Tempted to move from NZ to the UK? Four ways to test the water

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Tempted to move from NZ to the UK? Four ways to test the water

Moving temporarily or permanently to the UK is a popular move for many Kiwis — according to the latest UK Office of National Statistics stats, there were 59,000 New Zealanders in residence in 2015.


So you wouldn’t be short of company from home — but there are lots of factors to weigh up before you book a one-way flight to Blighty.

With that in mind, here are four ways to test the water if you’re tempted to move from NZ to the UK.

  1. Visas

You can travel to the UK on a Kiwi passport for as long as six months visa-free — this can be a great way of finding out whether living there permanently might be for you.

But be careful — if you spend six months here a few times in quick succession, the UK immigration officers are likely to take a view that you’re basing yourself there and might send you home. Further — if the officer wants a chat when you’re entering, they may turn you back if they think the main purpose of your visit is staying long-term, so be discreet.

It’s best to look at the UK Government visa application website to apply in New Zealand for a longer-term UK visa — and take the advice of an immigration consultant on providing the right documents. Applications are expensive and time-consuming, so you want to get them right first time.

  1. High Commission

Whether you want to visit the UK for business purposes, to study, reunite with family or just to sightsee, get in touch with your High Commission before you go.

They employ a host of experts who can advise you on almost any subject and, in the unlikely event that you encounter some sort of difficulty in the UK, they’re your first port of call for consular assistance — whether you need legal advice or an emergency travel document.

Keep an eye out on their job vacancies page too — you might see the occasional opportunity to work in the high commission in a range of exciting roles.

  1. Distance learning

If a longer-term move to the UK is realistically a couple of years down the line, but you have your eye on a career change once you arrive, taking a distance learning degree with a UK university might be worthwhile.

For instance, online degree specialists Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning offer qualifications with global vocational value — but many courses are also accredited with industry bodies based in the UK, so you can be confident of their earning potential and relevance.

And you’ll be building up a list of network contacts in the UK and further afield throughout your course, who’ll likely advise on your plans and possibly meet up with you after graduation in Britain.

  1. Scotland

London’s a natural magnet for immigrants from all over the world and it’s a cultural and financial hub that can’t be ignored.

But there’s more to the UK than the capital city and high rents plus job competition can make surviving in the Big Smoke a bit of a squeeze.

But renowned travel advice website Rough Guide proclaimed Scotland the world’s most beautiful country in 2017 — so if you visit the UK without heading north of the border, you’re missing out.

Should you choose to live there, you’ll benefit from a good standard of public services and a reasonable cost of living.

And you may even reconnect with long lost family — you’ll be well aware of the Scottish influence on New Zealand culture in terms of sport, education, music and faith.

So there are four ways to test the water if you’re tempted to move from New Zealand to the UK — if your mind’s already made up, be sure to pack winter clothes as it does get a little parky up there.

Have you moved from NZ to the UK? Share your tips in the comments section.



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