This research explored how skilled, self-selected migrants make a decision to leave their country of origin and choose a destination. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 20 pre-departure and 26 post-arrival migrants to New Zealand from the United Kingdom/Ireland, India and South Africa. A thematic analysis was conducted separately for each country's data. For these migrants, the decision process contained three major decisions: whether, where and when to go. Regarding the question of whether to go, key factors were both intrapersonal and social. New Zealand was selected as a destination of choice due to quality of life, safety, environment, cultural similarity, job opportunities and the perception that migrants were wanted. On the question of when to go, the decision process was a negotiation between partners, and often extended family, which occurred over a long period of time.