Returning to New Zealand During Covid For Expats

Returning to New Zealand During Covid For Expats part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


New Zealand’s covenant with Australia came to an end in 1973, once the necessary legislation was passed through parliament. Since then, New Zealand has made a name for itself as one of the most desirable countries in which to live.

If you are thinking about emigrating, there are some important things that you need to keep in mind before you go ahead. It’s a great country to visit, with stunning scenery and hundreds of kilometres of coastline populated by some very friendly people. It also offers a lot in the way of adventure sports and outdoor activities.

Returning to New Zealand During Covid For Expats

Auckland is a cosmopolitan city that is home to nearly 1 million people, while Wellington has around 400,000 inhabitants. Christchurch once again had the honour of housing the national capital until 1856 before being destroyed by an earthquake in 2011. Rugby is one of the most important sports in New Zealand, with the All Blacks playing a number of international matches each year.

Other popular team games are netball and football (aka soccer), while there are also many people who enjoy cycling. There are many different types of work to be found in New Zealand. People who come here looking for jobs will find that there is always plenty of competition, while employers often complain about job shortages.

With all being said, returning to New Zealand during Covid might be challenging. In order to help you with the right informing before returning, we have compiled this article to meet your requirement. Today, we will walk you through the tips and step-by-step guide to know when relocating back here.

9 Tips to Return to New Zealand during Covid-19

Covid-19 is almost upon us, so if you are thinking of coming back to New Zealand to visit friends and family or just for a holiday this summer, here are 10 things that might help you on your way. New Zealand is a big country but despite its isolation by the South Pacific Ocean it has never been isolated from the international community of nations. Without further ado, take a look at the top ten tips.

1.       Think Of This as A Vacation

Don’t come here to work. Work is not the same thing as success, and your host company will have more than enough work for you to do if they want you around. They aren’t going out of their way just to give you something to do that day or week, don’t think that they are.

You are not that important to them, you are just here temporarily. This is a vacation! So try to relax and enjoy yourself, it’s okay if you don’t succeed at first. Take some time off from work-related things, including email. If you’re feeling the stress of your old job piling up during this time, you can always check your email once a day for maintenance issues.

If you are coming to work, still try to enjoy yourself as much as possible, but don’t feel guilty if you have to spend some time working too. Just remember- this is a vacation, not the last chance you will ever have to do something fun before you die.

2.       Look Into Car or Bike Rental before Arriving

Returning to New Zealand During Covid For Expats

Vancouver is a big city, and unless you live right in the East part of downtown (you lucky dog), getting around can be difficult without a car. Public transport isn’t bad if you aren’t taking long trips to places that are far away, but it’s not great either.

Yes you can rent a car or bike when you arrive, but don’t count on it. Most downtown locations are rented out already, and you may be left with just one option- an hour away at the airport. A bike costs $20 per day if you want to use Mobi (the city’s bike-sharing program), which is better than nothing, but it’s not nearly as fun or efficient as having your own car.

To avoid this scenario, try to fly into an airport with cheap car rentals (the YVR website has all of them listed- give them a call before you book your flight), or bring the old bicycle from home if you are allowed to carry it onto your flight. You can rent one here too, but you have to call around to find the best deals, and most of them are located at YVR anyway. If you’re arriving from a low-cost carrier like WestJet or AirAsia, chances are they don’t offer car rentals either.

3.       Carrying Cash Is A Little More Important Here

Vancouver is a very cash-oriented city. You can pay for almost everything with your debit card, but not all places take credit cards. Some of the higher-end restaurants and bars will only take Visa or MasterCard, so if you don’t have enough cash to cover the full bill, you’re going to be in trouble.

If you’re only here for a week, it’s not the end of the world if this happens. You can always ask your friends or family to wire you some money so you can have enough cash until your next paycheque comes in, but don’t let it happen again after that.

To avoid running out of cash ever again, you should open a Canadian bank account and get a debit card while you’re still in New Zealand. You can do that online, and it will be available to pick up at any local CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) branch office on the day of your arrival.

4.       Do Some Research Beforehand

Vancouver isn’t hard to get around, but it’s a big enough city that you should take some time to read about the different areas and figure out where you want to live. For example: if you’re looking for high-end nightlife, Gastown and the West End are probably what you want.

If you want to be close to downtown but not pay downtown prices, head over to Main Street or Commercial Drive. If you don’t care about any of that and just want a place where your friends will be close by, look up the names of some neighbourhoods you like and see if there are breweries, bars, or shops nearby. If all else fails, ask someone who lives here- they’ll have an idea of what is in your budget and close to where you want to live.

Returning to New Zealand During Covid For Expats

5.       Ensure You Can Get Work When You Arrive

Vancouver’s largest industry is probably tourism, but it still has plenty of jobs for engineers, programmers, teachers, and other professionals. If you already know what kind of job you will (or won’t) have once you arrive, great- otherwise do some research on what industries are growing here.

If you can’t find anything promising in your line of work, consider switching to something else before you leave New Zealand. A lot of people don’t bother with this step, but it can really improve their lives if they just read the advice given to them by New Zealand immigration professional.

6.       Ensure You Have the Right Gear for the Weather

Vancouver has two seasons: summer and non-summer. The summers are similar to what you experience in Auckland, but in order to get through the other three months you need clothes that can stand up against rain, wind, and snow. If you wouldn’t want to wear it in New Zealand, don’t bring it with you.

7. Don’t Assume That Your Phone Works Here

If you’re on Telecom or Vodaphone (probably the two most popular carriers in New Zealand), your phone is fine… but if not, check their websites before heading over. There are plenty of other carriers in Canada, but you’ll probably want to stick with one of the two I mentioned.

Once you’ve decided on a carrier (or if you’re already on one), buy an unlocked phone somewhere before your flight so that it will be ready to connect to Canadian networks when you arrive.

7.       Make Sure Your Phone Works in Canada

If your carrier service doesn’t work in Canada, this is the part where you find out before you arrive. If it does work, make sure that you have an “international” plan so that roaming charges don’t eat up all of your available cash. If you want to make phone calls and/or texts, there are a few apps that will let you do it for free (but they don’t work very well).

8.       Get an Oyster Card before leaving New Zealand

An Oyster card is like the Easycard or T-Money you can buy in Korea or Taiwan, but a lot easier to get. You can pay for some public transportation in Vancouver using your phone or credit card, but it’s usually cheaper and faster to just use an Oyster card. It costs $6.00 Canadian (about $4.00 New Zealand) and lasts for five years with regular use (so consider dropping it into the slot on your first trip and not taking it out until you leave Vancouver).

9.       Do Something Unique Before Leaving

Vancouver is a city with a lot of really cool things to do, but by the time you try them all you’ll never want to leave (and that’s if you’re lucky enough to be here during peak season). Visit as many different beaches as you can (Sunshine Coast, Sechelt Peninsula, and Vancouver Island).

On the other hand, check out some of the museums here (the Museum of Anthropology is still my favorite), and just generally experience life in a city that has you surrounded on all sides by either ocean or mountains.

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