Planning on moving to New Zealand from the UK? You’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll go through all you need to know about visas, residencies. Whether you’re planning to work, relocate your family, invest or retire, we have you covered.
We’ll also discuss healthcare in New Zealand, how to bring your pets with you, and the best way to exchange pounds for New Zealand dollars.
New Zealand is world-famous for its magnificent landscape, chilled-out way of life, mild climate and friendly citizens.
UK nationals are drawn in by the easy-going Kiwi lifestyle, familiar first language and exciting new culture. Whether you’re a dedicated beach-over or alpine shredder, New Zealand is the place for you.
Emigrating to New Zealand from the UK
The first step to making New Zealand your new home is to get your hands on a visa. There are many visas to choose from, catering to your intended length of stay and work situation.
Temporary visas permit you to live and work in New Zealand for a certain period of time. There are two routes you can go down for a temporary visa. A temporary work visa or the Working Holiday visa.
Both of these visas may provide a stepping stone to achieving a permanent visa later down the line.
The temporary work visa is aimed at foreign nationals with the skills and qualifications to fill in vacant spots in selected industries experiencing shortages in staff.
They can also be granted if a worker has a job offer from a New Zealand employer. There is no age limit to most temporary work visas and the length of stay depends on your job offer, salary, and labour market conditions.
The Working Holiday visa is targeted at young people aged between 18-35, depending on citizenship. Coming from the UK, this visa allows you to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 23 months.
Resident visas, unlike temporary visas, permit you to live in New Zealand for as long as you’d like. They also open up more access to publicly funded services. The two resident visas you can apply for are the Skilled Migrant visa and Residence from Work visa.
A Skilled Migrant visa is distributed to immigrants who meet a required point score, which is calculated based on certain criteria. These criteria include your age, work experience, education and qualifications, and a job offer from a New Zealand employer.
The score you achieve will determine your eligibility. You can check your score here. You must also be aged below 55 and meet English language, health, and character requirements.
To be applicable for a Residence from Work visa, you must have been in New Zealand for two years via a Work to Residence visa. This includes the temporary visas mentioned before and is a great example of how to transform a temporary visa into a permanent one.
New Zealand is an attractive place for investors, with plenty of exciting investment opportunities across the country.
If you are looking to invest with capital, experience or international connections, the New Zealand government has created specific immigration pathways for investors and entrepreneurs looking to make the move.
An investor visa applies to anyone willing to invest a minimum of NZD 3 million (£1,525,215) over four years. During these four years, you must spend 146 days in New Zealand in each of the last three years of the four-year investment period or 438 days in New Zealand over the four-year investment period.
If you’re intending to invest NZD 10 million (£5,078,000) over three years, you could be on your way to an Investor Plus visa. To qualify for this visa, you’ll need to ensure you’re in New Zealand for 44 days in each of the last two years of a three-year investment period or 88 days over the total three-year investment period.
New Zealand’s Entrepreneur visas are aimed at experienced businesspeople looking to buy or establish their own business.
The starter visa, known as the Entrepreneur Work visa, permits you to live and work in New Zealand for 12 months initially, before increasing to 24 months providing your business is up and running. With an established business, you may be able to apply for an Entrepreneur Residence visa to become an official resident of New Zealand.
Living in New Zealand
Living in New Zealand as a permanent resident means you’ll be granted many of the same rights as a New Zealand citizen. These include access to government-funded services, such as healthcare, the ability to vote in local and national elections, and the option to pay domestic fees for education.
New Zealand’s healthcare system is available to residents for free or at a low cost and seeing a doctor is accessible and stress-free – unless you live far out of town.
Private healthcare is an option but is rarely used by New Zealand citizens. Any treatment required as a result of an accident is completely free, even if you were the person to cause it. If an ambulance call is required for any reason, a small fee is usually required – unless you live in Wellington where it’ll cost you nothing.
The New Zealand government has a handy tool to help organise your move. Creating a checklist will ensure you don’t miss any of the important bits such as deciding where to live, finding schools for family members and opening up bank accounts.
Retiring to New Zealand from the UK
UK expats looking to put their feet up in New Zealand can do so easily. The New Zealand government has several visa options for retirees, whether you’re looking to retire permanently or temporarily and if you have children already living there.
The Parent Resident visa applies to UK nationals with children currently residing in New Zealand. The visa requires sponsorship from your children and provides you with all the rights of a New Zealand resident. Once you have established a sponsor, it will be their finances that are considered, not yours. The current financial requirements are:
- One parent receiving sponsorship from one child = NZD $106,080 (£53,681)
- Two parents receiving sponsorship from one child = NZD $159,120 (£80,522)
- One parent receiving sponsorship from one child and their partner = NZD 159,120 (£80,522)
- Two parents receiving sponsorship from one child and their partner = NZD 212,160 (£107,362)
There is also the Parent Retirement Resident visa which factors in your income as well as a sponsor’s. Your yearly income will need to equate to NZD 60,000 (£30,363) with an additional NZD 1 million (£507,800) to be invested over the next four years. You will also need NZD 500,000 (£253,022) to live on. You will be eligible for permanent residence after you have completed your four-year investment.
If you are looking to retire to New Zealand from the UK and do not have a child living in New Zealand, you may acquire a temporary visa or a visa through business.
The Temporary Retirement Visitor visa permits a stay for up to two years. You must have the same income and money to live on as the Parent Retirement Resident visa but will need a reduced NZD 750,000 (£379,533) to invest in New Zealand for two years.
To get your hands on a visa through business, you will need to look into Investor visas.
Moving to New Zealand with pets
Pets are family members too and can’t be left behind when jetting off to a new place for good. Bringing common pets, such as cats and dogs into New Zealand is a breeze.
Your pets will need to meet certain health requirements, including relevant vaccinations like a rabies jab, treatment against parasites and a microchip. The New Zealand government has a document outlining all pet health requirements. Check it out here.
You should also apply for a veterinary certificate to keep track of and certify your pet’s travel to New Zealand. Unfortunately, dogs and cats arriving from the UK must undergo a quarantine period at an MPI-approved facility.
Sending money to New Zealand
Once you’ve organised your visa and found a place to live in New Zealand, you’ll then have to think about how you’re going to convert pounds for NZ dollars.
There are several ways to do this, from high-street banks to specialist foreign exchange brokers.
At Privalgo, we help countless people like you save time and money when they transfer money to New Zealand. We do this with market-leading exchange rates, zero hidden fees and intelligent solutions.
Alternatively, click below to get a GBP/NZD quote. Just fill in a couple of details and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible. We’ll offer you a rate, discuss your requirements and talk you through some of our solutions that could suit your needs.Request a quote