More than 6,500 Brits were granted residency in New Zealand in the year ending July 2011, making the UK the top source country for immigrants there.

Of the 40,737 migrants granted residency in New Zealand last year, 6,549 were from the United Kingdom, followed by 5,262 from China, 4,218 from India, 3,396 from South Africa, 3,179 from the Philippines and 18,133 from various other countries. Figures from New Zealand’s Department of Labour also show that more than half of these migrants (21,212) were awarded their residency status through the country’s Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) channel.

Currently, the top source countries of SMC approvals are the UK (17 per cent), India (13 per cent), South Africa and the Philippines (12 per cent each), and China and Fiji (8 per cent each). India was the only country to see an increase in the number of SMC approvals last year, a trend due to a growing number of Indian students arriving in New Zealand for temporary work and then applying for permanent residence. This trend is likely to continue as India gains more prominence in the export education sector.

Preparation for a move to New Zealand should include planning for the transfer of your pounds into New Zealand dollars. For information on how to do this safely and save money when doing so, speak to currency exchange specialist Smart Currency Exchange.

To understand the full step-by-step process to buying a property in New Zealand, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s ‘New Zealand Property Buying Guide