Moving is a rewarding and thrilling experience, particularly if you and your family have decided to relocate overseas. But it can also be stressful, time consuming and often difficult. This process has become even more problematic due to the global pandemic. Many countries have decided to close their borders and have introduced entry requirements which further complicate the process. To help make relocating easier, we’ve put together an Ultimate Guide to International Moving during a Pandemic to help you move overseas. We’ll be splitting this guide over a couple of weeks to provide you with key facts and tips for a relocation that as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

This article will be answering the questions of “Is now the right time to move?” and “Can I leave New Zealand?

Is now the right time to move?

The answer to this question depends on you and your family’s current circumstances. Also, you and your partner’s employment and current living condition can also impact whether you actually make the big leap. In saying this, the COVID pandemic has hit international migration hard. According to Choi and Denise, “roughly 105,000 border restrictions were implemented around the world in response to the pandemic. These restrictions, coupled with delays in processing visas, have hampered migrants’ mobility and contributed to a temporary decline in the number of international migrants worldwide”1. In the United States, “the second half of FY 2020 saw 87% fewer immigrants from abroad than the first half”2. Closer to home, the number of people moving from New Zealand to Australia decreased from 62,800 to 31,300.3

Can I Leave New Zealand

As of 19 March 2020, Safe Travel NZ advise that “all New Zealander do not travel overseas at this time…” Also, they suggest that “New Zealanders overseas may need to stay safely where they are until they can return home”4.

However, if you still need to leave during the pandemic, you must be tested for COVID-19 before your departure. Further, Safe Travel NZ4 also advises that:

  • you may be subject to strict movement restrictions or other health measures imposed by local authorities at short notice
  • you may be required to undertake a period of quarantine at designated facilities and at your own cost
  • your access to health care may be limited due to capacity issues
  • your travel insurance may not cover travel disruption or medical expenses
  • you may be required to stay in your location for longer than you had planned and be able to meet ongoing living costs to support yourself
  • in some places we may have limited capacity to offer you consular assistance.

If you need further assistance to help deciding what steps you need to take to leave New Zealand, we suggest you contact Safe Travel NZ. They can provide you with travel safety tips, and can answer your questions about visas and provide you with travel advisory risk levels for each region. 

Next week, we’ll give you some topics to consider when choosing your new country. 

1 Choi, K., and Denice, P., 2021, COVID-19 Pandemic may produce dramatic changes in life expectancy, birth rates and immigration.

2 Bier, D. J., 2020, No year has seen legal immigration cut like the 2nd half of FY 2020

3 Stats NZ, 2020, Migration to Australia halves

4 Safe Travel NZ, 2021, COVID-19 and international travel