Earlier this week, the number of Americans searching on how to move to New Zealand soared again amid the U.S. presidential elections.
According to Daily Mail, Google Trends showed an increased interest on 'how to move to New Zealand,' which peaked on the evening of November 4. Majority of these searches were traced in Oregon, Colorado, and Washington.
This trend is not unique as previous election data also showed the same interest of moving to New Zealand while there were also people who went beyond searching. Records show that for three months after the 2016 elections, Americans applying for New Zealand citizenship increased by 70% than in 2015, according to Associated Press.
However, with the current health crisis, such plans to transfer may be hampered as New Zealand borders remain closed while most temporary visas applications are suspended until February 2021. Here is a complete guide on how to move to New Zealand when the pandemic is over.
How to move to New Zealand: Complete guide to becoming a kiwi
For those who are serious of moving to New Zealand, there are numerous ways Americans to transfer to the country, either permanently or temporarily, while workers can get a Long Term Skill Shortage visa to work in this island country. Check this guide on how to move to New Zealand:
Make a choice
The New Zealand immigration office would need to know what would be your purpose in moving to the country: study, investing, work, or joining a family.
For those who want to work, it is best to apply for a job beforehand as you will be given options on what visa you can apply for such as Long Term Skill Shortage and Skilled Migrant visas.
Long Term Skill Shortage visa
Long Term Skill Shortage visa fits people who have skills that only fit one job among those listed on New Zealand immigration's website. This includes positions in engineering, finance, hospitality, construction, telecommunications, tradecraft, science, as well as health and social services. Meanwhile, there are also respective visas available for talents in arts, culture, and sports as well as entertainers.
This visa gives you a "try before you commit" option as you can work in New Zealand for up to 30 months. However, you can already apply for permanent residency after 24 months of working as well as get another temporary work visa.
Skilled Migrant visa
In contrast, people who have skills to contribute to the country's economic growth and look forward to working and living indefinitely in New Zealand can apply for Skilled Migrant visas. Skilled employment requires a technical, specialist, or management expertise, which meets the minimum pay of $25.30 per hour.
Under normal circumstances, applicants must first send an Expression of Interest to New Zealand Immigration detailing their employment, work experience, and qualifications before being invited to apply.
In 2021, New Zealand will be launching a new singular Temporary Work Visa to replace six temporary work visas, but the process will remain the same.
Gather all required documents such as birth certificate, employment history, references, and a clean bill of health, then submit your visa application by mail or online. Long Term Skill Shortage visa processing is within six months.
Wait for approval
When your work visa is approved, the immigration office recommends getting a bank account before you transfer since salaries will be paid directly to your bank account.
Find a temporary residence before getting a permanent one, especially if you are thinking of moving around within the first two years.
Enjoy New Zealand!
Once you arrive, it is best to tour the country first. New Zealand offers cheap and even free healthcare, great sceneries, and warm people.
How to become a Kiwi
Most people who transfer to New Zealand love the environment and culture that they soon apply for citizenship. To be granted citizenship, you must know how to converse in English, have at least five years of residency, no criminal record, and understand the responsibilities and privileges of a citizen. Applicants may no longer be invited for a personal interview but would require a certain fee.
Getting citizenship will grant you similar rights to native Kiwis such as "the right to travel freely overseas and return on a New Zealand passport" as well as full access to economic rights and educational awards and scholarships.
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Written by CJ Robles