So you’re planning a move to New Zealand- congratulations! The island country located in the Pacific Ocean has been a popular tourist destination for years, and with the advent of the COVID-19 virus, has become a shining example of good leadership in government. New Zealand’s vibrant greens and snow-capped mountains have been the background and inspiration for some iconic moments in pop culture, and the Maori haka has become an internationally feared and respected pre-game challenge on the rugby pitch.
Over the years, the country has become so much more than just a North and South island with vivid views and volcanic activity. That being said, moving there is no walk in the park. From selecting the right visa to physically shipping your belongings across international waters, there is a lot of work that goes into the moving process. If you’re just embarking on the journey, you’ve come to the right place! Read on for some of the most useful tips when preparing a move to New Zealand.
Before initiating any other moving preparation, selecting the correct visa for your needs and successfully applying should be number one on your checklist. Many people look to obtain a resident visa right away but should be prepared for a long turnaround time. Since this is a competitive visa, it’s helpful to apply as a skilled migrant should you have the right work experience. Other options include applying for a regular work visa or student visa, which require a much shorter wait period. If you are moving with family members, you’ll need to make sure they have the necessary visas as well. The bottom line is, always give this process the necessary time, as the processing window can range from a month to two years depending on the type of visa you apply for.
No matter where you move to, the reality is that moving costs a lot of money. When you factor in all of the additional costs associated with planning an international move, your budget must cover everything you need. Financial preparation is essential to ensure that you will be able to cover shipping, airfare, customs fees, new accommodation, and all of the other expenses you will incur during the process. It’s important not to overlook things like currency exchange, as this will have a big impact on how far your local currency will get you. Typically, the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is worth less than USD or Euros, meaning that when you exchange either you will be receiving a higher number of NZD.
When moving anywhere one of the most crucial steps in your preparation stages is securing accommodation. Whether you have friends who currently live in New Zealand or don’t know a soul, you should be assessing market prices and safe neighborhoods well before you hop on a plane. Start with deciding on the type of housing you’re looking for. If you’re looking to buy, especially if it’s long-term, try getting a good feel for the pricing in various pockets in and around the particular city you’re transferring to. Auckland is the most populous city in New Zealand- and also one of the most expensive. That being said, there are plenty of inexpensive districts if you look hard enough. Different suburbs will yield different prices, so do your research to avoid paying unnecessary premiums.
Inevitably, when relocating to New Zealand you will want to take your belongings with you. Unfortunately, taking large quantities of personal items or furniture on a commercial flight is not a viable option. Due to its island nation status, if you want to retain your possessions in the move, you’ll have to arrange shipping to NZ and luckily, many international shipping companies specialize in moving. You’ll want to get a quote online to determine how many items you’d like to send across the ocean. Another thing to think of when dealing with shipping, is insurance fees, additional storage, customs, and timeline. International shipping takes some time, so make sure you set yourself up for success by scheduling things to the best of your ability.
Before you arrive in New Zealand, you’ll need to officially register with the government. Ensuring you have all of the appropriate documents on hand will expedite the process for everyone, and make the transition much smoother. Some things that you will need if applicable include: your birth certificate, marriage certificate, academic qualifications, resume, references, credit check, and driver’s license. If you’re applying for residency, make sure you use original documentation or certified English photocopies.
So you’ve done all of the boring paperwork, you’ve sorted out where you’ll be living, set yourself up financially, and planned out how you’re transporting your things- but you’re not done yet! One of the best things about moving to a new place is that it comes with a host of new experiences, tastes, languages, and people. Familiarizing yourself with New Zealand’s culture is essential to building your knowledge base before the move, and will ease your relocation transition. In New Zealand, Maori and NZ Sign Language are both official languages spoken alongside English.
The culture is heavily influenced by the indigenous Maori, based in East Polynesian culture, as well as by the impact of early British colonization. Sports are a beloved national mainstay, and the rich and abundant flora and fauna are utilized and respected.
There you have it! If you were unsure of how to start organizing your move to New Zealand, hopefully, you have a better idea of how the process should look. Moving is a stressful time, but as long as you organize and prioritize correctly, it doesn’t have to make you miserable. New Zealand is a beautiful country, and just as long as you have your applications sent in advance, do the proper research, and perhaps enlist some professional help, you should be able to transition from hometown living to island life in no time.