“Residence” is the word used for when the New Zealand government, through Immigration New Zealand, has granted you the right to live, work and study in New Zealand permanently.
Residence is important in being the key to a number of other rights and opportunities in New Zealand, including:
- Education – Rights to free education in state schools, tertiary fee subsidies and student loans depend on residence.
- Welfare benefits – To get a benefit from Work and Income, you’ll usually need to be either a citizen or resident of New Zealand (see the chapter “Dealing with Work and Income”, under “Applying for and qualifying for benefits”).
- Voting – The right to vote in general elections and local elections depends on residence.
- Juries – Being eligible to serve on a jury depends on residence (see the chapter “The criminal courts”).
There are two stages to getting full residence status in New Zealand, with a different type of visa for each stage:
- A Resident Visa, the first stage, allows you to live in New Zealand indefinitely, including working and studying – but if you leave New Zealand you can’t return and live here as a resident unless the conditions (“travel conditions”) of your Resident Visa allow this. Normally a Resident Visa will be granted with travel conditions that let you leave and re-enter New Zealand as a resident only up to a certain date.
- A Permanent Resident Visa allows you to live in New Zealand indefinitely, including working and studying, and also to leave and return to New Zealand as a resident at any time and as often as you like.
We explain everything about a Resident Visa in this section specifically about current Resident Visa requirement in New Zealand.
Eligibility Criteria: Resident Visa
To be eligible you must:
- have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
- be on an eligible visa on 29 September 2021, or have an application submitted for an eligible visa on 29 September 2021 that was later granted.
You must also meet one of these three criteria:
- (‘settled’ criteria) have lived in New Zealand for the past three or more years, or
- (‘skilled’ criteria) earn at or above the median wage (NZD $27 per hour), or
- (‘scarce’ criteria) work in a role on a scarce list.
If you meet the criteria for eligibility but were in Australia on 29 September 2021 and were unable to return to New Zealand by that date, you may be considered eligible but you must be in New Zealand when you apply.
On 29 September all applicants must have been on (or have applied for and later granted) one of the following visas:
- Post Study Work Visa
- Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
- Essential Skills Work Visa
- Religious Worker Work Visa
- Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
- Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
- Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa
- Trafficking Victim Work Visa
- Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
- Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa
- Victims of Family Violence Work Visa
- South Island Contribution Work Visa
- Work Visa granted under Section 61 of the Immigration Act (provided the applicant held any of the visas above within 6 months before being granted a Section 61 visa)
- Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV)
How to apply
From 10am, 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply in Phase 2. Applications made in Phase 2 will be held in the system until the end of March, when processing will begin.
If you have a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), Residence from Work application or an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) lodged after 29 September 2021 you can apply for the 2021 Resident Visa from early morning 1 March 2022 using the Phase 1 application form.
You must enter your Skilled Migrant Category, Residence from Work application or Expression of Interest (EOI) number before you can proceed with your application. The application number can only be used for one application.
- You can submit your application even if you are still gathering your supporting documents, including a medical certificate.
- You must have a valid passport to submit your application and you will need to provide your passport details and a photo.
- You will also need to provide a photo and the passport details for any family members included in your application.
- Once you have completed the form for the principal applicant, use the ‘add applicant’ feature to add any family members you wish to include in this application.
- You will need to pay the cost of your 2021 Resident Visa when you submit your application.
- You will receive an email confirming your application and payment have been received.
- The payment receipt will be provided when we start processing your application
- An email will be sent to you when they begin processing your application and let you know what supporting documents we need you to supply.
- You will be able to upload your documents through your Immigration Online account.
Documents required for Resident Visa:
You will need to supply a copy of the bio page of your passport or travel document for yourself and any family members included in the application.
You will also need to supply documents based on the criteria you have applied under.
- Evidence of your employment (optional)
- Evidence of your remuneration (optional)
- Evidence of your employment (mandatory). This must be an employment agreement or letter from the employer stating your pay and hours. It must show your pay and hours at the time you applied as well as on 29 September 2021
- Evidence of your remuneration (mandatory). This must be a full bank statement or a current payslip or a summary of income from Inland Revenue.
- Evidence of COVID-related impacts (optional – if your pay rate or hours of work have been impacted by COVID-19)
- Evidence of your employment (mandatory). This must be an employment agreement or a letter from employer confirming your job and hours. It must show your job and hours at the time you applied as well as on 29 September 2021.
- Evidence of your remuneration (optional)
- Evidence of occupational registration (optional – if your job requires registration. If we haven’t seen evidence of your registration in a previous application, then you must provide it.)
- Evidence of COVID-related impacts (if your pay rate or hours of work have been impacted by COVID-19)
Critical Purpose criteria
- Evidence of occupational registration (if your Critical Purpose Visa was granted for the purpose of completing a Nursing Competency Assessment Programme)
Other documents you may need to supply
- Your national identification card
- Your household registration
- Documents showing evidence of your relationship
- Evidence that you and your partner are living together in a genuine relationship
- Evidence that dependent children are reliant on you
- Evidence of parent or legal guardians support of application
- Evidence why you were refused a visa
- Your official military record
- Your exemption from military service
- Your records of previous travel
- Evidence that children travelling with you have permission to travel
- Other documents to support your application
Processing time frames :
It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 18 months, with most being processed much faster.
Cost : Residency Visa:
The total of cost of the 2021 Resident Visa will be $2,160 including GST. This includes a $1,330 application fee and $830 immigration levy. Immigration New Zealand operates on a cost-recovery basis and the visa application fee paid by the applicant covers the cost of Immigration New Zealand processing the application.
Novaturient is a Licensed Immigration consultant that offer Visa services in acquiring Permanent Resident Visa, Student Visa and Visit Visa for countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Schengen Countries and the UK.
Call us: 9731473738