If you love the life of kiwis and want to settle down permanently in New Zealand, you need to apply for Permanent Residency in New Zealand. To be eligible to apply for New Zealand, you need to be a resident visa holder for at least 2 years or more.

You also need to have a genuine desire and commitment to live in New Zealand.  You can also include your family members which is your partner or spouse, or dependent children less than 24 years along with your PR application.

Benefits of Permanent Resident (PR) visa:

  • You can stay in New Zealand indefinitely, provided you have a valid passport during the time of your stay.
  • You can avail the benefits of New Zealand healthcare system and social security benefits.
  • You can live, work and study in New Zealand permanently.
  • You can enjoy studying in New Zealand by paying domestic fees and not international fees.
  • If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for New Zealand Citizenship
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • Travel to and from New Zeeland multiple times for initial period of two years (After 2 years you would need to renew the visa if you meet the eligibility criteria).

Eligibility Criteria for Permanent Resident visa in New Zealand:

You can apply for this visa if you meet the below criteria:

  • You have lived in New Zealand while holding a Resident visa at least for 2 years.
  • You are under 55 years of age at the time of application, unless you have a special exemption
  • You have a valid job offer from a New Zealand employer and
  • You have the skills and qualifications required for the position of the application
  • You have required proficiency in English Language
  • You meet health and character requirement of New Zealand government
  • You genuinely intent to stay in New Zealand and comply with all the conditions of your visa

Checklist of documents for Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand:

  • Identity:
    • You need to submit original identity documents in case you are applying for permanent residence.
    • A passport that must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand
    • You need to submit 2 passport sized photographs in acceptable formats
  • Character:

To apply for New Zealand residence in case you are invited to apply, you are required to submit Police Certificates. You must provide Police Certificate from:

  • Your country of Citizenship
  • Any other country where you have spent 12 months or more over the last 10 years (these 12 months may not have been spent all in one month’s)
  • Resident Visa Status:
  • You must hold a valid resident visa or have held a resident visa in the last 3 months just before you apply. In case your resident visa expired more than 3 months ago, you cannot apply for permanent resident visa but can be eligible to apply for another resident visa.
  • In order to apply for permanent residency, you must continuously hold a New Zealand Resident visa for at least 24 months from the time before you apply for PR visa. You need to provide either:
    • Evidence of New Zealand Resident visa
    • Evidence of New Zealand residence permit
  • Resident visa conditions:
  • You need to provide sufficient evidence that you have met the current residence requirements of at least 2 years while applying for PR visa for New Zealand.
  • In case your resident visa expired more than 3 months ago, you cannot apply for permanent resident visa but can be eligible to apply for another resident visa.
  • Visa conditions are different for resident visas granted under different categories which depends on the below listed factors:
    • You must have entered or left New Zealand based on the time allowed by your resident visa.
    • You must have spent a minimum number of days in New Zealand as specified in your visa conditions.
    • You must have maintained or invested sufficient money in New Zealand.
    • You must have worked in a particular job position for a particular employer as specified in your resident visa conditions.
  • Health:

In case you are invited to apply for New Zealand Residence, you are required to submit a health certificate. You must have a chest x-ray and a medical examination as proof of your good health.

  • Commitment to New Zealand:

You need to provide sufficient evidence that you are committed to living in New Zealand permanently. There are different ways to show that you are committed to New Zealand:

  • You must have spent enough time at least spent 184 or more days in New Zealand as a resident in each of the 2 years before you apply.
  • You must have gained a tax residence status for at least 2 years before you apply.
  • You must have invested at least NZ$1,000,000 in New Zealand in an acceptable investment at least for 2 years or more.
  • You must have either bought or started a business in New Zealand with at least 25% share and must have e business experience of one or more years in the 2 year period before you apply for PR visa in New Zealand.
  • If you have been employed or self Employed, you need to submit the relevant documentary evidence showing your active participation in business and day to day activities.

Non-principal applicants:

Non-principal applicants must not apply for permanent residency status before the principal applicant. If you are the principal applicant eligible to apply for PR status in New Zealand, you can apply for your eligible family members PR status only once you get PR status yourself.

  • Age:

You must be 55 years or under when you apply for Residence. You will be required to submit a proof of your identity confirming your age.

Processing time for Permanent Resident visa in New Zealand:

Application processing time generally depends on whether you have provided all the documents the government needs to process the application and the type of visa too are applying for. As per the New Zealand government website, the processing of Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa takes about 1-2 months time duration.

But, every case file is unique and requires a fair amount of time for its evaluation. You can track your application online on the New Zealand government website to know the application status.

Obligations for Permanent Resident visa in New Zealand:

Once you are granted Permanent Resident visa, you must meet the following conditions:

  • If you want to enter or leave New Zealand, your visa must be in a valid passport.
  • If your passport expires, you must transfer your visa to a new passport before you can travel to or from New Zealand. If you want to transfer your visa you must follow the following steps:
    • Submit your old and new passport to New Zealand immigration department.
    • Complete an application for Transfer or Confirmation of visa.
    • Pay the visa transfer fee.
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Me and my wife were really confused with the process of getting a PR Visa for Australia, so we did some research online and chose Visas abroad to help us. We finally received out Visa at the earliest all because of the efforts of the Visas abroad team. Two thumbs up and a Big YES for Visas Abroad if you are looking to get your visa.

Visas Abroad Client
Rohit Sharma