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.

Family in Wellington, New Zealand

How New Zealand compares

Migrant stories
Lindsey moved to New Zealand with her kiwi-born husband

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.

Read their story

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.

Clean & beautiful place to live

Unique culture

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.

Balanced lifestyle

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.

New Zealand's balanced lifestyle

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 2018 (5/8 of them in the top 300).

Studying in New Zealand

Education & schooling system

Healthcare system

Global school rankings | BBC

QS World University Rankings | Top Universities

Superb scenery

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.

Couple walking their dogs in Auckland, New Zealand

In New Zealand, you're never more than an hour or two from the coast.

Red Beach, Auckland

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 2018 is expected to be around 3%, higher than 2.9% for 2017.

In comparison, Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s growth rate to December 2017 was 1.7%

It means that 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.

New Zealand's job market & key industries

Skill shortage list check | 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.

NZ Ready planning tool

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 18-35, you can apply for a working holiday visas that gives young Canadians up to 24 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 NZD$3 million or more.

Visas to work in New Zealand

Visas to invest in New Zealand

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.

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Sign up to receive relevant job opportunities from New Zealand employers and practical advice on how to make your move to New Zealand a reality.


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Page last updated: 29/07/2019

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