Christchurch Response (2019) — permanent resident visa

Between April 2019 and April 2021 people present during the terrorist attacks in Christchurch and their immediate families could apply for a special permanent resident visa. Applications closed in April 2021.

Who this visa is for

 You could get this visa if you:

  • were present at the Masjid Al Noor or Linwood Masjid while they were attacked on 15 March 2019,
  • were injured during the attacks
  • are the immediate family member of  someone who was present during the attacks — that is someone who died or was injured during the attacks, or present in one of the mosques.

You must also have been living in New Zealand on 15 March 2019.

When you apply, we confirm you were at one of the mosques by checking the official New Zealand Police lists of people who were present during the attacks.

There are some exceptions. We cannot give you this visa if you:

  • were a police first responder or emergency worker
  • were here as a tourist, or
  • were visiting for a short time.

Living in New Zealand

You are living in New Zealand if, on 15 March 2019, you held a resident, work or student visa. If you held another type of  visa, you need to show us that when the attacks happened, New Zealand was your main home.

Family members who are eligible

Some family members can get this visa if they were living in New Zealand on 15 March 2019. Which family members can apply depends on whether the family member present during the attacks was an adult or a dependent child.

Dependent children — resident visas

Adults present at the attacks

If you are the family member of an adult who was present during the attacks, you can get this visa if you are their:

  • partner — married, civil union or de facto
  • dependent child
  • partner's dependent child
  • parent or parent's partner.


Children present at the attacks

If you are the family member of a dependent child who was present during the attacks, you can get this visa if you are their:

  • brother or sister, and still dependent on your parents
  • parent or
  • grandparent.

When to apply

Applications were open from 24 April 2019 to 24 April 2021. Applications are now closed.

How to apply

The application process depends on the New Zealand visa you currently hold.

If you have a temporary visa

If you have a study, work or visitor visa, there are 3 stages to the application process.

  1. You need to tell us that you want to apply for this visa.
  2. If you are eligible, we will invite you to apply.
  3. You make an application.

How to apply if you have a temporary visa

If you have a resident visa

If you already have a resident visa, you can apply for a permanent resident visa. You do not need to have held a resident visa for 2 years before you apply.

How to apply if you have a resident visa

If you are here unlawfully

You cannot apply for a Christchurch Response (2019) Visa unless you have a valid New Zealand visa. If you are in New Zealand and do not have a valid visa, you may request a visa under Section 61 of the Immigration Act.

If you do not leave New Zealand after your visa expires — Making a Section 61 request

If you left New Zealand after 15 March 2019

If you are no longer in New Zealand and your temporary visa has expired, you can get a Christchurch Response (2019) Visa using the process for temporary visa holders.

How to apply if you have a temporary visa

Getting help to apply

If you need further help, get in touch with our contact centre.

Contact us

If you do not speak English, interpreters can answer your questions about this visa and explain how to apply.

Getting professional immigration advice

A group of lawyers and Licensed Immigration Advisors (LIAs) has been set up by INZ to help people applying for a Christchurch Response (2019) permanent resident visa.

Advice from these lawyers and LIAs is paid for by the Ministry of Social Development and you can choose which immigration professional you get help from.

Name and company Contact details Experience

Simon Moore, e-Migration


Phone + 64 3 377 6727

Mobile: +64 27 4378222

LIA since 2009

Kate Taylor


Mobile: +64 27 3132604

LIA since 2012

You can also seek help from other LIAs or lawyers, but you will have to pay for their advice. Only some people can legally give immigration advice.

Who can give immigration advice? — Immigration Advisers Authority