Archive for the ‘Start’ Category

Reasons to Emigrate

reasons to emigrate

In this article we outline the issues you need to consider before you decide whether to emigrate or not as the reasons to emigrate can vary dramatically.

Deciding if you really want to immigrate is not a decision you make over a few beers one Saturday afternoon. Your heart and mind and everything else for that matter must know that you want to immigrate. Above all your immediate family must also want to immigrate with you. If your husband or wife is not just as enthusiastic as you about immigrating, then you are headed for a very troubled time ahead. Immigration is a well known marriage breaker. Even if you have a strong marriage now, work harder on it to sort out any little irritations you still have before you leave.

Know why you want to immigrate. To immigrate to a country far away so that your kids can have a better future is the main reason why folks leave South Africa, followed by crime, then other reasons like BEE, Affirmative Action, adventure, etc. All are good and valid reasons, but immigrating to a country just for the kids is not a good idea. What about you and your partner? It is pointless if the kids are happy and have a wonderful future and you are unhappy. Remember that life is too short to be miserable.

Make a list today of what you like about South Africa and will miss. Then make a list of the things you don’t like about South Africa and want to get away from. Next make a list of what you are looking forward to in New Zealand, and another of what you feel you would not like about New Zealand. From these lists you will soon see if your reasons for leaving are substantial or superficial. Keep these lists as you will use them to remind yourself later why you left. After you have been away for a few years you tend to forget the bad about South Africa and remember only the good times / things.

Also consider your age before deciding to immigrate. If you move to a country where the exchange rate is not favourable, which is pretty much everywhere, then you financial position is going to take a knock. Do you have enough working years left to replace or make up for that loss, or will you have enough to carry you for the rest of your life? In New Zealand you will need to work for 10 years before the age of 50 before you are entitled to a state pension, so if you are over 50, you need to keep that in mind.

Where To ?

Decide where you want to immigrate to. Look at as many countries as possible, even the ones you wouldn’t normally think of. Because your friends or family have moved to New Zealand or Australia, etc., doesn’t mean it is the right country for you. There are many things you need to consider about your potential host country, some of these are :

  • Climate – if you hate the cold, don’t move to Alaska. If you like wide open spaces, don’t move to the UK, etc.
  • Culture – Each country has it’s own unique culture, will you be able to assimilate into that culture, do you agree with that culture? It doesn’t matter how nice the scenery looks in France, if you are not prepared to learn French and adopt customs that the French have, then France is not going to work for you. You have to be prepared to fit into your host country, they sure are not going to change because you have moved into town.
  • Job Opportunities and Salary – Will you be able to work in your host country? Do they have a shortage of locals with your qualifications / experience? Let’s be honest, would you rather employ a South African here in South Africa, or an immigrant? As an immigrant you need to be better than the local to get the job that the local person can do, i.e., chances are you will be taking a step back on the corporate ladder when you immigrate until you have proven yourself. What is the average salary you will be earning. Will it be enough?
  • Education – Is the education standard really where you want it to be in your potential host country? Does the education system mirror your ethical and moral standards, eg., do they promote your chosen religion in the schools?
  • Population – Do you like living among huge crowds, are there large cities like London or New York for you to choose from? Do you need large amounts of potential customers for your business when you immigrate, then living in a country like New Zealand may not be for you as the population is only around 4 million.
  • Crime – Does the country have acceptable levels of crime?
  • Cost of Living – Will you be able to live to your required standard in your potential host country? Some things will be more expensive than you are used to and others will be cheaper relative to your earnings in that country. Eg., Compare New Zealand prices to New Zealand earnings and not to what you are earning now in Rands, it may differ considerably.
  • Health Care – What health care provisions are available in your potential host country, is it State funded or will you require Private Medical Aid. What does it cost relative to earnings?
  • Capital – How much will your Rands be worth in the host country? Will you be able to use the proceeds from the sale of your house to buy another one or will it not even be enough for a deposit?


Are you Eligible?

Will your chosen country allow you in?

Each country has their own admission criteria and it differs considerably. You will need to look up on their immigration site to see if you earn enough points to apply for immigration to their country.

Selection criteria are usually based on the following :

  • Age – the older you are the less productive years you have left, the less attractive you are as a potential immigrant.
  • Qualifications – You don’t always have to be a doctor to immigrate, but some form of qualification post matric will certainly help a lot. Sometimes many years of experience can be considered as a qualification.
  • Work Experience – The better you can do the job, the more desirable an immigrant you are.
  • Ability to Settle – Family in the country / enough money to settle / job offer, etc. all count in your favour as it increases your chances of integrating into your host country successfully.
  • Skills Shortages – Most countries have some form of a skills shortage list which your qualifications and experience needs to be on in order to qualify. Remember they are trying to attract immigrants to benefit their country and not take away the employment of the locals.
  • Health – They need to be sure that you are not just coming to their country to use up their citizen’s health care benefits.
  • Character – If you have a criminal record, you may or may not be able to apply for immigration, it all depends on how long ago the offense was committed and the severity of the offense.

An Overview of the Immigration Process

Believe it or not, the immigration process can be likened to a trip to the amusement park, let me explain with this illustration (follow along with the numbers) :

new zealand immigration process

You wake up one morning and decide you need a little excitement in your life. How about going to the amusement park for the day your partner suggests? Great idea you say, “I’m tired of sitting around at home every Saturday”!


1) At the gate you pay your entrance fee. You have never been to this amusement park yet so you make your way down the pathway to the Info kiosk to find out how everything works.


2) At the kiosk you get a map of the park and look up what rides are available.  It turns out that at this amusement park you have to follow the path and take whatever ride is along the path, no cutting across the grass, or skipping a ride is allowed. You may however stop at the shop to buy trinkets and refreshments at any time though as the shop is in the centre of the park. You may also follow a short path back to the entrance at any time if you decide you don’t like the park anymore, you will however not be refunded your entrance tickets.


3) First up is the roller coaster. You don’t particularly like roller coasters, but you have no choice. The roller coaster is part of the path. So you hop on and hold on for dear life so that you get to the end and can continue on down the path to the rides you really came for. The kids all want an ice-cream, so you stop at the shop. The prices at the shop at ridiculously expensive, but what can you do except mutter under your breath, close your eyes and pay.


4) Next up is your favourite ride, the teacups. Now THIS is what you came for! You squeal with joy as the cups go round and round until, all too soon, the ride ends and you need to move on again. The ride makes you quite thirsty so you stop at the shop for a drink.


5) Continuing along the path you reach the stall where you have to shoot the ducks off the ledge for prizes. The only problem is that the guns they give you aren’t particularly accurate and you can’t move on to the next stop on the path until you have shot at least 3 ducks. It takes you a while to get the hang of how to operate the rifle with any kind of accuracy, but before long you are shooting the ducks off the wall like a pro.


6) By this time it is lunch time so you stop at the shop again to see what’s on the menu. The adults order hamburgers and the kids want hot dogs. Just up ahead is a beautiful park lined with trees and benches for you to sit under. There are also jungle gyms and slides for the kids to play on. After lunch you and your partner start chatting to another couple, who are also looking decidedly pale from the obligatory roller coaster ride. With your ordeal in common you have lots to chat about and the conversation is lively. Next minute someone taps you on the shoulder. You look around to see it’s your brother and his family. “I never knew you were coming to the amusement park today you exclaim”, upon which he replies “We were thinking about it, but when we heard you guys were coming, we decided to join you”. Your brother and sister-in-law sit down and their kids head off to go play with their cousins.

After a great day at the park everybody decides to head off home. At the exit the staff are selling awesome “I survived” T-shirts. You just HAVE to have one of those, so you hop in the queue. As you stand in line to get your shirt you overhear the folks in front of you complaining about how bad the food was and how terrible the layout of the park was. You on the other hand think that even though you are gonna be pretty broke until next payday, it was all worth it.


I think you could already see some of the similarities, but let’s go through them anyway:


Folks decide to emigrate for various reasons, you can read more about the Reasons to Emigrate.


Once the decision is made you need to decide where to emigrate to. In this case you are looking into emigrating to New Zealand and your search has brought you here. We are your Info Kiosk which will guide you through the process. The Start section of the website is your map of the site.


The first step in the process is to decide whether New Zealand is actually for you. In the About section of the website we have included as much info as possible to help you make that decision. You will find general info about New Zealand the country. You will also be able to read up about the experiences of other migrants that have gone through the process so you can get a feel for what lies ahead.


If you do decide that New Zealand is the country for you then the next step in the process is to apply to emigrate. This is where the excitement of the “park” and the “rollercoaster ride” starts. The immigration process is stressful, fun, exciting, painful, and all the other emotions all at the same time. A very emotional ride indeed.

It starts with finding out what options are available to you – what do you need to do to qualify to immigrate to New Zealand. In the Apply section of the website all your options have been laid out for you to help you gain a clearer understanding of the immigration application process.

Once you know which route to take you can apply and hopefully gain a positive outcome which will allow you actually immigrate to New Zealand. This is when your expenses will start. It isn’t cheap, but you will pay them anyway.


That is when the fun starts. You are actually moving to New Zealand! In the Move section you will find all the info you need to make this part of the process as painless as possible. There are checklists, links and heaps of other info to help you along the way.


Once you arrive in New Zealand you find that things don’t always work as you expect. You realise that people sound different, say the same things in different ways, act differently than what you are used to. Your favourite products aren’t available here, etc., etc. Simple tasks like preparing your CV are not the same. In the Adapt section you will find many tools to help you make those adjustments and learn the Kiwi way of doing things.


When you emigrate you are leaving all your connections, friends and family behind. A vital part of the process is creating new connections, a new support network that. In the connect section you will find the tools you need to do that – most notably the Forum where you can chat with fellow immigrants. Please use the forum throughout the entire process – in fact I suggest you head off there right now and go say Hello. There are folks that are just starting out, like you are, but there are also folks that are far along the process as well. There are even some that are now citizens and still return to help others who are still on their way. This is your starting point to re-establishing those lost connections and also in gaining vital, up to the minute info about the immigration process. You may even discover that you know a few folks there already!


As you can see the process has definite steps. Some overlap, especially the Connect step, but generally you will start off at the left hand Start icon on the site and as you progress through your immigration process, you will find yourself moving to the next icon towards the right.


The final icon is the Shop icon – there are many tools and products that can assist you along the process outside of our website. We have assembled as many of these as can inside the Shop and in the banners you will find throughout the site. Each of these products have been created, hand picked or approved by ourselves based on their quality and value. Everything on the site, including the products shown in the advertisements have been chosen to make your immigration process easy as possible, or to assist you with the process. We ask that you please support our sponsors as they help us pay the bills so that you can enjoy this site for free.

Good luck with your process and enjoy your stay here with us.


How to use the Internet to do Immigration Research

immigration research

Many folks that are immigrating are still pretty new to the Internet and find the most important part of the move – using the Internet to research their new country very intimidating which often leads to them either just giving up on the whole process or arriving in New Zealand hopelessly unprepared. This article will help those new to the Internet to quickly learn the tricks of the trade required to do their immigration research online so they arrive in New Zealand well prepared and confident that they can make a success of the move.

If you are an old hand at using the Internet, then read this article anyway, you have nothing to lose, but may just pick up a tip or two which will make your research easier.

Firstly it is important to realise that everybody at some stage is new to the Internet and had to learn the ropes. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is not taking the time and effort to ensure that you are giving your family the best chance of settling in successfully in New Zealand by not doing your research.

Before the Internet arrived, folks had to just rely on hear-say and whatever they could read in outdated books about New Zealand and decide from that if the move was for them. Thankfully those days are long gone. By using the Internet correctly you can be as prepared as never before. Now there is no excuse for making the wrong decision. You have all the best and latest, even live and up to the minute information right in front of you to help you learn about your new country without even setting a foot in it.

Throughout the article links have been added to the relevant sections on the site in order for you to do the actual steps yourself so keep an eye out for this icon : . By clicking on it you will be taken to the relevant page on the Internet.

Google is your best friend

The Internet can be thought of as a great big book with all the information you’ll ever need in it. Now such a big book needs an index so that you don’t have to flip through every page to find what you are looking for. Each website is a chapter in that book. And the pages of these websites, are the pages of the book. You can think of this website as a summary of the Immigration to New Zealand chapter in the book called the Internet.

You probably found the site using one of the many index pages of the book. The fun thing about the Internet is that it is more dynamic and intelligent than a book, it can ‘talk back’ to you. For example, instead of paging through the millions of index pages to find the right chapter, you can just ask index what you are looking for and the index will show you a list of the chapters you are interested in. These index pages are called search engines. There are many of them, but the most popular ones are :

Google Go to Google
Yahoo Go to Yahoo and

Google is currently the world’s best search engine which you can use to search for absolutely anything you can think of. You will soon learn that Google is indispensable when doing any kind of research on the Internet.

Why Google and not one of the other search engines? Because Google has more than one version. Go to is the American / International version which will give you answers from all around the world with preference to American websites. Then there is Go to which lets you choose between international results or results from South African websites only. Surprise, surprise, there is also a New Zealand Google – Go to which you can use to search for anything and everything about New Zealand.

Whenever you are doing a search about anything for your immigration to New Zealand go to Go to Once the site has opened you will see that there are a few options you can click on and a box where you can type what you are looking for into. The important ones at this stage are the box and the circles underneath it. You would type whatever you are looking for into the box like it was a person you were asking, eg. | what is the capital city of new zealand |
then you must click in the circle, underneath the search box which says “pages from New Zealand”. This tells Google that you only want pages from New Zealand. You can then click the “Google Search” button.

What then happens is that Google searches all the websites for you and gives you page upon page of results that it has found. The most relevant results are listed first and the least relevant are listed last. Most often the first result is what you are looking for, however the first result is not always the only result or even the best for you. The reason for this is that there are most probably more than one website offering the same or similar information.

It is thus important to not just click on the first result, but rather go through the first few pages of results and scan the description shown under each result to see which are actually relevant to what you are looking for.

Now there is a little trick you can use to read the websites you are interested in without losing the results of your Google search : Instead of clicking on the result, rather “right click” on the result. A little menu appears next to your mouse arrow. Select the “Open in new Window” option for that list. What will happen then is that a new window will open with the website you are interested in, inside it. The advantage of doing this is that when you have finish reading that website, you can simply close the window and you will be back at your Google search results. Cool, eh.

Using Favourites to speed things up

Often you will find a website that is great and you will want to visit it again. No problem, add it to your favourites.

Your favourites is like a bookmark, you can however have as many favourites as you want. Now given the size of the Internet and the huge amount of research you will be doing, it is obvious that if you just add all the sites you like to favourites, you will eventually have such a long list that you will probably not find the site you want to revisit in the list anyway. We need to be a bit more organised than that.

We can group our favourites together, almost like using different coloured bookmarks in a book. With the Internet we use folders, which are like folders in a filing cabinet. We can name each folder, eg “Houses”, “Car Prices”, etc. and then pop the sites we like into the relevant folder. Next time you are looking for car prices, you simply go to the “Car Prices” folder and there the required sites are waiting for you.

Great, now how the heck do I do all this?

The first site you add to favourites takes a little work, so let’s first do that :

1) Click on the “Favourites” text menu near the top of the page, then click “Add to Favourites” (if you are using Internet Explorer 7 you will also have a button with a star and a plus sign in it that does the same thing).

2) A small window opens up with a few options. The first option is a box with the site title in it already, change this to something that makes more sense to you if you want.

3)The second option is the folder you want to save the site in. Click on the “New Folder” button and type in “New Zealand”, click Create / OK. What we have done now is create a New Zealand drawer in our filing cabinet. Now we can start to add folders into the drawer.

4) Click on the “New Folder” button again and type in the category of the website you are wanting to file, eg., if it is a site with car prices, then, same as you did for the “New Zealand” folder create a “Car Prices” folder. Then, before clicking OK, ensure that the Create In drop down box says “New Zealand”. If it doesn’t, click on the down arrow and select “New Zealand”. Then click Create / OK.

5) Now you click the Add button and your site is saved for you.

You can now add more car prices sites to your favourites by doing steps 1, 2 and 5 above and ensuring at step 2 that you have your “Car Prices” folder selected.

You can also add other folders for say house prices by doing step 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Once you have done it once or twice it becomes easy.

To call up a site saved under your favourites, you click on the Favourites text menu or Favourites button (Big yellow star), then go to the New Zealand folder, then to the required folder, eg., “Car Prices”, then select the site you want to call up.

Start by adding this site to your favourites under the New Zealand -> Immigration Sites folder.

Now you are starting to get yourself organised.

Using a forum

Firstly, what is a forum?

A forum is a web page where you, as the visitor, can comunicate with others using the forum. This can be anything from asking a question to giving an answer to just plain old chatting.

As a potential immigrant this is one of your most valuable tools for the following reasons :

  • You can meet other people from around the world that are in the same boat as you.
  • You can exchange information with them dramatically speeding up your own research
  • You can make friends that will become your family in New Zealand
  • You can ask the other members questions about problems you may have
  • You can help others by answering their questions

There are however a few things you need to know about forums to ensure that you get maximum benefit from them :

1) Most forums require that you register first before you can read / post on them. This is to stop people with nothing else to do but make trouble by posting a lot of rubbish on the various forums. It helps ensure that the forum only has people on it who are serious about the topic of the forum. It enables you to add as much or little information about yourself as you feel comfortable sharing with other members while knowing that not that only other registered users can see that info.

2) Forums are give and take. In the beginning you will obviously be taking more than you are giving as you are still new, but as your knowledge grows, you will soon find that you are able to help others too.

3) Forums are all about people just like you. Even if you have never joined a forum before, don’t be shy, post a quick hello in the Introductions section and before you know it you will be an old hand at it and have a heap of new friends.

4) Always read through the forum when you join. With an old forum it may take some time, but you will almost always find that your questions have already been answered.

5) Remember that when you are typing something, that it can be read in more than one way. This somethimes leads to people misunderstanding you. To avoid this use smileys to convey your mood. Smileys are the little faces you see when posting and reading posts.

6) As in the real world, there may be people on the forums that you don’t like or don’t agree with. Because you are not face to face with that person, it is tempting and easy to attack that person personally, especially when the discussion is about something you feel passionate about and this person has a different view point to yours. Resist this temptation. Never say something you would not say if you were standing in front of that person, and even then never attack a person on a personal level. All you acheive is a mud fight where the forum as a whole looses. This is the single biggest reason for forums failing, so don’t be the reason your favourite forum closes down. If you feel yourself becoming hot under the collar, take a timeout, come back tomorrow when you have calmed down, and you will probably see that you were over-reacting or read the person’s post in the wrong context.

7) Not everybody can type or spell equally well, so read past the spelling mistakes and look rather at the message. Most forums have a spell check option which you can use to ensure that you spelling is correct before adding your post to the forum.

8) People also use various abbreviations to save themselves typing time, it is good to know the most common ones. Some of them are shown below :

Abbreviation Meaning
ASAP As soon as possible
A/S/L? Age/Sex/Location?
B4N Bye for Now
BAK Back At Keyboard
BBIAB Be Back In A Bit
BBL Be Back Later
BBN Bye-Bye Now
BBS Be Back Soon
BF Boyfriend
BFN Bye For Now
BRB Be Right Back
BTW By The Way
CNP Continued in Next Post
CRB Come Right Back
CU See You
CUL8ER See You Later
Dear Daughter
Dear Husband
Dear Pet
Dear Son
Dear Wife
DQMOT Don’t Quote Me On This
DW Dear Wife
F2F Face To Face
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
FC Fingers Crossed
Father in Law
FOMCL Falling Off My Chair Laughing
FWIW For What It’s Worth
FYI For Your Information
GF Girlfriend
GL Good Luck
HAND Have A Nice Day
Happy Ex-South Africans
HTH Hope This Helps
IIRC If I Recall Correctly
IM Immediate / Instant Message
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO In My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO In My Opinion
IOW In Other Words
JK Just Kidding
JMO Just My Opinion
k Okay
KISS Keep It Simple Stupid
KIT Keep In Touch
L8R Later
LHO Laughing my Head Off
LMAO Laughing My Ass Off
LMSO Laughing My Socks Off
LOL Laughing Out Loud
Mother in Law
MorF Male or Female
NP No Problem
Other Half (Your partner)
OIC Oh I See
OMG Oh My Goodness
PM Private Message
ROTFL Rolling On The Floor Laughing
RTFM Read The Friggin’ Manual
South African
South Africans
S^ S’up – What’s Up
SETE Smiling Ear To Ear
SHID Slaps Head In Disgust
SO Significant Other
SYS See You Soon
TA Thanks Again
TCOY Take Care Of Yourself
TGIF Thank Goodness It’s Friday
TIA Thanks In Advance
TY Thank You
UVW You’re Very Welcome
UW You’re Welcome
WB Welcome Back
WTG Way To Go
YVW You’re Very Welcome
YW You’re Very Welcome

The list is by no means complete, these are only the most common abbreviations (and the clean ones).

Now that you have the basics of researching your move to New Zealand, I’m sure you agree that it isn’t so difficult, it is however time consuming, so you better get cracking…………