Tag Archives: New Zealand

The truth about Visa processing times

Image by Miran Rijavec - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Image by Miran Rijavec – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Waiting for your Visa to come through can be a nerve-wracking business. You may have planned your move to Australia, New Zealand or South Africa with painstaking accuracy, you may have found the job of your dreams, but until your Visa is confirmed there’s nothing much you can do but sit and wait. Most foreign embassies recommend you don’t confirm your travel plans until you have confirmation of a Visa. It can be a very unsettling time but the key to gaining a Visa and making sure you get one on time is to apply early.

As with dealing with any government office the better organised you are; the better they’ll be at getting back to you. Make sure you plan ahead, fill in applications forms correctly and observe all the guidelines and requirements for your chosen Visa. (See https://www.pssremovals.com/blog/visa-considerations-when-moving-abroad/).

It’s also worth checking the application procedures for the specific country you are planning to emigrate to. For example, some countries such as New Zealand allow online applications whereas South Africa prefers applicants to attend their Embassy or Consular Offices in person to hand in the documentation.

Typical processing will look at the following:

*  the requirements of the immigration instructions you are applying under

*  the completeness of your application

*  how easily they can check the information you provide

*  how well and how quickly you respond to any concerns raised with you.

(source: http://www.immigration.govt.nz)

Immigration New Zealand state, “Most problems and delays happen because an applicant has not provided all of the information required.”

If there are glaring errors in your application it will be returned to you and you will be given the chance to reapply within a certain timeframe. Failure to provide the details within the set number of days will usually involve the loss of the fee paid so it’s worth double-checking everything before applying.

Alternatively, you could use a visa specialist partner as recommended by PSS International Removals who can take the pain out of the process. They’ll know exactly what you need and make sure you hand in everything required for a smooth application.

Either way, once you’ve handed over all the necessary documentation, the length of time it takes to receive the Visa is hugely variable, dependent on which country you are applying to and what type of Visa you are applying for.

Current information from The Emigration Group states that for:

New Zealand waiting times are as follows:

*    Work Visa (1-2 months), Work to Residence Visa (1 month), Residence Visa with job offer (4-6months), Parent Visa (12 months) and Partner Visa (2-3 months).

In Australia they are seeing times of the following:

* Work Visa (1-3 months), Residence Visa (8-12 months),  Parent Visa (24 months) and Partner Visa (12-14months).

Countries such as South Africa and Canada publish waiting times on their websites; see

www.southafricahouseuk.com and www.cic.gc.ca respectively. Current figures suggest South Africa Visas may be gained between 1-6 months. In Canada, Express Entry for Skilled Immigrants can take up to 6 months. Data and figures, however change all the time so keep a check on proceedings through the relevant websites.

The key it seems to a successful migration is to be organised and be prepared to wait. Six months may seem like a lifetime but when you’re tipping your toes into the warm waters on Bondi Beach, it will surely have been worth the wait.

PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves. Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

 

House hunting in New Zealand – what can you expect to buy?

Peter Hodge,Two houses above Epuni Street, Wellington

Peter Hodge,Two houses above Epuni Street, Wellington

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

New Zealand has become an attractive destination for people looking to emigrate due to spectacular scenery, a low-crime rate, a strong economy and an English-speaking European-based culture. The vast majority of people who move to New Zealand are keen to settle and buy property. You can get some great value-for-money houses and it’s worth having a good search before you commit.  New Zealand is a hugely diverse country and so you can buy a wide variety of properties too – everything from beachside houses to city apartments.

House prices vary considerably throughout the country, with Auckland being easily the most expensive area, and prices are increasing significantly on a continuing basis.

Median dwelling prices for all of the country excluding Auckland are currently around £200,000, compared to Auckland’s median price of some £370,000 (figures current as at May 2015). Affecting this considerable difference is the comparatively high number of Auckland homes selling at over $NZ1 million (£450,000), along with a low supply to demand ratio.

The main thing in New Zealand is choosing the location that is right for your needs – Auckland is the number one choice for immigrants because of its dominance in the domestic and international business arena.  It is also the main destination for international flights.  But there are many other economic or lifestyle “hot spots”, depending on what your personal requirements are. There are certainly a lot of options to consider.  There are also some excellent websites to base your research on, such as www.trademe.co.nz, www.realestate.co.nz or the locally-based www.rightmove.co.uk/overseas-property/in-New-Zealand.html

Whilst the traditional house with a plot of land is still readily obtainable, New Zealand has seen in recent years a proliferation of apartment buildings being developed in the main cities, reflecting a major change in people’s living styles.

Usual property rules apply in that you will pay a premium for a spectacular view – however, New Zealand has more than its fair share of spectacular views, so you can still can still find a property in a brilliant location for a reasonable amount of money.

Generally speaking the North Island is more expensive than the South Island, but as mentioned before, there is a lot of local variation.

The actual process of buying a property is fairly straightforward – you make an offer, and once you have a mortgage, and searches and surveys have been completed, you sign a contract and pay a 10% deposit.  Completion usually follows after three weeks and it’s unusual for there to be long delays.

Legal fees and expenses are low and will come in at around £1000 or less.

It is possible to arrange your mortgage before you arrive in New Zealand, or you can do it once you have arrived.  Due to the high number of immigrants, financial institutions are used to looking at documents from other countries, but basically they will be looking at your income, how much deposit you have and your existing financial commitments.

If you are considering a move to New Zealand PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

 

 

Age Concern

 

Martin De Kauwe, Surf's up, Manly.

Martin De Kauwe, Surf’s up, Manly.

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Thanks in part to improved health care in developed countries, we are all set to live longer. Good news for the population maybe, but the implications of this increasing ageing population can be quite marked. In developed countries such as Australia and New Zealand the effects of lower birth rates and increased life expectancy can have knock on effects on housing, healthcare, the size of the working population and the demands for skilled labour. Economies that once thrived could, with less people in the labour market, find themselves struggling. Less money coming in, will lead to less money going out.

A recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) noted that over a 20 year period up until 30 June 2014: “The non working-age population is growing faster at 2.2% compared with 1.3% for the working-age population. This faster growth in the non-working ages has been evident since 2010. The main contributor to the increased growth of the non working-age population is growth in the population aged 65 and over.” http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/1CD2B1952AFC5E7ACA257298000F2E76?OpenDocument

New Zealand too has a similar problem. The Ministry of Social Development have predicted that:  “The number of people aged 85 years and over is projected to increase from 67,000 in 2009 to 144,000 in 2031, then more than double to about 330,000 by 2061. By 2061, people aged 85 and over will make up about one in four of the population aged 65 years and over, compared with one in eight in 2009 and 2031. https://www.msd.govt.nz/what-we-can-do/seniorcitizens/positive-ageing/trends/ageing-population.html

With less people working there are real concerns that less tax coming into the national system will have an impact on housing and social care.

Could increased levels of migration be the answer? Migration to New Zealand is at a record high. A recent May 2015 reports for Statistics New Zealand showed the country had a net gain of 56,800 people in the year to April – well up from the 34,400 the previous year.  http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/Migration/IntTravelAndMigration_HOTPApr15.aspx.  It was noted that this gain would indeed help the gaps in the labour market, especially in  areas such as Canterbury which are being heavily rebuilt after recent earthquakes.

The situation in Australia is similar with net overseas migration has been the major driving force in population growth within Australia, contributing 60% of its growth in 2013. www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0main+features82014

If it continues at a level higher than it is now, with Australia’s births and deaths remaining the same, allowing more people in will help plug the gap between births and deaths – and so relieving the employment shortage.

The ABS report: Does Size Matter? states that: Under this scenario, Australia’s population would be 32 million in 2033. Around 19% of the population would be over 65 (with 3% being 85 and over), and 17% of people would be under 15. Two thirds of the population would be working age (64%), and there would be 55 ‘dependents’ for every 100 ‘workers’, 4 less than if we were to maintain current trends.”

Race forward another 30 years, when current migrants are reaching 65 and the scenario would see a population of 42 million. In 2063 around 23% of the population would be aged 65 and over. Three in five people would be of working age (61%), and there would be 63 ‘dependents’ for every 100 ‘workers’.

Tackling an ageing population is a developed world’s issue not just one for Australia and New Zealand to solve. In the short-term opening up their borders to increase a working-age population that can contribute to the social welfare system can only be a good thing. But as they too get older, border control will have to be re-examined once more. The solution, it seems, is an ongoing one.

If you are considering a move to Australia or New Zealand PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Inheritance planning as an expat

 

Peter-Ashley Jackson  money makes the world go round

Peter-Ashley Jackson
money makes the world go round

 

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Moving your family overseas often comes with the need to plan for their long-term future and it’s essential to keep your financial affairs in solid, working order. It’s particularly important to think about how to guard them in the unfortunate case of death or injury.

Be mindful of the influence of local laws – especially when it comes to estate planning and wills. Advice taken locally is key to ensuring that your wishes are carried out when you die and it is often difficult to bypass your children when planning inheritance in comparison to the UK where civil laws operate.

As a basic example, the house that you and your family might have shared in Australia would be automatically passed on to any children and your surviving partner might still be able to use the house but would not be able to sell it without the children’s permission.

Many people find trust schemes a useful platform for estate planning in that they allow a parent to ensure their assets are only passed on to children at a certain age and when they are able to make financially independent decisions. However, UK trust law might not hold up in a civil law jurisdiction, which doesn’t recognise legal structures of this kind. Holding your wealth in an offshore location could also be a way of managing this issue and may help avoid any potential issues.

Some expats often find it difficult to manage their bank account abroad, particularly joint accounts, as in the unfortunate case of death; the survivor may not be able to access the funds.

When it comes to securing your Will – if of UK origin, it should be accepted almost everywhere in Europe. However, it can be a good idea to exclude your foreign property from the main Will and have a separate Will drafted up in local form for dealing with the property in that country. Without a Will, your home will not necessarily be passed on to your loved ones in the way you would hope.

It is also worth bearing in mind that inheritance laws vary worldwide and are often highly complex, but with proper planning it is possible to pass on a legacy to your family without incurring a crippling tax bill.

In many countries inheritance tax is charged on an estate when someone dies. The important thing for expats to remember is that inheritance tax is based on your domicile and/or your residency. If you are domiciled or deemed domicile in the UK, you could be liable for UK inheritance tax on all of your assets worldwide, even if you live in another country.

Claiming back tax before you leave the UK can be very advantageous, even though completing a tax refund application can be a daunting task for anyone. However, PSS International Removals can happily refer you to one of our tax-back agents who will prepare and submit a claim on your behalf.

This will ensure that all of the information and evidence is provided correctly to the HMRC who can also review tax payments dating back 6 years and claim back any over payments at the same period. Furthermore, our tax-back agent is based in the UK and can offer a free, no obligation initial consultation. Please click this link to complete a form for more information or for our partner to contact you.

 

Do you want to live and work in Australia? Take a look at this special offer from The Working Holiday Club

banner-aus

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Here at PSS we’ve teamed up with The Working Holiday Club to develop an amazing special offer for our customers. Get in touch with PSS for a special discount code.

Whether you are a gap year student looking for an Aussie adventure, or perhaps an Australian or New Zealand national looking to head home, take a look at these packages.

For as little as £195 you can enjoy an essentials bundle of services that help travellers relocate to Australia with the benefit of guaranteed jobs and accommodation, but that’s just the beginning.

Essentials Australia Pack (£195)

• 1 nights hostel accommodation

• In-country orientation at our local office (if on the Gold Coast)

• Resume Preparation

• Invitations to Day Tours around the Gold Coast

• Assistance opening a bank account

• Assistance obtaining a Tax File Number and ABN

• Mail holding and forwarding

• Australian sim card

• Personal Visa Consultant to prepare working holiday visa application

• Second Working Holiday visa assistance

• Assistance obtaining RSA

• Assistance obtaining blue/white card

• Valid for 24 months

Alternatively, if you would like more assistance and services, you can opt for the Jumpstart Australia pack (£595) which includes:

• Pre departure Skype consultation and preparation – Australia team

• Program acceptance interview with placement officer/employer Australia

• Personal Visa Consultant to prepare working holiday visa application

• Job guarantee insurance $50 pay a day until you start work

• Airport transfer from Gold Coast

• 3 nights hostel accommodation at Surfers Paradise

• Job offers within 7 days of registration in Australia

• Accommodation viewing where not provided by employer

• In-country orientation at our local office

• Resume Preparation

• Invitations to Day Tours around the Gold Coast

• Assistance opening a bank account

• Assistance obtaining a Tax File Number and ABN

• Mail holding and forwarding

• Australian sim card

• Second Working Holiday visa assistance

• Farm job assistance (if required for second working holiday visa)

• Assistance obtaining RSA

• Assistance obtaining blue/White card

• Valid for 24 months

The 7 Day Job Opportunity Guarantee – If a job opportunity is not secured within 7 days of your orientation completion, We’ll pay $50 a day until a job offer is given, or up to the value of the package (£595).

Common positions for participants include:

• Music Festival and Event Staffing

• Hospitality Work

• Agriculture

• Labour and construction

• Retail

• Telemarketing

• Valid for 24 months

The Jumpstart Package orientation is based on the beautiful Gold Coast, which has 30 kilometres of stunning beaches, great night life and amazing weather. It is also home to world renowned surf break such as Snapper Rocks, Kirra and Burleigh Heads.

With an average of 10 new arrivals each week, the Jumpstart Australia offers more than accommodation and employment opportunities for new arrivals to Australia. By immersing you in a group of like-minded travellers, who are experiencing the same excitement and nerves that come with settling into Australian life, you’ll begin to feel at home straight away.

When you get off the plane you in either Brisbane or The Gold Coast airport you will head to your hostel accommodation located in Surfers Paradise – the heart of the nightlife district. After orientation at the Working Holiday Club office in which your Tax File Number, Australian Bank Account and other work licenses are organised participants will be taken out for a pub crawl.

For further details please visit the Working Holiday Club website: http://www.theworkingholidayclub.co.uk/australia-packages.html or call 0333 800 1833

 

Get Packing with A 10% Discount for Students on Excess Baggage

 

"Graduating students" by Sasikiran 10 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graduating_students.JPG#/media/File:Graduating_students.JPG

“Graduating students” by Sasikiran 10 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graduating_students.JPG#/media/File:Graduating_students.JPG

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

10% off your Excess Baggage order here: https://www.pssremovals.com/facebook 

As a student you may have arrived to study in a new country with nothing more than a rucksack of clothes, your laptop and some favourite foods. Skip forward a year and you’ve suddenly found yourself with excess baggage that includes a guitar, a desk and a stash of course books – all of which you want to take back home with you.

Not much of a problem if your parents are coming to collect you and they can throw it all in the back of their car but more of an issue if home is several thousand miles away.

With budgets squeezed and airlines limited on what they can and can’t take the easiest and cheapest option could be an international removal service such as PSS, especially as we are now offering a 10% discount to students (code – students2015).

While taking an extra suitcase on an airplane may sometimes be the best option, especially if it’s fairly small, shipping home your cello or a few boxes of keepsakes needs specialist care and consideration.

At PSS we can tailor our Excess Baggage service to fit your requirements. If you need your belongings quickly, and have a bit more money to spend, you might like to consider the express airline rates. If however, money is tight and you’re not in any hurry, our sea freight delivery service may suit you better. Whatever your budget, we have a delivery option to suit you.

We can also offer you great deals on packing options. Whereas some companies may insist you have a standard size box or crate, regardless of what you have to pack, PSS have different shaped cartons for different shaped options.

We can also give you separate quotes if you have more unusual objects to send on. Want that snowboard shipped back? How about the trumpet you can’t be parted with? PSS can do it. These items will be priced individually and quotes are dependent upon their weight.

With the offer including free cartons and packing materials as well as free delivery and collection service for customers inside the M25, and just a small charge for outside delivery and collection outside, PSS really do have a student’s best packing interests at heart.

For more information go to: https://www.pssremovals.com/excess-baggage PSS International Removals have specialised in shipping excess baggage and luggage to a number of worldwide destinations such as Australia, South Africa and the USA for over 32 years. We handle thousands of baggage consignments each year ranging from shipments as small as 1 carton to larger shipments of 20 cartons. Our vast experience and expertise in moving baggage consignments is just one of the reasons why we are known as the UK’s 1st choice for sending baggage overseas.

Some useful expat blogs worth reading during the Christmas break

By Muffet [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Muffet [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Australia is currently the most popular destination with British expats, followed by Spain, the USA and Canada. New Zealand also has one of the highest proportions of expats with a growing 230,000-strong community making up 5% of the country’s total population. With so many Britons living abroad it’s unsurprising that many have set up expat blogs or forums to communicate with friends and family back home as well as other British expats around the world.

If you might need some more resources to read up about what it might be like to be an expat abroad; or maybe you are already living overseas and need some new perspectives and inspiration, one of the best places to start is BritishExpats.com – with expats from all over the world asking questions concerning topics such as food, car rentals, pensions, child and family issues amongst many others. For a whole host of blogs from all across the world just visit Expat Blog, a site that currently hosts well over 5,000 blogs written by expats. Below are some of our favourite blogs from around the world, dedicated to expat life.

British expats in the USA seem to be very adept at keeping their blogs up-to-date and packed with interesting stories. From Sheep to Alligators is a one such example, featuring the exploits of a British expat who swapped the North Of England for sunny Florida. Stories such as ‘British TV vs American TV’, ‘how I watch BBC iPlayer in USA’ and ‘Living in the USA: My Culture Shock Top 10’ are prime fodder for those looking to move abroad or those who can already call themselves expats.

For those considering a move to Australia, Poms in Oz is a very popular forum with a strong British contingent, dedicated to people migrating to Australia. Many of the community are expats based in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland, with migration issues always one of the hot topics covered.

You can also find large groups of British expats on Meetup, a website dedicated to organising events and meeting new people. Two examples are the Sydney British Expats Meetup Group and the Melbourne British Expats Meetup Group, both responsible for arranging a host of events that will appeal to British expats in Australia.

One of the best British expat blogs in Spain is called rather imaginatively A Brit In Spain – an honest depiction of the simple life in Spain is its main appeal. MySpain is also a popular choice consisting of discussion area with advice on moving abroad.

Should you be looking for a selection of great UK expat blogs then A Lady In London is a blog about life in London, but also covers travel to other countries, recommending hotels, foods and a variety of destinations around the world. Bringing Up Brits deals specifically with the trials and joys of having a family in a new country. The Fly Away American blog covers things to see and do in the UK, advice on travelling both within the country and around the world, and how to deal with homesickness whilst the Life of an Expat Parent covers pregnancy and parenting as an expat, as well as expat life in general. Angloyankophile covers everything from book reviews to fashion finds as well as the best parts of several cities – including London and Oxford – offering a refreshingly bright, upbeat viewpoint of the expat experience. What are your favourite expat blogs? If you’re a Brit who has recently moved abroad, maybe it will be your blog we feature in the near future!

‘A New Life In New Zealand’ by Paul Goddard

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Paul Goddard moved to New Zealand from the UK in 2003 and has since set up and run his own business in the immigration industry. His passion is helping other people make a successful move abroad and he’s lucky enough to be working for one of the largest and most experienced immigration teams in the industry at Migration Planners.

Emigrating is one of the most life-changing events you can experience and Paul is now helping hundreds of people make that big move through his company. If only he knew back in 2003 what he knows now, he would have done things differently and had access to a lot more support. Paul says his move was exciting, scary and he constantly questioned his decision to emigrate, which he now views as natural in retrospect!

Furthermore, the BBC filmed his move for the TV programme “Get A New Life” and he also recently wrote the book “A New Life In New Zealand”. The book offers a snapshot of his first 12 months living in the country whilst focusing on the experiences and the emotions he went through on a day-to day basis. He would finish work and then come home and spend an hour or so each evening sharing his thoughts and feelings on the new life he was creating for himself.

There are so many books written about emigrating that the facts and figures are there for anyone to find, should they choose to look. Using the internet to do research is making the process of emigrating even easier. In fact, it makes you wonder how people ever emigrated before the internet existed. Paul’s Ebook package offers honest advice about what it is like to make the move, as well as insights and tips on navigating the immigration process. This advice and support is essential if you are serious about a move to New Zealand or Australia.

Paul has just finished writing a follow up to “A New Life In New Zealand” and this new book will offer the benefit of hindsight and the knowledge he has gained both as a migrant who has successfully settled, and as a licensed immigration adviser. The new book “Planning a New Life Down Under” contains useful info about the immigration process for New Zealand and Australia so do feel free to email Paul and he would be happy to help you.

PSS are the UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of customers move to many destinations throughout the world, including New Zealand.

Please take a look at the relevant page on our website for more detailed information about our migration services to New Zealand.

Everything you need to know about moving to New Zealand

 

"Tasman Valley - Aoraki Mount Cook - Canterbury" by David Briody from Edinburgh, Scotland - Tasman Valley (by Lesley). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.jpg#/media/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.jpg

“Tasman Valley – Aoraki Mount Cook – Canterbury” by David Briody from Edinburgh, Scotland – Tasman Valley (by Lesley). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.jpg#/media/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.jpg

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Latest news: New Zealand attempts to lure UK medics: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/nz-attempts-lure-uk-medics-baby-boomers-age

How would you like to live in a country that is only 174 years old, the same size as the UK but with a population of around 4 million (as opposed to 63 million)? It will still let you sing ‘God Save The Queen’ whilst never being more than 79 miles from the beach? The least corrupt nation on earth (tied with Denmark) where one third of the land is protected national parkland, has plenty of work opportunities and 1 in 3 households own a boat? Oh, and there’s lots of sheep – LOTS.

The native Maori’s often call it; ‘Aotearoa’, the ‘land of the long white cloud’ or ‘God’s own country’, New Zealand can offer all of these things and much, much more. No wonder it scored highest for quality of life in a recent survey of UK expats.

Culturally, New Zealand is generally laid back and Kiwis are renowned for their relaxed attitude to life. Nevertheless, they do work hard but play harder, love the great outdoors with most entertainment involving some form of outdoor activity or another. Kiwis also pride themselves on living in an environment where social status means very little. Whether you are rich or poor, they all play the same games.

If you are from the UK and considering a move to New Zealand then you really should learn about and be aware of the Treaty of Waitangi. This was an agreement in 1840 between the British Crown and Maori chiefs which regulated British sovereignty over the country whilst granting certain rights to the natives. Here are some links that are worth reading:

www.newzealand.com

www.workingin-newzealand.com

www.newzealandnow.govt.nz

The local currency is the New Zealand dollar and the economy has weathered the recent global recession relatively well.

As a result, many job seekers from the UK are finding plenty of work opportunities within the country, especially within the ICT, healthcare, engineering and construction sectors. UK technical and professional qualifications are also generally recognised. There are also lots of other opportunities, particularly if your skills are on the New Zealand skill shortages lists posted by Immigration New Zealand. You may even be able to apply for a skilled migrant visa that lets you live and work in the country indefinitely.

New Zealand’s tax year runs from 1 April to 31 March and if you spend more than 183 days of a year in the country you will be considered a resident for tax purposes. When you first arrive you may qualify as a transitional tax resident which will give you exemptions from paying tax on any income earned outside of New Zealand for four years. As long as it isn’t related to work you are doing while in the country. This means income from a UK pension during this period is un-taxable. There is also no tax-free income allowance in New Zealand and everyone is taxed on all of their earnings; with a starting rate of 10.5%.

Due to significantly cheaper prices than the UK, buying a property is the norm in New Zealand, but as a result there are fewer properties available to rent – even if that might be the advisable thing to do in the short term. The average property price is currently $350,000 and prices are generally highest in Auckland where 1 in 3 kiwis and expats live.

As with the UK, landlords usually ask for up to four weeks’ rent in advance as a bond. Here are some useful resources for your reference:

For information on properties to rent or buywww.realestate.co.nz and www.emigratenz.org

A full list of rental agencieswww.yellow.co.nz

Information on New Zealand property priceswww.qv.co.nz/onlinereports/propertyvaluemap.html

Government assistance for familieswww.emigratenz.org and www.newzealand.govt.nz

If you are considering emigrating with a young family, New Zealand’s schools and campuses are generally safe with generous play areas and fantastic access to the outdoors.

Most schools are free despite parents being expected to cover some minor costs. Interestingly, seven of New Zealand’s universities recently appeared in the top 400 QS World University Rankings 2012/13(50% of them in the top 250) and six were in the 2012/13 Times Higher Education Supplement’s top 400.

Roughly 30% of New Zealanders opt for private medical insurance but for expats, the Ministry of Health website will tell you all you need to know about the country’s health services. New Zealand also has Reciprocal Health Agreements with both Australia and the UK, which means that UK citizens working in the country can receive the same publicly-funded services as a citizen if covered by the agreement.

Expats currently have to pay for routine visits to GPs and dentists although children under six can visit their doctor for free. GPs set their own charges and these can vary from between $10.50 and $65.00. Those under 18 and over 45 receive a government subsidy for GP visits.

Nevertheless, maternity care is free and basic dental care is also free for children still attending school. Furthermore, if your GP refers you to a hospital or for emergency treatment this is also free.

Planning on taking your pet down under? This site will tell you all you need to know about bringing your pet into New Zealand. It’s worth noting that dogs and cats from the UK/Ireland will not require quarantine but will need pre-import tests/treatments and will be inspected for ticks on arrival.

PSS are the UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of customers move to many destinations throughout the world, including New Zealand. Please take a look at the relevant page on our website for more detailed information about our migration services to New Zealand.

 

How to ensure your move abroad goes smoothly

By Cpl. Jovane Holland (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/412768) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Cpl. Jovane Holland (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/412768) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Recent reports suggest that there are over 3.4 million British people living abroad, which is 7% of the overall British population. One of the major reasons for this is the weather. Roughly 1000 people leave the UK every day in search of sunnier climes and a higher standard of living. Of these 1000 people, over 40% are usually British citizens and most choose to relocate to either Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, the US or UAE.

Although the UK has some beautiful countryside and stunning coastlines throughout the country, the weather defines how often we get to enjoy the outdoors. Even during the summer, there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to visit our favourite beach due to either wind or rain often destroying our best-laid plans.

It’s generally a lot cheaper to live abroad and many skilled professionals find that they can often earn more than they do in the UK whilst experiencing better working conditions, less working hours, less tax and better private healthcare schemes.

According to a report by the Daily Mail in 2010, nine out of ten Brits currently living abroad said their quality of life had improved since leaving the UK; but that’s not to say that the moving process always goes according to plan! Unfortunately, it is often this process that is misunderstood; landing people with all sorts of unexpected difficulties to tackle.

If you are considering leaving the UK permanently, it goes without saying that thoroughly researching your chosen destination and not overlooking the important points is vital. Always visit key forums and expat community resources to help get a feel for the country, region or city you intend to move to first. For example, how does Melbourne differ from Sydney or Auckland from Christchurch? You might be surprised!

Familiarise yourself with the local regulations and customs. One great resource for this is The FCO’s Know Before You Go page on http://www.gov.uk.

Consider your health. Once you permanently leave the UK you are no longer entitled to medical treatment under the NHS or via a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Be sure to sign-up to health insurance and if you are staying within the European Economic Area (EEA), read up on the S1 form (previously known as the E121 form). For more useful information visit the NHS moving abroad page.

Consider your long-term financial requirements by reading up on the impact moving overseas may have on any benefits or retirement income. Visit this state pension abroad page as a good resource. Be realistic about your living costs, don’t automatically assume they will be the same as the UK and don’t forget to formulate a Plan B if things go wrong.

Once your key research is in place and before deciding on a leaving date, set up a consultancy session with an independent legal professional and don’t feel under pressure to use your property developer’s or estate agent’s contacts. Take a look at http://www.gov.uk for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s English-speaking lawyers lists. It is very important that your legal consultant understands the law in the country you intend to move to.

Investigate recruiting a specialist international removals company such as PSS International Removals. We have successfully helped thousands of customers move throughout the world, over more than 30 years, and we are fully aware that issues with packing, customs and shipping must all be taken into account, and that’s not to mention initial advice on Visas, job seeking, property searches, tax and all of the elements that go into an individual’s life in a new country.

It is always important that you are covered for financial security to avoid any possible problems at foreign ports and paying extortionate fees just to recover property. With this in mind, we offer a door-to-door service meaning the customer sees their belongings being packed at their doorstep and then opened in the same state at destination.

Furthermore, we have achieved the highest level of service within the industry by attaining FAIM ACCREDITATION which is the only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry.

PSS is also a Member of the FIDI Global alliance, British Association of Removers Overseas Group, and BAR OVERSEAS, which is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for customer’s financial protection.

Once you have moved abroad and understand the costs, research the taxes that will be applicable to you in your new home (as well as back in the UK). Don’t forget to take exchange rates into account and consider the potential financial implications of moving.

Never rush into buying. Many advise renting for the first 6 months in a new country while you take the time to settle in, investigate the area and integrate into your community, ensuring you become familiar with the local protocol. You can then decide whether it might be somewhere you or your family will be happy long-term. Try and make a concerted effort to avoid isolating yourself and learn the local language that will play an important role in helping you settle in and meet new friends.

And finally, don’t forget to notify the Social Security Office, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work & Pensions that you are moving overseas, as well as your GP. For a full list of who to contact, visit this retiring abroad page.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our international moves team.