Is Brexit increasing migration to New Zealand?

New Zealand as a stable, safe and beautiful place to live is often the first country people think of when they want to emigrate.

It is quite common for thoughts of migration to be sparked by disappointment in political change, especially amongst the citizens of first-world countries who are potentially globally mobile.

New Zealand’s immigration department (INZ) reported a huge jump in the number of UK citizens asking for information immediately following the Brexit vote in June.

Over the past ten years however the average number of UK citizens applying to work temporarily in New Zealand has changed very little, averaging around *22,800 per year coming to Aotearoa for an adventure before returning home.

The number of UK citizens applying to stay permanently has also been steady at roughly 5,200 each year, although these figures are nearly 60% lower than numbers from 2006.

What the figures tell us is that while many people may think about migrating very few actually do.

New Zealand’s immigration department provides general information on the visa system but does not offer advice or assistance. Anyone needing explanation or help from overseas would need to contact a licensed immigration adviser and for this reason if there was an increase in numbers it would be likely to be visible to professionals supporting migrants from the UK.

New Zealand Immigration Advice Ltd is one of Christchurch’s largest immigration consultancies, working regularly with UK citizens to explain eligibility and visa options. To date we have not seen any rise in requests for this kind of service from people in the UK.

Although it is early days and figures are not yet collected I very much doubt there will be any big increase in numbers from the UK (temporary or permanent) moving to New Zealand over time.

Mike Bell
Migrant advocate | Licensed immigration adviser

* stats from official INZ stats

 

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