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PR for New Zealand

January 30, 2023 | Immigration

The New Zealand PRS offers the right to live, work and travel indefinitely without any restrictions provided you fulfil certain basic requirements.

New Zealand, known worldwide for its quality of life, modern infrastructure and relaxed pace is becoming a preferred option for a lot of foreign nationals. With subsidized public healthcare facilities, free education for children, New Zealand has a lot to offer to its Citizens and Permanent Residents. The New Zealand PRS offers the right to live, work and travel indefinitely without any restrictions provided you fulfil certain basic requirements.


A few of the innumerable benefits that New Zealand offers to its Permanent Residents are:

  1. A right to live, work, travel and study in New Zealand indefinitely without any restrictions
  2. Easy access to state healthcare facilities at free/subsidised rates.
  3. Social Security benefits.
  4. An applicant can include his/her spouse and dependent children below the age of 24 and under, in the visa application, provided they meet certain requirements.
  5. Children of a PR shall be eligible for free education in State-run schools and universities.
  6. After fulfilling the basic criteria, a PR in New Zealand can apply for New Zealand citizenship after staying in the country for several years.


A resident visa allows the applicant travel entry and exits for a limited period usually  12 months which may extend to 5/10 years (only under special circumstances).  However, the Permanent Resident Visa gives a right to live, work and travel indefinitely with multiple entries and exits.


Once the Resident Visa expires, the applicant will have to apply for the Permanent Resident Visa, for which one must meet the following requirements-

  • The applicant must have held a resident visa for at least 24 months.
  • He must have met the conditions of your resident visa.
  • Fluency and good command of English Language
  • He must have shown a commitment to New Zealand in one of the manners as mentioned below-
    1. The applicant should have spent enough time in New Zealand
    2. should have New Zealand tax residence status
    3. should have invested in New Zealand
    4. should have a business in New Zealand
    5. should have established a base in New Zealand

In some cases, however, the applicant may seek directly a Permanent Resident visa. These include:

  • Refugees and protected people
  • Applicants who have been in a relationship with a New Zealander overseas for over 5 years and apply from offshore.


Following are the methods through which a PRV in New Zealand can be obtained-
  • Family Visa in the Family Category
  • Student Visa
  • Skilled Migrant Category or SMC- All the immigrants who are keen on settling in New Zealand can apply under this category. The SMC visa is valid for 24 months, and converts to a PRV easily after settling in New Zealand. The applicant can get  citizenship after maintaining the PR status for 5 years.
  • Business and Investment Category with Entrepreneurial and Investment-driven visas.

Each category has different requirements, duration and application processes. However Skilled Migrant Category is the most popular method of applying for PRV. If the applicant has the required skills, qualifications or experience, he/she may be able to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

The Skilled Migrant Category is a points system based assessed on factors such as-

  • The age of the applicant should be under 55 years.
  • Work experience, supported by proper documents.
  • Qualifications, supported by proper documents.
  • Skilled employment.
  • Fluency over the English language.
  • Health and good character requirements.


  • Self-assessment - based on the criteria as mentioned above.
  • Submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) - It can be submitted online as well.
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) - If you have a score of 140 or more from your work visa, then you are eligible for the Invitation to Visa ITV application, which is  based on education, language skill, work experience, and a job offer.
  • Document Submission
  • The Cut-off Draw - The  cut off draw assimilates your profiles and allocates points for each area. If you score 100-140 points then you are eligible for the PR in the SMC category.
  • Receive your visa


The processing time for the application of a Permanent Resident Visa depends on the method through which you want to obtain the PRV. The processing time is different for all the methods and is also dependent on various other circumstances, which might take around 3-12 months.

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