2021 Guide To Moving To New Zealand From The UK

Monday 9th August 2021

New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Full of natural beauty and incredible landscapes, many Brits relocate to New Zealand to enjoy the outdoor environment and more relaxed pace of life. If you’re considering moving to New Zealand from the UK but aren’t quite sure when’s the best time to go, or indeed how to begin the process, the following guide is here to help you out. 

Can I move to New Zealand from the UK during the pandemic?

The process of moving to New Zealand from the UK has of course been complicated by the pandemic. New Zealand has introduced a temporary border closure at this time, which will complicate your ability to obtain a visa. However, if you are hoping to move as soon as possible, keep an eye on the changing situation to see when travel restrictions are likely to ease. You can keep up to date on current entry requirements to New Zealand if you’re coming from the UK via the gov.uk website

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get organised in order to make this exciting move once the border reopens.

Apply for a visa

If you are planning on moving to the country for less than 6 months then you will not require a visa, however you will need to obtain an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before you go. If you are planning to stay in New Zealand for longer than 6 months then you will need to gain a residency visa such as the skilled migrant category that allows you to stay in the country indefinitely and access state funded public services. 

Once this visa has expired, you can apply for permanent residency that will allow you to travel in and out of New Zealand without any restrictions. In order to apply for a permanent visa you must be able to complete the necessary documentation and meet the following criteria:

  • Provide proof of identity (2 acceptable headshots / your passport or another certificate of identity) 
  • Be of good character 
  • Hold a valid resident visa or have held one in the last 3 months (provide a resident visa or residence permit & have held continuously for 24 months) 
  • Have met conditions of your current visa 
  • Be committed to living in New Zealand permanently (provide evidence of your commitment to New Zealand) 
  • Non principal applicants should apply at the same time or after the principal applicant, unless a non principal exception applies

Organise healthcare

When thinking about moving to New Zealand from the UK, or indeed moving anywhere abroad, it’s important to be aware of the healthcare options that you’ll have available to you. In order to access public healthcare and register with a GP in New Zealand then you must have permanent residency. 

When moving to New Zealand as an expat, it’s recommended that you join a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) as the application for healthcare can take up to 3 months to process and PHO’s can provide subsidies on potential medical costs. Upon your relocation to New Zealand if you need emergency medical assistance then you’ll need to dial 111 to call for an ambulance. 

Organise your pet’s move

If you’re thinking of moving to New Zealand from the UK, there’s no doubt you’ll be wanting to take your four legged friend with you. In order to ensure that relocating your pet is as stress free as possible, you’ll need to start planning 6 months or so in advance. This will give you plenty of time to organise the necessary vaccinations for your pet and to obtain a microchip for them if they don’t already have one. It’s currently only cats and dogs that are able to be imported to New Zealand and they must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. 

Ship your goods

The cheapest and quickest way to ship the majority of your household goods when moving to New Zealand from the UK, is via a sole use shipping container. If you choose to move your belongings with us at Hackworthy & Sons, we promise to make the process as stress free as possible. 

Your belongings will be carefully packed and wrapped at your home and loaded into an onsite container where it is then driven and delivered to the port. Sole container shipments usually take between 7-8 weeks port to port, and you should allow 2 weeks on top of this for customs clearance and delivery once the container reaches New Zealand. 

Depending on your individual requirements, shipping containers are usually available in two sizes:

  • 20ft. This container holds 1050 cu ft.; large enough to hold a 2- 3 bedroom house.
  • 40ft. This container holds 2100 cu ft.; large enough to hold a 3- 4 bedroom house.

Once your shipment arrives at the destination port, we’ll contact you to arrange a date for delivery to your residence. Our destination partner will complete the stress free process by unpacking your boxes and removing all packing materials from your home. 

To request a quick quote for your overseas removal, you can use our online form, or, for more information on moving to New Zealand from the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.