Moving from Canada
Looking for a change? Somewhere relaxed, where the weather is less extreme, the land is fresh and green and the places you want to go are closer at hand?
New Zealand could be just the place you’re looking for.
Find out more about moving to New Zealand from Canada and what you need to do to get a visa to join us.
Living in New Zealand
There’s a lot to make you feel at home in New Zealand, great mountains, lakes and forests. Laid back people who are easy to get along with. A shared language and British colonial heritage (although historically - like you - we were almost French!).
How New Zealand compares
Lindsey Shaw found the job market a lot less competitive in New Zealand compared to her native Canada when she moved here with her Kiwi-born husband Christian.
One big difference you’ll note is the weather. We have a relatively gentle climate that means you can get out and about all year round.
Compared to the vast distances involved in getting around your country, in New Zealand you can be somewhere totally different in a matter of hours. So it’s easy to explore the incredible diversity New Zealand has to offer - from the sub-tropical north with its great sandy surf beaches, to the mountainous alpine south.
You’ll also find the New Zealand culture quite unique. It’s the result of the strong influences of our Maori and Polynesian people. They bring a distinctive ‘Pacifica’ feel to life here.
It’s expressed in excellent arts festivals. It also comes through in everyday life with a spirit of welcome that Maori call Manaakitanga. The basic idea of this concept is that everyone comes out better off through the act looking after guests.
People in New Zealand enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of the world. In fact we consistently top international surveys when it comes to work/life balance.
We definitely think we’ve got the recipe right.
We work hard at our jobs. But we also make sure there’s time for a life away from work. Whether that life involves testing yourself against challenging mountain bike tracks, chasing the perfect wave or simply being with your family, you’ll have more opportunity to enjoy it.
Want to know more?
Take the first step to a new life by registering your interest with Immigration New Zealand. We’ll send you personalised emails about job opportunities in your profession, life in New Zealand and choosing the right visa.It’s free and there’s no obligation.
The weather’s gentle
New Zealand generally enjoys warm, dry summers and relatively mild and wet winters. Of course it can rain and blow here. But we don’t have the extremes people in Canada have to learn to live with - no long months of being snowbound, or periods of energy-sapping, baking heat.
Excellent education and healthcare
If you’re coming to study, or you have children at school, you can be confident of the quality of New Zealand’s education.
A 2015 OECD report ranked New Zealand in the world’s top 20 countries for ‘Average performance on international student achievement tests’ (measuring 15 year olds' competence with maths and science). Expat parents agree - over 90% of them say the quality of New Zealand education is the same or even better than at home.
At tertiary level, all eight of New Zealand’s universities appeared in the top 500 QS World University Rankings 2015/16 (50% of them in the top 250).
Coming from Canada you’ll know all about mountain grandeur, placid lakes and great plains. New Zealand serves up all that (in its own way) and more.
Long sub-tropical sandy beaches, meandering braided rivers, active volcanoes, geysers and boiling mud pools.
It’s all so accessible. You can travel from end to end of either the North or South Island in a day or so, and from side to side in hours.
Great job opportunities
Compared to many countries, New Zealand weathered the global recession relatively well. In fact, by December 2014, annual growth had risen to 3.3%, the fastest rate of expansion in six years and, according the New Zealand Treasury, one of the strongest performances in the OECD
Growth for 2015 is expected to be around 3%, falling back a little in 2016 and 2017.
In comparison, Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s growth rate to June 2015 was 1%.
It means that, while we’re not in boom times, there are good jobs and careers for people from Canada here in New Zealand.
In several parts of the country, the job market is particularly strong. For example, Christchurch needs people with construction and trade skills for the rebuild after the earthquakes there in 2010 and 2011.
Many employers and professional bodies recognise qualifications and experience gained in Canada.
There are opportunities in other places and locations, particularly if your skills are on the New Zealand skill shortages lists posted by Immigration New Zealand.
Moving to New Zealand
You’ll have lots to organise. Apart from finding work, your top priorities will be deciding where you want to live and finding accommodation, sorting out money and banking matters and, if you have a family, finding the best schools for them.
Getting your new life off to a good start is all a matter of preparation. To help with the planning try NZ Ready. It has all sorts of information and tools to help you create ‘to do’ lists for before you leave and when you arrive.
Get a New Zealand visa
To work in New Zealand you’ll need one of the various different types of visa that we offer.
If you’re aged 18-30 can apply for a working holiday visas that gives young Canadians up to 12 months in New Zealand.
Alternatively you may be able to apply for a skilled migrant visa that lets you live and work in New Zealand indefinitely.
There are also special visas for Canadians planning to invest NZ$1.5 million or more.