New Zealand Announces Online Applications for Permanent Resident Visas

Permanent Resident Visa applications in New Zealand are going online! Starting late January 2024, applicants can submit applications, track progress, and receive updates electronically. Learn more about the changes and how to prepare.
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In a significant move towards digitization, the New Zealand government has declared that starting late January 2024, immigrants applying for a Permanent Resident Visa must exclusively utilize online channels, marking a shift from traditional paper submissions.

Streamlined Access to New Zealand Residency

Obtaining a Permanent Resident Visa is imperative for individuals aspiring to reside, work, study, and travel freely to and from New Zealand. This visa also allows applicants to include their partners and dependent children aged 24 and under in a single application.

Who is affected?

This change applies to anyone applying for the following visas:

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  • Permanent Resident Visa
  • Second or Subsequent Resident Visa
  • Variation of Travel Conditions of a resident visa

These applications were previously submitted using paper forms, which limited the applicant’s ability to track progress and manage documents.

Also Read: New Zealand Bans Trial Periods for Work Visa Holders

Immigration New Zealand Embraces Digital Transformation

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is set to transition key application processes, including the Permanent Resident Visa, Second or Subsequent Resident Visa, and Variation of Travel Conditions of a resident visa, into the online domain by the close of January 2024.

Electronic Submission for Multiple Visa Categories

Starting January 2024, prospective residents can electronically submit the following applications using the Immigration Online platform:

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  • Permanent Resident Visa
  • Second or Subsequent Resident Visa
  • Variation of Travel Conditions of a resident visa

Previously reliant on paper forms, these applications limited applicants’ ability to monitor their progress online.

Efficiency and Convenience with Immigration Online

The shift to Immigration Online offers several advantages, including the ability to track application status without contacting the INZ contact centre. Additionally, applicants will no longer be required to submit physical documents, such as passports, a former necessity for paper-based applications.

Benefits of applying online:

  • Convenient: Submit your application and supporting documents electronically from anywhere.
  • Transparent: Track your application status online in real time.
  • Faster: No need to send physical documents, potentially reducing processing times.
  • Secure: Immigration Online uses secure technology to protect your personal information.

Eligibility and Distinctions in Visa Types

To qualify for a Permanent Resident Visa, applicants must have held their resident visa for at least 2 years. For those outside New Zealand when their resident visa was issued, the 2-year period commences upon their arrival in the country on the resident visa.

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Key differences between Resident and Permanent Resident Visas:

  • Travel conditions: A Resident Visa has travel conditions that limit the holder’s ability to re-enter New Zealand. A Permanent Resident Visa allows indefinite re-entry.
  • Duration: A Resident Visa is temporary, while a Permanent Resident Visa is permanent.

Financial and Processing Details

The cost for obtaining a Permanent Resident Visa starts from NZD 240, with a processing time of 28 weeks for 90% of applications.

In embracing digital platforms, New Zealand aims to streamline immigration processes, providing greater accessibility and transparency for applicants seeking permanent residency.

By moving Permanent Resident Visa applications online, New Zealand is making the process more efficient and user-friendly for applicants. This change will help to attract and retain skilled migrants, further contributing to the country’s economic growth.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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