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Permanent residence for people affected by the Christchurch terrorist attacks Tuesday, 23 April 2019

People directly affected by the terrorist attacks in Christchurch and their families can now apply for permanent residence in New Zealand if they want to.

A humanitarian response

A special visa category, Christchurch Response (2019) has been created to let people directly affected by the terrorist attacks at the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch on 15 March stay permanently in New Zealand.

This new visa category recognises the impact of the tragedy on the lives of those most affected, and gives people currently on temporary and resident visas some certainty about their immigration status in New Zealand.

Who can apply

People living in New Zealand who were present at one of the mosques and their immediate family based in New Zealand can get this visa. Because of the special circumstances, the definition of immediate family has been expanded to include a wider circle of family members.

People in New Zealand for only a short time cannot apply — for example people visiting for tourism, sport or business.

What family means

For adults present during the attacks, family includes:

  • their partner
  • dependent children
  • parents
  • their partner’s parents.

For children under 25 years old, family includes:

  • their parents
  • grandparents, and
  • brothers and sisters.

When applications open

Affected people and their families can apply from 24 April. The application process depends on the type of visa they hold — that is a temporary or a resident visa.

Christchurch Response (2019) — permanent resident visa

Further information

Find the answers to questions you may have about this visa category.

Christchurch Response (2019) Visa — background questions PDF 398KB