Religious workers in New Zealand can apply New Zealand residence to live indefinitely. If you are living in New Zealand on a valid Religious Worker Work Visa you might be eligible to apply for New Zealand residence visa. You must have a valid offer of work and sponsorship from an accepted religious organisation that’s sponsoring you now, and 5 years’ related work experience.

With this visa you can

  • Work, live and study in New Zealand.
  • do the religious workfor the religious organisation that’s offering you sponsorship.
  • Include your spouse, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application. You must meet the minimum financial requirements, or your organisation sponsors them also.

This is the permanent residence visa is for religious worker work visa holders who have held the work visa for at least 3 years.

Source: Immigration New Zealand

Current work visa: You must have held a Religious Worker Work Visa for at least 3 years

Sponsorship: You must have an acceptable sponsor

Religious work: You must have an offer of ongoing religious work from your sponsor

Age: You must be 55 or under

English language: You must be able to speak English

Religious training and experience: You must have at least 5 years’ religious training and/or work experience

No welfare assistance: You must not have received any welfare benefits or assistance

Location: To apply for residence, you must be in New Zealand

Bring family: Your family must meet the requirements for a resident visa

Your relationship with your spouse: You and your partner must have been in a genuine relationship and long-lasting relationship for 12 months or more

Dependent children: Your children must be unmarried, dependent and 24 or under

Source: Immigration New Zealand

Step 1 – You apply for residence

Fill-up a residence application and send it to Immigration New Zealand with proper application fee, immigration levy and required documents, including:

  • a ‘Sponsorship Form for Religious Workers’ filled-up by your sponsor
  • a declaration from your sponsor explaining how your religious work will serve their religious aims
  • an employment agreement or description of your religious work.

Important Links:

Step 2 – Decision about your application

If there is anything else you need to do, Immigration New Zealand will contact you.

Immigration New Zealand may ask you to face an interview which is a part of the process.

Source: Immigration New Zealand

Your application must contain the following documents:

  • Complete application form. Each person included in the application must sign the form.
  • Application fee and immigration levy.
  • Passports or travel documents (the original documents or certified copies) for each person included in
  • the application.
  • Full birth certificates for every person included in the application.
  • Medical certificates and chest X-ray certificates for all applicants if required.
  • Police certificate(s) (less than six months old) for every person included in this application.
  • Two recent passport-size photographs of each person included in the application.
  • Required evidence as outlined in sections I to O, and in the Residence Guide (INZ 1002)
Source: Immigration New Zealand

Application Fee is NZD $1,800. This is the charge for Immigration New Zealand to process your application. Immigration New Zealand will not refund or return your application fees. A non-refundable immigration levy is charged and is included in the cost.

Source: Immigration New Zealand
  • You can only apply for this visa if you’ve already held a valid Religious Worker Work Visa for 3 years or more.
  • If you add your spouse and dependent children in your visa application, they must meet some eligibility criteria including health, character and language ability.
Source: Immigration New Zealand