American travel blogger Liz Carlson shares her tips on moving to New Zealand
As "how to move to New Zealand" searches spike on Google, one American travel blogger has created a post-election guide for doing exactly that.
Liz Carlson, who writes the Young Adventuress blog, has been living in New Zealand for the past four years. Following Donald Trump's presidential victory, she plans to make the move permanent.
"I want nothing to do with the America I saw tonight," she writes in her latest blog post.
"I'm so incredibly disheartened that fear, ignorance, and hate won, and that the majority of Americans want to live in a country of walls, bigotry and hate. I do not want to belong to such a place."
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Carlson admits New Zealand isn't without its own problems - "dairy farming is destroying the land at an almost laughable rate, the cost of living is insane, diversity isn't its strong suit, and the current Prime Minister is a first-rate muppet, among many other things," she writes.
"The average house cost in Queenstown and Wanaka is around one million dollars. And sometimes avocados cost over $5 each."
But she still prefers life in her adopted country.
"With a population of only four million people, you feel a strong community vibe here, most people are very friendly and welcoming and the crime rate is a joke compared to America. The healthcare is great and it's an overall happy relaxed peaceful place. It's easy to live here, and I love it."
Carlson says she has already started receiving emails and messages from her compatriots wanting advice on how to move to New Zealand. These are some of her tips.
1. WORKING HOLIDAY VISA
"If you are under 30 and interested in moving to New Zealand, I definitely recommend coming here on a working holiday visa. Most youngsters come in that way, and that's what I did back in 2013. You can apply online, and it's super easy and straightforward. It's open to any Americans under the age of 30 who have NZ$4200 to their name and you can come and travel and work here for up to a year. If you've done agricultural work like working on a vineyard or a farm, you can extend your visa for an extra three months. Many of my friends came on working holidays, worked and travelled for a year and ended up with job offers that allowed them to stay longer."
2. SKILLS SHORTAGE
"You're in a really good position to move to New Zealand if your work falls under the Skills Shortage list. Many surprising jobs fall under that, like being a chef, builder, baker, skydiver, snowboarding instructor, winemaker, or farmer. You can find a lot of work rebuilding in Christchurch which was damaged by earthquakes a few years ago."
3. PARTNER VISA
"In New Zealand, partner is the term for your significant other, any kind really. Alas, I am determined to sort my visas out all on my own and not rely on a man to help me (though let the record stand I would if I could and Kiwi boyfriend applications are now open)."
4. JOB OFFERS
"There is the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa which is for people who have job offers by businesses in New Zealand that already are approved to hire skilled foreigners. After two years you can apply for residency. If you are between the ages of 20 and 35, you can enter a visa ballot to win a Silver Fern Visa which will allow you come to New Zealand and look for a job for up to nine months. Spots fill up super fast and I think there are only 300 spots per year."
5. TALENT VISA
"I'm on quite an obscure visa that is very difficult to get – the Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa. If you can demonstrate that you are exceptionally talented in arts, sports or culture, you can be granted this visa for up to 30 months allowing you work in that field and which will eventually allow you to apply for residency. You need an international reputation, and a New Zealand organisation of national repute and a sponsor to back you up, and you need to demonstrate that you benefit New Zealand by being here."
Are you an American in New Zealand? Are you now looking at making NZ your home? Let us know in the comments.