Applying for and getting New Zealand Residency
Gaining residence in New Zealand is the ultimate goal for many migrants.
Obtaining New Zealand residence
Moving to New Zealand is one of the best decision you will make in your life. What is there not to like in our beautiful country? We are one of the safest, least corrupted countries in the world, our economy is thriving, there are plenty of opportunities, and it is an ideal place to raise a family.
What can I do with a residence-class visa?
A residence-class visa gives you the right:
- to stay in New Zealand indefinitely (with valid travel conditions)
- to work in New Zealand
- to study in New Zealand as a domestic fee-paying student
- to receive free or subsidised health care at publicly funded health services
- to receive free education at state-run primary and secondary schools, and subsidised fees for domestic students at private schools and tertiary institutions
- to enrol and vote in elections
- to be a sponsor for a partner, parents or dependent children during their visa application
- and more…
How do I get residence in New Zealand?
There are several ways you can gain residence in New Zealand, many of which start with a temporary visa to allow you to work or do business here. The residence process can be quite long, from a few weeks to 18+ months, and this is why in many instances, you will enter New Zealand on a temporary visa.
The main residence visa pathways, explained
One-off 2021-2022 Residence category
This category is a one-off resident visa available to the majority of temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand and a small number of offshore applicants. This streamlined pathway is highly recommended over any other category, until it closes on 31 July 2022
The Skilled Migrant Residence category
The preferred pathway to residence
This is by far the most common way to gain residence in New Zealand and is for the majority of applicants, subject to securing skilled employment in New Zealand. This points-based system is a 2-step process whereby you first submit an Expression Of Interest, and all applications meeting the threshold are selected from a digital pool every fortnight. You then are invited to submit a residence application under the Skilled Migrant Category.
New Zealand residence through employment
The most common pathway to residence via your skillset is under the Skilled Migrant Category which, in most cases, is based on obtaining a job offer in New Zealand.
New Zealand residence through business
Doing business in New Zealand may allow you to gain residence once the conditions of your investment or business venture are met. See here for specific information about doing business in New Zealand.
New Zealand residence through partnership and family categories
If you are in a relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident, and you have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship, then you may qualify to apply for residence based on your relationship. Likewise, if you were not included in your parents’ residence application initially, you may join them as a dependent child later on, if the conditions are met. You may also be able to join your children who are resident in New Zealand.