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Applying for a Permanent Resident Visa of New Zealand

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Typically, after receiving a Resident Visa, the next progression is to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa.

Unlike Resident Visas, which have travel restrictions limiting re-entry to New Zealand until a specific date, a Permanent Resident Visa does not expire.

As the primary applicant of the initial residence application, you’re able to acquire a Permanent Resident Visa by fulfilling the following criteria:

  • Maintaining your resident visa for a minimum of two years.

  • Fulfilling any conditions attached to your Resident Visa.

  • Demonstrating a commitment to New Zealand through one of the five approved methods that meet INZ criteria outlined below:

1. Have spent enough time in New Zealand:

You need to have spent at least 184 days in New Zealand on a resident visa in each of the 2 years immediately before you apply for permanent residence.

2. Are a New Zealand tax residence:

This applies where you have been in New Zealand as a resident for 41 days or more in each of the two 12-month portions of the 2 years before you apply for permanent residence, and are assessed as having tax residence status for the 2 years before you apply for permanent residence.

3. Have invested in New Zealand:

You’ve invested NZ$1,000,000 in New Zealand in an acceptable investment for two years or more.

4. Have a business in New Zealand:

You’ve either bought or started a business in New Zealand a year or more ago. The business must be trading successfully and of benefit to New Zealand in some way. If you bought into an existing business in New Zealand you must have at least a 25% share in the business.

5. Established a base in New Zealand:

Can be demonstrated where you have lived in New Zealand as a resident for at least 41 days in the year before you applied for permanent residence and everyone else included in your residence application has been living in New Zealand for at least 184 days in the 2 years before you applied for permanent residence; You must also have either: Purchased a home 12 months before or after becoming a resident, still own that home and live there now, or worked full-time in New Zealand for 9 months or more in the 2 years before you applied for permanent residence.

Where an applicant has satisfied one of the above criteria, the process for PR is relatively straightforward. However, we often come across people who are or have been outside NZ and are surprised to discover the travel conditions on their resident visa have expired - effectively leaving them with an expired visa, and a good deal of stress and anxiety.

In this case, you must apply for either a permanent resident visa or a second or subsequent resident visa to restore your resident status.

If you would like to confirm whether you meet the requirements for Permanent Residence or find yourself in a situation with expired travel conditions and need guidance on the best course of action, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our team will be happy to assist you.


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