Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.
May How to Gain Permanent Residence in New Zealand 1

How to Gain Permanent Residence in New Zealand

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the idea of living in New Zealand has likely become an increasingly attractive one for many. Indeed, many ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) have had the same idea and have bought up land and property in the South Pacific nation to provide a place of safety and solitude from the world. According to Forbes, the number of UHNWIs is expected to increase by 52% in the next five years. Even before the pandemic, ‘Silicon Valley’ billionaires were snapping up tracts of land in the ‘land of the long white cloud’. The reasons for the appeal of New Zealand are clear; it is a safe, prosperous country that is friendly and welcoming to immigrants. It also offers a relaxed and outdoor-oriented pace of life, great cuisine, and of course, a stunning environment of lakes, rivers, fiords, mountains, beaches, volcanoes, and other natural wonders. In this article, we will explain how you can gain permanent residency in New Zealand.

How Can I Acquire Permanent Residence In New Zealand?

Permanent residence visas are available to migrants who have been living in the country for a period of two or more years. Under some visa categories, it is even possible to gain permanent residence immediately. There are several visa options that lead to permanent residence in New Zealand, as follows:

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

Rather like the Australian points-based system, skilled migrants have to score a minimum number of points (100 points currently) and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before being invited to apply for a visa (the current threshold for invitations is 160 points). Successful applicants will be able to live and work indefinitely in New Zealand. You can also include your partner/spouse and dependant children under the age of 24 on your application. Those who are 55 years or under with the strongest skills, qualifications, and work experience are most likely to qualify under this route. It is worth noting that a job offer of skilled employment will score an immediate 50 points, hence this offers a considerable advantage to applicants.

Partner Of A New Zealander Resident Visa

For partner’s of New Zealand residents, the New Zealand immigration service guidance states, “If you’re the partner of a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can apply to live in New Zealand permanently. If you’re granted residence, you can live, work and study in New Zealand indefinitely”. With an indefinite partner visa, you will be able to live, work, and study in New Zealand and bring your dependent children if they are aged 24 (they can be added to your application).

The guidance also states that if you have been living with your kiwi partner outside of New Zealand for five or more years, you also may be granted a permanent residence visa. In this situation, your partner will need to be either overseas when you apply or have been back in New Zealand for less than three months.

Long Term Skill Shortage Work List Visa

This route is available for those with a job offer for an occupation on the long-term skills shortage list. You will also need the work experience, qualifications, and occupational registration for the role you have been offered. This visa does not provide immediate PR, but after two years, you can apply for an indefinite long-term skills shortage list resident visa. To gain an indefinite visa after two years, you must have “ongoing, full-time employment in an occupation that was on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) at the time you were granted a work visa or an occupation that is on the LTSSL at the time you apply for residence”. Applicants also need a salary of at least NZ$45,000.

Parent Retirement Resident Visa

Under the parent retirement resident visa, parents with an adult child living in New Zealand who is a citizen or resident can apply to live in New Zealand permanently.

Apart from the relationship requirement, applicants need an annual income of NZ$60,000 in addition to NZ$1 million, which must be invested for a period of four years. They also need NZ$500,000 to cover their living costs. After four years, assuming the visa holder has fulfilled the investment requirement, they can then apply for permanent residence in NZ.

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

The talent (accredited employer) work visa enables those with the skills required by a New Zealand accredited employer to work towards permanent residency. The primary requirement for this visa is an offer of full-time employment from an accredited employer. Visa holders who are still working for the same employer after two years can then apply for permanent residence.

Dependant Child Resident Visa

Children under 24 years of a New Zealand citizen or resident can apply to join their parent in New Zealand and remain indefinitely by applying for a dependant child resident visa. If awarded a visa, they will be able to work and study in New Zealand.

Investor 2 Resident Visa

Under the Investor 2 resident visa route, experienced business people up to the age of 65 with at least NZD $3 million in investment funds can apply for indefinite residence in New Zealand. Rather like the skilled work visa, applicants need to first submit an Expression of Interest outlining their business experience and level of investment. Based on this submission, investors and their partners and children may then be invited to apply for residence. The number of Investor 2 resident visas is currently capped at 400 per year.

Final Words

The above visa types are only some of those which provide immediate PR or a pathway towards it. There are other visas available for entrepreneurs, religious workers, investors with NZD$10m or more, parents, those with talent in arts/culture/sports, employees of relocating businesses, and several more. If you are unsure of the best route for you and your family towards the permanent residence, speak to the NZ immigration service or an immigration lawyer who will be able to advise you.

Get In Touch


Some of our Happy Client

Reiss Edwards Awards

ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers
ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated Three Best Rated
Department For International Development Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers Lexology Legal Influencers

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More