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New Zealand Permanent Residency

In this blog we will cover all the details that you need to know before thinking of settling permanently in New Zealand. We will also cover the benefits of obtaining a PR, the process of obtaining one , the time and money required for such a process and various other little details.
Written by:
Abhishek Sahoo
Published on

What are the benefits of New Zealand PR and Citizenship?

Getting a PR and Citizenship in New Zealand is very beneficial, as a person gets entitled to various additional things which were not available or entitled to him before. The primary benefit is that you can live and work in New Zealand for as long as you wish. You can also access free healthcare, have welfare benefits and can avail heavily subsidised education. But, mainly, you get to live in developed, peaceful, democratic country for the rest of your life. They are :

  • To stay in New Zealand indefinitely

  • To work in New Zealand or in the exclusive economic zone of New Zealand

  • To study in New Zealand

  • To receive free or subsidised health care at publicly-funded health services[2]

  • To free education at state-run primary and secondary schools, and subsidised fees for domestic students at private schools and tertiary institutions.[3]

  • To enrol and vote in elections (after one year of residence).[4][5]

  • To receive a social security benefit (after two years' residence for Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support and Supported Living Payment; after ten years' residence for New Zealand Superannuation; varies for other benefits).

  • To sponsor a partner, parents or dependent children during their visa application

  • Children born in New Zealand shall automatically gain citizenship of the country by birth.

  • You can apply for New Zealand citizenship after staying in the country for several years, needless to say that you fulfil all their other criteria such as basic usage of English language, communicative skills, good character, and a clear intent to continue staying in the country

new zealand permanent residence processing time


new zealand pr visa fees


How can I get PR after study in NZ? Can I get PR in New Zealand?

Naturally packed with lush breath-taking landscapes, modern infrastructures, low unemployment rate, and a decent economy, New Zealand is definitely a preferred option to settle and earn a flourishing livelihood, making it a popular destination for students from all over the world.

As we all know, a student visa is mandatory for people who are travelling to New Zealand to pursue a course, training, programme, or even go to school, that runs a duration of more than three months. The most common visas that Indian students beyond 18 years of age apply for are: Fee Paying Student Visa, Exchange Student Visa, Foreign Government Supported Student Visa, and Pathway Student Visa. For candidates who have completed two years in the country and wish to obtain Permanent Residence Visa, it is quite difficult to define the time period for visa validation. Please note that there is a difference between the terms Resident Visa and Permanent Resident Visa.

After the successful completion of a degree from any of the acclaimed universities of New Zealand, the next step is to apply for the correct kind of visa, depending on the job opportunity in hand. This can be divided into the following:

  • Post-Study Work VISA (Open): This visa has flexible options for students who have completed their course but are still looking for a job. This visa guarantees your stay in the country for a year to give you an opportunity to find a job related to your field of study or research. In the meanwhile, you are allowed to work in any field, in order to support your livelihood in New Zealand.
  • Post-Study Work VISA (Employer Assisted): This visa, on the other hand, is not flexible with the type of job you opt for, after study. Providing a window of two years, this visa gives you a chance to find a specific job role with a specific employer. Please keep in mind to apply for this visa within three months of expiry of your student visa.


What is the process to obtain New Zealand PR Process for Indian Students?

PR VISA, the application for which costs 210 NZD, can be obtained in New Zealand, based on the following categories:

Skilled Migrant Category Resident VISA: This is the best option for New Zealand immigrants, where you would first need to submit an online EOI (Expression of Interest). Once your EOI gets selected, you can expect a notification from NZ Immigration within the next two weeks. Then, you are required to submit your residence application with the required transcripts and other necessary documents. After processing your application, you can expect to hear from the immigration office within a span of 10 working days.

Family Category VISA: You can apply for a PR visa under this category if you are a spouse/partner, parent or dependent child of a New Zealand permanent resident or citizen. One important thing is you have to be sponsored by either of the above mentioned relatives in New Zealand so that you can stay with them as a NZ permanent resident.

Business and Investment VISA: In this, you can apply under the Investor Category if you wish to invest in a New Zealand-based firm. Another option is to apply under the Entrepreneur Category where you have to show that you are willing to establish your own business venture in the country. Needless to say, even after every point is taken into consideration, chances of your application getting accepted/rejected lie solely at the discretion of the New Zealand Immigration.

How can I apply for PR in New Zealand?

There are three basic methods you can opt for to apply for New Zealand Visa from India:

  1. SMC (Skilled Migrant Category)

The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) allows you to live and work in New Zealand on a permanent basis. However, you need to go through a point-based system to find out whether you are eligible to apply for this visa. The points are basically allocated for your key profile details, i.e. Age, Education, work experience, etc.

Eligibility Requirement for SMC:

You can become eligible to apply for PR in New Zealand under SMC category provided you:

  • Are 55 years or below

  • Speak English

  • Are Healthy

  • Are of good character

Procedure to apply for New Zealand PR under SMC:

You can apply for SMC category in a stepwise manner:

  • Submit an online EOI (Expression of Interest), providing all the key details of your qualifications, skills, work experience and family

  • If you have got a decent score as per the NZ point based immigration system, your EOI (Expression of Interest) will be accepted and you will get the ITA (Invitation to apply) for visa.

  • You require completing the same and submit to the authorities with the required supporting documents.

  1. Family Category Visa

There are various categories of family visas that are available under which you can apply for PR in New Zealand, if you are a spouse/partner, parent or dependent child of a New Zealand permanent resident or citizen. However, you need to be sponsored by your relative in New Zealand to come to and live in NZ as permanent resident.

  1. Business and Investment

This particular category is designed for individuals who are interested in business and investment in New Zealand to contribute in the growth and development of the NZ economy. There are two basic categories, which come under this stream:

  • Investor Category: The Investor category is basically designed for those individuals, who are willing to live and apply for residence in New Zealand by investing in a NZ business. The Investor/Investor Plus categories are basically what you need to opt for to apply for this stream.

  • Entrepreneur Category: This Entrepreneur Work Visa is for individuals who are willing to establish their own business in New Zealand. Once you have run your own business for 2 years (6 months in special cases) in NZ under this visa, you can apply for the Entrepreneur Residence Visa.

How long does it take to get PR for New Zealand

Processing times vary greatly depending on the type of application, but on average, visitor, student, and work visas are processed within 20-25 working days.

If you submit an Expression of Interest under the Skilled Migrant Category, you can expect an Invitation To Apply for residence within 3 weeks or less. Most residence applications are then generally processed within 4 to 6 months, although it may take much longer if additional checks and documents are required.

Business visas are processed within 8-10 months with the exception of the Investor 1 (plus) category, which is usually handled within 3 months or less.

Variation of conditions on work and student visas usually takes 2-3 weeks to process.

How much does it cost to apply for permanent residency in New Zealand?

Most fees and levies are increasing, reflecting cost pressures and increases risk management practices. A small number of visas see a decrease and refugee applicants will now be specifically exempted from the requirement to pay an application fee. NZD $210 is the fee for Immigration New Zealand to process your application. An immigration levy is payable and is included in the total amount above.

How much money do you need to immigrate to New Zealand?

The money required by you to immigrate to New Zealand will include the cost to apply for permanent residency in New Zealand, and along with these costs, there will be various basic expenses that will be incurred during your stay and living in the country. They are –

Nature of Expense

Average Cost

  1. Food & alcohol

  2. Clothing & footwear

  3. Housing & household utilities

  4. Household contents & services

  5. Health

  6. Transport

  7. Communication

  8. Recreation & culture

  9. Education

  10. Miscellaneous goods & services

  11. Other expenditure













How much does a visitor visa cost for New Zealand?

The fee for a particular visa depends on the country an individual is from and the purpose of the visit. The table below highlights the fees applicable to an Indian citizen looking for a New Zealand visa.

Visa Category

Visa Fee (NZ$)

Immigration Charge (NZ$)




Skilled Migrant



Investor Plus



Entrepreneur Residence



Parent Retirement



Refugee (depends on situation)



Other Residence Visa



Permanent Residence Visa



EOI* – Skilled Migrant

680 (for hard copy)


EOI – Skilled Migrant (Online)



EOI – Parent Category

440 (hard copy)


EOI – Investor



Visitor Visa

170 (hard copy)


Visitor Visa (Online)



Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa



Group Tourist Visa



Student Visa

280 (hard copy)


Student Visa (Online)



Temporary Work Visa – Job Search



Work Visa

375 (hard copy)


Work Visa (Online)



Entrepreneur Work Visa



Holiday Work Visa



Other Work Visa

280 (hard copy) 260 (online)


Limited Visa

280 (for students and seasonal employee) 170 (for others)

17 for students 10 for seasonal employee 14 for others

Transit Visa



*EOI refers to Express of Interest.

What are the requirements to migrate to New Zealand?

Visa Bureau is not affiliated with the New Zealand Government but is an independent UK company. NZ visas are available from the NZ Government at a lower cost when you apply directly. Our comprehensive visa and immigration services include immigration advice from registered migration agents, an exceptional success rate, document checking and visa processing.

To be eligible for immigration to New Zealand as a skilled migrant you must meet the basic visa requirements:

  • You must be under 56 years of age;

  • You, or you and your family, must meet all health, character and English ability requirements; and

  • You must be able to meet a pass mark of 100 points in the Points System to register an Expression of Interest.

Health: You, your partner and any dependent children under 17 years of age must complete a health declaration in the Expression of Interest stage to ensure you meet all standard of health requirements.

Character: The NZIS considers a person of good character to be the one who does not pose a potential security risk and is unlikely to have served time in prison, been deported from any country or involved in any criminal or dangerous activities.

English Language: Applicants under the Skilled Migrant category, including those aged 16 or over who are accompanying you to New Zealand will need to meet these English language requirements.

As we saw,  obtaining a PR and Citizenship in New Zealand is a very complex process with the involvement of many documents and compliances. Even though it is online, completing each and every formality carefully is still a difficult task, as there are deadlines for submitting or filing application.

This is where MyAdvo comes to the rescue. In order to not miss out on any information or compliance, it is recommended to get in touch with a lawyer who is well-versed with the New Zealand PR process and details regarding it. Consulting a lawyer with expertise in this topic will be hassle-free and smooth. MyAdvo enables you to find a lawyer online all over India.