You can do it! If 15 years of helping people move abroad has taught us anything, it’s that dividing your emigration to New Zealand into simple steps is the best way to make it. It can all be fun too, as you plan a new start in a land of opportunity. What better way to ease the misery of dismal January? Could you move to New Zealand in 2019?
Brrrr! If you’re suffering from January in the UK, warm yourself with thoughts of where you’ll be next January. Moving to the other side of the world is no mean feat – but we’ve got you covered. Today we’re counting down 10 steps to move to New Zealand in 2019.
Do your research
You don’t need us to tell you that relocating to New Zealand is a big decision. But it’s never been easier than it is today, so what’s stopping you? Before you start selling all your belongings and looking for work, however, begin by thoroughly investigated what life will be like. That way you’re less likely to have second thoughts when you’re at the departure gate.
There is a skills shortage in New Zealand, with many professions in demand
So how do you do that? Firstly, of course, by the internet and social media. But while Google Earth and Instagram can show you what it looks like, and Twitter will alert you to issues that new expats face, nothing beats first-hand experience. So if you’ve never been to New Zealand, book that flight. There is a wealth of great books about life in New Zealand too. Just as importantly, and without wanting to encourage too much navel gazing, you need to be honest about what you’re seeking from life in New Zealand so you feel completely positive about your new life.
Apply for a visa
Secondly, to be able to legally live and work in New Zealand you need a visa. There are a wide range of visa options available, some of which also grant access to your family. The good news is that there is a skills shortage in New Zealand, making many professions in demand. You can check whether yours is on the list here. Make sure you have your visa secured before you can move forward with the process.
Choose your location
In a country as beautiful and empty as New Zealand, the choice can be tricky. While employment opportunities will have an influence, it’s important to be proactive too, and factor in what you want from your new life. It will help narrow down your location search significantly.
Read your New Zealand Viewing Trip Guide so you’re up on what to look out for if you’re seeing properties.
Consider your time frames
Establish time frames for your move to New Zealand so that you can take the right actions at the right times. If you’re moving for work, your employment might dictate your dates. If the move is something you’re dreaming of in a few years’ time – file that visa application right away so you can determine whether the move is even possible.
Think about money
Next, you need to sit down and crunch some numbers. How much can you realistically spend on your move to New Zealand? Your colour-coded spreadsheet should map out every cost involved. From that you can build a concrete plan on how you plan to fund the move itself. That will include visa fees, removals, set-up costs and daily pocket money. The more detailed the better.
One factor you’ll need to consider is currency. If you’re sending money over from the sale of a property, being paid from the UK or receiving pension or investment income from the UK, speak to Smart Currency Exchange. They’ve been the experts in helping people move abroad and save money on currency transfers for even longer than we have!
Streamline your life
People aren’t the only things you’ll be saying goodbye to. Getting rid of the stuff you’ve gathered over the years can be painful, but weirdly energising too. Even if you’re a Millennial who keeps it minimal, you’ll have to decide whether to toss or take some sentimental objects. So will you take your children’s baby clothes that you just couldn’t bear to chuck out? What about family heirlooms? Will you take your books? Favourite shoes, power tools, DVDs, grandma’s old cake tins…? If you’re paying for part of a container the extra things won’t be too expensive, so you can afford to be a little bit gentle with yourself. Even so, this might be the time to adopt the mindset of Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo and only take those objects that “spark joy”.
Next, you need to book in your items to be shipped. Seek quotes from a couple of different international moving companies to get a competitive deal. We recommend sorting this around six months out from your departure date. Read our article on removals to New Zealand.
You don’t have to do this alone! There are many experts who can smooth your path and help you to move successfully to New Zealand. It’s tempting to expect everything for nothing these days, but why begrudge an expert their fee if they will save you money in the longer term? That might include visa specialists, tax experts, relocation specialists and concierge services.
Get yourself fully prepped for your move to New Zealand by downloading your free Emigration Guide today!
Keep busy and make friends!
Occupational therapy isn’t just one of those careers that can get you a visa in New Zealand. Improving mental health by keeping busy is also a great way to keep homesickness at bay. Moving to New Zealand is your chance to do something spectacular, from writing a novel (or at least a blog about your new life here) to renovating a home. And for those of a naturally reticent and shy disposition, you might have to be a little more gregarious in the early days. So go on, bake some biscuits and go and introduce yourself to the new neighbours!
Get on the ladder
Most people will rent before buying a home. This will give you the freedom to try out a few different neighbourhoods to establish where you want to lay down those roots. But for many of us, a key reason for leaving the UK is the impossibility of getting on the property ladder. Beware though, homes in much of New Zealand are pretty expensive too, so don’t leave it too long before making an offer.