get paid to move to new zealand

Get Paid To Move To New Zealand- Easy Step-By-Step Guide 2023

Dreaming of moving to New Zealand? Here is an easy guide on the best way to get paid to move to New Zealand!

I used to live in New Zealand, and it still remains one of my favorite places to live! 

NOW is the perfect opportunity for you to move and experience living in New Zealand. 

You might have heard that you can get paid to move to New Zealand as the government is paying $160,000 to move to a town called Kaitangata due to the low population.

Well, I hate to be the bad news breaker but that was too good to be true… 

According to the statement made by the Mayor of Kaitangata, New Zealand is NOT handing out free cash just to move there. 

However, the good news is that there is another way you can get paid to move to New Zealand- through securing a job and receiving relocation allowance worth up to NZD $5,000

The process of moving to New Zealand is not as straightforward as it seems, let me help to simplify the steps you need to know to get paid to move to New Zealand!


Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

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Get Paid To Move To New Zealand– Immigration Program

There are a few options on how to migrate to New Zealand with their broad range of visa options- from Business Visa, Family Visa, Student Visa, Working Visa, Retirement Visa and more! 

Out of all the visa options, the best option to get paid to move to New Zealand is to apply for a working visa with the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

New Zealand is currently undergoing a huge skill and labor shortage- from healthcare, education to agriculture and more sectors! 

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is designed to ease employers in New Zealand to hire migrants to fill in the necessary roles urgently. 

With an AEWV, you can stay in New Zealand for up to three years and are eligible to apply for a Residence visa. 

The minimum hour of work required is 30 hours per week, with a median wage of NZD $29.66 an hour.

Benefits of Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) in New Zealand

With an AEWV, you can bring your family or partner to make that New Zealand move together. 

Additionally, while living in New Zealand, you are also allowed to study for up to 3 months in any 12 – month period. 

The visa presents an amazing opportunity to gain valuable working experience in New Zealand while immersing in its distinctive lifestyle and culture. 

If you find yourself falling in love with the country and planning to make it your permanent home, this visa grants you the option to apply for a permanent residency too! 

Photo credit: Sora Shimazaki

Guide to Get Paid To Move To New Zealand:

1. Securing a Job in New Zealand

Jobs Availability for Skill or Labor Shortage

The first step before applying for a working visa in New Zealand is to secure a job offer from an accredited employer, as this is the best option on how to move to NZ.

An accredited employer means it is an employer that is approved by the immigration of New Zealand, as they acquired a permit to employ workers with the AEWV. 

There are a number of high-demand industries that are looking to fill in the skill shortage occupations. 

Some of the most in-demand jobs in New Zealand include the healthcare sector, engineers, IT professionals, construction workers, and more. 

Green Listed Jobs

To increase your chance of hiring, you can also look out for job opportunities on the Green List.

The Green List is a new skill shortage list introduced by the government of New Zealand.

If you are hired from any of the Green List roles, you have the opportunity to apply for residency in New Zealand immediately or after 2 years, depending on the Tier level. 

Tier 1 means you get a Residence Visa immediately, while Tier 2 means Work to Residence Visa. 

2. Apply For A Work Visa

Eligibility Criteria for the AEWV Program

Here are the requirements to apply for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV):

1. Must obtain a genuine job offer from an accredited employer in New Zealand.

Your employer should give you a copy of the employment agreement and a signed employment offer. 

This is something to keep in mind during your process of job searching, be sure to ask the recruiter if they are registered as a New Zealand-accredited employer. 

2. The job offer has to be at least 30 hours a week, and your median wage offer must be min NZD $29.66 an hour.

3. Meeting the criteria for AEWV- good health check, qualifications and experience for the role, character check, etc. You can check the full detail of the requirements here.

4. To be eligible to bring your partner or family to move to New Zealand with you, you need to earn at least NZD $43,322.76 each year. 

Application Process and Cost

Once you meet all the requirements, your employer will send you a job token link from their Immigration online dashboard. 

You must open and accept the request in the link before proceeding with the rest of the application. 

The application cost from NZD $750, and the processing time takes around 57 days

Once your visa is approved, you can start planning the moving process. Keep on reading to learn how to get settled in New Zealand! 

Photo credit: RDNE Stock project

3. Look for Housing and Allowance Eligibility

The New Zealand housing market is relatively competitive; this process is lengthy and will require some patience before you find a house that fits your criteria and budget. 

It is hard to rent a property in New Zealand when you are abroad as there are no rental brokers that can find a rental for you. 

The best way when first arriving in New Zealand is to stay at a temporary accommodation through short-term rental or AirBnB

Where to find rentals in New Zealand:

Cost of Rentals and additional fees:

Rentals in New Zealand are typically charged weekly. The cost of the rental depends on the city you are planning to settle in. 

If you are planning to move to Auckland, be ready to splurge some more. Average rent is around NZD $642 a week- considering it is one of the most expensive cities in New Zealand to rent!

Once you find your ideal place to rent, you are expected to pay a bond to the landlord or a property manager to secure the property. 

This is a deposit payment and the cost is usually around 2 weeks or one month’s worth of rent which will be paid back when moving out after passing the final inspection. 

Applying for NZD $5K Work Grant Subsidy

While looking for housing rental, you can also start applying for the Work Grant

The work grant is a great initiative to get paid to live in New Zealand. Whether you are a citizen thinking of moving back to New Zealand for work or an expat, this grant is open for both citizens and residents. 

If you are qualified to receive the work grant, a lump sum of NZD $5,000 (not taxed) will be transferred to you to help with the cost of moving for a job.

Requirements for Work Grant:

  • Qualify for main benefit (Job seeker)
  • Received a confirmed job offer with a permanent or fixed-term contract (Must have at least 30 hours a week)
  • The job offer must be based in New Zealand and must start the application process within 28 days of working
  • The job offer must be longer than 91 days

The best way to find out more information about the Work Grant is by contacting the Work and Income officer on 0800 559 009

Photo credit: Ketan Kumawat

4. Research About the Life in New Zealand

Benefits of Living in New Zealand

1. Familiar Language

One of the best advantages of living in New Zealand is the widespread use of English. 

Being familiar with the local language helps to ease the adapting transition while settling in a new country, particularly if you are living in New Zealand as an American or from other English-speaking countries. 

Understanding the local language can help you to integrate with the culture and society better when moving to a new place. 

This saves you the time to learn a new language and expedites your sense of belonging. 

2. Spoilt with spectacular scenery and nature

New Zealand is known for its breathtaking nature, with some of the world’s most scenic mountainscapes and lakes. 

If you are a nature lover, your weekends will never be boring again as you can easily drive around the country to explore its beautiful nature! 

3. Work-life balance

The New Zealanders, or the “Kiwis” have a high standard of work-life balance. Workplaces offer generous amounts of paid leaves and flexibility. 

With its great nature, healthcare, and education system, it is no wonder New Zealand is one of the top rankings for global quality of life!

4. Family Friendly

With a great work-life balance, parents are given more time to spend with their children. 

New Zealand is a great place to raise a family; with plenty of good schools, clean air, and tons of fun outdoor activities, a child will grow up with plenty of happy memories. 

5. Affordable Healthcare

Healthcare in New Zealand is heavily subsidized to ensure all residents have access to it for almost free. 

The affordability of healthcare contributes to a healthier society with a higher quality of life. The average life expectancy in New Zealand is 82 years old, making it one of the highest in the world.

Cost of Living in New Zealand

The average New Zealand living cost for one person is between NZD $3,000 – NZD $4,000 per month. The cost is slightly lower if you live outside of the major cities, as rentals are cheaper. 

The cost of living is relatively high in New Zealand, with housing being one of the most expensive. 

It is expected to budget around 30% of your monthly income for your day-to-day expenses, such as food and utility bills. 

Photo credit: Gantas Vaičiulėnas

Things To Know Before Moving To New Zealand

These are some important moving to New Zealand checklist you should know to settle in New Zealand:

1. Opening a Bank Account

You can open a bank account in New Zealand before moving there- this will help to ease funds transferring when moving. 

To open a bank account as a non-resident, all you need is an ID, proof of Visa, and a permanent address in New Zealand.

If you do not have an address yet, not to worry, you can use your current address overseas, but will need to provide a permanent address once you are in New Zealand. 

Here are some of the main Banks in New Zealand:

  • ANZ
  • ASB Bank
  • BNZ Bank
  • Kiwibank
  • Westpac

2. Taxes

Income Tax:

The Tax system in New Zealand is based on a tiered system, depending on your salary or income. 

The taxes are usually taken care of by your employer but it is good to know how much you are being taxed from your income. 

  • 10.5% tax on income from NZD $0 to NZ$14,000.
  • 17.5% tax on income from NZD $14,001 to NZ$48,000
  • 30% tax on income from NZD $48,001 to NZ$70,000
  • 33% tax on income from NZD $70,001 to NZ$180,000
  • 39% tax on income from NZD $180,01

Tax Number- IRD:

Once settled after migrating New Zealand, you will need to get an IRD number in order to pay taxes in New Zealand. 

To apply for an IRD number, you will need a valid passport and the immigration application number. 

You can register for it online on their website

3. Health Care

Healthcare in New Zealand is free for its citizens, permanent residents and working visa holders. 

When first moving to New Zealand, you need to register with the nearest General Practitioner (GP) to get a National Health Index number (NHI).  

Although public healthcare is great in New Zealand, the waiting period can be long due to staff shortages. 

Alternatively, there is a private healthcare option, and can be covered by most health insurance in New Zealand. 

FAQs on How to Get Paid To Move To New Zealand

Is New Zealand Still Paying People To Move There?

Is New Zealand still paying people to move there? New Zealand is not technically paying people to move into their country, but they do offer subsidies for moving to New Zealand through securing employment. With the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) helps to 

What Is The Move Incentive In New Zealand?

What is the move incentive in New Zealand? The move incentive in New Zealand falls under the Working Grant for 5K To Work. This grant offers a lump sum of NZD $5,000 to help cover the cost of moving for a new job. 

This incentive is open to its citizens and residents, and must have a valid job offer that is longer than 91 days

Is Immigration to New Zealand Easy?

Is Immigration to New Zealand Easy? Migrating to New Zealand is not as straightforward as it seems, as it requires months of preparation to fill out the right type of visa application. 

Just like any visa process in other countries, it can be overwhelming with paperwork, but the requirements for each visa type in New Zealand are listed on the websites. 

Is New Zealand Good For Immigration?

Is New Zealand good for immigration? New Zealand is ranked as having one of the highest quality of life globally. It is considered one of the most peaceful and safe countries to live in and great to raise a family. 

With its beautiful nature, clean air, easy-going lifestyle, generous amount of annual leaves, and affordable healthcare, it is no wonder New Zealanders enjoy such a high standard of living. 

How Long Does It Take To Get a Work Visa For Accredited Employer in New Zealand?

How long does it take to get a work visa for an accredited employer in New Zealand? It takes on average 20 to 44 working days to process the visa application after you apply online. It is advisable to begin applying as soon as you receive a job offer from an employer in New Zealand and start gathering all necessary documents needed.

How To Get Settled In New Zealand?

How to get settled in New Zealand? Here are the best way to get settled moving to New Zealand:

1. Secure A Job

2. Apply For Visa

3. Plan Your Move

4. Look for Housing

5. Open a Bank Account

6. Register with a General Practitioner (GP)

7. Join a community group or volunteering

Can Americans Move To New Zealand?

Can Americans move to New Zealand? Yes, anyone can move to New Zealand with a valid resident visa. If you are interested in moving to NZ from USA for good, there are different ways as to how you can obtain a long-term resident visa- from a working visa, investment visa, retirement visa, family visa, and more.

Many Americans move to New Zealand to seek a better work and life-balance and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. 

Are You Ready to Get Paid to Move to New Zealand?

Moving to a new country is a huge decision and undertaking, however the allocation package is an attractive opportunity to get paid to move to New Zealand.

Migrating to New Zealand provides a promising destination to settle down if you are looking for a fresh start! 

Whether you are moving to New Zealand from Germany or any other country, New Zealanders are friendly and welcoming people, making it great for expats to adapt to a new life there. 

I hope this article helps to give you an overview of the process of moving to New Zealand. 

The process may be long and uncertain, but with a little patience and luck, may you succeed in your journey moving to New Zealand!

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