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RV2.5 How do resident visa holders or former holders qualify for a permanent resident visa?

Upon application principal applicants, except for those to whom RV2.10 applies, will be granted a permanent resident visa if:

  1. they either:
    1. hold a resident visa, and have held that resident visa continuously for at least 24 months at the time of application; or
    2. have held a resident visa in the three months before the application is made, and had held that resident visa continuously for at least 24 months before it expired (provided RV1.25 does not apply); and
  2. their first day in New Zealand as a resident (R5.66.1) was at least 24 months before the application is made; and
  3. they can demonstrate a commitment to New Zealand by meeting the requirements set out in any one of the five subsections below (RV2.5.1 to RV2.5.20); and
  4. they have met any conditions imposed under section 49(1) or section 50 of the Immigration Act; and
  5. they meet character requirements for residence (see A5).

Note: Principal applicants who have been granted residence under the Migrant Investor or Parent Retirement categories will be assessed under RV2.10 rather than RV2.5.

RV2.5.1 Significant period of time spent in New Zealand

A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if they have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of 184 days or more in each of the two 12-month portions of the 24 months immediately preceding the date their application for a permanent resident visa was made (ie, in each of the two 12-month portions, a period or periods that amount to 184 days or more).

RV2.5.5 Tax residence status in New Zealand

A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if:

  1. they have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of 41 days or more in each of the two 12-month portions of the 24 months immediately preceding the date the application for a permanent resident visa was made (ie, in each of the two 12-month portions, a period or periods that amount to 41 days or more); and
  2. they are assessed as having tax residence status (RV1.15.10) for the 24 months preceding their application.

RV2.5.10 Investment in New Zealand

  1. A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if:
    1. he or she was approved a resident visa under the Business Investor Category, and has met any conditions imposed (see BI to 26/11/2007) under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (except travel conditions); or
    2. he or she has been approved a resident visa other than under the Business Investor Category, and has maintained an investment in New Zealand of N.Z.$1,000,000 or more that complies with the rules for investment funds set out in RV2.5.10(b) below for a period of 24 months or more after the date the resident visa was granted.
  2. Principal applicants applying for a permanent resident visa under RV2.5.10 (a)(ii) must meet the following rules for investment funds:
    1. investment funds must originally have been transferred to New Zealand through the trading bank system, or have been earned or acquired lawfully in New Zealand; and
    2. investment funds must be invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency; and under normal circumstances, be capable of providing a commercial return; and
    3. apart from the interest earned from the investment, investment funds must not be used for their own personal use, for instance investment in assets such as a personal residence, car, boat or similar; and
    4. investment funds must not be used as collateral for any loan during the 2 year investment period, unless the money loaned remains within New Zealand and in New Zealand dollars only; and
    5. if the investment funds are moved from one investment to another during the two year period each investment must also meet the rules for investment funds.

Note: Investments in New Zealand with international exposure are acceptable only for the proportion of the investment that is retained in New Zealand.

For example, an investment in a unit trust with sole international exposure would completely fail to meet the above requirement that an investment be "invested in New Zealand".

RV2.5.15 Establishment of a business in New Zealand

  1. A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if they have been approved a resident visa under any category, and have successfully established a business in New Zealand that has been trading successfully and benefiting New Zealand in some way for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date the application for a permanent resident visa was made.
  2. Principal applicants applying for a permanent resident visa under these instructions will be considered to have successfully established a business in New Zealand if:
    1. they have established or purchased, a business operating in New Zealand; or
    2. they have invested in a business in New Zealand by purchasing 25% or more of the shareholding of an established business.
  3. For the purposes of these instructions evidence that a business is trading successfully and benefiting New Zealand in some way is production of a set of the latest accounts relating to that business certified by a New Zealand chartered accountant and which confirm that in their view the business is a going concern.

RV2.5.20 Base established in New Zealand

  1. A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if they have established a base in New Zealand. A principal applicant is considered to have established a base in New Zealand if:
    1. each and every member of their immediate family who was included in their application for a resident visa has resided in New Zealand for at least 184 days in the two year period immediately preceding the date the application for the permanent resident visa was made; and
    2. they have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of at least 41 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date the application for the permanent resident visa was made; and either
      • they own and maintain a family home in New Zealand; or
      • they have been engaged in full time continuous genuine employment in New Zealand immediately preceding the date the application for the permanent resident visa was made.
  2. For the purpose of these instructions applicants are considered to own and maintain a family home in New Zealand if:
    1. they have purchased a residential property in New Zealand within 12 months of their first day in New Zealand as a resident and still own that property either solely or jointly with members of their immediate family who were included in the application for a resident visa; and
    2. they and/or members of their immediate family who were included in the application for a resident visa occupy that property.
  3. Evidence of owning and maintaining a home in New Zealand includes but is not limited to items in the name of the applicant and/or members of their immediate family who were included in the application for a resident visa such as:
    • mortgage documents or title deeds to the residential property
    • rates demands
    • home and contents insurance cover
    • invoices for telephone, electricity, gas, or water
    • documents showing that household effects have been moved to New Zealand
  4. For the purpose of these instructions, applicants are considered to have been engaged in full time continuous employment in New Zealand if they can produce evidence of genuine full time paid employment in New Zealand for a period or periods amounting to at least 9 months in the 24 months immediately preceding the date the application for the permanent resident visa was made. Employment involving payment by commission and/or retainer is not acceptable. Self-employment is acceptable if they can produce evidence of genuine lawful active involvement in the management and operating of a business in New Zealand which the principal applicant has established, purchased, or has a shareholding in.

Effective 21/11/2016

PREVIOUS IMMIGRATION INSTRUCTIONS

RV2.5 How do resident visa holders or former holders qualify for a permanent resident visa? (11/04/2016)

RV2.5 How do resident visa holders or former holders qualify for a permanent resident visa? (24/03/2014)

RV2.5 How do resident visa holders or former holders qualify for a permanent resident visa? (29/11/2010)

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