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Permanent Resident Visas, Travel Conditions and RRVs

Permanent Resident Visas, Travel Conditions and RRVs

Old Jun 23rd 2012, 6:11 am
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Default Permanent Resident Visas, Travel Conditions and RRVs

There has been some confusion about the new residence visas in a recent thread so I'll try and explain the new terminology and visas which were brought into effect at the end of November 2010. RRVs are no longer issued.

Previously:You would be issued with a residence visa and a 2year RRV on gaining residence. On entering NZ a residence permit would be stamped into your passport which stated that the holder could remain indefinitely. The RRV would run out in two years and you could then apply for an indefinite RRV if you fulfilled the conditions or be issued with a 1 year RRV if not.

Now:On gaining residency you are issued with a 'Resident Visa with travel conditions' This allows you to enter NZ as a resident for the 1st time, to return to NZ as a resident if you go overseas and also acts as a residence permit. The travel conditions last for 2 years. Your residence visa does not expire when the travel conditions do. It is important to have a visa which has current travel conditions if you plan to leave NZ and wish to return as a resident. In effect there is little change from what happens now but the terminology is different.

Once your travel conditions expire then you need to apply for either a PRV or a variation of travel conditions if you wish to leave NZ and return as a resident. What you can apply for depends on your circumstances.

A 'Permanent Resident Visa' [PRV]: this allows you to leave and return to NZ and has an indefinite expiry date so there are no time limits on the amount of time you have to spend in NZ each year. It is essentially the same as an indefinite RRV and the conditions needed to gain a PRV are similar to those needed for an IRRV.
To be able to apply you must have held a resident visa for the preceding two years and fulfill one of five conditions:

1. You have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of 184 days or more in each of the two 12-month portions of the 24 months immediately preceding your PRV application.
2. You have tax residence status
3. Investment in New Zealand
4. Business in New Zealand
5. Established base in New Zealand
Details for the last 4 can be found on the INZ website

If you do not fulfill the conditions for a PRV then you can be issued a further Resident Visa with travel conditions of either 1 year or 14 days.

One Year Variation of Travel Conditions
You qualify for 12 months of travel conditions if you entered New Zealand as a resident at least one year before the date your current application for a variation of travel conditions is made, and either of the following situations applies to you:
1. You have spent enough time in New Zealand
To meet this requirement, you must have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of 184 days or more in at least one of the two 12-month portions of the 24 months immediately before lodging your variation of travel conditions application.
2. You have tax residence status

14 Day Variation of Travel Conditions
You will qualify for a 14-day variation of travel conditions if are a resident visa holder in New Zealand and you do not meet the requirements for either a PRV or a variation of travel conditions for a longer time.

This could be an issue for those who activate their residency visa but then go back to the UK with a plan to return to NZ before their travel conditions expire. Depending on how much time you spend out of NZ, you may only be eligible for a 14d variation. This may become a problem if you need to leave NZ in an emergency and wish to return. Sometimes though we have no choice in when we can move over fully.

Certain partnership applications for PR will be granted a PRV right from the start.

Residence permits no longer exist so on arriving in NZ you will no longer get one stamped into your passport, instead you get a stamp saying 'NZ Entry' and the date.

Anyone already holding an unexpired RRV or visa is deemed to hold the new equivalent. There is no need to change anything until that visa expires or you need a new passport.
Hope this helps
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