Moving To New Zealand

Have you decided to move to New Zealand from the USA? Planning to settle down in this island country which blends the mystery of untamed nature with modern lifestyle seamlessly? You have made the right choice. The abundance of natural beauty, high quality of life combined with peaceful pace of life – New Zealand has a lot to offer. Certainly, it is the 6th largest island country in the world and is a popular destination for expats considering relocating from the USA.

Moving to New Zealand from USA

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to New Zealand

New Zealand looks alluring and moving to New Zealand from the USA can be a dream international move for sure. Have you thoroughly considered the steps of relocation? Any move where you need to uproot yourself and your family and settle down at a completely new location can be hectic. It may get confusing as well. For an international relocation to New Zealand from the USA, every aspect of your move becomes more significant in scale.

Fret not! There is enough hope for a hassle-free relocation! At International Sea & Air Shipping we understand the emotions, the confusions and the hassles tangled with each and every step and we have the expertise to untangle them for you! Experienced relocation professionals on our team possess the knowledge to guide you at every step. You can expect professional assistance from International Sea & Air Shipping for moving to New Zealand from the USA.

We have been successfully operating for many years and we can extend our professional services from packing and relocation of your household goods, the relocation of your car, guidance on what kind of container will suit your purpose, documentation help and all these at a competitive price!

International Sea & Air Shipping offers end-to-end specialized services for all types of international moves, from the origin to the destination countries. Let our professionals manage your relocation to New Zealand from the USA while you concentrate on settling down in your dream country after the move.

About New Zealand

The two islands (North and South) that make up New Zealand, well known as the small offshore neighbor of Australia, have lush landscapes and scenic views that Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy immortalized.

Coming in at a size like Great Britain and Japan, New Zealand has roughly four million residents and as such is a gloriously uncrowded feast for the eyes. New Zealand offers a diverse range of natural wonders, including glaciers, fiords, mountains, subtropical forests, sandy beaches, and volcanic plateaus for you to explore.

Why moving to New Zealand from the USA is a good move?

Located in the Oceania New Zealand is an island country with a rich indigenous history. New Zealand is the 6th largest island country in the world by area. The originator of the distinctive Maori Culture, the Polynesian settlers started inhabiting the land around 1280 and 1350.
New Zealand achieved full statutory independence in 1947 after the long period of British rule. The country has undergone rapid growth since then. Today, New Zealand creates a unique cultural blend through contributions from the indigenous Maori culture and the British settlers.

The language, food, daily habits – New Zealand has its own specialty.
Moving to New Zealand from the USA exposes you to a rich cultural experience before you learn and adapt. The country is also a global adventure hub, providing exciting experiences for thrill-seekers on land and in water.

Customs Regulations for New Zealand

  • Passport (original)
  • Residence Visa
  • Proof of Residence
  • Create an inventory detailing the contents of cartons. Note that all items labeled “PBO” (packed by owner) and “misc.” (miscellaneous) are subject to inspection.
  • Complete the Customs Declaration form before your shipment arrives. You must be in the country to do so.
  • Proof of Employment
  • Proof of transfer of funds to New Zealand
  • Customer must be present in New Zealand at the time of Customs clearance to sign the Declaration of Contents
  • Customs will require a Sight Entry if you forward shipments to New Zealand before the customer’s arrival.
    • Customs will inspect the shipment and demand a Customs duty deposit based on the insured value. We will refund the deposit once the customer provides proof of entry to New Zealand.
  • We may require submitting the fumigation of the shipment.
    • Charges for this service will be for the Customer’s account.
  • During the clearance procedure, Quarantine may require inspections of shipments.
    • Charges for this service will be for the Customer’s account.

Some articles may have restricted quantities or require special authorization/ payments of duties and taxes to clear customs in New Zealand. These items include:

  • New items
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
    • Allowed if listed as household contents or part of collector’s cellar
    • Duty and tax free for first time immigrants
  • Radio transmitting equipment may not comply with New Zealand radio frequency service
  • Strictly controlled, firearms and ammunition require a Police Permit.
    • Pack them separately, list each one individually on the inventory, and stow them at the front of the container for easy access.
    • Shipper must contact the New Zealand Police Department upon arrival to obtain permits
      • New Zealand Customs will withhold clearance for the entire shipment until they receive documentation from the police.
    • Client must register small firearms/pistols with a gun club, as they do not hold permission otherwise.
    • There is no allowance of semi-automatic military-type firearms.
    • You must provide an Arms Permit/Registration Certificate that details the make, model, and serial numbers of the firearms.
  • Agricultural regulations apply to the following items:
    • Food of any kind
    • Biological specimens
    • Plants or animals (alive or dead) or their products
    • Equipment used with animals
  • Thoroughly clean the following items before importing them:
    • Garden tools/implements, tents, vacuum cleaners, basketware, bicycles, outdoor sports equipment, feather, fur or skin products, etc. (Authorities closely inspect all of them).
    • Team will inspect bamboo, cane, or rattan, regardless of their origin.
      • Will only be fumigated if infected
    • Wood used for crating must be free of bark, insect and fungal attack.
      • Send the Timber Certificate with the documents.
  • Clearly identify and load all items of agricultural, animal, or food origin or use for easy access during inspection.
    • Agricultural Inspection may take up to two days.
    • If fumigation is necessary, it may add an extra seven days to the process.
  • If full container, quarantine inspection will take place at residence.

In New Zealand, some articles may be prohibited for import. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Canned or dried meat, spices, honey, dairy and egg products or bee keeping equipment
  • Flick knives, swordsticks and knuckledusters
  • Drugs
  • You must accompany prescription medicine with a doctor’s prescription and carry it in the original container.
  • Pornographic material (subject to seizure)

Customers moving to New Zealand for the first time may import one vehicle (or motorcycle). The country may admit the vehicle inside if:

  • The customer attends a Customs Clearance interview
    • This includes customers bringing in motorcycles and motor scooters
  • You must have owned the vehicle for one year prior to departure to New Zealand.
    • Said vehicle will not be sold for two years
    • Is for the Customer’s own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way
  • Customer and spouse may each import one vehicle as long as each holds a valid driver’s license and can provide evidence of personal ownership and use of the vehicle
  • Vehicles must comply with New Zealand Ministry of Transport Vehicle Standard regulations
  • Restrictions apply to importation of left-hand drive vehicles
    • Before shipping you must obtain written approval to import from the Ministry of Transport
  • Loading vehicle in container with household goods is not advisable (any problems with release by Customs or Quarantine will delay delivery of both household goods and auto)
  • You must steam clean and ensure all vehicles are spotless before shipping. A certificate is required upon arrival.

You will need the following documents:

  • Passport
  • The make, model, year and current value of the vehicle
  • Certificate of steam cleaning
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Original Bill of Sale (showing purchase price and date)
  • Insurance and Registration Certificate (to prove the length of ownership)
  • Log Book, service book or repair accounts (showing further proof of the length of ownership)

When importing a pet to New Zealand, the requirements are:

  • A Permit to Import (American Pit Bull Terriers are subject to a ban on importation)
  • A Model Veterinary Certificate and the accompanying tests and vaccines (approved by veterinary authority of the exporting country)
  • Identification microchip required by the International Standards Organisation (ISO)
  • Post-arrival inspection
  • Post-arrival quarantine
    • Required for a minimum of 10 days
    • Vaccinations required for quarantine:
      • Cats – feline panleukopenia (enteritis), feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus
      • Dogs – canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus, canine parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)
  • Imported dogs and cats may be subject to charges from Customs
  • Clothing and personal effects worn on your person into Customs
  • Used household goods (including furniture and electrical appliances) and personal effects are duty-free provided:
    • The customer intends to be a permanent resident
    • The customer has lived outside New Zealand for 21 months and has owned and used the goods prior to departure to New Zealand
    • Goods are for their own personal use
  • Heirlooms/historical objects or items that are passed down from generation to generation through a family are free of Customs duty and GST with suitable evidence)
    • Importation of household goods from deceased estates will be accepted free of duty provided a copy of the Death Certificate and Will are provided
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products will be duty/tax free basis if:
    • Listed as part of normal household contents
    • Listed as part of a collector’s cellar
    • Client is a first time immigrant or a returning New Zealand resident after 21 months overseas
  • New Zealand citizens will be required to pay Customs duty and tax on all vehicles imported as part of the Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Any person taking up permanent residence for the first time can import one vehicle exempt from needing an import license duty and GST free assuming:
    • The vehicle has been owned for at least one year before departure to New Zealand
    • It will not be sold for two years after arrival
    • It is for the Customer’s own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way
  • Personal goods obtained overseas or purchased duty free in New Zealand (excluding alcohol and tobacco)
    • Cannot exceed more than NZ$700, if it does you may be eligible to pay Customs duty and GST

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance, as these regulations may change without notice. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 315-4170

Top 10 Reasons to Move to New Zealand

Most likely you know New Zealand as the place where Peter Jackson filmed his “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies, but in addition to lush landscapes and lots of room for walking, it’s also an area with a relatively small population, low taxes and perhaps the friendliest natives around. In no particular order, here are the top ten reasons you should think about an international move to New Zealand.

The taxes are low

One benefit of moving to New Zealand is the low tax rate. In fact, New Zealand has one of the lowest tax rates in the world. For the average earner (around 70% of the population) taxes are only 17.5% and there are no capital gains, social security or inheritance tax. Yes, your average wages may be lower, but the money you earn is able to go farther.

Land is cheaper and plentiful

Due to a small population (there are about ten times more sheep and lambs than people), land in New Zealand is cheaper and more readily abundant than in most industrialized areas. The standard of living is also lower, with gas and dining out being more affordable than elsewhere in the world.

Population is small but friendly

As we already mentioned, New Zealand has a relatively small population (around 4.5 million) a population made up of extremely friendly people known as Kiwis. New Zealand is not only welcoming to expatriates but also maintains a super laid-back pace, placing less pressure on locals in both work and their day-to-day lives due to a less substantial class gap. The small population also helps strengthen their sense of community.

The weather is subtropical

Depending on which area of New Zealand you happen to be in, the weather can vary drastically, but for the most part it’s consider subtropical with average temperatures ranging from 50 to 61 °F from the South to the North. While the South island is more prone to snow from June through October, it is a less common occurrence on the North Island.

There are exotic locales

In addition to nice weather, New Zealand also boasts several tropical beaches as well as a variety of exotic landscapes including volcanic plateaus, glaciers, fiords, mountains and subtropical forests. It’s also the home to wildlife you can’t find anywhere else, like the national icon the kiwi, which is a type of flightless bird indigenous to the area. New Zealand also has more penguin species in their coastal waters than anywhere else in the world.

It’s still a developed country

Don’t let all the talk of landscapes and exotic animals fool you, if you’re more of a city person, New Zealand has that too. For urban life you don’t need to look any farther than Auckland, the “city of sails,” so-called because every third household in Auckland can afford and has a ship. Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand with a population of over one million, is built on a volcanic field of 48 volcanoes and is surrounded by forests and national parks.

Quality of life is high

According to the Human Development Index, New Zealand has a high standard of living and a higher life expectancy for residents. This is due in large part to affordable housing, a high-quality education, good transportation, relatively low food costs and a high climate which allows people to participate in more outdoor activities. Plus, the crime rate is very low.

New Zealand offers a great quality of life to British expats moving there. The country ranks high on the Human Development Index, with good life expectancy and a high standard of living. Quality of life is excellent, with affordable housing, good transportation infrastructure, high-quality education and affordable food prices. Thanks to the generally mild climate and the stunning landscape, outdoors activities and sports are popular, including hiking, cricket, soccer, skiing and mountaineering. New Zealand is also one of the most peaceful countries in the world, with very low crime levels.

Quality of life is high

In addition to locals, New Zealand is also the home to the Maori: a group of indigenous people who originated from eastern Polynesia between 1250 and 1300 CE. People who identify as Maori make up roughly 15% of New Zealand’s population. While only 1 in 5 Maori speak the language (Te Reo Maori), common Maori phrases like “kia ora” have worked their way into New Zealand’s culture.

Outdoor activities are favored

Thanks to its vast range of climates, terrain and the ease it takes to get to these areas, New Zealanders prefer outdoor activities as a way of life. In addition to sports such as rugby, cricket and soccer, the area also offers non-team activities like hiking, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving and various water sports including sailing.

Expats are happier

Overall, expatriates living in New Zealand say they are happier and more stress free because of cheaper taxes, more affordable property and the clean air and natural environment that surrounds them. Bonus: there’s no traffic and you can wear t-shirts in the winter.

Visas for moving to New Zealand from the USA

When you have decided to move to New Zealand from the USA for more than 3 months and probably even longer, you need to secure a proper visa. Many of these visas can lead to residential status in a faster route. To obtain a residential status for long-term stay in New Zealand, you must satisfy the New Zealand government with your reasons.

So, knowing what visa to apply for is the first step towards your successful relocation to New Zealand from the USA.

There are many different channels through which US citizens can move to New Zealand from the USA after obtaining visas. Here is a comprehensive list to assist you – that one can apply as an American citizen looking to move to New Zealand from the USA. Take a look at the list and the different requirements for the visas and consider which one will be most suitable for you.

Work visas – There are 80 different types of work visas available to move to New Zealand from the USA for work and living in this island country! Most of these work visas accept online applications where you need to set up a New Zealand Government RealMe account. However, some work visas accept only in person applications.

Student visas – If you are moving to New Zealand from the USA for a study program lasting longer than 3 months, you must obtain a valid student visa. Some study visas allow the individual to work up to 20 hours a week and full time on the holidays. You can even bring a close family member under some study visas.

Family visas – As a US citizen trying to relocate to New Zealand from the USA you can apply for this visa if your spouse or parents are from New Zealand and living in the country.

Retirement visa – There are two types of retirement visas available to applicants who are eligible and meet all the criteria.

Investment visa – There are a range of investment visas available to wealthy individuals willing to invest in this island country and these can lead to faster permanent residency.

Special mention

If you are a young adult and wish to move to New Zealand from the USA then there is one highly unique visa that this island country offers. Here is what you need to know –

Working Holiday Visa for the Youth – This visa allows individuals between 18-30 years of age to travel, live and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months! This is a great opportunity to earn while you travel and get to know the country and its rich culture up close.


How is the healthcare system in New Zealand?

New Zealand healthcare system is a mix of private and public offerings. However, most of the healthcare services are free for the residents. If you are moving to New Zealand from the USA for work, your employment terms should include free healthcare. Otherwise, you have to purchase the private service.

What is the Kiwi Access Card?

Obtaining Kiwi Access card is a must after you relocate to New Zealand from the USA as this card acts as an Identification card/document. You need to apply for this card if you are above 18 years old.

What is the most desirable location to settle in New Zealand?

Wellington is the capital city and Auckland is the most prominent and populated city in New Zealand. If you desire to settle in either of these be notified that the cost of living will be higher. You can also look for accommodation options in the townships with more reasonable cost of living.

Smooth Sailing

“We could not have wished for a better service. ISAS is a very professional company. Not having done a move like this before, we were very much ‘in the dark’ of the whole procedure but from the get-go they lead us thru every step of the way. They also accommodated our every need without hesitation. Every phone call or email was answered immediately. It was a pleasure to watch the pickup crew go about their business. Having moved ourselves before domestically, I know what a hassle and hard work it is. They made it look SOOO easy! Not being on the “other side of the pond” to receive out goods, we had a relative meet the delivery crew – same thing, very professional service, keeping in touch every day as to the boat arriving, customs clearance and delivery schedule. In a nutshell, we would, absolutely without hesitation hire ISAS again. Thank you, thank you ISAS.”

– David