Obtain New Zealand Permanent Residency

If you want to obtain New Zealand permanent residency, then you should start a specific immigration process. Through this, you will gain access to having the right of living here on an indefinite basis, and you will also be able to apply for citizenship, if you will want to become a citizen of this country.

In order to have the right to New Zealand (NZ) permanent residency, you must comply with a set of legal requirements, prescribed by the immigration law applicable here. First, you should know that there is a major difference between residency and NZ permanent residency, as the latter can be obtained after living here for a given period of time, and after your request for a Permanent Resident Visa was approved.

What are the conditions for obtaining the NZ permanent residency?

The right to NZ permanent residency can be granted to those who have lived here for a period of minimum two years. Then, the tax residency status is also of importance – permanent residents have to pay their taxes in this country, so that they can contribute to the NZ society and benefit from their contributions.

This can also be available for foreigners who migrate to New Zealand for the purpose of starting a business; you can request more information on the eligibility criteria from our immigration lawyer in New Zealand. It is worth knowing that the right to NZ permanent residency can be obtained through specific immigration programs, and below we present few of such programs:

  • the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa – addressed to those who arrive here for employment purposes and who have a set of skills that are necessary for various industries;
  • the Parent Retirement Resident Visa – available for elderly persons who want to retire in New Zealand and who can prove that they have sufficient funds to live here on an indefinite basis;
  • Investor 2 Resident Visa – it grants the right to NZ permanent residency to both the investor and his or her family members, if the applicant can invest at least NZ$ 3 million in the local economy;
  • Samoan Quota Resident Visa – it is organized as a ballot where the registered persons will be drawn based on a yearly quota and those who are selected will be invited to become permanent residents of New Zealand;
  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Resident Visa – persons who work in these industries and who have been working here for two years can be invited to receive permanent residency in certain conditions.

How many applications for residency are registered in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a country that receives numerous applications for residency each year; foreigners apply for both residency and NZ permanent residency, through programs as the ones mentioned above. The latest data on the overall number of applications was influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which means that 2020 and 2021 may register lower values, but this is not always the case. Below, you can find a short presentation on this matter:

  • the Investor 2 Visa registered the highest demand in 2014-2015, when there were 2,061 applications (the latest data, for 2020-2021, show that there were 774 applications, as presented by the New Zealand Immigration Office);
  • the Skilled Migrant Visa has been maintaining the same level of applications over the years, of more than 20,000 (measured since 2010-2011 to 2021-2021 – for the latter, on June 2021, there were only 3,696 applications, this being a program which can open the way to NZ permanent residency);
  • in the family stream visa category, the highest demand is for the Partnership visa, recording more than 10,000 applications per year (in 2020-2021, there are 12,131 applications, the highest volume registered since 2010-2011);
  • the Parent Retirement program has also registered the highest application rate in 2020-2021, reaching 353 applications in the current year (the highest number of applications was of 201 in 2019-2020);
  • the refugee program has also registered numerous applications for residency and NZ permanent residency, with 322 applications in 2020-2021 (the single year that had more applications in the period of 2010-2021 was in 2017-2018, with 330 applications).

As a general rule, the local immigration authorities will try to grant a total number of visas for residency purposes ranging between 85,000 visas to 95,000 per year, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. However, these values can depend based on various factors that appear in certain economic fields or the NZ society.

If you need further information and want to want out the list of documents you should prepare for your NZ permanent residency application file, do not hesitate to address to our lawyer. Our immigration lawyer in New Zealand can provide step-to-step legal assistance.