Moving to New Zealand from US

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Introduction

Looking for a more relaxing place to live in where you have enough space for yourself, and where everything seems comforting with a fine tea break and beautiful mountains with a splash of snow? Or perhaps you want to say goodbye to the work-comes-first attitude of the Americans and get some more paid vacations where it’s just you and your family in a cozy get-together. If you are craving all these, then you have to consider moving to New Zealand from US.

The land of the long white cloud and all its intriguing splendors is not only the first country to see the sunrise, but also the first commercial bungee jumping site, making it a desirable destination for many adventurous expats all over the world. Although it may seem too far away from many countries in the world, this fascinating country is not so different from the US as English is widely spoken, and fast food is also good (if not better than in the US). Also, the Fergburger and the absolute laid-back attitude of New Zealanders create a more appealing charm to this amazing country bustling with lots of sheep and opportunities for anyone who decides to move to NZ from USA. 

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Immigration Requirements for New Zealand

Immigrating to New Zealand from USA is not difficult. All that is required is that you know your reason for relocating to New Zealand from US and meet all the requirements. To get yourself in NZ, here are some immigration requirements you must know and meet before going. 

Visa

Although US citizens are permitted to come to New Zealand without a visa, you will still need a permit if you intend to stay for more than three months. So, ensure to explore the available visa types to know which suits your needs. 

Get the Required Documents

To obtain a visa for New Zealand, you will need a valid passport with a few pages on it. You will also need proof of funds, a birth certificate, a passport photograph, and some other essential documents.

Get a Job Offer

If you are emigrating to New Zealand from USA for work purposes, you will need to get a job offer before moving or applying for a visa. Also, ensure that you format your CV to the Kiwi style.

Get Admitted Into a University

Anyone moving to NZ to study is expected to have gained admission into a college or tertiary institution in New Zealand before moving.

Find an Apartment

To live comfortably in New Zealand, you will need to find a conducive apartment. You can utilize Realestate.co.nz and Flatfinder to get a comfortable apartment in NZ.

Sort out your Finances

Working in New Zealand requires national, international, or internet banking with one of the many NZ banks. Also, you need to open an account with a national bank in New Zealand for taxation reasons.

Visa

Obtaining a visa to New Zealand is the first step in getting yourself to the land of the long white cloud. With several visa types available, you may find it difficult to opt for one, but here is a rule of thumb. You must always go for a visa that answers ‘why’ you are relocating and ‘what’ you intend to do in the country. Now, let’s explore some visa types and their costs.

Visa Type
Cost (NZD)
Essential Skills visa
495
Skilled migrant visa
530 (EOI), 2,710 (application).
Student visa
295
Work to residence visa
635
Working holiday visa
280
Investor 2 visa
620 (EOI), 4,745 (application).

After your visa application has been processed, you will be more interested in knowing what airlines are best at flying you to NZ. According to the 2020 Airline Ratings, Air New Zealand topped the list for the best airline in the world. This is owing to its overall operational safety and passenger review. We bet you will have a safe and hassle-free move to NZ from USA with this fantastic airline.

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Cost of Moving to New Zealand From US

There is never an easy move. Moving to New Zealand from US can be quite expensive because of all the things involved. First off, when estimating the total cost of moving, you will have to begin with the cost of your visa application, the cost of flying (airline charges), and the cost of shipping your belongings to New Zealand. And all these could cost quite a lot since your visa fee could be anywhere between NZD 280 and NZD 4,745 depending on the visa you are applying for.

If you decided to fly alone taking the cheapest flight to New Zealand, you would spend about NZD 400. Also, the cost of shipping your belongings to your apartment in NZ could be anywhere between NZD 300 and NZD 400. But there’s nothing to worry about as regards shipping your belongings to New Zealand as we are always available to help you and give you a 100% hassle-free move. Still, on the cost of moving, you will also have to consider the cost of property or apartment in New Zealand since you will have to get an apartment before or after moving to New Zealand from US.

Cost of Living in New Zealand vs US

As with every new country, the cost of living is always different, and it is only important that you carefully pay attention to what the cost of living analysis is to ensure that you fully understand what you are getting into. According to Expatistan, the cost of living in the United States when compared to New Zealand is 11% cheaper, with transportation, clothing, entertainment, and food being way more expensive in New Zealand.

New Zealand and all the beauty that comes with it, is an expensive country to live in. However, with the cost of living in New Zealand being the 14th highest in the world, you will certainly need to stick to a budget to get by. Also, since certain factors like the cost of accommodation, lifestyle, the city you reside in, and family size inform the total cost of living, the overall living expenses could be higher or lower depending on your choices. Nonetheless, here is a tabular comparative analysis of the cost of living in New Zealand vs the US.

Monthly Cost of Living
New Zealand (NZD)
United States (NZD)
Single person
3,507
3,602
Family of four
6,716
6,306

Healthcare System

The healthcare system in New Zealand is universal and free to citizens and people on some specific work visas, particularly, the skilled migrant visa. Being publicly-funded by the government through taxpayers, this healthcare system provides basic medical services for all residents, citizens, and work immigrants. However, if any citizen requires extensive health services like cosmetic surgery, he will have to pay for it as the public health package doesn’t cover that.

The frustratingly long wait times in the public healthcare system is quite discouraging.  Most citizens have had to wait for months or years to get medical needs that are not deemed ‘immediate’ by the public healthcare system. This has led most citizens and residents towards private health insurance, which provides those insured with all medical services whenever they want it.

Also, all tourists in New Zealand have access to free medical care for accidental injuries via ACC. However, if a tourist needs medical care for illnesses, he will need to have travel insurance to ensure basic medical coverage while in the country.

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Jobs in New Zealand for Americans

Knowing how the job market works is essential if you are moving to New Zealand from US for work purposes. There are a plethora of job opportunities in New Zealand and the pay is quite good. With an average yearly salary of NZD 75,000 one can live comfortably in this fun-filled country.

Although the job market and salary are good, it is still important to know what jobs are suitable for Americans in the country or what jobs are in high demand in the land of the long white cloud. So, here is a list of jobs for Americans in NZ and their average annual salaries.

Job
Salary (NZD)
Salary (USD)
Pathologist
204,500
146,442
Accountant
73,000
52,553
Architect
90,000
64,442
Product Manager
140,000
100,162
Nurse
83,000
59,382
Teacher
99,000
70,807
Web Designer
91,000
65,085

New Zealand Education System

The education system in New Zealand ranked 11th among the best countries for education in the world in 2020. Offering free education to children between ages 5 and 19 who are either citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand, this country also adds more charm to its educational system by offering one-year tuition-free university education to citizens and permanent residents who just got into the tertiary institution.

Also, with New Zealand’s admirable position in the world’s educational sphere, many expats are moving to the country to secure a spot in the prestigious universities. But since education is only free to citizens and permanent residents, an international student (undergraduate) may spend about NZD 25,000 annually on tuition, whereas one can spend an average of NZD 29,000 yearly on a Master’s degree. It is pertinent to note that the tuition fee for undergraduates is dependent on the course of study.

Also, apart from the tuition fee, you will have to consider the cost of accommodation. Most universities in New Zealand offer a hall of residence to students to stay on campus, which is the cheapest accommodation option. The average cost of accommodation on campus is NZD 555 per week.

Best Places to Live in New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud has so many awesome places to live in, that is why it’s the country that comes first in so many expat’s minds. If you’re pondering on places to live in, there are so many fascinating places to reside in this awesome country. Here is a list of the three best places to live in New Zealand as an American;

Queenstown

Looking for adventure and places to explore? Perhaps Queenstown is the right place for you. Being the “Adventure Capital” of the world, Queenstown is bursting with lots of wild and exhilarating activities. Think of skiing during the winters, while feeding your eyes with the view of the snow-capped mountains, how fascinating is that! Also, if you are an expert in wine tasting and winemaking, Queenstown could be right for you if you are keen on moving to New Zealand from US. 

Napier

This relatively cheap city has so many free tour centers, which helps to significantly reduce the living expenses in this rather expensive country. This city may be appropriate for you if you love to stay close to all the city centers and if you want to live in a city booming with economic activities. And there’s more to it, you can relax from the day’s work by driving around all the exciting places, especially during the summer.

Rotorua

This historical city has many captivating activities. Judging from its name down to the lakes, it is certainly auspicious and entertaining for anyone who decides to reside in the city. “Rotorua,” which means “second lake” in Maori, has the most lakes in New Zealand, making it suitable for expats who love spending their weekends fishing and camping. If you love history, exploiting, and fishing, Rotorua should be the first city that comes to mind.

Weather

The weather, however beautiful it may seem in New Zealand, can be quite unpredictable. Most times, you could be having a refreshing time on the rarely crowded beach and within seconds, it could start raining. Also, there are times when you would get four seasons in a day due to its unpredictability.

However, as regards the temperature, this depends on where exactly you reside in the country. If you are on the Southern Island of the country, you could get extremely cold during the winters. With the temperature being -10°C during the winters and 30°C in the North Island in Summer. Also, the North Island is prone to having lots of heavy rainfall.

Above all, the awesome climate of New Zealand creates an avenue for boisterous activities during all seasons. In winter, you will enjoy skiing in this exceptionally beautiful country; in summer, you can have the beach all to yourself and marvel at how wonderful NZ is.

Pros and Cons of Living in New Zealand

When planning on emigrating to New Zealand from USA, it is advisable to remember that it will not always be rosy. There are times when you would have the beach all to yourself on a sunny afternoon only for it to start raining in the next fifteen or twenty minutes (it could truly get to that point). However, it is important to note that the pros of living in New Zealand outweigh the cons. Now, here are the pros and cons of living in New Zealand.

Pros
Cons
New Zealand has amazing wines and local dishes.
The weather conditions are unpredictable.
There are lots of adventurous activities.
The cost of accommodation is quite high.
It is safe to live in.
It is far from anywhere else to travel.
They have the most kind-hearted people in the world.
They experience earthquakes.
Best quality healthcare system.
Public transport is highly limited.
High-quality educational system.
There are limited career options.
It has work-life balance.
The country is so quiet.

FAQs

Can I move to New Zealand From US with my dog?

Yes, you can move your dog to New Zealand as long as it is an acceptable breed and has been vaccinated for rabies and other diseases. However, anyone hoping to move to New Zealand from US with a pet must ensure that their pet is quarantined for 180 days before coming into the country. Also, ensure that your pet has a microchip and don’t forget to get your pet permit before moving.

What is the best way to fly to New Zealand from US?

The best way to fly to New Zealand from US is through the Air New Zealand airline as they offer direct flights to the country from the United States.

Should I Move to New Zealand?

Moving to New Zealand from US certainly means that you will get access to all the lush beauty of this country. With lots of opportunities, good food, spectacular Kiwi culture, and exhilarating adventurous activities, New Zealand just got even more appealing and promising for you. Good luck with your move!

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