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New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand

When you think of New Zealand, you may imagine the “Lord of the Rings.” From looking at the lush, fairytale scenery — you can easily believe that hobbits are about to jump out from one of its famous fjords any time. There are many exceptional attributes belonging to New Zealand that make it a prime relocation choice for interested travelers.

New Zealanders, known locally by the friendly nickname “Kiwis,” are a relaxed, fun-loving society with a healthy relationship to the outdoors. The native Maori culture is still honored and integrated into everyday aspects of New Zealand life, art and practice. New Zealand also enjoys a world-class education system and a high quality of life.

This article will offer insights into the many special components of New Zealand life and explain a few of the common ways that non-residents can immigrate to New Zealand.

Why You Should Think About Moving to New Zealand

There are a wide variety of reasons a person might want to consider New Zealand as their future home. Personal connections to the people, culture or the beautiful natural environment of New Zealand might be the impetus for some. The multitude of professional opportunities available to all types of workers could be the main reason for others. The following sections will identify and explain some of the more popular reasons that adventurous expats might want to live in New Zealand.

New Zealand features a powerfully balanced mix of serious work ethic with attention to the need for enjoyment. Ranked sixth in the world for work-life balance by HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey in 2017, New Zealand’s culture embraces a natural respect for the fact that life is meant to be actively lived.

Striking a balance between career advancement and a happy personal life is of paramount importance to Kiwis. Newcomers will find that New Zealanders are eager to fill each day with a healthy workload matched by recreation in the outdoors, sports and laughs with family and friends.

New Zealand is known across the world as the birthplace of extreme sports and Queenstown, in particular, enjoys the nickname of “Adventure Capital of the World.” Big-thrill pastimes like zorbing and bungee jumping were invented in New Zealand, so expect to find fun and vigorous recreational activities here that you won’t get anywhere else.

Areas to Consider Living in New Zealand

New Zealand offers an expansive list of fantastic choices when it comes time to decide where to live. As English is the dominant language everywhere in New Zealand, quality of life factors like city life, landmarks, activities, climate, and food and wine culture may play a more vital role in this decision. Determining if you would like to be on the North Island or South Island is a smart place to begin.

The North Island is famous for its white sand beaches and geothermal hot springs. Desirable cities like Auckland and Rotorua can be found there as well. The South Island houses populous urban areas like Christchurch and Dunedin and is renowned for being the home of Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s largest mountain. Both islands enjoy proximity to Australia, another major draw for many travelers.


As with most other places, real estate prices in New Zealand vary by province and proximity to urban areas. For instance, the large cultural focal point of Auckland will present a higher cost of living than the less densely populated Greymouth. New Zealand offers a frequency of waterfront properties and accommodations of a more generous size than what’s typically found for the same square footage in other countries with equivalent economies.

Interested expats can use popular sites like New Zealand’s own Trade Me to locate sublet or tradable housing, appliances, furniture, services and other basic essentials for getting settled within the country.

Primary Ways to Immigrate to New Zealand

Immigrating to New Zealand can be accomplished in a number of different ways that will depend on your unique situation. Visa options range from temporary to long-term or permanent. The first step to obtaining your New Zealand visa is to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to Immigration New Zealand. The New Zealand government particularly asks for the creation of an EOI for those who qualify under the skilled migrant category as an early means of identifying interested workers.

The visa application process in New Zealand varies depending on the type of visa that you are seeking. The available visa categories in New Zealand include:

  • Visit: This type of visa is good for vacationing in New Zealand for a time but does not come with working privileges. One alternative here is the New Zealand working holiday visa, which is available to travelers between the ages of 18 and 30 who wish to spend up to 12 months in New Zealand and work while exploring the country.
  • Work: This standard visa allows you to live and work in New Zealand for a preset period of time and can be a pathway to becoming a permanent resident. This type of visa is temporary and does not come with the full range of access to public benefits that are available under resident visas.
  • Study: Students wishing to partake in New Zealand’s world-class education system can apply for this type of visa for the duration of their enrollment at a recognized educational facility.
  • Join family: If you already have family in New Zealand or need to bring your family over to join you, there are a wide range of family-oriented options available in the New Zealand visa system. Particular emphasis is given to elderly parents and dependent children.
  • Business and investment: Entrepreneurs and investors enjoy special New Zealand visa options all their own. While specific regulations and rules apply in order to qualify, these visas can provide the bearer quick access to the unique business opportunities in New Zealand.
  • Residence: The resident visa allows for much greater access to public benefits and state-funded services. It allows the bearer to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely but is not the same as acquiring full New Zealand citizenship. NZ1.jpg

If you already have family in New Zealand or need to bring your family over to join you, there are a wide range of family-oriented options available in the New Zealand visa system. Particular emphasis is given to elderly parents and dependent children.

The following list explains the requirements for various types of family visas that may be available to you:

  • Joining a partner who has a New Zealand resident visa: You must be able to prove that you have been living with your partner within a stable relationship for a minimum of one year, and your partner must support the application. If your partner’s Australian residence status is determining any part of their New Zealand residence status, you must reside in New Zealand no matter where your partner spends the majority of their time. You may include all dependent children aged 24 and younger in this visa process. If granted New Zealand residence through a partner who has it, you may live and work in New Zealand indefinitely.
  • Joining a partner who has a New Zealand visitor visa: You can stay in New Zealand for up to 24 months as a visitor or student if you can prove that you have been in a committed, stable relationship with a partner who has a visitor visa. Your partner must support your application, and you must both agree to stay in New Zealand for the same length of time within the allowable 24 months. You can apply for the more expansive partnership resident visa after this visa’s expiration if desired.
  • Joining a partner who has a New Zealand work visa: You can join a partner on a work visa in New Zealand for two full years if you have been living together in a stable relationship for 12 months or longer or one year if you have been living together for less than 12 months. Your partner must support your application and agree to live in New Zealand for the entire time that you will be in the country. You can work and study in New Zealand under this visa and have the opportunity to apply for residence afterward.
  • Bringing over elderly parents: Parents wishing to join their adult children who have New Zealand resident status have two viable options: the parent retirement resident visa and the parent resident visa. Travelers interested in obtaining the parent retirement visa must have an annual income of $60,000 or more (in New Zealand dollars), $1 million to be used for investment in New Zealand over the course of four years, and an additional $500,000 in savings that can be lived on. Those interested in the parent resident visa must submit an expression of interest and be sponsored by a New Zealand resident who is also the adult child. Attaining either of these parent visas allows the candidate to live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely and include partners in the visa application. Holders of the parent retirement visa can apply for permanent residence after four years of consistent investment of the aforementioned funds in the New Zealand economy.

Note that there are separate procedures regarding immigration from Australia, the Cook Islands and Niue. The New Zealand government offers its own easy-to-use website, New Zealand Now, for up-to-date information on how to immigrate legally to New Zealand from any place.

Get Help With Your Move to New Zealand

Are you ready to expand your horizons to include New Zealand? Dig deeper into more relevant information about relocating to New Zealand and browse qualified Advisors who can provide guidance on the immigration process. See how easy it is to make your Kiwi relocation dreams come true by searching our platform and finding expert information.

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