The New Zealand Resident

Permanent Resident of this beautiful country

February 2016

Not so long in May 2015, I was asked this question by my potential employer.

“Ram, are you looking for applying for a permanent residency ?”

“No thanks, I would like to have a feel of the country first” I said.

Now, that does seem like an odd choice, but I had my reasons. I’ve been a traveler for a long part of my life and I wasn’t so sure that I would stick around long in New Zealand, besides applying for a work visa seemed so much easier than a resident visa. The rules were simple and as long as you had a job, there wasn’t a lot of hoops to pass through.

The process was quick and within a couple of weeks, having completed my medical and paperwork, I was granted a shiny new sticker. Now as I was boarding the long flight, the thoughts of whether I should have bid my time and got a resident visa flickered through.

The idea did cross my mind a few times. The idea to get a resident ASAP came to fruition when one of my colleagues finished his contract. The Immigration in New Zealand, demands that the applicant be on a visa at all times.  This is different to say the UK.

In the UK, as long as your application has been formally accepted by the home office and you have a letter from them, you are entitled to be in the country even if your visa expires.

Coming back to my colleague, Daniel had finished his contract and the Immigration demanded another work visa before applying for a resident visa.

And then started my efforts towards a Resident Visa.

“Should I apply with an immigration consultant ?, Will my job be accepted not being on the occupation list?” were some questions that popped through my head.

In order to make it easier for future residents, I thought I would share my experience here :), please feel free to contact me and don’t go through an immigration adviser, this process is way too easy, all you need is the right skill sets and patience

My path to Residency and Timeline

Stage 1: Work Visa; Date: 20th May, 2015

Stage 2: Expression of Interest for Resident Visa, Claimed 170 pointsDate: 2nd November, 2015

Stage 3: Selection of EOI for Resident Visa; Date: 15th November, 2015

Stage 4: Resident Visa application accepted by Immigration; Date: 24th November, 2015

Stage 5: Email from Case Officer on my file; Date: 21st January, 2016

Stage 6: Submission of my summary of earnings and employment check; Date: 25th January, 2016

Stage 7: Approval of my Resident Visa; Date: 4th February, 2016


A pleasant surprise on a gloomy day 🙂


Stage 1: The Work Visa


Stage 2: A Resident Sticker


Some things to keep in mind

  • My visa got approved within 3 months, counting that one month was a holiday, that did take my mind of the process, but it did make my application pick up dust.
  • When I asked people around, most of them told me that their application took about 3 months, some 6 and for some even well over a year. My personal opinion, I think it should take about 3 months, if your in Skilled employment 
  • Your EOI points in excess of 140 with a job offer makes your process so much quicker.
  • If you’ve completed a Medical previously for New Zealand immigration, the Medical is valid for 3 years.
  • Immigration New Zealand would require a permanent position to be mentioned in your employment contract (if your ever claiming points for that) —- My contract said “fixed term for 23 months” and my case officer wanted my company to correct the contract to “permanent employee” effectively changing my contract.
  • The case officer will call your office, so be in good terms with your employee 🙂
  • You will have to work for a period of 3 months with your current employer if your offered residency from outside NZ.
  • You need a lot of patience and hopefully things should be fine.


Advantages of a Resident Class Visa

  • Resident visas lets you access to public funds.
  • It allows for greater mobility in New Zealand, your no longer geographically tied down to a single company.
  • It counts towards citizenship.
  • Resident Visa is indefinite within New Zealand.
  • In order to have indefinite travel conditions you would need a Permanent Resident Visa.
  • Allows you to sponsor parents, spouse, children.


  1. This sounds very great. I’ve been living in New Zealand for the past one and a half years but only on a student visa. I would love to get a proper resident visa because I just want to stay in this country but I don’t think that’s possible. Have you ever heard of someone getting a resident visa before they finished university?


    1. Hi Kristina, I believe you will have to complete your studies and then you could have an open visa that would allow you to work for any employer for 2 years I believe, but no you can’t get a resident visa when your still a student. We had a few graduates joining us who were granted open visas based on their Bachelors in New Zealand, but that isnt a resident class visa.

      Whats your field of study ??


      1. I’m doing a degree that’s called a Bachelor of Creative Technologies. I think that should definitely qualify me as a skilled worker once I completed it. I also believe that regulations for me are a bit different because I’m not from the UK. I believe that I will have a year after completing my degree to find a job in that field and if I don’t I will have to leave the country.


      2. You would have to gain in excess of 140 points to automatically qualify from the pool. From the research I have done, its extremely difficult for people without a job offer and less than 130 points or so to be offered a resident visa. But its a different story if you have less points and a job offer, at least that’s what my research taught me. Did you try the point calculator, how many points did you claim ??


      3. At the moment hardly any but for after I finish studying I should have enough. I don’t quite remember how many but I defiantly hope that it will do. Of course it would be even better if I was able to get a job straight out of uni.


      4. Haha, well I suppose that’s what you get when you’re dealing with wordpress


      5. Ha ha ha. … oh by the way…. I hope you know that if you get employed outside Auckland you get bonus points… let’s catch up on FB…. this is my id rammy087


    1. Oh Brilliant… a touch expensive…. but love the outdoors and the lifestyle…. though wish Christchurch was a touch more busy… alas like a good human, I will always find reasons to complain 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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