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PR in New Zealand – Eligibility, Documents & Process

Updated on 21 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

A Permanent Resident (PR) visa is usually the next step after getting your Resident Visa for New Zealand. Resident visas have specific travel regulations, enabling holders to re-enter the country till a particular date. On the other hand, the PR would allow you to travel to and from New Zealand any time you like.

How to get PR in New Zealand? You may be eligible if you have a residence visa and stay here for two years or more. You can work, live and study with this visa while traveling to and from New Zealand whenever you wish. You can also include your dependent children and partner in the application. Of course, the PR visa should be linked to a fully valid passport. At the same time, non-principal applicants cannot apply before the primary applicant. 


How to Get PR in New Zealand?

Those thinking how to get PR in New Zealand from India should first note the difference between permanent residence and residence. The PR visa is usually the next step after the resident visa. The day of expiry for the latter is either the date you left the country or the date of expiry of travel-related conditions. If you want to travel out of the country after your resident visa has expired, you should apply for a PR visa.  

Many applicants wonder how to get PR in New Zealand after studying, and it can be acquired through the Skilled Migrants system of points. You can also look for employment in New Zealand. If you already have a skilled employment offer from a company in New Zealand, you may apply for your general work visa instead. 

New Zealand PR Visa Criteria 

  1. You have held the resident visa for a minimum of two years. 
  2. You have adhered to all the terms and conditions of this resident visa. 
  3. You have demonstrated commitment towards the country as per the prescribed ways. 

Here is a more detailed look at the eligibility criteria. 

1. Identity Proof–

You should furnish two passport photographs with a full front view of the face, head, and shoulders along with your certificate of identity/passport. The original passport or its certified copy should be submitted with your application. 

2. Character Certificate–

Applicants should be of good character. You may need police certificates and some other documents.  

3. Resident Visa–

You should have a resident visa valid within the last three months. Living continuously in New Zealand for 24 months is necessary in this case. Applicants will have to provide a residence visa or permit. 

4. Conditions of Resident Visa–

You should provide proof of meeting the terms and conditions of the present resident visa. They vary as per several categories. They may cover travel from and to New Zealand for the allowed duration, the minimum period of residence in the country, financial investments in New Zealand, and working at specific jobs/companies. 

5. Commitment to the Country–

You should demonstrate commitment towards living permanently in New Zealand. A minimum of 184 days in residence over the last two years is required. Spending this time in New Zealand means that you automatically qualify. The authorities will verify your travel records accordingly. Some other ways include the following- 

a) Tax residence status-

You should have stayed in New Zealand for 41 days each year before applying. You should have been assessed with tax residence status as well. You have to provide either the Inland Revenue statement or the Confirmation of Tax Resident Status with Inland Revenue endorsement. 

b) Investing in New Zealand-

If you have invested NZ$1,000,000 in the country for at least two years, then you may qualify. You will have to provide property reports/deeds, bank papers, documents of ownership, valuation reports, and share certificates. 

c) Owning a business-

You must have started or purchased a business in New Zealand at least one year earlier. The company should be operating successfully and benefiting the country in one way or another. If you bought an existing entity, you should have a minimum share of 25% in the same. You will have to provide the latest business account statements with certification from a New Zealand-based chartered accountant. The letter/email from the chartered accountant that confirms the operational nature of your business is also mandatory. 

d) Creating a New Zealand base-

You should have lived for at least 41 days in the year before applying for PR. Everyone in the application should have lived for 184 days in the last two years before applying. You may have either bought a home twelve months after/before getting residence status or worked full-time for nine months or more in the last two years. 

Documents needed include property deeds, mortgage papers, home insurance documents, rates demands, and power and utility bills. Employment proof includes agreements, employer confirmations, and payslips. Self-employed applicants will have to furnish documents demonstrating set up, purchase, and shares in any entity. 

6. Non-Principal Applicants–

They are not allowed to apply before the primary applicant. Those included in the application (partners, parents, and dependent children) may get PR directly in some cases. The principal applicant must otherwise have the PR visa for non-principal applicants to be considered eligible. 

a) Eligibility for Partners-

Those included as partners by the principal applicant will be eligible upon meeting some conditions. These include the following: 

  • Divorced/Separated from Principal Applicant. 
  • The demise of Principal Applicant. 
  • Protection Order against Principal Applicant. 
  • New Zealand Citizenship of Principal Applicant. 
  • Conviction of Principal Applicant for any Offence against Dependent Child/Partner. 

You can give evidence through certified copies of the dissolution order, divorce decree, protection order, conviction, or death certificate, whichever is applicable. 

b) Eligibility for Children-

If you had included as a dependent child in the residence application, the travel conditions might vary. If you are less than 16 and your parents are separated, your eligibility will depend on the parent you are living with. If you are living independently, then the assessment will consider the principal applicant. If the latter becomes a citizen of New Zealand or passes away, the authorities will assess the other parent for their child’s eligibility. 

Children can get an independent evaluation if one of the parents was not in the application or passed away. If their other parent is a New Zealand citizen now, then that will also be considered. You will have to show documents like custodial arrangements and others. 

PR visas are given in specific cases like the ones mentioned below: 

  • You got your residence permit/visa before 30th October 1995. 
  • You legally arrived for permanent residence before 2nd April 1974 and had your residence permit under the 1987 Immigration Act.
  • The principal applicants were killed in the 15th March (2019) terror attacks in Christchurch. 

Points System for PR Visas in New Zealand 

The New Zealand Government has established a system of points for PR visa applications. Here is your guide to the same:  

  1. Work Experience- It varies between ten points for two years and 30 points for ten years. There are bonus points sanctioned for career growth, appraisals, bonuses, and so on. 
  2. Employability Quotient- 60 points are applicable for present skilled workers for more than one year. 50 points apply for those working for less than one year or seeking a job for this duration. 
  3. Family- Applicants with close relatives or family members in New Zealand get 10 points. 
  4. Academic qualifications- People with Bachelors’ or Diploma degrees get 50 points. Master’s or Doctorate Degree holders get 55 points. 
  5. Age- Those between 20-29 years get 30 points. The minimum rating is 5 points for those between 50-55 years. 

Getting 160 points will generate the ITA (Invitation to Apply) for the PR visa. The minimum criteria for submission are between 100 and 135 points. Yet, there is no guarantee of an ITA with these scores. 

PR Visa Process for New Zealand

How long does it take to get permanent residency in New Zealand? The usual timeframe is 62 calendar days. 90% of applications get processed within this timeframe. It will bring some relief to those wondering how many years to get PR in New Zealand. Of course, you will have to fulfill the resident visa criteria of two years before applying. 

You can apply online or on paper for your PR visa. 

The application charges can vary, and you will have to apply based on the given categories. 

1. Skilled Migrant Category-

This category is a good option for those studying/working in New Zealand. You will have to provide the online Expression of Interest (EOI). If chosen, you will get the NZ Immigration notification within two weeks. You will then furnish the residence application with all necessary documents. After processing, you can hear back from the authorities within ten days or more. 

2. Business and Investment Category-

You may apply if you wish to invest in any firm based in New Zealand. You can apply as an Entrepreneur too. You should demonstrate your commitment to setting up your business here. 

3. Family Category-

You can apply for PR visas if you are a dependent child, parent, or partner of the principal applicant or the permanent resident/citizen of New Zealand. Your relatives in New Zealand should sponsor you, helping you stay with them as a permanent resident. 

The entire procedure of applying for a Permanent Resident (PR) visa in New Zealand is simple and transparent. Make sure that you abide by all regulations before applying.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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