Emigrating is a life changing experience. Approaching emigration correctly can make the experience exciting, happy and ultimately satisfying. The decision to emigrate to New Zealand or any country must be based on a few non-negotiables. Sound research, a thorough decision-making process and a great deal of communication are essential and there are no short cuts.

While the idea of emigrating may have been born on a two-week holiday on St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean or a week long skiing trip at Lake Wanaka in the New Zealand Alps, on its own it is not, no matter how enjoyable, a solid enough basis upon which to emigrate. You must define exactly what you realistically hope to achieve for you and your family by emigrating write a list and ask your partner to do the same.

Once you have a wish list, you need to research, research, and research in order to pinpoint the right region, city, or town for you and your family. Determine what alternatives there are if, for any reason, your first choice does not pan out. What are the job opportunities, schools, property prices, lifestyle, living costs? You also need to determine whether you qualify for a visa for New Zealand. The Internet, forums, books, exhibitions and specialist publications are all great sources of information. Attending a presentation/ seminar by an immigration agent who specializes in emigration to New Zealand is an important source of information.

With the Internet at your fingertips take a virtual trip. Use Google Maps, forums, company websites, all the tools available to gather as much information as possible and write down the information you find with a source reference so you can find it again if you need to.

When you return home, see if what you’ve found out about your potential new home ticks all the boxes on your emigration wish list. If it does, then move on to the next step. If it doesn’t, either shift focus to the alternative, or even another city, region or country, or ask yourself, very honestly, if your wish list is more dreams than potential reality.

If you have reached this point and the desire to emigrate is still strong then it’s time to look a little deeper into what will be required for you to take up residence in New Zealand. One of the most important aspects here is establishing the correct visa to apply for. While all the information is available on websites or from the New Zealand embassy determining which visa options are correct for you can be a very complex process. While doing the research is certainly important before you make a decision regarding a visa or actually apply for a visa it is strongly recommended you discuss the options with an immigration agent.

An immigration agent is anyone who uses knowledge of immigration procedures and regulations to offer advice or assistance to a person (or persons) wishing to obtain a visa to enter or remain in New Zealand. However, as in all fields, there are agents and then there are agents. When choosing an agent ensure the agent you talk to is currently licensed to provide assistance with emigration to New Zealand. You should also visit the IAA’s website (www.iaa.govt.nz) to confirm who is a licensed agent.

As you have worked through this process you will have realized a successful emigration could depend on you having a job to go to. I say could as it can depend on the type of visa you apply for. Finding a job is going to be pretty much the same process as you would follow at home except with the added excitement of being in a different country.

There are essentially two options open to you; firstly, find a job yourself or, secondly, use the services of a recruitment agent to find the opportunities for you. The decision of which options to choose will, largely, come down to a question of time and money. In effect, do you have the time to prepare a CV/resume, research and approach companies to apply for positions, or can you spare the money to employ a specialist who will maximize your chances of finding a job as soon as possible? Once again research and/or the advice of an expert can save a lot of time and a great deal of money.

If you are intending to work in New Zealand, you will find getting the wheels moving toward finding a job is highly beneficial to your emigration plans. Although some countries seem to be worse affected by the credit crunch than others, the downturn is global nonetheless. So, the peace of mind brought about by knowing that you have a job to start on arrival in your new country should not be underestimated.
The decision to emigrate and start a new life in another country is, generally, not simple or easy. Even after the decision to go has been made, many people have numerous conflicting emotions and feelings about the prospect of what living in a new environment will bring. No matter how many times you consider all the options, there will be moments of panic, confusion and doubt as to whether you’re doing the right thing. This is where all the research will come into its own. Refer back to your wish list and look again at how the results of your research addressed each one of your wishes. Look again at the information your emigration agent has provided. Take another virtual trip of your new neighborhood on Google Earth and when you have the butterflies back in formation look forward, to the adventure and thrill of a new life.