OK, so I wrote a list about what I needed to do before leaving and included some views on what I thought I needed to do when I got to NZ. I can now create a new list, to help any budding immigrants out there, of those things to consider when you get to where you are going…and a couple more pointers before you even apply…
Before you apply, make sure you try to do some research on culture, and especially relating to work as this is where you will spend a good deal of time. It is not always easy but quite important. For example, in the UK, I was getting 30 days of holiday per year, in NZ this is typically 20. In North America this can be only 10. You have to have an idea on what you want your life to look like. At the end of the day, with less holidays you are unlikely to be able to spend a lot of time with guests if they visit and weekends and evenings become more important.
OK, post arrival…and assume for this list that you already have a job…
1. Find somewhere to live. In NZ, you have to pay the real estate agent for setting up a tenancy…unusual? Consider your commute, locality, amenities, ask local people for advice on areas to look at or avoid.
2. Open a bank account…you will need money and as such proof of ID is important. You may need to get proof of address from your hotel to start with. Also, work out how to transfer money to your new account from back home – there are foreign exchange websites which do free transactions at better rates than a Swift payment from your bank.
3. Obtain an IRD number – this is to enable you to be taxed (and paid!). You do this at a Post Shop and will need 2 forms of ID (passport and driving licence). You may need to use a hotel address.
4. Buy a car – you don’t want to be stuck in one place! Don’t forget to get to know the rules of the road. It is worth noting that as you have no credit rating in the new country, buying a car is a great way to establish this so part finance it if you can.
5. Get broadband, water, electricity, TV, insurances (car isn’t compulsory in NZ but worth having!) etc.
6. Get a driving licence, you can only drive on an overseas licence in NZ for one year maximum.
7. Assuming you settle, keep an eye on when you can apply for permanent residency.
8. Get a mobile phone…or just a local SIM…so that you can start making and receiving calls from new contacts ASAP.
9. Get out and about on foot, on public transport or hire a car – you need to become familiar with your surroundings. See some of the tourist sights before you get entrenched in daily life.
10. Enjoy yourself! You don’t want to spend ages just doing the serious stuff…make sure you get out there
I hope someone finds this useful! As with anything, the more you research, the better.