Information about Permanent Resident Visa

If you’ve been a resident visa holder for 2 years or more, and can show a commitment to living in New Zealand you can apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. Once granted, you can live and work in New Zealand permanently and come and go from New Zealand without travel conditions.



Length of stay


You can

  • Live, work, and study in New Zealand.
  • Travel to and from New Zealand any time you like.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application - if you included them in your original residence application.

Things to note

  • If you want to travel, your Permanent Resident Visa will need to be in a valid passport. You may need to apply to transfer your permanent resident visa to a new passport.
  • Non-principal applicants can’t apply for permanent residence before the principal applicant, unless a non-principal exception applies.
  • If we’re unable to grant you a Permanent Resident Visa, we may be able to offer you another resident visa or a variation of your resident visa travel conditions. This would give you more time to travel to and from New Zealand as a resident.
  • People directly affected by the Christchurch terrorist attacks on 15 March 2019 and their New Zealand-based family can apply for permanent residence using a different process.
    Christchurch Response (2019) — permanent residence visa

Non-principal exceptions


Meeting the criteria

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements.

Use the filters to display country specific tips, under evidence, to assist you with your application

Show all evidence Hide all evidence


You must provide proof of your identity

You must provide proof of your identity:

Acceptable photos

You may provide your original passport, or a certified copy when you submit your application. If you provide a certified copy we may request your original passport to complete your application.


You must be of good character

You may need to provide Police Certificates as proof of your good character.

Good character
Police certificates

If you need to provide a Police Certificate, we’ll let you know.

Resident visa status

You must hold a valid resident visa or have held one in the last 3 months

You must have held your resident visa continuously for at least 24 months at the time you apply for a permanent resident visa.

You must provide either:

  • your resident visa
  • your residence permit.

If your resident visa expired more than 3 months ago, you won’t be eligible for a permanent resident visa but you may be able to apply for another resident visa.

Resident visa conditions

You must have met any conditions of your current resident visa

You must provide evidence you have met any conditions of your current resident visa.

Visa conditions are different for resident visas granted under different categories and may include things like:

  • travelling to and from New Zealand only for the time allowed by your resident visa
  • spending a minimum number of days in New Zealand
  • keeping money invested in New Zealand
  • working only in a particular job and/or for a particular employer.

Check your visa label for your visa conditions.

Commitment to New Zealand

You must be committed to living in New Zealand permanently

The evidence you must provide depends on how you choose to show your commitment to New Zealand.

Commitment to New Zealand

If you've spent at least 184 days of each of the last 2 years in New Zealand, you will meet this requirement. If you have spent this time here, you don't need to provide any we'll check your travel records.

You must provide English translations of all evidence not in English.



The information below will help you understand the process so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

Fees & receiving centre

Fees & receiving centre

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.



These are the conditions that you must meet.