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.
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.
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.