Canada is a popular destination for Kiwis due to the beautiful landscape, high quality of life and famously friendly culture. Although COVID-19 has made relocating to Canada from New Zealand a trickier process, it remains a viable option and an attractive opportunity for those looking to move overseas. Before you set out, there are a number of important things to consider to ensure you have a smooth and successful transition to the Great White North. From initial logistical steps like visas, shipping and currency, to practical essentials like getting health care, a driver’s license and insurance. So whether you’re moving for work, family or a change of scenery, this guide will provide you with the essential tips on moving to Canada from New Zealand.
1. Canadian visas for New Zealand citizens
The first step for planning your move from New Zealand to Canada is to check the latest health guidelines on the official government websites for both countries. As international travel and immigration rules are changing rapidly in the current climate, it is important to arm yourself with the most up-to-date information. It is also important that you check updates regularly to ensure that your plans are both legally viable and safe.
Once you have confirmed that your move is possible, the next step is to begin your visa application process. Canada has a number of potential visa avenues for citizens of New Zealand depending on your particular circumstances.
Working Holiday Visa
The Working Holiday Visa is designed for New Zealand citizens between the ages of 18 to 35 who wish to travel in Canada and find temporary paid work to help support themselves. In the past this visa enabled you to travel to Canada and then seek out a job. However, due to current travel restrictions, 2021 applications for the working holiday visa require you to show proof of a valid job offer.
The Start-Up Visa Program provides a path for immigration for entrepreneurs and business owners who will create jobs in Canada. To be eligible for the start-up visa, you must have a qualifying business, get a letter of support from a designated organisation, meet the language requirements and bring enough money to support yourself and any family members you bring.
The process and application requirements for Canada’s Working Visas have been significantly altered due to COVID-19. As such, there are longer wait times and restrictions on the type of workers who can apply. To find out more about these changes and learn whether you are eligible for a Work Visa, visit the Canadian Government Immigration website.
Studying abroad remains a popular pathway for New Zealand citizens to relocate to Canada. Despite the immigration changes brought on by the pandemic, you can still apply for a Student Visa, though intake has been limited and extensive requirements, such as proof of vaccination, biometrics and immigration medical examination results, apply.
Family Visa (Visa for Partners and Children)
Family sponsorship is available for those with relatives or partners in Canada who are over 18 years old and are Canadian citizen, registered under the Canadian Indian Act or are permanent residents of Canada. The application process for family and partner visas have requirements for assets to ensure you can support yourself and your family in Canada, as well as application fees, biometric fees and third-party fees from medical exams and police certificates. Click here for more information on the family sponsorship application process.
2. Planning your move to Canada
Book your moving company early
Once you’ve sorted out your visa to relocate to Canada, it’s time to start planning the logistics of the move. The support of a moving company makes all the difference in getting you and your belongings safely around the world. Not only do you get the international tracking systems monitoring the progress of your items in transit, but you get the support of experienced moving professionals with you every step of the way. Some important things to consider when booking the moving company for your international trip:
- Book early
- Get transit insurance
- Get a free quote
- Ask for advice
It’s always important to lock in your moving company as early as possible. This ensures that there is availability when you need it and provides the maximum time for them to assist you with the process. It’s especially important now so that they can help you with any extra hurdles you may need to overcome due to COVID-19. With offices all around the world, Allied has access to the latest information which can be invaluable during an international relocation.
While Allied can provide the highest level protection and support throughout your journey, it’s always recommended that you get insurance for anything that could be outside your control. There are many third parties involved during a trip around the world, transit insurance organised by Allied gives you financial protection for any unforeseen accidents that could occur during the journey.
It’s a good idea to create a budget for your trip so that you can control your expenditure and don’t accidentally spend more than you can afford before moving to a new country. Allied offers free quotes for all services, which allows you to easily check the prices of services and determine which will help you move to Canada safely, securely and within budget.
Our removal specialists have helped countless people in your same position relocate smoothly from New Zealand to Canada. Use this experience to your advantage! Ask your removal specialists for any extra advice they might have for someone in your circumstances. Whether it’s some visa tips, shipping suggestions or some experienced suggestions of places you should check out in your new home, our removal team have years of experience that they’re happy to share.
The Canadian government has strict import requirements when it comes to animals. While dogs are generally easier to gain approval for than many other types of pet, you will still need to ensure your pet has met all of the requirements and that you have filled out all the right paperwork. Failing to do so can result in either long delays or refusal to allow your animal entry to the country. You can find out more about the process for bringing your pet from New Zealand to Canada at the Canadian government’s page for importing and travelling with pets.
Most people choose to leave their car behind when they relocate around the world. It’s not a cheap option and there are lengthy processes to go through to get approval to import your car into Canada. However, if you are wanting your car with you then speak to our removal specialists about shipping rates and times.
3. Getting settled
Once you’ve made the move from New Zealand to Canada, there are a few important things to keep in mind in order to get yourself settled in. From currency exchange and language, to getting a driver’s license and health insurance, these are the things people often overlook when planning their international relocation.
One New Zealand Dollar generally exchanges to around 0.86c to 0.88c (CAD). The one dollar coin in Canada is colloquially referred to as the ‘loonie’ while the two dollar coin is called the ‘toonie’. It’s recommended that you exchange a small amount of money before you leave for initial spending and then set yourself up with a Canadian bank account that you can transfer your money to.
Language in Canada
The official languages of Canada are English and French. English is spoken through most of the country, though French is the sole official language in the province of Quebec where 71.2% of the population are native French speakers and 95% of the population speak French as their first or second language. While English and French are the official languages of Canada, across the country there are nearly 200 different languages spoken.
Healthcare in Canada
Canada has an excellent healthcare system. Citizens and permanent residents can apply for public health insurance which covers most healthcare services. It takes up to three months to get your healthcare card during which time it is important to get private healthcare insurance to cover you for anything that might occur in this time.
Driving in Canada
You can drive in Canada with a New Zealand licence. After this time you must obtain a Canadian driver’s licence. If you wish to rent or buy a car in Canada then you need to get an international driver’s licence or switch to a Canadian licence. Learn more about driving in Canada with a NZ licence here. Don’t forget that once you’ve moved to Canada you’ll be driving on the right hand side of the road!
Move with confidence
To set yourself up for success for your move to Canada, get in touch with our moving specialists. You can request a free quote today by simply hitting the ‘get started’ tab and filling out the information form.