Resident to permanent resident

You may have been living in New Zealand for a while now, but need to leave the country temporarily. If your travel conditions have expired, you'll need to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa or a variation of your travel conditions to return to New Zealand as a resident.

Permanent Resident Visas

A Permanent Resident Visa is usually the next step after being granted a Resident Visa. While Resident Visas have travel conditions that only allow a person to re-enter New Zealand as a resident until a certain date, a Permanent Resident Visa allows indefinite re-entry to New Zealand.  

If you were the principal applicant of the original residence application, you can obtain a Permanent Resident Visa if you:

  • have held your resident visa for at least two years, and
  • 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.

See the criteria to be granted a Permanent Resident Visa
Commitment to New Zealand

If you weren't the principal applicant in the original residence application, you normally cannot apply for a Permanent Resident Visa unless you apply at the same time as the principal applicant or later. 
Non-principal eligibility for permanent residence

If you're not eligible for a Permanent Resident Visa

If you're not eligible for a Permanent Resident Visa, you may still be eligible to have the travel conditions on your Resident Visa extended, to allow you a longer time to return to New Zealand as a resident.

Variations of travel conditions can be granted for 24 months, 12 months or 14 days depending on your circumstances.
Variations of travel conditions

If you're out of New Zealand and don't have travel conditions

If you are outside New Zealand without valid travel conditions allowing you to re-enter as a resident, your Resident Visa has expired. However, if you haven’t been outside of New Zealand long, you may still be able to either obtain a Permanent Resident Visa or a new Resident Visa.   

Requirements to be granted a Second or Subsequent Resident Visa
Requirements to be granted a Permanent Resident Visa