Moving to New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand is a challenge, and an adventure rolled into one

“I am moving to New Zealand,” rolls off the tongue very easily, but it takes work actually to emigrate to New Zealand.


You cannot move to New Zealand without a visa.  Figuring out what visa you are going to apply for will determine how much planning you need to do before your move.  Working holiday visas do not require an offer of employment or to decide where you are going to live before applying.  Many visas like essential skills visas require full-time employment before applying, so you need to figure out where you want to work and live before applying for your visa. Our guide goes over how to apply for a New Zealand visa.

Where to Move in New Zealand

New Zealand is a small country, slightly smaller than Colorado and the United Kingdom.  Even though it is small, it seems a lot larger due to the lack of highways and the long time it takes to drive places. Different regions of New Zealand have a very different feel.  Auckland has a third of the population while the south island is over 50% of the land mass, but only a quarter of the population.  Where you decide to move will have a significant impact on your life in New Zealand.


Finding employment in New Zealand can be a simple task or a difficult task depending on the position you are looking for.  New Zealand employers must post your position, and if no qualified applicants apply for it, they can offer it a foreign worker.  This is a formality for some jobs, but it can make getting some jobs difficult.


The actual act of moving to New Zealand can be very stressful. You have to decide what to pack and how to get it to New Zealand.  You need to sell or store the rest of your belongings in your home country.  There are a lot of small details that you need to take care of before you move.  Once you arrive in New Zealand, the fun begins.

Settling In

Settling into New Zealand can take time.  Some areas of New Zealand are very welcoming to foreigners, and other areas are a little more cliquey and take more effort to develop a friend group.  Many of the things that you are used to in your home country will be slightly different in New Zealand, supermarkets, English words, driving, manners, and ideas about personal space can all be different than you are used to.  Settling in is part of the fun of moving to a new country and is the start of the New Zealand chapter of your life.


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