How can I immigrate to New Zealand

Emigrate to New Zealand

New Zealand is the dream of many expats. It is a large country with relatively few inhabitants and therefore a lot of space. New Zealand offers beautiful nature with great beaches, mountains, lakes and much more. People who emigrate to New Zealand are looking for freedom, adventure or just want to start a new life on the other side of the world. New Zealand used to be a popular emigration country for dropouts, as the cost of living was very low compared to Germany. Today the cost of living is as good as in Germany. If you want to emigrate to New Zealand, you should have a well-paid job there and bring sufficient capital with you. For anyone wishing to emigrate to New Zealand, fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement.

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For whom is New Zealand suitable as a country of emigration?

New Zealand immigration policy is economic policy. A multitude of minimum requirements are placed on potential immigrants in order to obtain an unlimited residence and work permit, "permanent residence". Similar to Canada, New Zealand has a points system that is used to determine the immigration fitness of a potential immigrant. However, the point system is very much based on New Zealand's economic interests. Occupational groups that are in short supply in New Zealand are given preferential treatment here. These professional groups can, however, change again and again, depending on the economic situation in the country. Which professional groups are currently being sought in New Zealand can be found on the “Skill Shortage List” of Immigration New Zealand (INZ), which reports to the New Zealand Ministry of Economics, Innovation and Labor.

Occupational groups that generally have good prospects in the New Zealand job market are:

  • Doctors, nurses and orderlies
  • Teachers and social workers
  • Craftsman
  • IT specialists and engineers
  • construction manager
  • scientist

Even if your own profession is on the list, this is no guarantee that the application for "permanent residence" will be honored. In some cases, German training courses are not recognized directly and applicants have to go through a lengthy recognition process. Even more than in Germany, professional experience plays an important role in the selection process alongside training. The longer you've worked in the profession you've learned, the better. You should have a good command of the English language that you can also communicate in it professionally. After all, the “Skill Shortage List” depends on the region. Some professions are not sought in all of New Zealand, but only in certain provinces.

Requirements for an unlimited visa

If you want to live and work in New Zealand without restrictions, you need a work and residence permit ("Permanent Residence"). Information on this is available from the INZ as well as the New Zealand embassy in Berlin and the consulate in Hamburg. There are several ways to get an unlimited visa:

  • due to family reunification: Parents, children, siblings or spouses of a New Zealander or an immigrant who has lived in New Zealand for three years can apply for permanent residence. Both the New Zealand resident and the following family members must meet certain requirements.
  • if you want to invest in New Zealand: Anyone who is wealthy and would like to invest in New Zealand has almost no difficulty in obtaining permanent residence in New Zealand. There are two categories:
  • Category 1 is of particular interest to wealthy retirees. There is no age limit, there is no need to take an English test, the applicant does not need to demonstrate any business experience and must invest in New Zealand for a period of at least three years. He only needs to be in New Zealand for 73 days per year for the last two years of investing. The only condition: you have to invest at least 10 million NZ $ (about 6.5 million euros) in New Zealand.
  • Category 2 Aimed at investors aged 65 and under who invest at least NZ $ 1.5 million in New Zealand. You must have at least three years of work experience as an entrepreneur or manager and take an English test. After all, in addition to the assets invested, they must have NZ $ 1 million as reserves that they can use for their own consumption. Approx. 300 applications for “permanent residence” from this category are accepted each year.
  • limited residence and work permit: one can apply for a limited work to residence permit in New Zealand. Here, too, certain criteria must be met. Anyone with a “Work to Residence” visa in New Zealand can apply for “Permanent Residence” after two years.
  • skilled migrant category: In addition to the “Work to Residence” category, this category probably applies to most Germans who want to emigrate to New Zealand. As already mentioned, there is a point system according to which it is determined whether or not the emigrant will get “permanent residence”. Among other things, you must not be older than 55 years, you must speak English, be in good health, have a flawless police clearance certificate and, above all, have an education or other qualifications that are wanted in New Zealand. Under this system you have to achieve at least 100 points. You can apply for New Zealand citizenship if you have lived in New Zealand for at least five consecutive years.

Moving to New Zealand: What to look out for

If you want to emigrate to New Zealand, you have to think about a lot. Many things can be arranged in advance from Germany. Others can only be done on site in New Zealand.

What you can already regulate in Germany:

  • Papers: If you are emigrating to New Zealand, you should first de-register at the registration office in the responsible municipality in Germany. You will always need the de-registration confirmation later, for example if you want to apply for a new passport. In addition, you can only enter New Zealand with a valid passport and the corresponding visa. The German driver's license is valid in New Zealand for up to one year after arrival. By then you should have exchanged it for a New Zealand driver's license. If you don't do this, you may have to take the driving test again.
  • Pension and old-age provision: There is no social security agreement between Germany and New Zealand. This can be a major disadvantage for the insured. Because if the emigrant retires in New Zealand, only 70 percent of the pension entitlements from Germany may be paid out by the German insurance company. In addition, the other country does not recognize the pension entitlements. Further information is available from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. In New Zealand there is the "Superannuation Fund" as a pension insurance. This guarantees all people who have reached the age of 65 a minimum pension income. However, there is no guarantee of the amount of the pension as it is constantly being adapted to the economic situation and other changes in New Zealand society. In addition, many New Zealanders make use of the private pension insurance "KiwiSaver", which is also supported by the state. This is comparable to the German Riester pension. A very common way to save for retirement in New Zealand is to pay off your home mortgage.
  • If the household effects are to emigrate with: If you want to take your belongings with you from Germany to New Zealand, you should hire a freight forwarder to ship your household items to New Zealand. You can find out more about import regulations and customs fees from the New Zealand Customs Service.

What needs to be regulated in New Zealand:

  • Apartment Search: Many New Zealanders own real estate that they either live in or rent out. Most properties are available for sale. The rental market is rather thin. But regardless of whether you want to buy or rent, New Zealand has the right living space for every budget. Apartment or house offers for rent or purchase can be found in local newspapers, for example. A large website that offers real estate, among other things, is “trademe”.
  • Applying for a tax number: Everyone who wants to work in New Zealand needs a tax number. You can apply for this at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) upon arrival in New Zealand.
  • Setting up a bank account: Emigrants can open a bank account after entering New Zealand, sometimes even before they enter New Zealand. So that there are no misunderstandings and language difficulties, many banks now have "immigrant banking teams" specially set up for emigrants who help immigrants to open a bank account. This is particularly useful if you not only want to open a current account, but also savings accounts or other financial investments into which the assets are to be deposited.
  • Health insurance: In New Zealand there is a public health system called "National Health Insurance". Anyone who is a "resident" of New Zealand or who has a work permit of at least two years is insured through the public health system. However, the benefits are limited and it is advisable to also take out private health insurance. Private health insurances are usually much cheaper than you know from Germany.

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Note: Updated on May 17, 2021 via Amazon Product Advertising API. Dates and prices may have changed. We earn commissions for qualified purchases through the affiliate program.