I’ve heard it’s really difficult – if not impossible – to immigrate to New Zealand!
This is by far the most common statement I get! Most Americans and Canadians have the perception that it’s virtually impossible to move to New Zealand, but that’s not the case. The New Zealand Government’s immigration policy is to identify the skill gaps and encourage potential migrants with those skills to apply. The most common visa option is the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC). It’s a points based system with points allocated for skills, education, age, work experience etc. Right now, if you accrue 140 points you’re automatically selected to submit an application. Of course this is simplifying a complex area (and we’re happy to give more detail when talking to you), but suffice to say, Americans are usually very well educated and have skill-sets much needed in New Zealand – so it’s a good match.
How long does the immigration process take?
Work visa processing typically takes 3-8 weeks, Skilled Migrant Category, can take 3-9 months from the time your Application (not your Expression of Interest) is lodged. Family, retirement, investor are all different and timing can be quoted at the time you make contact with us.
You also need to factor in time for – making up your mind if you’re going to move the family, checking to see if you’re eligible, and so on. Again, we will give you best estimates when we know more detail of your situation.
Do I need job to be eligible?
Under the Skilled Migrant Category the majority of applicants need a job offer (worth 50 points) to accumulate sufficient points. And for most work visas a job offer is needed.
How do I find a job?
- Using the internet. www.seek.co.nz and www.trademe.co.nz (New Zealand’s equivalent to eBay) are the most popular New Zealand recruitment sites, but there are others. A simple Google search will help.
- Local newspapers (www.stuff.co.nz collates all NZ newspapers)
- Professional bodies and registration boards
- Friends/family in New Zealand
Isn’t it a ‘Catch 22’ – I need a job to get the number of points required but I need work visa to be offered a job
Yes, this is a tough one. I typically recommend that candidates visit New Zealand prior to making their application. That way you can meet with prospective employers, registration boards, professional bodies, and also check housing, schools, climate etc.. The majority of employers will want you to have a work visa prior to making a job offer, but talk to us about how to manage this part of the process.