Got a hankering to live in Hobbit country? Like the idea of moving to a place with an almost unique level of geographical diversity? New Zealand can oblige. Each year thousands of people take the plunge and make the move to New Zealand, with a great many of those expats coming from the UK. New Zealand is a quirky country that can offer an incredibly high quality of life as well as great job potential, economic opportunity and some of the world’s most breath-taking scenery.
If you’re feeling inspired, check out our little introduction to moving to the land of the Kiwi.
Why wouldn’t you? Let’s get down to the numbers… Not only does New Zealand rank extremely highly on the OECD Better Life Index, the country also tends to score above the United Kingdom in ALL aspects bar one; income. That’s better housing, better education, better environment, better health and better life satisfaction, to name a few. They also consistently rank 3rd in the world in Mercer’s annual quality of life survey (the UK is 39th), with Auckland, a city on the North Island of New Zealand, also ranked at 3rd in the world. In the 2016 Legatum Prosperity Index, New Zealand ranked 1st based on a number of variables such as economic quality, business environment, education, health, etc. You probably get the picture – New Zealand is very much an extraordinary and extremely coveted place to live.
New Zealand is also notorious for having an easy-going pace of life. The uncrowded communities, low crime, countryside backdrops, low pollution and lack of congestion lend themselves to this culture. Many surveys also demonstrate New Zealand’s enviable work-life balance, with HSBC’s 2015 Expat Explorer survey ranking them as 2nd in the world for work-life balance and indeed 1st for quality of life.
In regards to the cities, the urban environment is definitely blossoming. Whether it’s Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch, all of the major cities feature trendy late-night bars, restaurants and clubs and from water activities to cycling and hiking, there’s plenty to keep the more adventurous expats happy. If you’re one for natural spectacle, then it almost goes without saying that New Zealand will not disappoint. There are very few places in the world where you can go from mountainside glacier to verdant rainforest, then indeed to the beach, all within a very small amount of space and time. There’s a reason why Peter Jackson was able to film the majority of The Lord of the Rings there – it’s diverse, staggeringly diverse.
Subtropical! The north is hot and there are beaches there that would make the south of France jealous. However, if you’re going inland you’re going to find various alpine regions – and these are cold. The south island can also get quite chilly, actually, a general rule of thumb for New Zealand is the farther south you go, the colder it gets. But overall, most of the populated areas lie close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.
There are a lot of options available to you, should you wish to emigrate, visit, or simply stay for an extended period of time. As a British Citizen, you can stay for six months without requiring any kind of visa. However, should you want to stay beyond this time to work, you will require one. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 30 you can apply for a working holiday visa – this gives you 23 months to work and do as you please. If you’re looking to make that antipodean way of life a permanent thing, you’re going to need to apply for a resident visa, of which there are two options: The Skilled Migrant Visa – this uses a points based system and ranks you based on your skillset and experience for eligibility, and the Residence from Work Visa – this one you can apply for after holding a Work Visa for 24 months. This can seem somewhat complicated, the quickest means of seeing which you are eligible for is to check out their extremely useful visa guide.
Choose the options that best suit the nature of your stay and it will tell you the kind of visa you might require.
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