Last updated @ 29 Aug 2017
If you are considering to work and live in New Zealand and do not know where to start, maybe you can get some ideas from this post. Trust me, you will not regret choosing New Zealand because it is such an amazing and lovely country.
I wrote this post because many people asked me about how to live in New Zealand, so I consolidated the experience of myself and my friends. I will refer to this post if anyone asks me again. 🙂
Disclaimer: This post is not an immigration advice – I am just sharing my personal experience and my friend’s experience. If you are keen to come to New Zealand and want to get advice for your situation, you should get it from professional immigration advisers.
Relocate from the company
Some of my friends’ company has branches in New Zealand, and they negotiate with their company to see if they are willing to relocate them to New Zealand. It is easier to get a job offer in NZ if you are referred by someone instead of finding a new employer from scratch.
Even if the companies are not interested in relocating the employee in the beginning, who knows what will happen later? Before I resigned from my ex-company, I asked the manager if they needed a staff in New Zealand. At first, they said no, but they thought of me once they needed someone in NZ and then offered me the job.
Study in New Zealand
I have seen quite a few successful cases from my friends. They studied in New Zealand; once they graduated they found a job and live in New Zealand. It is easier to get a job offer in New Zealand if you have studied here.
Studying in New Zealand also gives you more points for the EOI (about 5-15 points). Even if you cannot find a job, you may be eligible to apply for Post Study Work Visa. If you can afford to study in New Zealand, why not give it a try?
Working Holiday Scheme
If you are under 30 years old, joining the Working Holiday is a very good experience in your life. A few of my friends and I received a permanent job offer in New Zealand when we were working temporarily in New Zealand with a working holiday visa. The employer may offer a permanent job if they like us, and help to apply for work/ resident visa. Though it is not always successful – one of my friend’s application for a work visa was rejected (agricultural industry).
We cannot take a permanent job with the working holiday visa. Our employer will need to apply the work/ resident visa for us if they want us to stay for long term. In my case, I started by working in my company as a contractor and they applied for the work visa (through an agent) for me after 2 months. The work visa was valid for 2.5 years, and then I applied for the resident visa through Skill Migrant Category Resident Visa by myself.
Explore all options of Work/ Resident Visa
Besides the options stated above, there are other work/resident visas options. The NZ Immigration website (updated @ 2016) provides an interactive visa explore the option for the work & resident visa that are available for you in NZ.
You just need to fill in your details, i.e. whether you have/don’t have a job offer as well as your home country and age, and then the website will suggest all the visa that may be suitable for you. For example, there are other work visas such as Specific purpose work visa, Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa, Business Visitor Visa. Then check the one that may suit you.
Find a job in NZ from scratch
This is very difficult (without a work/residence visa in the beginning) but, never try, never know. No harm trying! There are plenty of job seeking websites on the internet which are free and easy. It is no harm sending resume and asking. 🙂 I have a friend who is successful with this approach – her wife got a nanny job offer in New Zealand and they both can live here.
Try every possible way, and do not delay
Opportunity doesn’t knock, so just create it! Some decisions are life changing. If you still cannot get a job offer after trying, do not feel discouraged as it is still possible to live in New Zealand.
There are some other ways besides work visa, such as Entrepreneur and business visa / Investor categories. I am not familiar with them; you can find more information on the official New Zealand Immigration website. If you are desperate, you can also seek the help from professional agents. They are expensive and depending on the type of visa that you are applying, some of them can cost more than $10k NZD and take more than a year.
Last thought: do you really want to live in New Zealand? It is a very quiet country, e.g. most of the shops close at 5 pm. It took me a while to get used to it. Nonetheless, it was one of best decisions that I have ever made. If you love the peacefulness and laid back lifestyle; if you love the beautiful nature and scenery; and if you love the friendly culture and atmosphere… You should give it a try. Good luck. 🙂
NZ Ready Tool by NZ Immigration – A free online tool for planning your move to New Zealand. You start by answering a few simple questions about yourself, and it will generate a personalised task list for you. It is a very helpful tool to get you stay organised as well as making your life easier. Just try it!
New Zealand Immigration – This is the homepage of the NZ Immigration’s website. Though it might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it is extremely useful and offers a lot of information. You can also submit online for some of the visa applications.
New Zealand Now – Offer a lot of great information about working and living in New Zealand. I am also following their Facebook page because it updates some good information regularly especially for people who are new to New Zealand.
LINKZ Magazine – This is the magazine for new migrants. It is free and you can download all issues in pdf format. You can read inspiring stories from other people and how they are able to work and live in New Zealand.