Here are some of our tips for things you need to know and do before moving to New Zealand. We’ve based these tips on advice from the New Zealand government, Immigration New Zealand as well as advice from many of the expats living in New Zealand.
Getting A Visa
New Zealand’s immigration rules are very strict, particularly when it comes to employment. Anyone wanting to work in New Zealand needs a visa allowing employment. However, British passport holders can enter as a visitor and stay for up to six months without a visa. It’s also required that you have an onward ticket.
Things You Need To Bring
Let’s start with the essentials, the official documents that you and your family will need for a large number of situations. The worst scenario is having to wait around for a few weeks to get documents sent over from Britain, so taking all of these with you will ensure that doesn’t need to happen.
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Medical and dental records
- Vaccination certificates
- Academic qualifications (check that your qualification are recognised in New Zealand on the following website: www.nzqa.govt.nz)
- References from previous employers
- Your CV
- Credit references
- International driver’s licence
You should also bring a range of clothing. The weather changes a lot in New Zealand so you’ll need everything from a raincoat and warm clothes to clothing for the summer. Remember also that the seasons are the opposite of what they are in the northern hemisphere.
Check with New Zealand Customs Service about any prohibited items. New Zealand is especially known for its strict rules on food.
Things To Do Before You Leave
We never grow tired of telling potential expats that the most important thing they need to do is research, and New Zealand is no different. Find out the cost in New Zealand of everything you currently use in Britain and work out how much your cost of living is. Also look at ways in which you might do things differently in New Zealand. Basically, make sure you have an idea of how much money you’ll need and make sure your job will be able to provide this.
If you don’t have a job before moving to New Zealand get the ball rolling by sending out CVs and contacting friends or family over there who may have some leads. It may not be ideal to start working as soon as you arrive but it will certainly help having some income coming in.
If you’ve already found a place to stay, set up a New Zealand post box or a private bag for your post. This can be done online at New Zealand Post’s website before you arrive. You can then use this post box to set up a few things before you move, such as a bank account.
Your current bank should allow you to set up a bank account in New Zealand before moving. This will allow you to use your credit card and make withdrawals from the moment you arrive.
Be Careful With Water!
New Zealand has a lot of water, and people in the country do a lot of water-based activities. This, together with the unpredictable weather, has made New Zealand a country with a surprisingly high number of deaths from drowning. For advice on keeping safe check out the Water Safety Network’s website, which has lots of great tips about keeping safe around water. http://www.watersafety.org.nz/
The Emergency Services
One of the most important things to know when moving to a new country – it’s certainly something you don’t want to be without – is the number for emergency services. In New Zealand the number is 111, and is a free phone call. Use the number for calling the Police, the Fire Service, Ambulance or Search and Rescue.