Knowledge base articles

What is the difference between a resident visa and a permanent resident visa?

Both of these visas allow you the same privilege of living permanently in New Zealand, but they provide you with different travel conditions.

Your resident visa will allow you to travel in and out of new Zealand (as a resident) for a specified period of time only – usually 24 months or in some situations they are valid for 5 or 10 years.

Once this time period concludes, your next step is to apply for a permanent resident visa (PRV), which will have no time limit on your travel conditions - meaning, you are able to travel in and out of New Zealand (as a resident) at any time, as long as you have the permanent resident visa (physical label or eVisa) in your valid passport.

To qualify for a PRV you must:

  • Have held a resident visa for at least 24 months
  • Have met any conditions of your resident visa, and
  • Have shown a commitment to New Zealand in one of the five ways that meet our requirements

A full list of requirements is available on our website, so you should assess yourself before applying.  

Permanent Resident Visa

Criteria for a Permanent Resident Visa

To learn more about applying for a Permanent Resident Visa, download our guide.

Guide for Resident and formers Resident Visa holders (INZ 1176)

I have a Permanent Resident Visa. Can I vote in New Zealand elections now?

"Permanent residence" has a specific meaning for the purposes of voting in New Zealand. Visit the Vote NZ website to find out if you can enrol to vote in New Zealand elections.