The global Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world in a countless number of ways. From travel to just ordering a coffee, everything is different thanks to the virus that has swept across the globe. It can be difficult, in these trying times, to keep up to date with what’s going on around the world. We’re providing a breakdown of what will and will not happen to your international move if you’re thinking about relocating or returning to Australia and New Zealand, so that you can be confident in the international removal process.
Travel restrictions to consider for your international removal to Australia or New Zealand
At the time of writing [14/09/2021] there are several border restrictions in both Australia and New Zealand. Whilst travel between these two countries is permitted, travel from everywhere else is under strict limitation. Currently, to enter Australia, you must hold citizenship, have familial relations living there, or dual nationality. There are other exceptions which are available on the Australian Government’s website. Similarly, New Zealand is also restricting who can enter the country. Australia has a limited number of people it will allow to enter any given territory per week, so it can be difficult to plan when you may arrive. Furthermore, it is necessary to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Relocating your personal belongings
Whilst restrictions on the movement of people are in place, there are also restrictions on the movement of goods. Moving personal belongings into either Australia or New Zealand now also carries new guidelines and procedures. Whilst the World Health Organisation has declared that there is minimal risk of contamination via handling when correct PPE is in use, there are still processes that are in place to minimise the risk of importing potentially harmful goods to the countries.
Moving your goods to Australia or New Zealand
Whilst the risk of contamination via imported personal goods is low, the goods are still required to be checked, and can exported or destroyed of deemed unsafe. A list of goods must be provided to be checked, and some items will be more thoroughly examined to ensure there are no dangers to their movement. Australia’s BICON system allows you to check which items require inspection or are considered safe. You may find you have to pay to have some items treated before packing them. In particular, animal and plant items are likely to be subject to assessment. This is done in order to protect Australia’s unique ecosystems and prevent the spread of foreign disease. New Zealand also has a comprehensive list of items that are likely to be checked.
International removals and the logistics, haulage, and shipping industries
Another consideration given the current global climate for international relocation is the extreme strain that the logistics industry is under. In the UK especially, there is a current shortage of HGV drivers due to the circumstances surrounding the exit of the EU. Furthermore, considering the time of year, with Christmas fast approaching and the retail industry shifting gears towards its busiest season, drivers will soon be in even higher demand. On top of this, the price of shipping containers has skyrocketed, and the space available on container ships is also limited. All of these factors mean that it is incredibly difficult to move personal belongings, with many ending up in storage due to missing time frames from quarantining or other pandemic related delays. However, at John Mason International, we make every effort possible to ensure your goods are well looked after.
October updates to international travel in Australia and New Zealand
As of the start of October, there have been new updates to the restrictions in both Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, in November 2021 the border is set to reopen to visitors and migrants living abroad, making it much easier to get back into the country. Double vaccinated citizens will be required to isolate for 7 days, whilst unvaccinated citizens will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
Updates to working and visas in Australia
Additionally, Australia is currently offering incentives for workers to now join the country in the hope of boosting their workforce. Flights, moving costs, and financial rewards are being offered to those willing to join the hospitality industry. Work visas will also be made more readily available for those joining the industry.
Furthermore, Australia has also progressed with plans to make more visas available to those who can work in the agricultural industry. To deal with the current labour shortage in farming in Australia, migrants are being encouraged to move into the country to help tackle the current problem. Their visas will be prioritised ahead of November to make the process as quick as possible. More details about the scheme will be released over the coming weeks.
Updates to working and visas in New Zealand
In New Zealand, a new scheme is being released which will allow residency permits to be obtained by skilled workers, in an effort to restabilise the country coming out of the pandemic. To help businesses and the infrastructure of the country develop, and to allow for more definite planning in the future, New Zealand will process 165,000 new residency permits for skilled workers, and families who have either had permits rejected or left unprocessed. The scheme will also allow those currently living abroad to enter the country again and makes the administrative process much easier than it has been in the last 12 months or so. This means it is now an ideal time to start thinking about your visa applications in anticipation of your international relocation to New Zealand.
In summary, now is one of the most difficult times to relocate that we have ever witnessed. That’s not to say however, that it can’t be done, especially with the recent developments in the industry. With careful planning and organisation, we can still help you to make your dream move, or to return to Australia or New Zealand. Ensure you know the current rules around isolation periods, be thorough and detailed when it comes to packing and listing your belongings, and plan well in advance to ensure that you don’t miss out on windows of opportunity for flights or shipping. Here at John Mason International, we’re here to help you throughout this process. Please get in touch with our team to begin your journey today.