Resident Visa vs. Permanent Resident Visa: What’s the Difference?

Embarking on the path to permanent residency in New Zealand requires navigating a complex landscape of visa options. Central to this journey are the distinctions between the Resident Visa and the Permanent Resident Visa, with the pivotal difference residing in the unique travel conditions attached to each one.

Resident Visa vs. Permanent Resident Visa:

The Resident Visa (RV) provides individuals with the right to live permanently in New Zealand. Holders of RV’s are entitled to stay in New Zealand indefinitely, work or undertake business in New Zealand, and study in New Zealand. However, RVs come with travel conditions that typically expire after 24 months, necessitating a return before the specified date to maintain resident status.

On the other hand, the Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) grants individuals the ability to travel in and out of New Zealand indefinitely. Holders of PRV´s enjoy the same benefits as RV holders, but without the restrictions of travel conditions or expiry dates.

Some important Considerations:

  • Eligibility for a PRV application arises after holding an RV for 2 years, with criteria including significant time spent in New Zealand or tax residence status, or investment, establishment of a business, or a base established in New Zealand.
  • Some RVs come with additional conditions related to employment or investment, which must be satisfied before eligibility for a PRV application.
  • If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t yet meet the eligibility criteria for a PRV but wish to leave and return to New Zealand beyond the travel conditions stipulated in your RV, there’s an alternative avenue to explore. You can apply for a variation to your travel conditions, a process designed to extend the timeframe for re-entering New Zealand as a resident. This allows for more flexibility in your travel plans while maintaining your residency status.

The choice between a Resident Visa and a Permanent Resident Visa holds crucial implications for those planning to make New Zealand their permanent home. Please, allow us to accompany you on this journey. Our dedicated team is committed to making your path to residency as seamless and straightforward as possible.