emigrating from UK to NZ lifestyle farm - advice please!

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10 years 3 months ago #30900 by maryv
Hi, this is my first posting here, so hello everyone :) My husband and I are 50 and we'd like to emigrate to NZ to be lifestyle farmers. (We're looking especially at the south of the South Island.) We want to retire from the rat race, so we wouldn't be looking at getting jobs, although some very small-scale craft work, kitchen herbs, etc., sold from the farm might be enjoyable to do...

I'd be very grateful for advice about the immigration process. Having read a lot of material at the NZ government website, am I right to think that

- changing a temporary residence visa into a permanent one after 2 years is very straightforward - the only requirement is that you've stayed most of the time in NZ in each of those 2 years

- therefore there's no reason not to buy a lifestyle block soon after arrival (once we've checked out loads of other things of course - I just mean that immigration requirements aren't a reason not to - clearly it makes sense to rent first)

??

My other big question is how do the authorities feel about your immigration application if you tell them you want to immigrate in order to be a lifestyle farmer?

We have enough resources to buy a small lifestyle block and live for some time. Once we've sold our UK house, we'd have about GBP500K=NZ950K, so could spend say NZ400K on a beautiful lifestyle block and live off the rest. But we don't have enough resources to qualify in the 'business' category, and in fact we wouldn't want to be breadhead business types anyway. In short, we're looking to be something close to self-sufficient.

How would the authorities feel about that?

Are there any other big requirements we need to satisfy to get in?

(I should add that our son is going to start a PhD in NZ, although we want to settle before he arrives. So we can't say we've got a close relative currently in NZ, but only that we will have one.)

All advice very gratefully received!

Mary

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10 years 3 months ago #416160 by shad297
Hi Mary sorry I can't help you with your specific questions as when I came in 25 years ago it was really easy and with no money, but I do suggest if you haven't already, to join up with www.britishexpats.com (New Zealand) website as there are many people with a wealth of knowledge who have done or are doing what you hope to.
I am also sure there will be valuable info here too.
Good Luck.
Sarah ex Berkshire

Husband, two teenagers, Stanley & Jed the greyhounds, one quail (Hawkefrost), one budgie (Chaos) small productive surburban section.

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10 years 3 months ago #416168 by maryv

shad297;412913 wrote: Hi Mary sorry I can't help you with your specific questions as when I came in 25 years ago it was really easy and with no money, but I do suggest if you haven't already, to join up with www.britishexpats.com (New Zealand) website as there are many people with a wealth of knowledge who have done or are doing what you hope to.


Hi Sarah and many thanks for this :) I've now posted to BritishExpats.com as you suggested. I think we will feel much more at home in the lifestyle farming community than in the expat community though! :) Mary

PS I'm British but my husband is Danish.

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10 years 3 months ago #416173 by bevhawkins
Hi there, We are from the UK too, have been here 8 years. The immigration process is a hard one. There are different categories to come over on, we did it as investors, you could come over here with a work permit, you must have a job offer, and then after 2 years you can apply for permanent residence. You cannot buy over 5ha if you are not a resident. Then after 5 years as a permanent you can apply for citizenship which we have all done:) I would not think you can just come over here and retire on a block unless you come as an investor which is at the moment 2mil. We are helping friends of ours at the moment who is 50 come over but they have a job offer, also you have to have clean medicals and police in the UK.

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10 years 3 months ago #416181 by Simkin
Hi Mary,

I think you left it too long. Once you're over 30 the criteria are a lot harder to meet and although you might think you'll get an LSB for less than half a million, most end up paying close to a million these days as the 'cheaper' ones tend to need a lot of investment to make them comfortable to live at.

Only yesterday I talked to a lady who came back to NZ with her husband (she was born here). They invested all their money in a B&B and a sheep stud, but after a dismal summer (not many guests) her hubby had to go back to work in town.

You could still buy a piece of land and spend most of the year here but you'll have to go back to the UK once a year. I do know people who do this - never have a winter again!

If your son is your only child he may be able to sponsor you but for this he will have to finish his PhD, get a job, then residency, and after 5 years of having residency here he could sponsor you. Sponsoring means he will have to have a good job and be able to support you financially should you need it.

Tying this in with having spent a decade '9 months NZ/ 3 months GB/ 9 months NZ etc' this might be a long term plan.

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10 years 3 months ago #416185 by igor
Hi Mary. I know nothing at all about immigration but I wish you luck.
As to the price of a block here do not let Simkin's figure of a million dollars frighten you off. It depends upon where you go and what you can live with. We bought our place in South Otago (2.5 acres with 3 bedroom cottage and various outbuildings) for $160k. It was very rundown as the elderly vendors couldn't keep it up but in the four years we have had it we have made great progress on very little money. The house feels tiny for a family of six but we make do.

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10 years 3 months ago #416186 by Sue
Hi Mary, unless you have already done so, get all the information from NZ House in London as to what are your options.
My brother immigrated from UK 4 years ago. At that time he needed a sponsor and a job offer and needed to be under 55. Yes, a rigorous medical and character clearance with the police was also required.
I have lived here for over 40 years so he also had the added benefit of family reunification-even though they left their 3 daughters and wifes aged parents behind in UK. It depends on how many points you can add up from the various options as to whether you can live here permanently. You have to have enough funds for support-although once you have signed up for a job that secures income you get points for that. May be a case of getting a temporary job until you can establish your dream.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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10 years 3 months ago #416187 by bevhawkins
Actually Igor we were quite suprised when we had an appointment with Immigration last week with our friends, she is 51 and he is 47, the age in which is gets tricky is apparently 55, if you are qualified there is no problem and you have a 3 month job offer. Come in on a work visa. work for 2 years go for residency and then 5 yers after that citizenship.

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10 years 3 months ago #416194 by Aria
And just in today's news - policy changes favouring the wealthy;

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6523745/Immigration-changes-give-preference-to-wealthy

I find this insulting to the many, many penniless migrants who helped build this country. In particular, if a migrant wants to purchase land and settle anywhere in provincial NZ they should be welcomed with open arms.

If a drain on our public health system is a concern - surely we could just stipulate on a certain visa-type that full private medical coverage is required for all non-citizens and no superanuation benefits are payable (which I believe is the case anyway and we have agreements with the likes of the UK in terms of UK pensions being paid to ex-pats here in NZ). We could even require that a bond be held which would equate to the value of a plane ticket back to country-of-origin/citizenship in the event one becomes bankrupt/personally insolvent.

I just don't get why we would try to keep good people away from our low population centres.

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10 years 3 months ago #416213 by Seaside
There are two main routes to permanent migration - skills and family. If you are to move here on skills, the idea is that you would be looking to get a job (in an area for which NZ needs skilled workers).

Even family isn't straightforward. My mother would love to move here, however there is no chance that she will because her 'centre of gravity' is in the UK (two children there vs one in NZ) and she is retired.

We don't have a 'retirement' category (at least, last time I looked) except if you are very wealthy (ie will be bringing in a large amount of money, I think it's $2 million?).

Believe it or not, it's against the law for me to give you any advice or suggestions on immigration for your personal situation, so I won't. However, you should be able to glean the relevant information if you spend some time going through Immigration New Zealand's website: www.immigration.govt.nz (which is my source for when I've looked at family members immigrating).

Kids, beasts, and chillies in Swannanoa South.
www.farmaway.co.nz

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10 years 3 months ago #416231 by stephclark
As to the price of a block here do not let Simkin's figure of a million dollars frighten you off. It depends upon where you go and what you can live with. We bought our place in South Otago (2.5 acres with 3 bedroom cottage and various outbuildings) for $160k.

i tripped over a place on TM.. far north, 170 acres, 1/2 covenented bush, balance grazing, water, out buidings,3 orchards, 15mins to shops and schools.. 3 bed renovated villa.. $393k.. i thought remarkably good especially if one wanted to step off the rat wheel..

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10 years 3 months ago #416236 by bevhawkins
But still they would not be able to purchase anything over 5ha until they got residency. On our Investor visa, we had to invest 1mil over 2 years I beleive its now gone up to 2mil. We have and never will accept benefits from NZ that was and is not our intention:) as for medical we all have private healthcare. So come on over and apply for a 2 year working visa buy a small lifestyle block and see how you go? We have never regretted it.

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10 years 3 months ago #416242 by Aria

bevhawkins;412995 wrote: But still they would not be able to purchase anything over 5ha until they got residency. On our Investor visa, we had to invest 1mil over 2 years I beleive its now gone up to 2mil. We have and never will accept benefits from NZ that was and is not our intention:) as for medical we all have private healthcare. So come on over and apply for a 2 year working visa buy a small lifestyle block and see how you go? We have never regretted it.


What did you invest in?

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10 years 3 months ago #416246 by bevhawkins
It goes in the govt coffers I guess!! for 2 years. We also sponsored my parents to come over here as well and had to sign an agreement that we would support them for 2 years.

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10 years 3 months ago #416255 by little red digger
Hi Me and Ruth came here nearly 8 years ago. I was 43 and Ruth is not saying but she has a bithday this week. I did the skilled migrant rout and needed to get 170 points to make the draw. Got a one year work visa then returning residents visa and citizenship a couple of years ago befor they changed the criteria.
I failed the medical in NZ having allready passed in UK but let it get out of date and nearly had to leave the country. Very stressfull but worth while.
Good luck with the aplication, make the trip to London and go to NZ house they will give you all the information you need. I do not trust imigration consultants, they give advice that suits them selves and charge a fortune.

Dave and Ruth, Oxford Contracting

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