the lights on and the water running, you’ll have to fork out $184.35 a month in New Zealand, while it will cost you $238.99 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. The price for uncapped data over ADSL or a cable at 60mbps or more, will cost just about the same in both countries.
Staying connected costs $81.78 a month in New Zealand and $81.97 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||$2.62||$1.80|
2. Meat and diary
|1kg Chicken fillets||$13.07||$11.85|
|1kg Beef round||$19.73||$19.44|
|1kg Local cheese||$10.74||$11.68|
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 available 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 suit you well.
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 the great outdoors. In fact, when it came to work-life balance, New Zealand ranked first in the world in the 2020 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 crowded 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 Under.
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. These 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 systems, 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 cost 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 2020, New Zealand was – yet again – the second safest country in the world, as per the 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 reclaimed its number 13 spot on the Index in 2020. This puts 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 an affordable cost of living important? You’ll spend less in New Zealand on average on everyday goods and services, but your purchasing is 17.49% lower than in Australia.
- 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.
The New Zealand Government has removed the start date criteria from the border exception for critical health workers. Medical professionals in New Zealand welcomed this decision.
What does this mean for health workers?
New Zealand has border restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are some exceptions, though. The border exception for critical health workers is one.
The exception allows eligible candidates from overseas to enter New Zealand to work. However, this exception had a start date requirement. The requirement meant that new, approved employees had to start working for their New Zealand employer on or before 31 March 2021.
Now there is no start date requirement for critical health workers, which means the border exception is indefinite.
Please note, though, that health workers still must meet all of the other border exception requirements. Start dates are also still dependent on the availability of places in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
What type of health workers are eligible?
The removal of the start date criteria applies to the likes of:
- Registered health practitioners, including nurses, doctors and paramedics – this includes those working in hospitals, practices, and aged care facilities
- Internationally-qualified nurses, who still have to register in New Zealand
- Workers that operate and maintain medical equipment
Please see the complete list of occupations on Immigration New Zealand under the Critical Health Workers heading. If you see your occupation, book a consultation call to find out if you’re eligible for a work visa.
Why was there an expiry date on the border exception in the first place?
The border exception for critical health workers was one of the first exceptions Immigration New Zealand put in place. The expiry dates allowed Immigration New Zealand to review the exception to ensure it was still required and that it was attracting the workers New Zealand’s health care system needs.
This is what the healthcare sector had to say
New Zealand Rural General Practice Network Chief Executive Dr. Grant Davidson welcomed Immigration New Zealand’s decision.
“Many of our rural practices rely on international doctors being able to enter the country to support their communities. About one-third of practices in rural areas have long-term vacancies and there aren’t enough doctors in New Zealand to fill these spots”, Davidson said. He continued, “Border restrictions have been disrupting our placement of essential health workers in jobs beyond March 2021. We are pleased this barrier has been removed.”
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners also praised Immigration New Zealand for their decision.
College President Dr. Samantha Murton said, “This is a major win for our GP clinics across New Zealand who are struggling to recruit enough doctors. Now with greater certainty at the border, general practices can attract overseas-trained doctors – and get them here, meaning more patients seen by a doctor and releasing some of the tension on other struggling GPs.”
Stay up to date with other COVID-19 related changes
New Zealand announced that it’ll close its South African offices by March. Immigration New Zealand also extended visitor visas by two months for some visa holders.
Extensions of New Zealand visitor visas
On 19 February, Immigration New Zealand extended the visitor visas of visa holders who are in the country and whose visas expire between 19 February and 31 March 2021 by two months from the date of expiry.
This extension by INZ is valid even though the new expiry dates are not yet visible on the visas. The new expiry dates will be available on the Visa Verification Service after 5 March.
Visa holders would have to apply for new visas to extend their stay past the new expiry date.
Please note: This visitor visa extension does not apply to COVID-19 short-term visitor visas.
Maximum stay rule for some visitor visas temporarily waived
People in New Zealand who apply for visitor visas before the end of June 2021 will get a temporary waiver of the maximum stay rule – visitor visa holders can only be in New Zealand for nine months out of an 18 month period. Those who apply will be eligible for a visitor visa for up to six months.
New Zealand’s immigration offices in Pretoria, Mumbai, and Manila to close by March 2021
Immigration New Zealand announced that it will close its offices in Pretoria, Mumbai, and Manila by March.
This decision comes as border restrictions remain in place almost 12 months after first being put in place. The restrictions have meant that incoming visa volumes from people who are offshore have decreased significantly.
Visa application processes – including appointments – will move online as part of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority programme.
Deputy Head of INZ Catriona Robinson says that INZ has a responsibility to adapt to the changing environment and ensure we are contributing to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
“As a result, INZ has made the difficult decision to close our offices in Mumbai, Manila, and Pretoria by March 2021 and bring more visa processing onshore,” Catriona Robinson says.
“This is not a decision that we have made lightly. Our staff in these offices have made a significant contribution to INZ and New Zealand. However, these offices have been closed since March 2020, and with no certainty about when visa volumes may return to normal, INZ has had to make some tough decisions.“
Robinson believes that INZ is well-placed to increase its onshore processing capacity.
“The roll-out of new technology functions aims to improve efficiency and resilience throughout INZ, which will help to us to better manage peaks and troughs in visa volumes while giving users of the immigration system a better customer experience,” Robinson says.