Straight to Residence Visa

Visa details

Apply for this visa if you currently work, or you have a job offer, from an accredited employer, and your role is on Tier 1 of the Green List in-demand.

Length of stay

Indefinitely

Age range

55 or younger

Cost
From
NZD $4290
Processing time
90% within
11 months
With this visa you can
  • Live, work and study in New Zealand.
  • Include your partner and dependent children aged 24 or younger in your visa application.
Things to note
  • At the time you apply you must be working for, or have a job offer from, an accredited employer.
  • Your role must be on Tier 1 of the Green List and meet the requirements set out in the Green List for your role.
    Green List roles and requirements
  • Older dependent children under 24 in your application must be single, without children of their own, and only supported financially by you.
  • You can either come to New Zealand on a work visa now and apply for the Straight to Residence Visa, or apply from outside New Zealand.

What you need to apply

Check if you are eligible to apply for this visa and what supporting documents and information you need to provide.

View All Evidence

Identity

You must provide proof of your identity

Prove your identity by providing:

Acceptable photos for a visa or NZeTA

After you apply, we let you know if we need to see your original passport.

Providing your passport for online applications

Tips

If you cannot provide a copy of your birth certificate, we can accept your identity card as proof of your identity, as long as you did not provide your birth certificate because of the cost or how long it would take to get.

Also provide a copy of your Identity card.

Character

You must be of good character

If you, or anyone else included in your application, are aged 17 or older you must provide a police certificate from:

  • all the countries you are a citizen of, and
  • any other country you have stayed in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if it was not all in the same stay.

How to get a police certificate

Good character for residence visas

Tips

Police certificates must be less than 6 months old at the time you apply.

If you provide a police certificate that is not in English, you must provide an English translation.

This includes police certificates that record no convictions.

Health

You must be in good health

You, and your partner if they are included in your application, need to show us you have an acceptable standard of health.

Acceptable standard of health criteria for visa approvals

This means you, and anyone else included in your application, must complete a chest X-ray and medical examination.

Note

If you have provided medical certificates to us before, you may not need to provide them again.

Who needs an X-ray or medical examination

The panel physician will prepare a medical certificate detailing the results of the examination and send it to us. It must be no more than 3 months old when you apply for your visa.

Getting an X-ray or medical examination

Health of your children

Dependent children aged 24 or younger included in your application must get a full general medical examination, but if they are:

  • aged 10 or younger, they must get a medical examination, but do not need a chest X-ray unless we or your panel physician ask for one
  • 11 to 14 years old, they must get a medical examination and a chest X-ray, but only need a blood test if we or your panel physician ask for one.

Age

You must be aged 55 or younger at the time you apply

We check your identity documents — for example, your passport — to confirm your age.

Relationship with family

If you include your partner and children in your application, you must have a genuine relationship with them

Provide documents — like marriage and birth certificates — that prove your relationship to your partner and dependent children aged 24 or younger.

Partnership

Dependent children

If your partner or dependent children already have, or are applying for, a work, student or visitor visa based on their relationship to you, you must include them in your residence application.

English language

You must speak and understand English

There are 2 ways to show us you speak and understand English – through:

  • your citizenship, where you studied and the qualifications you gained
  • English language tests.

The results of your English language test must:

  • meet the minimum score we set
  • be no more than 2 years old when you apply.

Find out about the citizenship requirements, the evidence needed for study and qualifications, or the test results required:

English language test results for resident visas

Note

When we assess your application, we may ask for more evidence of your ability to speak and understand English. If we do, you may have to sit a test and send us the results.

English language for family

Your partner and children 16 and over must speak English or pay for classes to learn English in New Zealand

There are 3 ways your partner or dependent children aged 16 or older can show us they speak English – through:

  • their citizenship, where they studied and the qualifications they gained
  • English language tests
  • paying for English language lessons.

The results of their English language test must:

  • meet the minimum score we set
  • be no more than 2 years old when you apply.

Find out about the requirements around citizenship, study and qualifications, the test results required, and how to buy English language lessons:

English language test results for residence visas

Note

We may ask for more proof of your family's ability to speak English to support your application. If we do, they may have to sit a test and send us the results.

Previous work

You must meet your role's requirement in the Green List

The evidence you need to provide depends on your role. Check the requirements for your Tier 1 role using the Green List.
Green list roles and requirements

If a New Zealand qualification is a requirement for a Green List role but your qualification is from overseas, you must apply for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA).
Apply for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA)

When you are a contractor using contracts as acceptable employment evidence, check if your role has a wage threshold skill requirement. If it does, you need evidence showing:

  • 10 years' relevant experience
  • you are in the the higher wage threshold.

Your wage threshold is 50% more than applicants with permanent or fixed-term employment.

Acceptable employment

You must meet the criteria for acceptable employment in New Zealand

Acceptable employment is when:

  • you work for an accredited employer or you have a job offer from one
  • your role is on Tier 1 of the Green List
  • you meet the role's requirements, such as median wage or salary threshold, registration, professional membership, or qualifications
  • your employment is full-time and genuine
  • the role is permanent, or fixed term for at least 12 months, or a contract or contracts for at least 6 months or more.

Check if an employer is accredited

Green List roles

Wage requirements for visas — for the current median wage rate

Evidence

Evidence of acceptable employment are your:

  • employment agreement, fixed term contract or employment offer letter from an accredited employer. It must show your hours, duration of employment, position and remuneration.
  • contract or contracts (without breaks) amounting to 6 months or more.

Process and costs

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.

Notes

We cannot display any process or costs information until you have provided your country details. Enter your country details in the panel above to view information relevant to your situation.

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How to submit

Payment methods and receiving centre details if applicable.

Notes

We cannot display any receiving centre or payment method information until you have provided your country details. Enter your country details in the panel above to view information relevant to your situation.

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Conditions

These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.

Work

After we approve your visa, you can work in any role for any employer in New Zealand.

Study

You can study anywhere in New Zealand for any length of time.

Travel

You can travel in and out of New Zealand as often as you like until your travel conditions expire — normally 2 years from the date you first arrive in New Zealand as a resident.

Alert

If you are outside New Zealand when your travel conditions expire, your visa will expire as well.

 

To travel in and out of New Zealand after your travel conditions expire, you need to apply for:

  • a variation to your travel conditions, or
  • a Permanent Resident Visa.

Extending the travel conditions of a resident visa

Resident to permanent resident

Notes

Your travel conditions will expire 2 years from the date you first arrive in New Zealand as a resident.

If you are outside of New Zealand when your travel conditions expire, your visa will expire as well.