Home Top Tips for Emigrating to New Zealand

Top Tips for Emigrating to New Zealand

Posted by on October 19th, 2023.

Location New Zealand. Red pin on the map
Emigrating abroad is a big step under any circumstances, but a move to the other side of the world is particularly life changing. It can be a wonderful adventure, offering opportunities to experience environments a far cry from Britain’s cornfields or Europe’s alpine slopes – but it also opens the door to challenges including homesickness and culture shock which may be harder to deal with that much further from friends and family.
To make the most of a move to New Zealand, experts suggest a series of tasks ahead of time which could help ease the settling-in process once you’re there. Top of the list, for those otherwise unfamiliar with the country, is booking a visit to see if it meets your expectations.

Visit New Zealand

Many people choose to move to New Zealand because they visited at an earlier point in their life and fell in love. Others, however, choose the country on account of rave reviews and things they’ve heard from other people.

It’s true that New Zealand has a lot going for it – but it’s worth remembering that personal experience counts for far more than second-hand accounts and statistics. A fantastic holiday enjoyed by a friend likely revolved around factors such as hotel stays and days on the beach – neither of which will be your daily reality as a citizen of the country.

To get a true feel of what life in New Zealand is like, it’s highly advisable to visit the country, paying special attention to the neighbourhoods where you could be living and local services in those areas – including transport links, healthcare facilities and childcare provisions should you be relocating with a young family.

The cost of visiting New Zealand isn’t cheap, but as a fraction of the move itself the price is worthwhile. Furthermore, the cost of relocating halfway around the world without scoping it out beforehand, then deciding it’s not suitable and having to move again far outweighs the price of a return flight.

Apply for a visa

The kind of visa you and your family members are eligible for will depend upon nationality, career and likely duration of your residency.

If you intend to stay in the country permanently or indefinitely, a resident visa is a likely choice: of these, there are skilled migrant visas and partner or family visas. Another option is the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). This visa is available to job offer holders whose prospective employer is accredited by New Zealand’s authorities.

On the other hand, obtaining a visa or even citizenship of the country may be a lot easier if you or your partner have New Zealand – or even Australian – nationality. The Partner of a New Zealander resident visa, for example, is suitable for partners of New Zealand citizens who have been in a relationship outside of New Zealand for 5 years or more.

If one partner already lives in New Zealand via their Australian citizenship, Australian permanent residence or resident return visa, the other partner can still apply for this visa.

Whichever visa you apply for, remember not to leave it too late – the application process can take upwards of fourteen months so it’s important to make a start early.

Learn about New Zealand’s culture & history

As with most things in life, going somewhere with the right attitude can make a significant difference to your experience. When moving to a new country, your attitude should reflect your situation as a newcomer – research appropriate customs, listen to feedback and communicate with patience and humility, remembering that to many, you will appear as a guest in their home.

New Zealand has a rich and unique relationship with its Indigenous culture and members of the Māori community, which forms no small part of the country’s identity. To prepare for responsible citizenship, learn about the history of the Māori peoples and their role today as representatives of New Zealand’s first society.

Furthermore, mass immigration in the last century has helped shape a diverse and multicultural population – to the benefit of locals and tourists, who can enjoy a global cross section of art, ceremony and cuisine in a single country. Historically, a high population of emigrants to New Zealand have been Irish, Chinese, European, Samoan, Indian and more recently South African and Korean – as well as British.

Sign up to a reminder system

Once the practicalities of the move are underway, there are a multitude of big and small arrangements that will need to be taken care of depending on personal circumstances. These include such things as getting important documents in order, finding temporary accommodation or else finalising rent or purchase agreements, setting up a New Zealand bank account and preparing any bulky luggage for transportation.

Most of these tasks contain a subset of additional tasks – making it hard to keep tabs on which things need doing by certain deadlines. Thankfully, software exists to help prioritise checklist items and is even developed by New Zealand’s government, meaning all information given is reliable and up to date.

The NZ Ready app prepares an individual moving plan based upon data you input during an initial survey. The plan will contain tips and links to organisations or websites which may be able to help you. The digital interface means lists can be brought with you on the go, while printable documents can help co-ordinate family members if pinned around the house with pens to tick off items.

Consider your currency options

If you are seriously considering emigrating to New Zealand you will want to take steps to protect your money from any unfavourable shifts in the currency market.

At TorFX, we offer a range of currency exchange services that can help save you time and money with relocating abroad. TorFX offers excellent transfer rates and 5-star service, with personalised support and access to a range of different transfer options.

Spot Contracts provide an instant and immediate service that is ideal for quickly moving funds abroad.

If you’re planning your transfer in advance, a Forward Contract can allow you to lock in a target exchange rate for up to two years. This protects your money from any negative market movements.

If you know the exchange rate you’re aiming for, a limit order is likely to be your best option. With a Limit Order, your transfer will go ahead automatically once the target rate is hit.

Conversely, a Stop Loss order can protect your transfer against worsening conditions. You can specify a lower target rate at which your transfer will go ahead to prevent any losses.

If you’re considering relocating to New Zealand, find out more about your currency transfer options.

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