There are a hundred and one reasons to move to New Zealand. Not only does this island nation boast some of the most stunning natural scenery on the planet, it also consistently ranks highly for quality of life – due in no small part to its small population and abundant resources. Of course, if you live in the UK, New Zealand is pretty much as far as you can travel before you start heading in the direction of home again; in other words, it’s a big move that involves a lot of prep. Here are some things to consider before you commit.
Your New Zealand Visa
There are a few different styles of New Zealand visa. If you fall into the category of a “Skilled Migrant” you can apply for residence. You can also apply for residence if you’ve been granted a visa through work and have worked in the country for 24 months. Temporary options include the Working Holiday Visa, which is specifically designed for people aged 18-30 who want to travel and work.
Your Tax Status
Anyone making a permanent move to New Zealand needs to be prepared to pay taxes – just like every other Kiwi! If you’re starting a job that operates the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, then things are made easier as the tax is deducted automatically. But to avoid paying the highest rates automatically you’ll need to apply for an IRD number as soon as you arrive.
Your Driving Licence
New Zealand is a great country for driving, but if you do want own your own vehicle while there, you’ll need to make sure you can do so legally. If you have a valid licence, you’re permitted to drive in New Zealand for up to one year. After this point, you should be able to convert your existing licence to a New Zealand licence or, failing that, take the test and get a brand new one.
In New Zealand, free or low cost healthcare is made available to all residents. The good news is, you can also benefit from this healthcare system if you hold a work visa valid for at least two years (bearing in mind that after two years in the country you can apply for permanent residence).
No matter where you’re emigrating from, there’s a certain feeling of isolation that comes with a move to New Zealand – even neighbouring Australia is a three-hour flight away! Before arriving, make sure you’re prepared for the transition, both physically and emotionally. Take into account the climate, and pack clothes accordingly. Remember that the sun in New Zealand is strong, and that you’ll need to get used to wearing SPF. You can future-proof against homesickness by setting up a good internet and phone package, so that you can stay in regular contact with your friends and family back home.
That may all seem like a lot of work but, trust us, it’ll be worth it once you catch a glimpse of those snow-capped mountains…
1st Move international are an international removals company based in the UK