If you have a New Zealand residence visa and have been staying in New Zealand for 2 years or more, you might be eligible to apply for a New Zealand Permanent Resident Visa which would allow you to live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely.

With this visa you can

  • Live, work, and study in New Zealand.
  • Travel to and from New Zealand any time you like.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application – if you included them in your original residence application.

A Permanent Resident Visa is generally the final step after being approved a Resident Visa. Although, Resident Visas have some travel restrictions that only permit a person to re-enter New Zealand as a resident until a specific date, a Permanent Resident Visa permits indefinite re-entry to New Zealand.

Source: New Zealand Immigration
  • You must have held your resident visa and been continuously living in New Zealand for at least 24 months at the time you apply for a permanent resident visa.
  • You must have sufficient evidence that you have met any conditions of your current resident visa.
  • If you were not the main applicant when you lodged your resident visa, you must lodge for your permanent resident visa at the same time or after the principal applicant, unless a non-principal exclusion applies.
Source: New Zealand Immigration

Step 1 – Apply for a permanent resident visa

To apply, you must have held a New Zealand resident visa for at least 2 years without any gap. You will also need to have an existing resident visa. If your resident visa expired then the expiration must not be more than 3 months ago. You will need to fill in an appropriate Application from a Resident or Former Resident Holder. You may consider reading an official Guide for Resident and Former Resident Visa Holders to enter New Zealand as a resident (INZ 1176)

Step 2 – New Zealand Immigration makes a decision about your application

If there is anything else you need to do, the immigration officer will be in touch.

Source: New Zealand Immigration

Please read the Guide for Resident and Former Resident Visa Holders to enter New Zealand as a resident (INZ 1176) before you fill up the application form. The guide gives comprehensive information about the evidence and papers you need to send. Do not use this form if you are a New Zealand citizen. Complete the form New Zealand Citizen Endorsement Application (INZ 1174).

Source: New Zealand Immigration

The application Fee is NZD$141

This is the charge for Immigration New Zealand to process your application. NZ Immigration will not refund application costs if they decide to decline your application. A non-refundable immigration levy is charged and is included in the cost.

Source: New Zealand Immigration

Things to note

  • If you need to travel, your Permanent Resident Visa must be in a valid passport. You may need to apply to transfer your permanent resident visa to your new passport.
  • Non-principal applicants can’t apply for permanent residence before the principal applicant, unless a non-principal exception applies.
  • If the New Zealand Immigration is not able to grant you a Permanent Resident Visa, they may be able to offer you another resident visa or a variation of your resident visa travel conditions. This would give you more time to travel to and from New Zealand as a resident.
  • People directly impacted by the Christchurch terrorist attacks on 15 March 2019 and their New Zealand-based family can apply for permanent residence using a different visa process.
Source: New Zealand Immigration