Variation of resident visa travel conditions
You can stay in New Zealand indefinitely on a resident visa, but you need travel conditions to leave and return as a resident. If you plan to travel after your travel conditions expire, and you're not eligible for a Permanent Resident Visa yet, you can apply for a variation of travel conditions.
You can apply for a variation of travel conditions to allow you to leave New Zealand and return as a resident if you can't meet the criteria for a Permanent Resident Visa just yet. Permament Resident Visas allow you to travel any time you like, so you should check if you're eligible before applying for a variation of travel conditions.
Variation of travel conditions criteria
Variations of conditions are granted based on the situation of the person who was the principal applicant when you applied for residence.
Non-principal applicants can only apply for a variation of conditions at the same time or after the principal applicant, unless a non-principal applicant exception applies. Non-principal applicants are usually granted the same travel conditions as the principal applicant.
The time you can extend your travel conditions will depend on your situation.
You may need to include evidence to support your application.
Non-principal applicant exceptions
You've spent enough time in New Zealand
If you’ve spent 184 days or more in New Zealand as a resident in at least one of the two years before you apply for a variation of conditions, you may be able to extend your travel conditions for 12 months.
You don’t need to provide any evidence with your application.
Tax residence status
If you’re a New Zealand tax resident, you may be able to extend your travel conditions for 12 months.
We’ll consider you’re a New Zealand tax resident, if in the 2 years immediately before you apply for a variation of travel conditions:
- you spent 41 days or more in New Zealand as a resident in at least one of the years
- Inland Revenue confirms you had tax residence status for at least 12 months.
You’ll need to include evidence of your tax residence status when you apply, which may include:
- a statement from Inland Revenue
- a completed ‘Confirmation of Tax Resident Status’ endorsed by Inland Revenue.
If you have tax residence in another country, even if it’s one that New Zealand has a double tax agreement with, we won’t consider that you have New Zealand tax residence status.
Partners of New Zealand citizens
If you’re the partner of a New Zealand citizen, you may be able to extend your travel conditions for 2 years.
We’ll consider you’re the partner of a New Zealand citizen, if one of the following applies:
- you have a resident visa based on your relationship with your partner and you can provide evidence your relationship is ongoing
- you have a resident visa in your own right, and can provide evidence you’ve been living with your partner in a genuine and stable relationship for at least 12 months.
The evidence you need to provide will depend on the reason your New Zealand resident visa was granted. If it was granted:
- based on the relationship with your partner, you’ll need to provide a letter of support from your partner and evidence that you are still living together
- for another reason, you’ll need to provide evidence that your partner is a New Zealand citizen and evidence you’ve been living with them for at least 12 months.
New Zealand residents seconded overseas
If you’re seconded overseas as part of your New Zealand employment, you may be able to extend your travel conditions for 2 years.
To apply, you’ll need the support of your New Zealand employer who’ll need to confirm your secondment.
You can apply for this extension up to 4 times, giving you a maximum of 8 years of travel conditions
New Zealand resident living in New Zealand
If none of the above apply to you but you are in New Zealand and hold a resident visa, you can qualify for further travel conditions for 14-days.
Applying for a variation of travel conditions
To apply for a variation of travel conditions, you’ll need to complete the ‘Application from a Resident or Former Resident Visa Holder’ and send to us with:
- 2 recent passport-sized photos for everyone included in your application
- passports for everyone included in your application
- the application fee
- evidence showing you meet the criteria.
You don’t need to provide any evidence if you’re applying based on the time you’ve spent in New Zealand or if you’re only applying for a 14-day extension.
You can use our Office and fees finder to check how much to pay and where to send your application.