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SOUTHERN MAN IMMIGRATION BLOG
Permanent Resident Visa New Zealand
New Zealand is a beautiful country with a diverse culture and stunning landscapes. It is no wonder that many people dream of making it their permanent home. If you are one of those people, then you will need to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand. This visa allows you to travel in and out of New Zealand indefinitely and gives you the right to live, work, and study in the country.
The process can seem daunting, with many requirements and regulations to navigate. However, with the right preparation, documentation, and guidance from an immigration lawyer, you can confidently take the initial steps towards making New Zealand your permanent home.
Understanding Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand
If you have been living in New Zealand on a residence visa for more than two years, you may be eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. This visa allows you to live, work, and study in New Zealand indefinitely and travel in and out of the country without any restrictions.
Permanent Resident vs. Resident
Obtaining a resident visa serves as the initial stage in transitioning from being a resident to a permanent resident in New Zealand. This temporary permit grants you the ability to live and work in New Zealand for a predetermined span of time.
On the other hand, a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand is a long-term immigration option that provides greater stability and security compared to a resident visa. It allows you to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely and come and go as you please.
Benefits and Privileges of Having a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand
As a permanent resident of New Zealand, you are entitled to several benefits and privileges, including:
- Access to free or subsidized healthcare under the public health system
- The ability to sponsor family members for New Zealand residency
- The right to vote
- Eligibility for New Zealand citizenship after a certain period
- The ability to travel in and out of New Zealand without any restrictions
With Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand, you can enjoy the liberty to travel unrestricted and the ability to include a partner and dependent children (aged 24 and under) in their visa application, besides living, working, and studying without any time limit in the country. These benefits allow a sense of permanence, enabling the individual to immerse themselves in the local culture, participate in community activities, and contribute to the national economy.
A Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand is a great option if you are looking to settle in the country permanently. It provides you with greater stability and security compared to a resident visa and comes with several benefits and privileges.
Eligibility Criteria for a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand
The New Zealand government has set forth a specific set of criteria to ensure that only committed individuals are granted permanent residency status. The eligibility requirements include:
- Identity Verification: Applicants must provide two acceptable photos and their passport or certificate of identity as proof of their identity.
- Good Character: Applicants must have a clean criminal record and good standing in their communities.
- Resident Visa Tenure: Applicants must have held a resident visa for at least 24 months at the time of applying for a permanent resident visa in New Zealand. This period starts from the date your resident visa was issued if you were in New Zealand at the time, or from the date you arrived in New Zealand if the visa was issued while you were outside the country.
- Resident Visa Conditions: Applicants must provide evidence that they have met all conditions of their current resident visa.
- Commitment to New Zealand: Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to living in New Zealand permanently. This could be through spending enough time in New Zealand, having New Zealand tax residence status, making significant investments in New Zealand, running a business in New Zealand, or establishing a base in New Zealand.
Demonstrate Your Commitment to Residing Permanently in New Zealand
One way to exhibit your dedication to making New Zealand your permanent home is by spending substantial time in the country. Immigration authorities require proof that you’ve lived in New Zealand for at least 184 days in each of the two years immediately preceding your application for a permanent resident visa in New Zealand. Your stays can be discontinuous as long as your visa conditions allow for multiple entries. Your travel records will serve as the necessary proof for this requirement.2. Establishing New Zealand Tax Resident Status
Another avenue to express your commitment is by attaining tax resident status in New Zealand. For this, you should have been a resident in the country for a minimum of 41 days in each of the two consecutive 12-month periods in the two years prior to your permanent residence application. You should also have an assessment affirming your tax residence status for the same duration. A statement from Inland Revenue or an endorsed Confirmation of Tax Resident Status would serve as evidence.
3. Investing in New Zealand
An investment of NZ$1,000,000 or more in an acceptable venture in New Zealand for a period of two years or more also qualifies as a mark of your commitment. You would need to present evidence of the value and ownership of the funds and/or assets. This could include bank statements, property deeds and reports, share certificates, or business ownership and valuation documents.
4. Operating a Business in New Zealand
Running a business in New Zealand can be another testament to your dedication. If you have either purchased or established a business in New Zealand that has been operating successfully for at least one year, it counts toward demonstrating your commitment. Should you have bought into an existing business, a minimum 25% share is necessary. The evidence would include the latest business accounts certified by a New Zealand chartered accountant and a confirmation from them that the business is in good standing.
5. Setting Up a Base in New Zealand
Finally, establishing a base in New Zealand is a significant indication of your intent to reside there permanently. This means living in New Zealand as a resident for at least 41 days in the year before applying for permanent residence. If your family members were included in your residence application, they should have lived in New Zealand for at least 184 days in the two years prior to your application. Additionally, you should either own a home you purchased 12 months before or after becoming a resident and still live there, or have worked full-time in New Zealand for nine months or more in the two years before applying for permanent residence.
Application Process for Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand
If you are considering applying for a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand, it is important to familiarize yourself with the application process. The process involves several steps, and it is essential to prepare all the necessary documents and meet the medical and character requirements.
Preparing the Necessary Documents
The documents required may vary depending on your circumstances. However, in general, you will need to provide the following documents:
- A valid passport
- Evidence of your current visa status
- Proof of your identity
- Proof of your relationship status (if applicable)
- Evidence of your English language proficiency
- Evidence of your qualifications and work experience
- Police certificates from all the countries you have lived in for more than 12 months in the last ten (10) years.
Filling Out the Application Form
After gathering the necessary documents, you can now proceed to the application stage. This process involves filling out the Application from a Resident or Former Resident Holder (Form INZ1175).
Take time to fill out the application form accurately and in its entirety. Remember to attach all the required documents. Pay particular attention to sections asking for details about your stay in New Zealand, your compliance with the conditions of your current resident visa, and your commitment to New Zealand.
Paying the Application Fee
The cost associated with applying for a Permanent Resident Visa can differ depending on your specific situation. As it currently stands, the application fee for a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand is set at NZD $240.
Submitting the Application
After filling out the application form, the next step is to submit it along with all the necessary documents. This submission can be made online through the New Zealand immigration website or at a physical location.
Please note, the submission method might depend on your current location, so it’s advisable to check the specific requirements on the New Zealand immigration website or with a local immigration office.
Awaiting a Decision
Following the submission of your application, the waiting period begins. This process can take some time, with 90% of applications completed within 29 days. The immigration authorities might reach out if additional information is required.
Following these steps will help ensure that the process of applying for a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand is smooth and successful. Remember to check for any updates or changes in the application process based on the country you’re applying from. It’s also beneficial to consult with an immigration lawyer or expert to ensure you’re following the correct procedures and submitting the correct documents.
Living with a Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand
Upon obtaining your Permanent Resident Visa in New Zealand, you will have both the rights and responsibilities inherent to permanent residency. This includes access to educational and healthcare services, eligibility for employment and social welfare benefits, along with the freedom to travel extensively using your Permanent Resident Visa.
Rights and Responsibilities of Permanent Residents
As a Permanent Resident of New Zealand, you have the right to:
- Live, work, and study in New Zealand indefinitely
- Travel to and from New Zealand at any time
- Include your partner and dependent children aged 24 and under in your visa application, if you included them in your original residence application
As a Permanent Resident, you also have the responsibility to:
- Obey New Zealand laws and regulations
- Pay taxes on your income and assets in New Zealand
- Enrol in the electoral roll and vote in elections
- Ensure that your contact details are up to date with the Immigration New Zealand
Access to Education and Healthcare
As a Permanent Resident, you can access the country’s public education and healthcare systems. You can enroll your children in state-funded schools and are eligible for free or subsidized healthcare services through the public health system.
Employment and Social Welfare Benefits
As a Permanent Resident of New Zealand, you have the right to work in any job you are qualified for and have the same employment rights as New Zealand citizens. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you are also eligible for social welfare benefits, such as unemployment and sickness benefits.
Travelling with a New Zealand Permanent Resident Visa
You can travel to and from New Zealand at any time. However, if you plan to stay outside of New Zealand for more than two years, you may need to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa Variation, which allows you to keep your Permanent Resident status while you are overseas.
Being a Permanent Resident of New Zealand comes with many rights and responsibilities. You have access to education and healthcare, can work in any job you are qualified for, and can travel to and from New Zealand at any time. However, you are also responsible for obeying New Zealand laws, paying taxes, and keeping your contact details up to date with Immigration New Zealand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Iain has been working as an Immigration Adviser since 1988 and has been running his own practice since 1990. In 1998 he merged his practice with Myer Lipschitz leading to the creation of Protea Pacific Limited which was rebranded in 2008 to IMMagine New Zealand Limited...
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