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As Thanksgiving approaches, many Americans are reflecting on the things they’re grateful for and considering new adventures. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting a new life in a stunningly beautiful and culturally rich country, New Zealand could be the answer to your aspirations. In this blog, we’ll explore the options and considerations for US citizens thinking of moving to New Zealand.

Why New Zealand?

Americans looking to make a permanent move to NZ can expect a much more laid-back lifestyle than is found in most places in the US. In NZ, work/life balance is highly sought after and easy to obtain.  Most people leave work around 5 or 6pm with the expectation they will not receive after-hours calls.

In most neighborhoods, you will find green spaces to exercise or play. Children going to the local school will be within walking distance of the school and will be encouraged to arrive on foot.  NZ is considered a relatively safe country where many people feel safe walking around.

Public schools in New Zealand are considered good by international standards. There are also many excellent private options as well depending on what type of education someone is looking for.

Housing in New Zealand can be considered expensive, depending on what area of the United States someone is coming from. Houses in New Zealand generally have an indoor/outdoor flow, so central heat and air is not needed. They usually have heat pumps in main living areas for warmth. Housing costs are comparable to major metropolitan areas of the US. Americans will also find the cost of cars and groceries high, especially in Auckland.

Americans looking to move to New Zealand can expect a very friendly diverse community.  They will see beauty beyond compare with access to world class beaches, amazing hiking tracks and a much slower pace of life to enjoy it all.

Immigration Pathways

Before making the move to New Zealand, you’ll need to navigate the country’s immigration system. Here are some of the most common pathways for US citizens:


New Zealand has a visa waiver arrangement with the United States which allows US citizens to visit for 3 months.

All you need to do is apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. This is a straightforward process and can be done through the free app (available on Android and iPhone) or online.

Come and see what New Zealand has to offer.

USA Working Holiday Visa:

The United States and New Zealand also have a special arrangement for young US citizens. USA citizens who are 18 to 30 years old can apply for a special working holiday visa which allows for work in New Zealand for up to 12 months or study or training for up to 6 months in total.

Work and Skill shortages:

New Zealand has various areas of skills shortages and is looking for top talents from places such as the United States to fill these shortages. There are good work and residence visa pathways for those who meet the requirements of those shortage positions.

For the types of positions New Zealand is looking for you can use the link here.

People whose roles are not on the shortage list may also have a pathway to obtain work and residence visas in New Zealand, contact us to find out what possibilities you may have.


New Zealand has 8 universities all ranked in the world’s top 3% (600) universities in the world. You can further your education in New Zealand at one of these universities or many other study institutions throughout the country.

International students are welcomed to New Zealand to further their education. Student visas can give you the option to study in New Zealand and often come with part-time work rights as well as a post-study work visa for when completing higher-level qualifications.

Invest in New Zealand:

There is an investment pathway open to Americans. For those interested in developing and growing their investments in New Zealand, opportunities exist to become residents in New Zealand. Get in touch to discuss these opportunities further.

However, when planning your move to New Zealand, it’s essential to consider the timing carefully:

  1. Visa Processing Times: Visa processing can take several months. Make sure to submit your application well in advance to ensure you have the necessary documents in place.
  2. New Zealand Seasons: New Zealand’s seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. If you prefer a mild climate, consider moving during the Southern Hemisphere’s spring or summer, which falls between November and April.
  3. Accommodations: Find accommodations in advance to ensure a smooth transition. You may want to consider temporary lodging while you search for a more permanent home.

We can ensure you have a quick, easy, pleasant, and successful move because we are experts in relocation. Contact us today for assistance.


Moving to New Zealand from the United States is a significant decision that requires careful planning and consideration. Thanksgiving month can be an excellent time to reflect on your aspirations and make a commitment to a new adventure. New Zealand offers a diverse range of immigration pathways, stunning landscapes, and a high quality of life. By carefully navigating the immigration process and timing your move effectively, you can make the dream of living in this beautiful country a reality.

As you prepare to embark on your journey, give thanks for the opportunities and possibilities that await in New Zealand, and savour the adventure of a fresh start in this incredible land down under.

If you have any questions or would like our help, please get in touch with our experienced New Zealand Government-appointed immigration advisors here at Woburn International for assistance.

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