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The Difference Between Resident Visas & Permanent Resident Visas Explained

by | Jul 5, 2020 | Articles, Individuals & Families, News, News & Articles

Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins

New Zealand Has Resident Visas & Permanent Resident Visas

In New Zealand, there is a difference between a Resident Visa and a Permanent Resident Visa. Both allow you to live permanently in New Zealand but they have different travel conditions.


An example of a Permanent Resident Visa.

Different Travel Conditions

A Permanent Resident Visa will allow you to travel in and out of New Zealand indefinitely. A Resident Visa will allow you to travel in and out of New Zealand until a specified date (usually 24 months after the date your Resident Visa is granted). This specified date is written on your Resident Visa and on your Resident Visa approval letter.


An example of a Resident Visa granted onshore (in New Zealand).

An example of a Resident Visa granted offshore (outside of New Zealand).

On your Resident Visa it will state: “The last date you may travel and re-enter New Zealand is: _____”. If you are going to travel out of New Zealand around or after this specified date, you should always try to apply for and be granted either a Permanent Resident Visa or a Variation of Travel Conditions prior to leaving New Zealand. If you do not do this, you could lose your Resident Visa.

If you do forget and travel outside of New Zealand, then your resident visa is likely to have expired either:

    ‣ On the day that you left New Zealand. This is if your travel conditions date has already expired before you left New Zealand; or
    ‣ On the day after your travel conditions date. This applies if you were outside of New Zealand already and your travel conditions date expired while you were outside of New Zealand.

Some Resident Visas also come with special conditions (section 49(1) conditions). Usually speaking, these will need to be satisfied and uplifted (removed) before the Permanent Resident Visa is granted.

How We Can Help

This article was written to provide general guidance only. It is correct at as the date of this article and is subject to further updates. Stay Legal is always happy to provide immigration guidance and solutions. If you have any questions about your Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please call us +64 7 575 2882 or email hello@staylegal.co.nz.

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