Resident Visa Holders Becoming Permanent Resident Visa Holders in New Zealand

It is possible for a residence class visa holder or a former resident visa holder to qualify for New Zealand permanent resident visa. Let us look at how the person qualifies for the same:
A New Zealand residence class visa holder (principal applicant) is eligible to be granted with a permanent resident visa of the country if;

  1. The person possesses a resident visa, however, he/she must have held that visa for a consecutive period of 2 years until the time of filing application for the permanent resident visa; OR the person has held a residence class visa in the 3 months prior the permanent resident visa is made and held that visa for consecutive 24 months before it exhausted.
  2. The applicant’s first day in the Kiwi land as a resident was minimum 24 months before the PR application is made.
  3. The applicant meets any condition imposed on resident visa holder under 49(1) of the New Zealand Immigration Act 2009.
  4. The applicant can demonstrate commitment to the country by meeting the requirements under any one of the sections discussed below:

1) Significant time period spent in NZ

Considerable amount of time spent in New Zealand can demonstrate one’s commitment towards the country. As for a resident visa holder, the person is committed if he/she has been residing in New Zealand for minimum 184 days in each of the 12-month period of the 2 years immediately preceding the date the application for a PR visa was made.

2) Tax residence status in the Kiwi land

A PR visa applicant demonstrates his/her commitment to New Zealand given;

  1. The person has been in the country as a resident for a minimum of 41 days in each 12-month portions portion of the 2 years immediately preceding the date the PR visa application was made; AND
  2. The person is assessed as tax resident for the 2 years preceding the PR visa application.

3) Investment in the Kiwi land

A PR visa applicant has demonstrated commitment to New Zealand if;

  1. The person was approved a resident visa under the Business Investor Category and also if he/she has satisfied any condition imposed under section 49(1) of the New Zealand Immigration Act 2009 (barring travel conditions, though); OR
  2. The person was approved resident visa under any category other than the Business Investor Category and has been able to maintain an investment of $1,000,000 NZ Dollars in New Zealand (in accordance with the rules for investment funds discussed in the below point) for a period of 2 years or over after the date his/her resident visa was granted.

A resident visa holder applying for PR visa under 3 (ii) must meet the below mentioned rules for investment funds:

  1. Investment funds must have been transferred to NZ via trading bank system. Or the funds must have been earned in NZ lawfully; AND
  2. Investment funds must be invested in NZ in New Zealand currency only, as well as under any point (normal circumstances) must be able to provide a commercial return; AND
  3. Investment funds, except the interest earned from the funds must not be used for personal use; AND
  4. Investment funds must also not used as collateral for availing any kind of loan during the 2-year investment period, until and unless the loaned amount remains in NZ only, as well as in NZ dollars; AND
  5. When the investment funds are moved from one investment to another within the 2-year period, each investment must meet the rules for investment funds mentioned above.

4) Establishment of a business in NZ

  1. A resident visa holder applying for PR visa in New Zealand demonstrates commitment to the country if he/she has been approved a resident visa under any category, and eventually has established a successfully-run business in NZ, which has been benefiting the country for a minimum period of 1 year immediately preceding the date the PR visa application was made.
  2. A person is considered to have successfully established a business in NZ is (a) he/she has established/purchased a business operating in the country; OR (b) he/she has invested in an existing NZ business by purchasing 25 percent or more stake in that business.

5) Base established in NZ

A resident visa holder applying for PR visa is considered to have demonstrated commitment to NZ if he/she has established a base in New Zealand. And the person is considered to have established a base in the country if;

  1. All family members of the applicant who were included in his/her application for a resident visa have resided in NZ for a minimum period of 184 days in the two year period immediately preceding the date the PR visa application was made; AND
  2. All the family members have been in the country as residents for at least 41 days in 1 year immediately preceding the date the PR visa application was made; and either (a) the family members own and maintain a family home in NZ; OR (b) the family members have been engaged in full time continuous employment in NZ immediately preceding the date the PR visa application was made.

Family members are considered to own or maintain a family home in the Kiwi land if:

  1. They have purchased a residential property in NZ within 1 year of their first day in the country as a resident and own that either solely or jointly with members of their immediate family who were included in the application for a resident visa; AND
  2. They or members of their immediate family members who were included in the application for a resident visa occupy the property.

Family members are considered to have been engaged in full-time continuous employment in NZ if they can produce evidence of genuine full-time paid employment for a period or periods amounting to at least 9 months in the 2 years immediately preceding the date the PR visa application was made.
NOTE: Self-employment is acceptable if the person is able to produce evidence of genuine lawful active involvement in the management and operating of a business in NZ which the principal applicant has established, purchased, or has a shareholding in.
Employment involving payment by commission or retainer is not acceptable.
If you are interested in applying for a residence permit to New Zealand, mail following information ASAP at [email protected] for a free of charge assessment by Ajay Sharma, principal consultant, ABHINAV.

  • Your updated resume if skilled professional, or if businessmen, then brief on business profile along with information on your current personal net worth.
  • If married, provide the resume for your spouse as well.
  • If applicable, please provide information on children and their age.
  • Information on any blood relatives residing in New Zealand. This is not a compulsory requirement to qualify for immigration to New Zealand, but serves as additional positive assessment and suitability factor.

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