Knowledge base articles

If I get a resident visa, how long do I have to move to New Zealand?

In most cases, a Resident Visa granted to an applicant who is outside of New Zealand is current for travel to New Zealand for 12 months from the date of issue.

The only exceptions to this are Resident Visas granted to applicants under the Samoan Quota Scheme and the Pacific Access Category, which are current for travel to New Zealand for 3 months from their date of issue.

It is not possible to extend the 12 or 3 month period given to enter New Zealand, so you must enter New Zealand and activate your residence status before your visa expires.

Once you have entered New Zealand and your residence status is activated, your travel conditions will be valid for 2 years from the date of activation (or 5 or 10 years, if your residence was granted under Parent instructions), which means you are able to travel and re-enter NZ multiple times as a resident for 2 (or 5) years.

People whose resident visas expire before they activate their visa must submit a new residence application if they still wish to live in New Zealand.