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Immigration New Zealand Operational Manual

Residence
Issue Date: 02 February 2015

INZ Operational Manual

Residence

CONTENTS
Residence .................................................................................................................................. 1-1
Generic Residence .......................................................................................................................... 1-1
RA Applications For Residence Class Visas ................................................................................ 2-1
R Residence Instructions ................................................................................................................ 2-1
R1 Objective .............................................................................................................................. 3-1
R2 Lodging an application ......................................................................................................... 4-1
R3 Generic Adoptions ................................................................................................................ 5-1
R4 Sponsorship for residence class visas ................................................................................... 6-1
R5 Determining an Application .................................................................................................. 7-1
R6 New Zealand Residence Programme ..................................................................................... 8-1
R7 Confirming or transferring a residence class visa ................................................................. 9-1
R8 Special Cases ...................................................................................................................... 10-1
Business ....................................................................................................................................... 10-1
BA Business Immigration Instructions .................................................................................... 11-1
BB Entrepreneur Work Visa Category ...................................................................................... 12-1
BC Long Term Business Category (to 20/12/2013) ................................................................. 13-1
BE Employees of Relocating Businesses Category.................................................................... 14-1
BF English language requirements........................................................................................... 15-1
BF1 Principal applicants .......................................................................................................... 16-1
BH Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category............................................................................... 17-1
BJ Migrant Investment Categories ........................................................................................... 18-1
BL Entrepreneur Plus Category (to 24/03/2014) .................................................................... 19-1
Family Categories ......................................................................................................................... 19-1
F1 Objective ............................................................................................................................ 20-1
F2 Partnership Category .......................................................................................................... 21-1
F3 Parent Retirement Category ............................................................................................... 22-1
F4 Parent Category .................................................................................................................. 23-1
F5 Dependent Child Category................................................................................................... 24-1
F7 Inter-country adoption ....................................................................................................... 25-1
Skilled Migrant Category .............................................................................................................. 25-1
SM1 Objective .......................................................................................................................... 26-1
SM2 Overview of Skilled Migrant Category .............................................................................. 27-1
SM3 Expression of Interest and Invitation to Apply instructions ............................................. 28-1
SM4 Summary of requirements ................................................................................................ 29-1
SM5 English Language Requirements ...................................................................................... 30-1
SM6 Summary of points for employability and capacity building factors ................................. 31-1
SM7 Skilled employment .......................................................................................................... 32-1
SM8 Bonus points: employment in an identified future growth area or area of absolute skills
shortage .................................................................................................................................. 33-1
SM9 Bonus points: employment outside the Auckland region .................................................. 34-1
SM10 Bonus points: partner's skilled employment in New Zealand ......................................... 35-1
SM11 Work experience ............................................................................................................ 36-1
SM12 Bonus points: work experience in New Zealand ............................................................. 37-1
SM13 Bonus points: work experience in an identified future growth area or an area of absolute
skills shortage ......................................................................................................................... 38-1
SM14 Recognised qualifications ............................................................................................... 39-1
SM15 Bonus points: New Zealand qualifications ...................................................................... 40-1
SM16 Bonus points: qualifications in an identified future growth area or an area of absolute
skills shortage ......................................................................................................................... 41-1
SM17 Bonus points: partner's recognised qualifications .......................................................... 42-1
SM18 Age................................................................................................................................. 43-1
SM19 Requirements for occupational registration ................................................................... 44-1

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SM20 Bonus points: close family in New Zealand .................................................................... 45-1


SM21 Settlement and Contribution Requirements ................................................................... 46-1
After the grant of a resident visa .................................................................................................. 46-1
RV1 Generic provisions for applications made after the grant of a resident visa ..................... 47-1
RV2 Resident visa holders applying for a permanent resident visa .......................................... 48-1
RV3 Variation of travel conditions on resident visas ................................................................ 49-1
RV4 Grant of a second or subsequent resident visa ................................................................. 50-1
Residence from Work Category .................................................................................................... 50-1
RW1 Objective ......................................................................................................................... 51-1
RW2 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the Talent
(Accredited Employers) work instructions ............................................................................. 52-1
RW3 Residence instructions for holders of... ........................................................................... 53-1
RW5 English language requirements.... ................................................................................... 54-1
RW6 Migrant Levy.................................................................................................................... 55-1
RW7 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under religious worker instructions
................................................................................................................................................ 56-1
Special Categories ........................................................................................................................ 56-1
S1 Special Categories for certain nationalities ......................................................................... 57-1
S2 Special directions Instructions ........................................................................................... 58-1
S3 Refugee and Protection Category ....................................................................................... 59-1
S4 Special residence Categories .............................................................................................. 60-1

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Generic Residence
IN THIS SECTION
RA Applications For Residence Class Visas ................................... 2-1
R Residence Instructions .......................................................... 2-1

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RA Applications For Residence Class Visas


The provisions in section RA summarise relevant sections from the Immigration Act 2009 and the Immigration
Regulations 2010. These provisions do not in themselves constitute residence instructions.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA1 Currency and nature of residence class visas
RA1.1 Currency and nature of a resident visa
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 74
a.

b.

The holder of a resident visa is entitled to:


i.

travel to New Zealand in accordance with the conditions of the visa relating to travel; and

ii.

apply for entry permission (whether before or after travelling to New Zealand); and

If the holder of a resident visa is granted entry permission they are entitled, in accordance with the conditions
of the visa (if any), to:
i.

to stay in New Zealand indefinitely; and

ii.

to work in New Zealand or in the exclusive economic zone of New Zealand; and

iii.

to study in New Zealand.

Note: See R5.66 for instructions on the travel conditions to be granted with a resident visa and RV3 for instructions on
varying travel conditions after a resident visa has been granted.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA1.5 Currency and nature of a permanent resident visa
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 73
The holder of a permanent resident visa is entitled to:
a.

travel to New Zealand at any time; and

b.

be granted entry permission; and

c.

to stay in New Zealand indefinitely; and

d.

to work in New Zealand or in the exclusive economic zone of New Zealand; and

e.

to study in New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA2 Who does not need to apply for a residence class visa
RA2.1 New Zealand citizens
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 13
a.

Every New Zealand citizen has the right to travel to and be in New Zealand at any time and is not liable for
deportation in any circumstances.

b.

New Zealand citizens do not need a visa to travel to, enter or be in New Zealand but to establish their right to
enter New Zealand they must show a New Zealand passport or a foreign passport containing an endorsement
indicating the fact of New Zealand citizenship on arrival in the country if required to do so.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA2.5 People waived from having to obtain a residence class visa to travel to New Zealand
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, Schedule 2
The following people are waived from having to obtain a residence class visa to travel to New Zealand:
a.

citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia; and

b.

people who hold a current permanent residence visa (including a resident return visa) issued by the
Government of Australia; and

c.

people who have been granted a visa waiver to travel by special direction (see RA7).

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Note: People in these categories are not eligible to travel to New Zealand without a visa, or to be granted a visa to
enter and stay in New Zealand if they fall under sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009. They must have a
special direction authorising them to apply for and be granted a residence class visa to travel to, enter and stay in
New Zealand (see S2).

Effective 29/11/2010
RA3 Who needs a residence class visa
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 14

RA3.1 Who needs a residence class visa to travel to New Zealand


A person who is outside New Zealand who wishes to travel to New Zealand and stay indefinitely must hold (or be deemed
to hold) a residence class visa unless they are:
a.

a New Zealand citizen; or

b.

a person who is exempt from having to obtain a residence class visa to travel to New Zealand (RA2.5); or

Effective 29/11/2010
RA3.5 Who needs a residence class visa to be in New Zealand
A person who is in New Zealand lawfully and wishes to be in New Zealand indefinitely must hold (or be deemed to hold)
a residence class visa to do so unless they are a New Zealand citizen.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA4 Who is deemed to hold a residence class visa
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 75, 415, Schedule 5
A person is deemed to hold a residence class visa if they:
a.

held a returning residents visa issued under the Immigration Act 1987 (RA4.1 and RA4.5); or

b.

held a residence permit granted under the Immigration Act 1987 (RA4.10); or

c.

were considered to hold a residence permit under the Immigration Act 1987 (see RA4.10.1); or

d.

were exempt under the Immigration Regulations 1999 from the need to hold a residence permit in New Zealand
(RA4.10); or

e.

held New Zealand citizenship and renounced or were deprived of their citizenship (RA4.10).

Effective 29/11/2010
RA4.1 Who is deemed to hold a permanent resident visa
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 415, 75, Schedule 5
A person who holds a returning residents visa of indefinite duration issued under the Immigration Act 1987 is deemed to
hold a permanent resident visa.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA4.5 Who is deemed to hold a resident visa with travel conditions
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 415, 75, Schedule 5
a.

b.

A person who holds a residence visa granted under the Immigration Act 1987 is deemed to hold a resident visa
allowing:
i.

travel to New Zealand for a single journey within the period or until the date specified in the residence
visa; and

ii.

stay indefinitely in New Zealand if the holder is granted entry permission.

A person who holds a returning residents visa of limited duration granted under the Immigration Act 1987 is
deemed to hold a resident visa allowing travel to New Zealand for an unlimited number of journeys within the
period or until the date specified in the returning residents visa.

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c.

Residence

If a person is deemed to be the holder of a resident visa because they hold a residence visa or returning
residents visa granted under the Immigration Act 1987, and that residence visa or returning residents visa
specifies requirements to be imposed under Section 18A of that Act upon grant of permit, their resident visa is
subject to conditions equivalent to those requirements.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA4.10 Who is deemed to hold a resident visa without travel conditions
a.

A person in New Zealand is deemed to hold a resident visa without travel conditions if they:
i.

held a residence permit granted under the Immigration Act 1987 and did not hold a returning
residents visa; or

ii.

were considered to hold a residence permit under the Immigration Act 1987 (see RA4.10.1); or

iii.

were exempt under the Immigration Regulations 1999 from the need to hold a residence permit in
New Zealand; or

iv.

held New Zealand citizenship and renounced or were deprived of their citizenship.

b.

A person who holds or is deemed to hold a resident visa may continue to stay in New Zealand indefinitely,
however if they wish to leave New Zealand and return as a resident they must have a resident visa with valid
travel conditions in their travel document (RV3).

c.

If a person is deemed to be the holder of a resident visa because they held a residence permit granted under
the Immigration Act 1987, and that residence permit was subject to requirements imposed under Section 18A
of that Act, their resident visa is deemed to be subject to conditions equivalent to those requirements.

RA4.10.1 People considered to have held a residence permit under the Immigration Act 1987
See also Immigration Act 1987 s 44, Immigration Act 2009 s 415
Even though a person in New Zealand was not the holder of a permit granted under the Immigration Act 1987, they are
deemed to hold a resident visa if they:
a.

arrived in New Zealand lawfully to take up permanent residence at any time before 2 April 1974 other than
under a permit granted under the Immigration Act 1964 or any corresponding earlier Act; and

b.

have been in New Zealand continuously from the day they arrived, apart from any period or periods spent in:
i.

Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau; or

ii.

Australia, if during any such period they were a Commonwealth citizen or citizen of the Republic of
Ireland and were able to live in either New Zealand or Australia without restriction; and

c.

were in New Zealand immediately before the commencement of the Immigration Act 1987 (ie, were in New
Zealand at midnight on 31 October 1987); and

d.

were not exempt under the Immigration Act 1987 from having to hold a residence permit.

Note: If a person who meets these requirements requests confirmation of their residence status, an immigration
officer must endorse their passport with a residence class visa (see R7).

Effective 29/11/2010
RA5 Who may not apply for a residence class visa
See previous instructions RA5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Under section 71(4) of the Immigration Act 2009, no limited visa holder, interim visa holder, transit visa holder
or person who is liable for deportation (including people who are unlawfully in New Zealand) may apply for a
residence class visa.

b.

However, the Minister of Immigration or appropriately delegated immigration officer, in his or her absolute
discretion may grant a residence class visa to a person to whom (a) above applies. In such cases:
i.

the Minister or appropriate immigration officer is not obliged to consider a purported application from
such a person; and

ii.

whether the purported application is considered or not, the Minister or immigration officer is not
obliged to give reasons for any decision on it, other than that section 11 applies; and

iii.

section 23 of the Official Information Act 1982 and section 27 of the Immigration Act 2009 (concerning
the right of access to reasons for decisions) do not apply.

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c.

Residence

In some cases a person may only apply for a residence class visa if they have earlier been invited to apply for
residence by an immigration officer. An invitation to apply for residence is sought through the completion and
lodgement of an Expression of Interest. An invitation to apply is required for all applications for residence under
the Parent Category, Skilled Migrant Category and Investor 2 Category of residence instructions.

Effective 01/07/2013
RA5.1 Effect of being liable for deportation on residence class visa applications
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 169 (3)
Under section 169 of the Immigration Act 2009, the processing of any application for a residence class visa from a person
who has become liable for deportation must be suspended.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA6 Who is not eligible for a residence class visa
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 15, 16
People described by section 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 (see A5.20) are not eligible to be granted a residence
class visa unless they have been given a special direction (see RA7 and S2).

Effective 29/11/2010
RA6.1 Restrictions on the grant of residence class visas for New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP)
students and their dependants
See previous instructions:
RA6.1 Effective 26/11/2012
RA6.1 Effective 07/02/2011
RA6.1 Effective 29/11/2010
Note: This

instruction has been moved to R5.105 effective from 17/11/2014

Effective

17/11/2014

RA7 Special directions


See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 11, 378
a.

In special circumstances, the Minister (or delegate) may give any immigration officer a special direction in
relation to any person, visa or document, or any 2 or more persons, visas or documents where by reason of any
specific event, occurrence or unusual circumstance there is a common link between those persons, visas, or
documents.

b.

As the decision to give a special direction is a matter of absolute discretion, no person has the right to apply for
a special direction, and if they do so:
i.

the Minister or appropriate immigration officer is not obliged to consider a purported application for a
special direction; and

ii.

whether a purported application is considered or not, the Minister or immigration officer is not obliged
to give reasons for any decision on it, other than that section 11 applies; and

iii.

section 23 of the Official Information Act 1982 and section 27 of the Immigration Act 2009 (concerning
the right of access to reasons for decisions) do not apply.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA8 Resident visas with conditions
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 49, 55, 50
a.

An immigration officer may impose conditions under sections 49 or 55 of the Immigration Act 2009 on a
resident visa as specified in residence instructions at the time the application for the visa was made.

b.

Regardless of whether or not any conditions are imposed under sections 49 or 55, under section 50 the Minister
or appropriately delegated immigration officer may
i.

impose conditions in addition to those specified in the applicable residence instructions (if any);

ii.

vary or waive conditions that would otherwise apply to a visa of that type;

iii.

impose, by special direction or by agreement of the visa holder, further conditions following the grant
of a resident visa;

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iv.

Residence

vary or cancel, by special direction or by agreement of the visa holder, any conditions that would
otherwise apply.

Effective 29/11/2010
RA9 Restrictions on the grant of a visa to certain groups as designated by the United Nations
Security Council
See previous instructions:
RA9 Effective 17/07/2013
RA9 Effective 30/11/2012
RA9 Effective 30/04/2012
RA9 Effective 29/11/2010
See also United Nations Sanctions (Liberia) Regulations 2001 reg 16; United Nations Sanctions (Al-Qaida and Taliban)
Regulations 2007 reg 13; United Nations Sanctions (Cte d'Ivoire) Regulations 2005 reg 13; United Nations Sanctions
(Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Regulations 2006 reg 17; United Nations Sanctions (Iran) Regulations 2010 reg
25; United Nations Sanctions (Lebanon) Regulations 2008 reg 17; United Nations Sanctions (Democratic Republic of the
Congo) Regulations 2004 reg 12D; United Nations Sanctions (Sudan) Regulations 2004 reg 13D; United Nations
Sanctions (Somalia) Regulations 1992 reg 10F, United Nations Sanctions (Eritrea) Regulations 2010 reg 13; United
Nations Sanctions (Libya) Regulations 2011 reg 17; United Nations Sanctions (Guinea-Bissau) Regulations 2012 reg 4;
United Nations Sanctions (Central African Republic) Regulations 2014 reg 13; United Nations Sanctions (Yemen)
Regulations 2014 reg 4.
a.

In accordance with United Nations sanctions, no person who is a designated individual or specified entity may
enter New Zealand or transit through New Zealand, meaning that no such person may be granted a visa. This
restriction is in place for the following people:
i.

designated individuals from Liberia

ii.

designated individuals from Cte d'Ivoire

iii.

designated individuals from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and:

their immediate family members, and

people acting on their behalf or under their direction, and

people assisting in the evasion of a determination by the United Nations Security Council that applies to the
DPRK
iv.

designated individuals and specified entities from Al-Qaida and Taliban

v.

designated individuals from Iran

vi.

designated individuals from Lebanon

vii. designated individuals from the Democratic Republic of Congo


viii. designated individuals from Sudan
ix.

designated individuals from Somalia

x.

designated individuals from Eritrea

xi.

designated individuals from Libya

xii. designated individuals from Guinea-Bissau


xiii. designated individuals from Central African Republic
xiv. designated individuals from Yemen.
b.

Immigration officers must contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade when processing any immigration
application from a person to whom (a) above applies.

c.

A visa may only be granted to a person to whom (a) above applies on the advice of the Secretary of Foreign
Affairs and Trade.

Note: For the purposes of these instructions, a designated individual and a specified entity is someone who is named on
a list of such persons held by INZ and updated from time to time.

Effective 16/05/2014

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R Residence Instructions
Application of Generic Residence Instructions
The instructions contained in the Generic Residence chapter apply unless other provisions in residence instructions
expressly state otherwise.

Effective 29/11/2010
IN THIS SECTION
R1 Objective........................................................................... 3-1
R2 Lodging an application ......................................................... 4-1
R3 Generic Adoptions ............................................................... 5-1
R4 Sponsorship for residence class visas ..................................... 6-1
R5 Determining an Application................................................... 7-1
R6 New Zealand Residence Programme ....................................... 8-1
R7 Confirming or transferring a residence class visa ...................... 9-1
R8 Special Cases ................................................................... 10-1

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R1 Objective
a.

The objective of New Zealand's residence programme is to contribute to economic growth through enhancing
the overall level of human capability in New Zealand, encouraging enterprise and innovation, and fostering
international links, while maintaining a high level of social cohesion.

b.

This objective is achieved through selecting a broad mix of migrants on the basis of either their skills and
experience or their family links to New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010

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R2 Lodging an application
R2.1 Who may be included in an application
See previous instructions:
R2.1 Effective 19/08/2013
R2.1 Effective 30/07/2012
R2.1 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, Reg 20
a.

Each principal applicant (see R2.1.1 below) must make a separate application.

b.

The following people may be included in a residence class visa application, regardless of whether they are living
in the same country as the principal applicant:
i.

The partner of a principal applicant (see R2.1.10 below); and

ii.

The biological or adopted (see R3) dependent children of the principal applicant and/or partner (if the
partner is included in the application) (see R2.1.30 below).

R2.1.1 Definition of 'principal applicant'


a.

The principal applicant is the person who is declared to be the principal applicant on the residence class visa
application form.

b.

When the application is assessed, the principal applicant will be the person first assessed against the criteria in
residence instructions, unless the instructions indicate otherwise.

R2.1.5 Definition of 'applicant'


An applicant is a person included in an application for a residence class visa and includes the principal applicant and
secondary applicants (if any). All persons included in an application will be individually assessed against the criteria for the
grant of residence in the residence instructions that apply to them.
R2.1.10 Definition of 'partner'
a.

For the purpose of inclusion in a residence class visa application, 'partner' means a person who:
i.

is legally married to the principal applicant; or

ii.

is in a civil union partnership with the principal applicant; or

iii.

is in a de facto relationship with the principal applicant.

b.

References to 'partner' in residence instructions mean 'partner' as defined in (a) above.

c.

A partner who does not meet the criteria in (a) above may not be included in a principal applicants application
and must apply for residence as a principal applicant in their own right.

R2.1.15 When may partners included in an application be granted a residence class visa?
a.

b.

For a 'partner' included in an application to be granted a residence class visa an immigration officer must be
satisfied that they meet 'partnership' instructions which are:
i.

that the principal applicant and partner are living together in a genuine and stable partnership (see
F2.10.1); and

ii.

that the couple have been living together in such a relationship for 12 months or more at the time the
application is assessed; and

iii.

that the partnership meets the minimum requirements for the recognition of partnerships set out at
F2.15 in that:

the couple were both aged 18 years or older at the time the application for residence class visa was made,
or if aged 16 or 17 years old have the support of their parent(s) or guardian(s); and

the couple have met prior to the application being made; and

they are not close relatives (see F2.15(d)).

When assessing if the duration of the partnership requirement in a. ii above is met immigration officers may
include any period immediately prior to any marriage where they are satisfied the couple was living together in
an interdependent partnership akin to a marriage.

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R2.1.15.1 What happens if an immigration officer is not satisfied that a couple are living together in a
partnership that is genuine and stable?
If an immigration officer is not satisfied the principal applicant and partner included in the application are living together
in a partnership that is genuine and stable, then:
a.

the partner will not be granted a residence class visa; and

b.

if the principal applicant is reliant on:


i.

the attributes of their partner included in the application; or

ii.

the family relationship of their partner included in the application

those attributes or relationships will not be taken into account when determining eligibility of the principal applicant under
residence instructions.
Examples:
~ Under the Skilled Migrant Category (see SM10.10(c)) a principal applicant's partner's skilled employment in New
Zealand will not qualify for points.
~ Under the Sibling and Adult Child Category instructions (see F6.1(c)) where a principal applicant and partner included
in the application have combined income as evidence of meeting the required minimum income requirement only the
principal applicant's income may be taken into account when determining the total family income per year.
R2.1.15.5 What happens if the partnership is considered to be genuine and stable but is less than the 12
months required?
a.

b.

If an immigration officer is satisfied the principal applicant and partner included in the application are living
together in a partnership that is genuine and stable, but the duration of that partnership is less than the 12
months required, then:
i.

in any case where the grant of a residence class visa to a principal applicant is reliant on the
relationship with or attributes of their partner the application must be declined under residence
instructions; or

ii.

in any case where the grant of a residence class visa to a principal applicant is not reliant on the
relationship with or attributes of their partner the immigration officer may proceed with processing the
principal applicant for the residence class visa but defer the final decision on the partner to enable the
qualifying period to be met.

If a partner's application for a residence class visa has been deferred as described in (a)(ii) above they may be
granted a work visa (once an application has been made) for a period sufficient to enable the qualifying period
to be met and any further assessment of their residence class visa application to be completed (see WF2.20).

R2.1.20 Evidence of relationship with partner


Principal applicants must provide:
a.

evidence of their relationship with their partner included in the application; and

b.

evidence that their partnership is genuine and stable. (F2.20.15 sets out the types of evidence that are
required).

Note: In each case where a person relies on being the partner of a principal applicant for the purposes of inclusion in an
application (and subsequent grant of a residence class visa), the onus of proving that the person included is the partner
of the principal applicant, that their partnership is genuine and stable, and of the required duration lies with the principal
applicant and their partner (see F2.5(c)).
R2.1.25 Polygamous marriages and relationships
As an exception to the exclusivity requirement which forms part of the definition of a genuine and stable partnership (see
F2.10) principal applicants in polygamous marriages or relationships (i.e. marriages or relationships with more than one
partner) may have only one partner included in their application for a residence class visa.
R2.1.27 When may dependent children be included in an application and be granted a residence class visa?
For a 'dependent child' to be included in an application to be granted a residence class visa, an immigration officer must
be satisfied that they are a dependent child.
R2.1.30 Definition of 'dependent child'
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, Regs, 4, 20
For the purpose of inclusion in an application, and despite the definition in section 4 of the Immigration Act 2009, a child
is dependent if they:
a.

are:

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b.

c.

d.

Residence

i.

aged 21 to 24, with no child(ren) of their own; and

ii.

single (see F5.5); and

iii.

totally or substantially reliant on the principal applicant and/or the principal applicant's partner for
financial support, whether living with them or not; or

i.

aged 18 to 20, with no child(ren) of their own; and

ii.

single (see F5.5); or

i.

aged 17 or younger; and

ii.

single (see F5.5).

are:

are:

When determining whether a child of 21 to 24 years of age is totally or substantially reliant on the principal
applicant and/or the principal applicant's partner for financial support immigration officers must consider the
whole application, taking into account all relevant factors including:
o

whether the child is in paid employment, whether this is full time or part time, and its duration;

whether the child has any other independent means of financial support;

whether the child is living with its parents or another family member, and the extent to which other
support is provided;

whether the child is studying, and whether this is full time or part time.

R2.1.35 Evidence of dependence


a.

Children up to 17 years of age are presumed to be dependent if they are single.

b.

Children aged 18 to 20 years of age are presumed to be dependent if they are single and have no child(ren) of
their own.

c.

For children aged 21 to 24 years of age, evidence of actual dependence may be required.

R2.1.40 Evidence of relationship with dependent children


The principal applicant must provide one of the following documents as evidence of the relationship of the principal
applicant and/or partner included in the application with any dependent child included in the application:
a.

the original birth certificate showing the names of the parent(s); or

b.

original adoption papers showing that the child has been legally adopted by the principal applicant or partner;
or

c.

in the case of a child adopted by custom, a declaration by the adoptive parent(s) separate from, and in addition
to, any similar declaration made on an application form (see R3.5.1).

R2.1.45 Children under 16 whose parents are separated or divorced


a.

If the parents of a child aged under 16 included in an application for a residence class visa are separated or
divorced, the applicant parent must have the right to remove the child from the country in which rights of
custody or visitation have been granted; or if no such rights have been granted, from the country of residence.

b.

Such children cannot be included in an application unless the applicant parent produces satisfactory evidence
of their right to remove the child from the country in which the rights of custody or visitation have been granted
or if no such rights have been granted, from the country of residence.

c.

Except where (d) applies, evidence of the right to remove the child from the country in which rights of custody
or visitation have been granted must include original or certified copies of:
i.

d.

legal documents showing that the applicant has custody of the child and the sole right to determine
the place of residence of the child, without rights of visitation by the other parent, or

ii.

a court order permitting the applicant to remove the child from its country of residence; or

iii.

legal documents showing that the applicant has custody of the child and a signed statement from the
other parent, witnessed in accordance with local practice or law, agreeing to allow the child to live in
New Zealand if the application is approved.

Where an immigration officer is satisfied that:


i.

by virtue of local law, the applicant parent has the statutory right to custody of the child; and

ii.

it is not possible or required under that local law to obtain individualised legal documents to verify that
custodial right, the child may be included in the application.

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R2.1.50 Children under 16 with only one parent included in the application for a residence class visa.
a.

If one of the parents of a child aged under 16 is not included in the application for a residence class visa, the
applicant parent must have the right to remove the child from its country of residence.

b.

Such children cannot be included in an application unless the applicant parent produces satisfactory evidence
of their right to remove the child from its country of residence.

c.

Except where (e) applies, evidence of the right to remove the child from its country of residence in cases where
one parent is not included in the application for a residence class visa, but the parents are not separated or
divorced, must include original or certified copies of:
i.

a written statement confirmed by both parents at interview; or

ii.

a court order permitting the applicant to remove the child from its country of residence.

d.

If, because of the death of one of the parents of a child aged under 16, only one parent is included in the
application, the death certificate of the other parent must be provided.

e.

The child may be included in the application where an immigration officer is satisfied that:
i.

by virtue of local law, the applicant parent has the statutory right to custody of the child; and

ii.

it is not possible or required under that local law to obtain individualised legal documents to verify that
custodial right.

R2.1.55 Situation of dependent of partners included in an application


a.

Any dependent child who is reliant on inclusion in an application solely by virtue of being the dependent child
of the principal applicant's partner included in an application (i.e. they are not a child of the principal applicant)
may not be granted a residence class visa unless their parent partner is granted a residence class visa.

b.

If their parent partner is granted a work visa as provided for in R2.1.15.5 (b) above then they may also be
granted a temporary visa of a type appropriate to their needs (once an application has been made) for the
same period.

Example: a dependent child intending to attend school in New Zealand must apply for a student visa.

Effective 18/04/2014
R2.5 Who may not be included in an application
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, Reg 20
The following people may not be included in an application:
a.

any child aged 25 and over (whether dependent or not), and

b.

any child aged 24 and under who is not a dependent child.

Effective 29/11/2010
R2.10 Where to lodge an application
See previous instructions R2.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Applications should be lodged at the INZ office, Visa Application Centre or MFAT post responsible for receiving
applications from the geographical area or country in which the principal applicant currently lives. Receiving
Offices can be found on the INZ website.

b.

If an application is lodged at an office other than the appropriate one, the application may be referred to the
appropriate office.

Effective 02/12/2013
R2.15 Processing of applications
a.

Applications for residence class visas are processed by INZ branch offices and certain MFAT offices.

b.

INZ determines at which office an application is processed. This means that an application may be processed at
an office other than the office where it is lodged.

Effective 29/11/2010
R2.20 Date an application is lodged
See previous instructions R2.20 Effective 29/11/2010
An application is lodged on the date that INZ, or an office authorised to receive visa applications on INZs behalf, receives
it. Visa Application Centres are authorised for this purpose.

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Note: If an application is processed using AMS, the date the application is lodged is referred to in AMS as the date
'tendered'.

Effective 02/12/2013
R2.25 Date an application is made
See previous instructions R2.25 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 57
a.

An application is made on the date that it is lodged only if, on that date, it is lodged in the prescribed manner.

b.

Immigration officers at an INZ office determine whether applications are lodged in the prescribed manner by
assessing whether all mandatory requirements (see R2.40) for lodgement have been met.

c.

If an immigration officer determines that an application is not lodged in the prescribed manner and requests
further documents (see R2.50), the application is made on the date that INZ receives the last of any
outstanding documents necessary to meet the prescribed manner for lodgement.

Note: If an application is processed using AMS, the date the application is made is referred to in AMS as the date
'accepted'.

Effective 02/12/2013
R2.30 Receipt of applications
See previous instructions R2.30 Effective 29/11/2010
All applications and any evidence or information submitted in support of an application (whether at the same time or later)
must be stamped with the date of the day on which they are lodged with INZ, or with an office authorised to receive visa
applications on INZs behalf. Visa Application Centres are authorised for this purpose.

Effective 02/12/2013
R2.35 How an application must be lodged
a.

Applications must be lodged in the prescribed manner.

b.

The prescribed manner is the manner laid down for residence class visa applications in the Immigration (Visa,
Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, which set out the mandatory requirements for
lodging an application.

Effective 29/11/2010
R2.40 Mandatory requirements for lodging an application for a residence class visa
See previous instructions:
R2.40 Effective 18/04/2014
R2.40 Effective 30/07/2012
R2.40 Effective 04/04/2011
R2.40 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, Reg 5
Unless RV1.10.10 applies, an application for a residence class visa made outside an immigration control area must be:
a.

made on an approved form; and

b.

completed in English; and

c.

signed by the applicant (unless the applicant is less than 18 years old, in which case it must be signed by a
parent or guardian of the applicant); and

d.

given to an immigration officer together with the following material:


i.

the applicant's passport or certificate of identity, or if this is unavailable, his or her original full birth
certificate (or a certified copy) or other identity document (or a certified copy); and

ii.

two passport-sized photographs of the applicants head and shoulders; and

iii.

an original or certified copy of the applicant's full birth certificate or, if this is unobtainable, an original
or certified copy of an identity card; and

iv.

the appropriate fee (if any); and

v.

any information and evidence required by the relevant immigration instructions that shows that the
principal applicant fits the category or categories of residence instructions under which the application
is being made; and

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vi.

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a completed Medical Certificate for the applicant that is less than three months old, unless A4.20(d)
applies; and

vii. a completed Chest X-ray Certificate for the applicant that is less than three months old (except for
pregnant women and children under the age of 11), unless A4.20(d) applies;
viii. a police or similar certificate, less than 6 months old, indicating the applicant's record of convictions or
lack of convictions for their country of citizenship and for each country in which they have lived for 12
months or more during the past 10 years (except for applicants under 17 and except where the
authorities of any such country will not generally provide certificates), unless A5.10(d)(iii) applies;
and
ix.

any other information, evidence and submissions that the principal applicant considers show fully that
they are eligible to be granted a residence class visa in terms of the applicable residence instructions.

Note: Medical and Chest X-ray Certificates may be submitted directly to Immigration New Zealand by the physician
who completed the examination.
R2.40.1 Mandatory requirements for lodging an application for a resident visa at an immigration control
area
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 4, 28
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, Regs 7, 8
a.

b.

c.

An application for a resident visa can be made at an immigration control area by:
i.

an Australian citizen;

ii.

a holder of Australian permanent residence visas (including a resident return visa)

iii.

a person who previously held a resident visa.

An application for a resident visa made by a person described in (a) at an immigration control area must:
i.

be made on the approved form; and

ii.

relate to only one person; and

iii.

be completed in English; and

iv.

be signed by the applicant, unless the applicant is less than 18 years old, in which case it must be
signed by a parent or guardian (if the applicant is accompanied by a parent or guardian), or it is not
required to be signed (if the applicant is not accompanied by a parent or guardian); and

v.

be given to an immigration officer together with the applicants passport or certificate of identity.

A person who meets (a)(i) or (ii) above and is eligible to use the automated electronic system, may meet the
requirements at (b)(v) above by giving their passport to the automated electronic system.

R2.40.5 Definition of 'current'


'Current' means, in relation to any document provided in support of an application or Expression of Interest, to meet:
a.

mandatory requirements for lodgement of an application; or

b.

other evidential requirements of residence instructions,

that, at any relevant stage during the life of an application or an Expression of Interest (e.g. at the time an application or
Expression of Interest is lodged, during assessment of the application or Expression of Interest and at the date of final
decision on an application), that document is not expired.
R2.40.10 Authority to waive mandatory requirements
Immigration officers may only waive those mandatory requirements for which they have delegated authority to make a
special direction.
R2.40.15 Requests for applications to be lodged otherwise than on an approved form
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, Regs 21, 22
a.

The Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010 allow for applications to be
made otherwise than on the approved form. The purpose of these provisions is to allow for applications for
visas to be processed rapidly, where the decision to grant or refuse a visa is straightforward and in an
immigration officers view any verification requirements are minor in nature.

b.

Because of the complex nature of residence class visa applications and the high level of verification required,
requests to lodge residence class visa applications otherwise than on the approved form will normally be
refused.

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R2.40.20 Evidence of identity


a.

Mandatory requirements (see R2.40 above) relating to proof of identity require applications to include full birth
certificates for every applicant, which usually state:
i.

the applicant's name; and

ii.

their date of birth; and

iii.

their place of birth; and

iv.

the names and occupations of their parents.

b.

If a full birth certificate is unobtainable, the applicant may submit an original or certified copy of an identity
card.

c.

A full birth certificate is considered to be obtainable even if there is a possible delay or expense in obtaining it.

Effective 17/11/2014

R2.44 Additional requirements for an immigration adviser acting on behalf of an applicant


See also Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 s 9
No immigration application or request put forward on behalf of another person from an unlicensed immigration adviser
may be accepted, unless the immigration adviser is exempt from the requirement to be licensed under the Immigration
Advisers Licensing Act 2007.
R2.44.1 Persons exempt from licensing
See also Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 s 11
The following persons are exempt from the requirement to be licensed under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act
2007:
a.

a person who provides immigration advice in an informal or family context only, where the advice is not
provided systematically or for a fee;

b.

a Member of Parliament, or their staff, who provides immigration advice as part of their employment
agreement;

c.

a foreign diplomat or consular staff accorded protection as such under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities
Act 1968 or the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1971;

d.

an employee of the New Zealand public service who provides immigration advice within the scope of their
employment agreement;

e.

a lawyer who holds a current practising certificate as a barrister or as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court
of New Zealand;

f.

a person employed by or working as a volunteer for a New Zealand community law centre where at least one
lawyer is on the employing body of the community law centre or is employed by or working as a volunteer for
the community law centre in a supervisory capacity;

g.

a person employed by or working as a volunteer for a New Zealand citizens advice bureau; and

h.

a person who provides immigration advice offshore in relation to applications or potential applications for
temporary entry class visas with conditions authorising study in New Zealand only.

Effective 29/11/2010
R2.45 Additional requirements
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, regs 5, 7, 8
Before determining the application, an immigration officer processing an application may require the applicant:
a.

to appear before an immigration officer for an interview; and/or

b.

to produce any other photographs, documents, evidence, and information the officer thinks necessary to help
in determining the application; and/or

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c.

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to undergo a further medical examination (unless the applicant previously held a resident visa and is applying
for a resident visa at an immigration control area).

Effective 29/11/2010
R2.46 DNA testing for verifying claimed relationships
a.

DNA testing provides the most reliable evidence of whether or not a claimed biological relationship exists. In
certain cases, DNA test evidence will be the only evidence available to satisfy an immigration officer of a
claimed relationship because documentary and other evidence of the relationship does not exist or is
unreliable.

b.

In situations where documentation does not exist or is unreliable, an immigration officer may raise the
possibility of undertaking DNA testing with the applicant.

c.

DNA testing is voluntary for applicants and sponsors. If an applicant or sponsor, having been advised of the
possibility of DNA testing, decides not to undertake such testing, no adverse inference may be drawn from this
decision, and such a decision of itself will not be a reason to decline an application.

d.

DNA test results must be considered in the context of all other information and evidence relevant to the claimed
relationship.

e.

An immigration officer may accept results of a DNA test as part of an application at any time.

f.

Only DNA tests carried out by an INZ-approved laboratory in accordance with standard procedures will be
accepted as evidence of claimed relationships under these instructions.

g.

Usually an applicant/sponsor will be expected to pay the costs of the DNA testing used to support the claims in
their residence class visa application. On a case by case basis, INZ may consider paying for the DNA test costs.

h.

Where the applicant/sponsor has accepted an INZ invitation to undertake DNA testing to prove a relationship
between an applicant and a sponsor who has obtained residence in New Zealand under the Refugee Quota, the
costs of that test will be met by INZ.

i.

All DNA testing carried out under these instructions is done so in accordance with the Information Privacy
Principles of the Privacy Act 1993.

Effective 29/11/2010
R2.50 Applications not lodged in the prescribed manner
a.

An application must be returned if it is submitted by an unlicensed immigration adviser (see R2.44) unless they
are exempt from licensing.

b.

Except where the provisions of paragraph (a) above apply, INZ may, at its discretion, hold applications that are
not lodged in the prescribed manner (see R2.35 and R2.40) for a specified period of time until any outstanding
requirements have been met; but INZ does not consider such applications to have been made.

c.

INZ is under no obligation to hold an application that is not lodged in the prescribed manner.

d.

When an application is lodged in an incomplete but minor and easily corrected manner, immigration officers
will:
i.

hold the papers; and

ii.

notify the principal applicant or agent that the application has not been lodged in the prescribed
manner but is being held for a limited time to enable the principal applicant or agent to meet the
outstanding mandatory requirements; and

iii.

notify the principal applicant or agent of the documents required for the application to meet the
mandatory requirements (see R2.40) for lodging an application.

e.

Where (b) or (d) apply, principal applicants will be given a specified time to complete the outstanding
requirements, and if they do not do so, the application may be returned to the principal applicant or agent.

f.

When an application is not lodged in the prescribed manner and the provisions of paragraphs (b) or (d) above
do not apply, the application must be returned to the principal applicant or agent.

Effective 29/11/2010
R2.55 How to submit documents
See previous instructions: R2.55 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

All documents submitted in support of an application for a residence class visa must be originals, or certified
copies.

b.

Certified copies must be stamped or endorsed as being true copies of the originals by a person authorised by
law to take statutory declarations in the applicant's country or in New Zealand.

Examples: a lawyer, notary public, Justice of the Peace, or court official.

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c.

Residence

If certified copies are supplied, immigration officers may also request the original documents.

R2.55.1 Translations
a.

Any documents not in English must be accompanied by an English translation containing the information
normally found in an equivalent New Zealand document, or sufficient information to show that the applicant
has met the criteria set out in instructions.

b.

INZ may, at its discretion, require applicants to provide full English translations of documents.

c.

Translations must:

d.

i.

not be prepared by an applicant, any member of their family or an immigration adviser assisting with
the application; and

ii.

be accompanied by the original documents or certified copies; and

iii.

be certified as a correct translation made by a person familiar with both languages and competent in
translation work; and

iv.

bear the stamp or signature of the translator or translation business; and

v.

if applicable, be on the official letterhead of the translation business.

Officers may:
i.

request a translation of the complete document where the translation is of a selected part(s) of the
document; and

ii.

request a translation by a different (specified) translation service where they are not satisfied by the
initial translation.

Note: If a translation by a different (specified) translation service is requested the reason(s) behind the request must be
clearly documented and conveyed to the applicant by INZ.

Effective 04/04/2011
R2.60 Payment of the fee
See previous instructions R2.60 Effective 29/11/2013
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010
a.

Principal applicants must pay the fee specified for that type of application at the time the application is lodged,
unless:
i.

the fee is waived by an officer with schedule 1-3 delegations, who has the authority to grant a special
direction under section 395 (2) of the Immigration Act 2009; or

ii.

the principal applicant is a citizen of a country with which New Zealand has a fee waiver agreement
covering visas (see A6.5).

b.

A receiving office is an INZ office or authorised New Zealand Visa Application Centre (VAC) or MFAT post
designated for receiving applications from particular countries. Receiving Offices can be found on the INZ
website.

c.

The fee payable for an application is determined by the principal applicant's country of citizenship.

d.

If a principal applicant is resident in a country other than their country of citizenship, they may lodge their
application at the office designated for receiving applications from the country in which they are residing, but
the fee payable will be determined by their country of citizenship.

e.

If the principal applicant is in New Zealand and lodges an application in New Zealand, the fee payable for the
application is the fee payable for applications lodged in New Zealand, regardless of the principal applicant's
citizenship.

f.

Fees may be paid or by bank cheque, as well as by money order (from registered banks), credit card or EFTPOS
(Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sale), if these forms of payment are acceptable to the INZ office or VAC or
MFAT office at which an application is lodged.

g.

Cash is not an acceptable form of payment, with the exception of the following INZ offices: Beijing, Dubai,
Jakarta, Moscow, and Shanghai.

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h.

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Bank cheques for applications lodged at INZ offices in New Zealand should be made out to Immigration New
Zealand.

Effective 02/12/2013
R2.65 Lodging an Expression of Interest
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, reg 9
a.

In some cases a person may only apply for a residence class visa if they have earlier been invited to apply for
residence by an immigration officer. An invitation to apply for residence is sought through the completion and
lodgement of an Expression of Interest.

b.

The prescribed manner for completing and submitting an Expression of Interest is that the person expressing
interest submits to an immigration officer:
i.

the completed Expression of Interest form; and

ii.

the appropriate fee (if any).

Note: The completed form can be submitted electronically or in paper form.


c.

Expressions of Interest submitted electronically can only be submitted via the INZ website.

Effective 29/11/2010

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R3 Generic Adoptions
R3.1 Definition of 'adoption'
'Adoption' means:
a.

a legal adoption; or

b.

an adoption by custom which has occurred at an early age within an extended family.

Effective 29/11/2010
R3.5 Implications of adoptive relationships
a.

People who have been legally adopted, or who have been adopted by custom are regarded as members of the
family into which they have been adopted, if an immigration officer is satisfied that a legal or customary
adoption has taken place.

b.

If an immigration officer is satisfied that a legal or customary adoption has taken place, the person who has
been adopted will not be regarded as a member of their biological family under residence instructions for the
purposes of:
i.

inclusion in an application for a residence class visa made by their biological family; and

ii.

sponsorship of members of their biological family for a residence class visa in New Zealand; and

iii.

sponsorship by members of their biological family for a residence class visa in New Zealand; and

iv.

determining eligibility for a residence class visa under one of the Family Categories.

R3.5.1 Evidence of adoption


a.

Evidence of a legal adoption is original or certified copies of adoption papers.

b.

Evidence of a customary adoption is a written declaration by the adoptive parents stating:


i.

that the person has been adopted by them; and

ii.

the date of the adoption; and

iii.

the country in which the adoption took place.

c.

INZ may seek confirmation of a customary adoption from the person's biological parent(s), or adoptive
parent(s) as applicable.

d.

Immigration officers should consult applications lodged by any other family members to confirm whether a
customary adoption has been declared. Immigration officers should take such declarations into account when
determining whether an adoption by custom has taken place. However, if there are discrepancies between
declarations on application forms, immigration officers should not automatically assume that the adoption has
not taken place but should refer to R5.15 ('Explaining discrepancies in family details').

e.

Under the Dependent Child Category (see F5), if a person has been legally adopted by a person who is a New
Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder evidence that an overseas adoption has the same effect as a New
Zealand adoption under section 17 of the Adoption Act 1955 must also be provided (see F5.10.25).

Effective 29/11/2010

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R4 Sponsorship for residence class visas


R4.1 Objective
A New Zealand sponsor is a requirement in some residence categories in order to:
a.

improve settlement outcomes for the applicant; and

b.

ensure that the applicant has a means of support in New Zealand; and

c.

protect the Crown from the potential cost of the applicant seeking government assistance.

Effective 29/11/2010
R4.5 Acceptable sponsors
See previous instructions R4.5 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009, s 48
a.

In order to sponsor an applicant for a residence class visa, a sponsor must be


i.

deemed acceptable by the Minister of Immigration or an immigration officer; and

ii.

meet the relevant eligibility criteria for acceptable sponsors set out in this chapter; and

iii.

meet any further criteria imposed by the specific residence category the applicant is applying under.

b.

It is a matter for the absolute discretion of the Minister of Immigration or an immigration officer whether a
person is acceptable as a sponsor.

c.

A sponsor may be a natural person, an organisation or a government agency. A specific residence category may
specify restrictions regarding the types of entity that may sponsor under that category.

d.

If the sponsor is a natural person then they:


i.

must be a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a current residence class visa that is not subject to
conditions under section 49(1)(a) or section 50 of the Immigration Act 2009; and

ii.

must have been a New Zealand citizen and/or the holder of a New Zealand residence class visa (or a
residence permit or returning residents visa under the Immigration Act 1987) for at least three years
immediately preceding the date the application they wish to sponsor is made; and

iii.

must be ordinarily resident in New Zealand and for each of the three 12 month portions within the
three years immediately preceding the date the application they wish to sponsor is made, have spent
a total of 184 days or more in New Zealand; and

iv.

must not sponsor for the purpose of receiving a financial reward or fee; and

v.

must not have been convicted at any time of an offence under immigration law; and

vi.

must not have an outstanding debt to the Crown or other third parties as a result of another
sponsorship arrangement; and

vii. must not sponsor a person if they have previously breached sponsorship obligations; and
viii. must not have entered insolvency procedures or be adjudicated bankrupt; and

e.

ix.

must not be liable for deportation; and

x.

must not be serving a custodial sentence or be awaiting sentencing after being convicted of a crime
which carries a custodial sentence; and

xi.

must not have arrived in New Zealand as a member of a mass arrival group, with the exception of a
person who was an unaccompanied minor when they arrived (see C8.5.5) or a person acting as a
sponsor under RW3.

If the sponsor is an organisation it:


i.

must be registered in New Zealand as a company, incorporated society or charitable trust; and

ii.

must identify a clear link between the organisations activities and the purpose for which the applicant
is coming to New Zealand; and

iii.

must not sponsor for the purpose of receiving a financial reward or fee; and

iv.

must not have been convicted of an offence under immigration law, and must not have any listed
directors, trustees, or management, who have been convicted of an offence under immigration law;
and

v.

must not have an outstanding debt to the Crown or other third parties as a result of another
sponsorship arrangement; and

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vi.

Residence

must not sponsor a person if they have previously breached sponsorship obligations; and

vii. must not be in receivership or liquidation.


Note: Sponsoring an employee for the purpose of employment that is expected to result in a profit being made for
the sponsor is not considered to be financial reward.
f.

If the sponsor is an a government agency, it must be a government department under the State Sector Act
1988, or a Crown entity as defined in section 7(1) of the Crown Entities Act 2004.

Note: for the purpose of sponsorship requirements, a Crown entity as defined in section 7(1) of the Crown Entities
Act 2004 includes Crown agents, autonomous Crown entities and independent Crown entities, Crown entity
companies, Crown entity subsidiaries, school boards of trustees, and tertiary institutions.
g.

If a sponsor is not a natural person they must nominate an individual as the authorised contact for the purposes
of sponsorship.

h.

If a sponsor does not meet the criteria to be an acceptable sponsor, the reasons for this decision must be put
to the applicant to allow the sponsor to respond.

Effective 29/07/2013
R4.10 Sponsorship undertakings
See also Immigration Act 2009, s 48
a.

Sponsorship creates a responsibility for the sponsor to ensure the sponsored person has accommodation,
maintenance while in New Zealand, and outward travel.

b.

The undertakings for which a sponsor is responsible, and in relation to which a debt is recoverable from the
sponsor, are:
i.

accommodation, meaning suitable accommodation for the sponsored person in New Zealand, where
the sponsored person does not have the means for their own accommodation; and

ii.

maintenance, meaning the reasonable costs of essential provisions needed for the sponsored persons
health and welfare in New Zealand, where they do not have the means for these. This may include but
is not limited to food, clothing and medical treatment where required; and

iii.

repatriation, meaning any costs associated with the sponsored person leaving New Zealand at the end
of the sponsorship period if the person:

does not have the means for their own repatriation (or refuses to pay for it); or

is liable for deportation.


iv.

c.

deportation, meaning any costs that are incurred during the sponsorship period in relation to the
sponsored persons deportation, which could include the costs of locating, detaining and maintaining
the person, and their travel costs in being deported.

A visa holder themselves may have the means to fund their own maintenance, accommodation, and outward
travel. However, if they do not, or refuse to, the sponsor is required to either provide these themselves
directly or pay for the cost of providing them.

Effective 29/11/2010
R4.15 Breach of sponsorship undertakings
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 55, 159
a.

Where sponsorship is required by the immigration instructions for a resident visa application, it is an ongoing
condition of the visa granted to the sponsored person.

b.

If costs are incurred by the Crown or a third party because any part of the maintenance, accommodation or
outward travel needs of a sponsored person were not met, the sponsor is considered to have breached their
sponsorship undertaking.

c.

If costs are incurred by the Crown or a third party as a result of a sponsor breaching their sponsorship
undertakings,

d.

i.

the visa holder is deemed to have breached the conditions of their visa and will therefore become
liable for deportation; and

ii.

these costs are considered to be a debt owed by the sponsor, and the sponsor is liable to be pursued
by the Crown or the third party to recover this debt.

A sponsors liability for any debt incurred to the crown or a third party as a result of a breach of their
sponsorship undertakings remains:
i.

after the end of the sponsorship period, until the debt is recovered; and

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ii.

Residence

regardless of the subsequent status of the sponsored person in New Zealand or the departure of the
sponsored person from New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
R4.20 Duration of sponsorship period
a.

The responsibility of the sponsor to meet their undertakings remains in place from the date the sponsored
person arrives in New Zealand, or if they are already onshore, from the date the visa with sponsorship
conditions is granted, until the earliest of:
i.

the date the person sponsored is granted a new visa with a new sponsor or no sponsorship
requirement; or

ii.

the date at the end of the duration stipulated in the category under which the person received their
visa; or

iii.

the date the sponsored person is deported from New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
R4.25 Evidence of sponsorship
a.

Sponsors must provide the completed sponsorship form required by the category of residence instructions the
application is being made under.

b.

Sponsors must provide evidence that they are an acceptable sponsor and have the financial means to meet all
sponsorship undertakings.

c.

An Immigration Officer may request additional evidence that a sponsor is an acceptable sponsor and is able to
meet their sponsorship undertakings.

d.

If a sponsor is an organisation, they must provide evidence that they are registered in New Zealand as a
company, incorporated society or charitable trust.

R4.25.1 Evidence for sponsors who are natural persons


a.

Evidence that sponsors are New Zealand citizens may include, but is not limited to, original or certified copies
of:
New Zealand passport; or

a New Zealand birth certificate issued prior to 1 January 2006; or

a New Zealand birth certificate issued on or after 1 January 2006 that positively indicates New Zealand
citizenship; or

a certificate of New Zealand citizenship; or

a confirmation of New Zealand citizenship by descent certificate issued under the Citizenship Act 1977; or

an evidentiary certificate issued under the Citizenship Act 1977 confirming New Zealand citizenship; or

an endorsement in a foreign passport indicating the fact of New Zealand citizenship.

b.

Evidence that sponsors are residence class visa holders may include but is not limited to original or certified
copies of:
a current New Zealand residence class visa in their passport or a certificate of identity; or

evidence the sponsor is deemed to hold a residence class visa.

c.

Evidence of a sponsors time spent in New Zealand as a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder may
include:
INZ records of sponsors' entry to and exit from New Zealand; or

the sponsors current or previous passports; or

any other evidence of time spent in New Zealand provided by a sponsor or sought by INZ.

Note: Periods during which a residence class visa holder has been in New Zealand are calculated inclusive of both arrival
and departure dates.

Effective 29/11/2010

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Residence

R5 Determining an Application
R5.1 Applications determined by INZ officers
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 72
a.

b.

Immigration officers must determine applications for residence class visas in accordance with:
i.

the requirements of the Immigration Act 2009; and

ii.

residence instructions applying at the time the application is made.

Any discretion officers exercise must be in terms of the applicable residence instructions.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.5 Evidential requirements
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, reg 5
a.

Immigration officers must be satisfied that the information an applicant submits complies with the evidential
requirements set out in residence instructions.

b.

Even if an applicant meets the specific evidential requirements, an immigration officer may still decide that
additional evidence is necessary.

c.

Immigration officers should use their discretion to decide what is sufficient evidence for rules and criteria that
have no specific evidential requirements.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.6 Age of applicant
An applicant's age at the time an application is made is the age at which the applicant will be assessed under residence
instructions unless otherwise specified in a particular provision within residence instructions.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.10 Verification
Immigration officers have a general obligation to take the steps that are necessary or appropriate to verify any
documentation or information (see Z) relevant to any decision under residence instructions, whether or not a particular
provision enables or obliges them to do so.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.15 Explaining discrepancies in family details
a.

Under the principles of fairness and natural justice, applicants must be given an opportunity to explain any
discrepancies in the details of their immediate family, if those discrepancies are materially relevant to the
application.

b.

Applicants, or other relevant parties, may be required to provide the explanation in writing and/or at an
interview, and if given at interview the explanation must be recorded in writing.

c.

If applicants or other relevant parties are required to provide the explanation in writing, they must be given a
reasonable time in which to do so and must know what it is they are expected to explain.

d.

If, as the result of an explanation, the immigration officer is satisfied that the details provided by the applicant
are correct, or that the applicant has genuinely misunderstood the requirements, the officer should continue to
assess the application.

R5.15.1 False or misleading information


a.

If an immigration officer has reasonable cause to believe that an applicant has:


i.

supplied incorrect information; or

ii.

failed to declare relevant family members in a deliberate attempt to mislead,

the officer should consider declining the application under the character provisions of the Administration chapter
(A5).

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b.

Residence

If the application is declined on character grounds, the officer should continue to assess the application and, if
the application fails to meet other applicable residence instructions requirements, also decline the application
on those grounds.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.18 Effect of provisions of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003
No residence class visa may be granted in contravention of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003. That act provides that:
a.

b.

No visa may be granted to a person on the basis that they:


i.

Have provided, or intend to provide, commercial sexual services; or

ii.

Have provided, or intend to act as an operator of a business of prostitution; or

iii.

Have invested, or intends to invest, in a business of prostitution.

If the holder of a resident visa is subject to any conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009, the
condition is considered not to be met (for the purposes of the holder becoming liable for deportation) if the visa
holder acts as an operator of, or invests in, a New Zealand business of prostitution.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.20 Assessment of applications under nominated category
See previous instructions R5.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Immigration officers need only assess applications under the category the principal applicant nominates.

b.

Officers are not obliged to seek further information to determine whether the principal applicant may be eligible
under another category.

c.

However, officers should request further information to enable the application to be assessed under another
category if:
i.

an application does not meet the criteria for approval under the category in which it was made; and

ii.

information contained in the application form or accompanying documents clearly indicates that the
principal applicant may be eligible under that other category.

Note: Resident visas can only be granted under the Skilled Migrant Category to a person who has been invited by an
immigration officer to apply for a residence class visas under the Skilled Migrant Category.
R5.20.1 Further information
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 58, 93, 158
a.

Further information may be submitted at any time before a final decision is made on an application.
Immigration officers must take into account any relevant information submitted by applicants before a final
decision is made.

b.

Immigration officers should also take into account any relevant information held about previous applications.

c.

If applicants do not respond within the specified time to a request from an immigration officer for further
information, evidence or documents, or an interview, the application may be assessed on the relevant
information then available to INZ, unless it is reasonable to enquire further.

d.

Applicants must inform an immigration officer of any relevant fact, including any material change in
circumstances that occurs after the application is made, if that fact or change in circumstances:

e.

i.

may affect the decision on the application; or

ii.

may affect a decision to grant entry permission to the holder of a visa.

Every person expressing an interest in obtaining an invitation to apply for a residence class visa under section
92 of the Immigration Act 2009 must inform an immigration officer of any relevant fact, including any change
in circumstances that occurs after the expression of interest is notified, if that fact or change in circumstances:
i.

may affect the decision to issue an invitation to apply for a residence class visa; or

ii.

may affect a decision to grant a residence class visa as a consequence of the invitation to apply.

f.

A change in circumstances may relate to the applicant or another person included in the application, and may
relate to any matter relevant to the applicable instructions.

g.

Failure to comply with the requirements of (d) or (e) above:


i.

amounts to 'concealment of information' for the purposes of section 158 of the Immigration Act; and

ii.

may lead to the holder of any visa granted being made liable for deportation.

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h.

Residence

It is sufficient grounds for the Minister of Immigration or an immigration officer to decline to grant a visa to a
person if the Minister or officer is satisfied that the person:
i.

whether personally or through an agent, in expressing their interest in obtaining an invitation to apply
for a residence class visa submitted false or misleading information, or withheld relevant information
that was potentially prejudicial to the issue of the invitation; or

ii.

did not ensure that an immigration officer was informed of any material change in circumstances
between the time of expressing interest and the time of the person's application for the relevant visa;
or

iii.

whether personally or through an agent, in applying for the visa submitted false or misleading
information or withheld relevant information that was potentially prejudicial to granting the visa; or

iv.

did not ensure that an immigration officer was informed of any material change in circumstances
between the time of making the application and the time of a decision on the application.

R5.20.5 Potentially prejudicial information


In accordance with the principles of fairness and natural justice set out in the Administration chapter (A1), applicants for
a residence class visa will be given the opportunity to comment before a decision is made to decline to grant a visa on the
basis of any potentially prejudicial information that they are not necessarily aware of.
R5.20.10 Documenting decisions
All immigration officers must observe the following procedures to ensure that decisions on applications for a residence
class visa are properly documented:
a.

make all file records (particularly file notes and instructions) accurate, clear, complete and factual; and

b.

give all decisions on applications in writing to applicants (or their representatives); and

c.

state the full reasons for the decisions (without prejudicing any risk profiles); and

d.

if an applicant does not meet the criteria set out in the instructions on several grounds, the letter declining their
application must state why the applicant fails on each count.

Effective 02/12/2013
R5.25 Reclaiming airfares and expenses
a.

If a person included in a residence class visa application has been previously removed or deported or
repatriated from New Zealand, no visa may be granted to anyone included in the application until all expenses
incurred by INZ in deporting or repatriating them are repaid.

b.

Any approval in principle letter (see R5.45) must contain the requirement that all costs be repaid and also show
the amount to be repaid.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.30 Approving an application
Applications for a residence class visa must be approved if the immigration officer is satisfied that:
a.

the applicant has provided all evidence required by the applicable residence instructions, and any additional
evidence requested by the immigration officer; and

b.

the applicant meets applicable residence instructions including the requirements of health and character.

R5.30.1 Approving an application for a resident visa made at an immigration control area by holders of
current Australian permanent residence visas, current Australian resident return visas or valid Australian
passports
a.

People who hold current Australian permanent residence visas, current Australian resident return visas or valid
Australian passports may be granted resident visas on arrival in New Zealand, provided they have not been
excluded under sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 (see A5.20)

b.

If sections 15 or 16 apply, a resident visa may be granted only in accordance with a special direction made
under section 17 (see RA8).

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Residence

Note: A resident visa granted to an Australian passport holder will be an electronic record held by INZ. If an Australian
passport holder requires evidence of their resident status in New Zealand, they may apply for a confirmation of a
residence class visa (R7).

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.35 Later application under one of the Family Categories by previous applicants
An applicant for a residence class visa in New Zealand under one of the Family Categories must not be approved under
those instructions if their application is based on their relationship to a New Zealand permanent resident, resident or
citizen who originally obtained a residence class visa as the partner or dependent child(ren) of the applicant or the
applicant's partner.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.45 Approval in principle
a.

An application for a residence class visa is approved in principle at such time as an immigration officer is
satisfied that all evidential and verification requirements necessary to demonstrate eligibility under the
relevant instructions have been met with the exception of the payment of any ESOL tuition fee.

b.

The date of approval in principle is the date of the letter to the principal applicant or their agent advising that
approval in principle has been given.

c.

If evidence that requirements have been met has not been submitted, or a fee or charge has not been paid
within the period specified in the original letter advising of approval in principle, the application must be
declined unless an immigration officer is satisfied that circumstances warrant extending that period.

R5.45.1 Information received after approval in principle has been given


In accordance with the principles of fairness and natural justice provided in the Administration chapter (A1), principal
applicants must be given the opportunity to comment on the basis of any potentially prejudicial information that comes
to light after approval in principle, before a final decision on their eligibility under residence instructions (including Health
and Character requirements) is made.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.50 Lapsing an application
R5.50.1 Lapsing an application on the grounds that the applicant has failed to provide their travel document
to INZ
a.

Unless paragraph (b) applies, an application will be considered to be lapsed, and must be declined, if a principal
applicant has not provided their travel document to INZ for the grant of a residence class visa within 6 months
from the date of advice that the application has met the requirements for approval.

b.

Immigration officers must consider any relevant circumstances in deciding whether or not to lapse and then
decline an application, including but not limited to:
i.

the death of a family member,

ii.

illness,

iii.

loss or theft of documentation,

and they may, if appropriate, extend the 6-month period referred to in paragraph (a) above.
c.

Any application lapsed under this provision will not result in the refund of the application fee.

R5.50.5 Lapsing an application on the grounds that the applicant has failed to deposit a migrant levy with
INZ
a.

Unless paragraph (b) applies, an application will be considered to be lapsed, and must be declined, if a principal
applicant has not deposited any applicable migrant levy (R5.90) with INZ within 6 months from the date of
advice that the application has met the requirements for approval.

b.

Immigration officers must consider any relevant circumstances in deciding whether or not to lapse and then
decline an application, including but not limited to:
i.

the death of a family member,

ii.

illness,

iii.

unexpected financial hardship,

and they may, if appropriate, extend the 6-month period referred to in paragraph (a) above.

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c.

Residence

Any application lapsed under this provision will not result in the refund of the application fee.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.55 Declining an application
See previous instructions R5.55 Effective 29/11/2010
Where an application is being declined because:
a.

it does not meet residence instructions or is lapsed under the provisions at R5.50, refer to R5.55.1 and R5.55.5.

b.

person included in the application is a person to whom sections 15 or 16 applies, refer to R5.55.15.

R5.55.1 Declining an application where it does not meet residence instructions or is lapsed under the
provisions at R5.50
a.

Applications that do not meet residence instructions and applications that are considered to be lapsed under
the provisions at R5.50 must be declined.

b.

If an application is declined, immigration officers must notify the principal applicant in writing, informing the
principal applicant:
i.

of the reasons why the application has been declined (giving the points total, if appropriate), and

ii.

of their right to appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal and how they should lodge the
appeal.

Note: The form Immigration and Protection Tribunal - Residence Class Visa Appeal (Form 1) or a link to
the form on the Ministry of Justice website must be included in the letter advising that the application has
been declined.
c.

Immigration officers must record the date that any letter advising that the application has been declined is
posted.

R5.55.5 Right of Appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal


See also Immigration Act 2009 s 187
a.

Appeals must be lodged within 42 days after the date that an applicant is deemed to have received a letter
advising that an application for a residence class visa has been declined.

b.

Appeals must be lodged on the form Immigration and Protection Tribunal - Residence Class Visa Appeal (Form
1) which contains information on:
i.

how to lodge an appeal,

ii.

the required fee,

iii.

how the time limit for lodging an appeal is calculated.

Note: There is no right of appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal for applicants who have been declined on the
basis that sections 15 or 16 apply to them (see R5.55.15).
R5.55.15 Declining an application where it includes a person to whom sections 15 or 16 apply
a.

Pursuant to A5.20, any application including a person to whom sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009
apply, must be declined unless covered by one of the exceptions identified at A5.20(a).

b.

If an application is declined, immigration officers must notify the principal applicant in writing, informing the
principal applicant that the application has been declined as a person included in the application is prohibited by
statute from entitlement or eligibility for the grant of a residence class visa by virtue of sections 15 or 16.

Note: An application declined on this basis shall not be assessed under residence instructions.
c.

Immigration officers must record the date that any letter advising that the application has been declined, is
posted.

Note: An applicant to whom sections 15 or 16 apply who is included in an application declined on this basis has no
right of appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, but other applicants included in that application to whom
sections 15 or 16 do not apply, may appeal.

Effective 07/11/2011
R5.60 Date of final decision
a.

The date of final decision on an application that is declined is the date when the letter advising that the
application has been declined, is posted.

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b.

Residence

The date of final decision on an application that is approved is the date of grant of the residence class visa.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.65 Approved applications for residence class visas
a.

Unless otherwise stated, an approved application for a residence class visa will result in the grant of a resident
visa.

b.

The travel conditions to be granted on a resident visa are set out at R5.66.

c.

A permanent resident visa may be granted as a result of an approved application for a:


i.

permanent resident visa, by a resident visa holder who meets the requirements set out in RV2;

ii.

residence class visa under Partnership Category, by a person who meets the requirements set
out F2.5.1;

iii.

residence class visa under the Talent (Accredited Employer) Category, by a person who meets the
requirements set out at RW2.1;

iv.

residence class visa by a quota refugee, asylum seeker or protected person (S3.10)

R5.65.1 Resident visas subject to conditions


See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 49, 50, 55
a.

When a principal applicant is granted a resident visa subject to conditions, the resident visas of any
accompanying partner and dependent child will be subject to the condition that "the principal applicant comply
with the conditions of the principal applicant's visa".

b.

For applications based on partnership, or dependent child relationships, any applicant who is supported by a
person whose resident visa is subject to conditions at the time the sponsorship was undertaken or support was
given, will be granted a resident visa subject to the condition that "[name of supporter] comply with the
requirements of [his or her] visa".

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.66 Travel conditions on resident visas
See previous instructions R5.66 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

Unless a resident visa is granted at an immigration control area, all resident visas may be granted with travel
conditions allowing:
i.

first arrival by a certain date, if the applicant is offshore (unless the resident visa is a second or
subsequent resident visa granted under RV4); and

ii.

multiple entries current either for a set period from date of the initial grant of entry permission based
on the resident visa, or until a certain date.

The currency of these travel conditions are determined by the residence category under which the resident visa
has been granted.

R5.66.1 Travel conditions allowing first entry for applicants overseas when the resident visa is granted
a.

If an applicant is offshore at the time their application for a resident visa is granted, the following travel
conditions must be granted to allow their first entry to New Zealand as a resident:
i.

first entry within one year after the grant of the visa, unless the resident visa was granted under the
Samoan Quota Scheme (see S1.10.55), or the Pacific Access Category (see S1.40.55); or

ii.

first entry within three months after the grant of the visa, if the resident visa was granted under the
Samoan Quota Scheme (see S1.10.55), or the Pacific Access Category (see S1.40.55).

b.

No variation to travel conditions pertaining to first entry may be granted.

c.

People with resident visas who fail to travel to New Zealand within the validity of their first travel condition must
submit a further application for a residence class visa if they still wish to live in New Zealand.

Note:
~ In the case of applicants who wish to re-apply for a residence class visa under categories which require selection
from a ballot (e.g. Samoan Quota, Pacific Access Category) such applicants must re-register for a ballot and submit
a new application for a residence class visa if they are successful in such a ballot.
~ Applicants who wish to re-apply for a residence class visa under categories which require an invitation to apply
following selection from a pool (e.g. Skilled Migrant Category) must submit a new Expression of Interest and
subsequently be invited to apply for residence.

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Residence

d.

Any new residence class visa application must be lodged in the prescribed manner and will be assessed against
residence instructions applying at the time the new application is made.

e.

Visas will be granted only if the applicant's travel document is current for the proposed currency of the initial
travel conditions.

R5.66.5 Travel conditions allowing multiple entries from the first day in New Zealand as a resident
a.

A resident visa may be granted with travel conditions allowing multiple entries for two years from the
applicants first day in New Zealand as a resident, unless the visa is granted under the Parent Category (F4).
Visas granted under the Parent Category may be granted multiple entry travel conditions for five years from the
applicants first day in New Zealand as a resident (see F4.50).

b.

A persons first day in New Zealand as a resident is either:


i.

the day their resident visa is granted in New Zealand; or

ii.

the day they are first granted entry permission on the basis of their resident visa, if they were outside
of New Zealand when their resident visa was granted.

c.

If a resident visa holder fails to travel to New Zealand within the validity of their first entry travel condition,
their multiple entry travel conditions never become valid.

d.

If the holder of a resident visa wishes to travel to New Zealand outside of the validity of their multiple entry
travel conditions and they do not qualify for a permanent resident visa (see RV2), they may apply for a
variation of their travel conditions (RV3).

R5.66.10 Former New Zealand citizens deemed to hold a resident visa


See also Immigration Act 2009 s 75
a.

Former New Zealand citizens who have renounced their New Zealand citizenship and are deemed to hold a
resident visa under section 75 may be granted multiple entry travel conditions for two years from the date they
renounced their citizenship.

b.

Former New Zealand citizens who have been deprived of their New Zealand citizenship are deemed to hold a
resident visa under section 75 may be granted multiple entry travel conditions for the duration they would be
eligible for if they applied for a variation of travel conditions (RV3).

Effective 30/07/2012
R5.70 Newborn children of residence class visa holders
See previous instructions R5.70 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

Children born outside New Zealand to applicants who hold residence class visas but have not yet travelled to
New Zealand on those visas, may be included in their parents' application, provided that the child's name is
added to the application form and the following documents are submitted:
i.

a full birth certificate; and

ii.

2 passport-sized photographs; and

iii.

a completed General Medical Certificate (INZ 1007); and

iv.

an acceptable travel document.

Newborn children added to applications after residence class visas are granted to the rest of the family (with
the exception of those applicants described at R5.90(a)), are subject to Migrant Levy instructions (see R5.90).

Effective 30/07/2012
R5.75 Status of people applying for a residence class visa while in New Zealand
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 14
The fact that a person has applied for a residence class visa while in New Zealand does not:
a.

make that person's presence in New Zealand lawful; or

b.

give that person the right to remain in New Zealand while the application is considered; or

c.

give that person the right to apply for or be granted any other visa while the application is considered; or

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d.

Residence

prevent that person being deported from New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.80 Referring residence decisions to the Minister
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 72
No immigration officer may refer an application for a residence class visa to the Minister of Immigration for a decision in
the first instance unless the Minister gives a special direction to do so (see RA7).
Note: The effect of the Minister becoming personally involved in the decision in the first instance is to deprive the
applicant of appeal rights except where the Minister relied on classified information to make that decision.

Effective 29/11/2010
R5.90 Migrant Levy
See previous instructions R5.90 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, regs 26, 27 and 28
a.

Under residence instructions, all successful principal applicants and accompanying family members outside of
an immigration control area must pay a migrant levy unless exempt. People are exempt from paying the
migrant levy if a visa is granted:
i.

to a person who has already paid the migrant levy;

ii.

to a refugee or protected person, or on the basis of the persons relationship with a refugee or
protected person; or

iii.

under the Samoan Quota Scheme or Special Samoan Quota Places Category, or to citizens of Samoa
under the one of the Family Categories; or

iv.

under the special instructions for Victims of Domestic Violence; or

v.

under the Skilled Migrant Category if they have previously paid the migrant levy as a consequence of
a decision made under the work to residence instructions (Skilled Migrant Category); or

vi.

under the special instructions for Victims of People Trafficking.

b.

The migrant levy charge is NZ$310 for everyone five years of age and above for all residence categories, except
for those approved under the Pacific Access Category.

c.

For those approved under Pacific Access Category and for children under five years in all categories, the
migrant levy charge is NZ$155.

d.

The maximum total migrant levy payable per application is the sum of the amounts payable by the four oldest
people included in the application.

e.

The migrant levy:


i.

must be deposited before the grant of the relevant visa; and

ii.

is determined at the date it is deposited; and

iii.

is in addition to any other amount payable for any other visa; and

iv.

may be subject to special direction by the Minister of Immigration.

R5.90.1 Refunds of migrant levy


a.

If a migrant levy is deposited but the principal applicant and partner and dependent children included in the
application do not enter New Zealand within the validity of their first entry travel condition (or in the case of a
person eligible to be granted a visa as a consequence of a decision under the Work to Residence (Skilled
Migrant Category) instructions that work visa is not granted), a refund may be granted upon request to INZ.
The request must be made in writing.

b.

Requests made more than 6 months after the expiry date of the first entry travel condition, or made more than
6 months after advice from the INZ that a person is eligible to be granted a visa as a consequence of a decision
made under the Work to Residence (Skilled Migrant Category) instructions, must be declined.

c.

Immigration officers who have been delegated the authority to refund the levy (under section 395 of the
Immigration Act 2009) must be satisfied that:
i.

the principal applicant and partner and dependent children included in the application have not taken
up residence; and

ii.

their resident visas are no longer current; or

iii.

(in the case of a person eligible to be granted a visa as a consequence of a decision made under the
Work to Residence (Skilled Migrant Category) instruction) that the visa is not granted.)

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d.

Residence

The person who paid the levy will be refunded the appropriate amount.

Effective 25/07/2011
R5.95 Character requirement for partners supporting Partnership Category applications
See previous instructions R5.95 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Any supporting partner who has been convicted, in the seven years prior to the date the application is made,
of:
i.

any offence involving domestic violence; or

ii.

any offence of a sexual nature

will not meet the character requirement for partners supporting Partnership Category applications, unless granted a
character waiver (see R5.95.5 below).
b.

If the supporting partner does not meet the character requirement for partners supporting partnership
application, the application may be declined.

Note: For the purpose of these instructions, 'domestic violence' has the meaning set out in s.3 of the Domestic Violence
Act 1995.
R5.95.1 Evidence that partners supporting Partnership Category applications meet the character
requirement
a.

Character checks must be carried out for partners (aged 17 and over) supporting Partnership Category
applications.

b.

The supporting partner character check consists of:

c.

d.

i.

a New Zealand police certificate obtained by Immigration New Zealand; and

ii.

a police or similar certificate, less than 6 months old, from any country in which the supporting partner
has lived 12 months or more (whether on one visit or intermittently) in the last seven years.

Where an application is submitted without the required police certificate(s), an immigration officer may
nevertheless accept the application, and obtain any necessary clearances after acceptance, if a supporting
partner requires a police certificate from a country:
i.

that does not issue police certificates to individuals; or

ii.

for which no instructions in respect of how to obtain a police certificate is available.

If a police certificate is not available from a particular country, the supporting partner must provide a separate
statutory declaration in both English and the supporting partner's first language, which must:
i.

detail the supporting partner's attempts to obtain a police certificate; and

ii.

state whether the supporting partner has been convicted, or found guilty of, or charged with any
offences against the law of that country; and

iii.

be corroborated by other information confirming the supporting partner's character.

Notes:
~ For full information on police certificates see A5.10.
~ Instructions in respect of how to obtain police certificates from specific countries can be obtained from the INZ website
at www.immigration.govt.nz/policecertificate.
R5.95.5 Action
a.

Immigration officers must not automatically decline partnership applications on the basis that the supporting
partner does not meet the character requirement for partners supporting partnership applications.

b.

Officers must consider the surrounding circumstances of the application to decide whether or not they are
compelling enough to justify waiving the character requirement. The circumstances include but are not limited
to the following factors as appropriate:

c.

i.

if applicable, the seriousness of the offence (generally indicated by the term of imprisonment or size
of the fine); and/or

ii.

whether there is more than one offence; and/or

iii.

how long ago the relevant event occurred.

Officers must make a decision only after they have considered all relevant factors, including (if applicable):
i.

any advice from the National Office of INZ; and

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ii.
d.

e.

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compliance with fairness and natural justice requirements (see A1).

Officers must record:


i.

their consideration of the surrounding circumstances, (see paragraph (b) above), noting all factors
taken into account; and

ii.

the reasons for their decision to waive or decline to waive the character requirement.

Any decision to waive the character requirement for partners must be made by an officer with Schedule 1-3
delegations.

Effective 04/04/2011
R5.96 Health requirement for partners or dependent children not included in or withdrawn from
a residence class visa application
a.

Applicants under one of the Family Categories who were eligible for inclusion but were not included in, or were
withdrawn from, a residence class visa application made by their partner or parent must provide a General
Medical Certificate (INZ 1007) with their application rather than a Limited Medical Certificate (INZ 1201).

b.

If an immigration officer determines that the applicant does not have an acceptable standard of health they will
not be granted a medical waiver (see A4.60(b)) despite being the partner or dependent child of a New Zealand
citizen or residence class visa holder (see A4.60(d)).

Effective 30/07/2012
R5.100 Ban on the grant of residence class visas to certain individuals and classes of individuals
See previous instructions:
R5.100 Effective 03/04/2014
R5.100 Effective 24/03/2014
R5.100 Effective 06/10/2013
R5.100 Effective 06/05/2012
R5.100 Effective 30/07/2011
R5.100 Effective 29/11/2010
R5.100.1 Ban on the grant of visas to leading members of the Government of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (FRY) including Serbia and their supporters
a.

New Zealand has taken action in respect of leading citizens of the FRY and Serbia, being persons closely aligned
with the regime of Slobodan Milosevic whose activities support President Milosevic or whose actions are
presumed to provide support (including members of his immediate family), and who are named on the lists of
such persons held by INZ and updated from time to time.

b.

Ordinarily, none of the persons named on the lists held by INZ may be granted a visa to enter New Zealand
(including a transit visa).

c.

Where special circumstances exist (supported by cogent and reliable evidence) INZ may nonetheless grant a
visa to a person named on the lists.

d.

The decision to grant a visa to a person named on the lists is limited to immigration officers with Schedule 1-2
delegations (see A15.5).

R5.100.10 Restriction on the grant of visas to Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, and his wife
a.

Ordinarily, Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, and his wife, Grace, may not be granted a visa to New
Zealand (including a transit visa).

b.

Notwithstanding (a), where special circumstances exist (supported by cogent and reliable evidence and in
consultation with MFAT) INZ may nonetheless grant such a visa.

c.

The decision to grant a visa under (b) is limited to immigration officers with Schedule 1-2 delegations (see
A15.5).

R5.100.20 Ban on the grant of visas to leading members of the Syrian regime
a.

New Zealand has taken action in respect of leading members of the regime in Syria, being persons closely
aligned with the regime of President Bashar Hafez al-Assad, and who are named on the list of such persons held
by INZ and updated from time to time.

b.

Ordinarily, none of the persons named on the list held by INZ may be granted a visa to enter New Zealand
(including a transit visa).

c.

Where special circumstances exist (supported by cogent and reliable evidence and in consultation with MFAT)
INZ may nonetheless grant a visa to a person named on the list.

d.

The decision to grant a visa to a person named on the list is limited to immigration officers with Schedule 1-2
delegations (see A15.5).

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R5.100.25 Ban on the grant of visas to individuals associated with the Ukraine crisis
a.

New Zealand has taken action in respect of key individuals identified as being responsible for, or associated
with, actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,
and who are named on the list of such persons held by INZ and updated from time to time.

b.

Ordinarily, none of the persons named on the list held by INZ may be granted a visa to enter New Zealand
(including a transit visa).

c.

Where special circumstances exist (supported by cogent and reliable evidence and in consultation with MFAT)
INZ may nonetheless grant a visa to a person named on the list.

d.

The decision to grant a visa to a person named on the list is limited to immigration officers with Schedule 1-2
delegations (see A15.5).

Effective 28/07/2014
R5.105 Restrictions on the grant of residence class visas for New Zealand Aid Programme
(NZAP) students and their dependants
a.

Unless (b) applies, NZAP-supported students and their partners, and the dependent children of
NZAP-supported students and/or their partner are not eligible to be granted a residence class visa:
i.

for the duration that the student receives the NZAP scholarship; and

ii.

in the two-year period following cessation of the NZAP student's scholarship (see U11).

b.

The restriction in (a) may be waived if written approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
is obtained.

c.

INZ will notify MFAT if any NZAP-supported student, their partner or dependent children apply for a residence
class visa at any time throughout the duration of the scholarship or in the two-year period following the
cessation of the scholarship.

d.

Any work visa granted to the NZAP-supported students partner under immigration instructions at WF4.5 will
expire on cessation of the NZAP partners scholarship and cannot be renewed, unless the work visa holder has
written approval from MFAT for a renewal (see WF4.5).

Effective 17/11/2014

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R6 New Zealand Residence Programme


R6.1 New Zealand Residence Programme
See previous instructions:
R6.1 Effective 01/07/2011
R6.1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

The New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) consists of all persons approved for residence class visas in the
two years beginning 1 July 2014 and ending 30 June 2016.

b.

The NZRP is set for the duration of the two year period, unless a review is directed by the Minister of
Immigration. Any changes will be advised by an amendment to these instructions.

c.

The NZRP for the two year period is 90,000 to 100,000 approved places.

Note: Permanent resident visas granted to holders of resident visas or second or subsequent resident visas granted to
former holders of resident visas are not counted towards the NZRP.

Effective 20/07/2014
R6.5 Allocation of places within the New Zealand Residence Programme
See previous instructions:
R6.5 Effective 01/07/2011
R6.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

There are three streams within the New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP):
i.

The Skilled/Business stream;

ii.

The Family stream

iii.

The International/Humanitarian stream.

b.

The Government may, from time to time, reallocate places for approvals within the three streams and/or add
places to the three streams.

c.

The allocation of places for each stream across the two-year NZRP period is as follows:

d.

i.

The Skilled/Business stream is allocated approximately 53,800 to 59,950 places.

ii.

The Family stream is allocated approximately 29,700 to 32,400 places.

iii.

The International/Humanitarian stream is allocated approximately 6,500 to 7,650 places.

For the places available under the Family stream, 11,000 places in total are available for approvals under the
Capped Family categories. These places for the Capped Family category approvals consist of the following:
i.

2,820 places are available for approvals under the Parent, Sibling and Adult Child categories for
applications lodged on or before 16 May 2012; and

ii.

8,180 places are available for approvals under the Parent Category for applications lodged after 16
May 2012.

Effective 20/07/2014
R6.10 Points systems
See previous instructions:
R6.10 Effective 29/11/2010
Applications in the Skilled Migrant and Investor 2 Categories are assessed under a points system.
R6.10.1 Investor 2 Category
Expressions of Interest in being invited to apply for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category submitted in the
prescribed manner may be entered into a Pool of Expressions of Interest (the Pool) if the person expressing interest:
a.

has confirmed that health and character requirements for entry to the Pool have been met because none of the
people included in their Expression of Interest are people who:
i.

are not of an acceptable standard of health and would not be granted a medical waiver (see A4.60);
or

ii.

are described in sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 (see A5.20); and

b.

have claimed points for a minimum overall band score of IELTS 3 for English language ability (see BJ5.35); and

c.

have confirmed that they are aged 65 years or younger (see BJ5.25); and

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d.

have claimed points for a minimum of three years of business experience (see BJ5.30); and

e.

have claimed points for a minimum of NZ$1.5 million of investment funds (see BJ5.40); and

f.

have confirmed that they legally own NZ$1 million of settlement funds in addition to the $1.5 million
investment funds (see BJ5.45).

Notes:
~ As Expressions of Interest (EOI) are entered into the Pool they will be ranked on the basis of total points claimed
for English language, age, business experience and investment funds in accordance with the Investor 2 Category.
The ranking of EOIs relative to each other will change as EOIs enter, or are withdrawn from, the Pool, or as the points
claimed by EOIs already in the Pool change.
~ EOIs may be selected from the Pool according to their points ranking.
~ Entry into the Pool does not guarantee that an EOI will be selected for consideration or that an Invitation to Apply
will be issued.
R6.10.5 Skilled Migrant Category
a.

Expressions of Interest in being invited to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category can only
be entered into the Pool of Expressions of Interest if the person expressing interest has claimed a minimum of
100 points for employability and capacity building factors and has met the other requirements of SM3.10.

Note: A resident visa can only be granted under the Skilled Migrant Category following an invitation to apply under
the Skilled Migrant Category.
b.

Expressions of Interest in the Skilled Migrant Category Pool are selected from that Pool periodically on the
Government's behalf by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

c.

Selections from the Pool after 21 December 2005 are made in the following manner:

d.

i.

Expressions of Interest that have total points of 140 or more are selected automatically from the Pool;

ii.

Expressions of Interest that have total points of 100 or more but less than 140, and include points for
offers of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand, are selected (according to
their points ranking) in sufficient numbers to meet the requirements of the Skilled/Business Stream of
the New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) at the time of that selection (subject to any
adjustment to the number or distribution of places in the NZRP determined by the Government).

If, following the selection process set out at (c) above, further places are available in the Skilled/Business
Stream of the NZRP at the time of that selection (subject to any adjustment to the number or distribution of
places in the NZRP determined by the Government), additional Expressions of Interest may be selected from
the Pool on the basis of criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration, having regard to the
objectives of the Skilled Migrant Category. Those criteria are specified at SM3.15.1.

Effective 27/11/2014

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R7 Confirming or transferring a residence class


visa
R7.1 When confirmation is required
People in New Zealand who hold, or are deemed to hold, a residence class visa may need to confirm their residence class
visa if, for example:

they have lost their original passport and wish to have a residence class visa label placed in their new one; or

they are applying to the Department of Internal Affairs for New Zealand citizenship; or

they never obtained a visa or permit on arrival; or

they hold a permit granted under the Immigration Act 1964 or the Immigration Act 1987.

R7.1.1 Applicants who arrived before 2 April 1974


See also Immigration Act 2009 s 415
See also Immigration Act 1987 s 44
Applicants who arrived lawfully before 2 April 1974 for the purpose of permanent residence and did not receive residence
permits, and who need to satisfy an immigration officer that they are deemed to hold a resident visa under section 415
of the Immigration Act 2009, may have their resident visa confirmed if they:
a.

were not issued a permit or entry authority under the Immigration Act 1964 or any earlier corresponding Act;
and

b.

have been in New Zealand continuously from 2 April 1974 and until at least 31 October 1987, apart from any
period or periods spent in:
i.

the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau; or

ii.

Australia (if during any such period they were Commonwealth citizens or citizens of the Republic of
Ireland, and were able to live in either New Zealand or Australia without restriction); and

c.

were in New Zealand at midnight on 31 October 1987; and

d.

were not exempt under the Immigration Act 1987 from having to hold a residence permit.

Effective 29/11/2010
R7.5 When transfer is required
People who hold, or are deemed to hold, a residence class visa may need to transfer their visa if the passport containing
their visa is nearing or past the expiry date and they require evidence of their immigration status and/or right to re-enter
New Zealand in a new passport.

Effective 29/11/2010
R7.10 Procedure for confirming or transferring a residence class visa
See previous instructions:
R7.10 Effective 26/03/2012
R7.10 Effective 29/11/2010
R7.10.1 Endorsement of residence status in passport or certificate of identity
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, reg 32
a.

b.

Applicants applying to have their residence status endorsed in their passport or certificate of identity must
make the application on the form Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa (INZ 1023). The form must
be given to an immigration officer together with:
i.

the applicants passport or certificate of identity; and

ii.

if applicable, any previous or expired passport or certificate of identity; and

iii.

evidence that the applicant holds or is deemed to hold a residence class visa; and

iv.

the appropriate fee (if any).

If applicants cannot provide proof of lawful residence, immigration officers must establish whether there is a file
for the applicant in INZ records, and if so, they must check the file.

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R7.10.5 Confirmation of residence status by letter


a.

Applicants who wish to have confirmation of the date their residence was originally granted in the form of a
letter must make a written request to the appropriate INZ receiving office (see the INZ website).

b.

A letter confirming the date residence was originally granted must:


i.

be on letterhead; and

ii.

give the applicant's full name, date of birth and the date residence was granted; and

iii.

be legibly signed and dated by an immigration officer; and

iv.

be endorsed with the official seal of the INZ.

Note: a copy should be retained on the applicant's file.

Effective 02/12/2013
R7.15 Evidence
R7.15.1 Evidence required to confirm or transfer residence class visas
Acceptable evidence for a confirmation of residence class visa may include:
a.

any previous or expired passport or certificate of identity containing a residence class visa,

b.

the passport containing the original residence class visa, permit or other entry authority applying at the time of
entry; or

c.

for the purpose of R7.1.1, documents showing continued residence since before 2 April 1974, which may
include but are not limited to:
i.

rates demands,

ii.

driver's licenses,

iii.

receipted power bills,

iv.

income tax returns,

v.

school records,

vi.

employment references,

vii. any other evidence requested by INZ.

Effective 29/11/2010

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R8 Special Cases
R8.1 Granting a visa under section 61 (to 30/09/2013)
Note: The instructions contained in this section cease to be effective from 30 September 2013.

Effective 30/09/2013

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Business
IN THIS SECTION
BA Business Immigration Instructions ....................................... 11-1
BB Entrepreneur Work Visa Category ........................................ 12-1
BC Long Term Business Category (to 20/12/2013) ...................... 13-1
BE Employees of Relocating Businesses Category........................ 14-1
BF English language requirements ............................................ 15-1
BH Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category ................................. 17-1
BJ Migrant Investment Categories ............................................ 18-1
BL Entrepreneur Plus Category (to 24/03/2014) ......................... 19-1

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BA Business Immigration Instructions


BA1 Objective
The objective of the Business Immigration Instructions is to contribute to economic growth through:
a.

increasing New Zealand's level of human capital;

b.

encouraging enterprise and innovation; and

c.

fostering external links.

Effective 29/11/2010
BA2 Categories
Business Immigration Instructions consist of residence class and temporary entry class categories.

Effective 29/11/2010
BA2.1 Residence class categories
See previous instructions:
BA2.1 Effective 29/11/2010
The following business immigration categories are part of residence instructions:

Entrepreneur Residence Category (see BH)

Employees of Relocating Businesses Category (see BE)

Migrant Investment Categories (see BJ)

Investor 1 Category (see BJ3)

Investor 2 Category (see BJ4 BJ5)

BA2.1.1 Generic provisions


The residence class categories have generic provisions covering the following matters:

English language requirements (see BF)

Payment of migrant levy (see R5.90)

Health and character requirements (see A4 and A5)

Effective 24/03/2014
BA2.5 Temporary class category
The temporary class category of the business immigration instructions is the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category (see BB).
Persons who are granted a work visa under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category will have the opportunity to apply for
residence, including under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category. Such persons will need to meet the relevant
residence category requirements applying at the time that their residence class visa application is made. Such residence
category requirements may differ from those that applied at the time that the person's Entrepreneur Work Visa
application was made or at the time of the grant of the work visa under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category.
Note: People who were granted and still hold a visa under the former Long Term Business Visa Category can also apply
for residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category. Such persons will need to meet the relevant residence
category requirements applying at the time that their residence class visa application is made.

Effective 24/03/2014
BA2.10 Requirement for business immigration category applicants to participate in an
evaluation process
Applicants under all business immigration categories must agree to participate in an evaluation of the category under
which they were approved for a period of up to 5 years after approval.

Effective 29/11/2010
BA3 Streamlining
See previous instructions
BA3 Effective 05/04/2011
BA3 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Applications under business immigration instructions will be given priority processing.

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b.

Applications under business immigration instructions are to be determined only by immigration officers known
as business immigration specialists.

c.

Despite (b) above, applications under the Investor Category may be determined by immigration officers other
than business immigration specialists where this is directed by the General Manager, Visa Services,
Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

d.

INZ Area Managers and Market Managers will provide liaison services for the business immigration specialists
to facilitate contact with applicants and the processing of business immigration applications.

Effective 01/07/2013

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BB Entrepreneur Work Visa Category


BB1 Objective
The objective of this category is to contribute to economic growth by enabling experienced business people to grow or
establish a high growth and innovative business with export potential in New Zealand.

Effective 24/03/2014
BB2 Special category of work visa
BB2.1 Entrepreneur Work Visas
See previous instructions:
BB2.1 Effective 24/03/2014
a.

The Entrepreneur Work Visas is a category of temporary entry class visa with conditions that allow
self-employment in New Zealand.

b.

Applicants for an Entrepreneur Work Visa may be approved, if they meet the following conditions:
i.

a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000, excluding working capital (as defined in BB6.1.50),
unless this requirement is waived under BB3.5.1(b); and

ii.

meeting or exceeding the pass mark (as set out in BB3.10) on a scale which awards points for factors
relating to the likely success of the proposed business and its value to New Zealand.

c.

Applicants and any partner or dependent child/ren accompanying them must meet health and character
requirements for residence as set out at A4 and A5.

d.

Applicants and any partner or dependent child/ren accompanying them must also meet all requirements under
Generic Temporary Entry Instructions.

BB2.1.1 Currency of Entrepreneur Work Visas


a.

An Entrepreneur Work Visa may be granted for a total period of up to 3 years, encompassing an Entrepreneur
Start-Up stage and Entrepreneur Balance stage. Only one fee will be charged for an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

b.

The Entrepreneur Start-Up stage is the first 12 months of the Entrepreneur Work Visa (though a business
immigration specialist may extend the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage under BB4.5.5). During the Entrepreneur
Start-Up stage, the holder of the Entrepreneur Work Visa is expected to establish and commence the operation
of an agreed business in New Zealand.

c.

If the holder does not meet the requirements in BB4.5(a) during the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage, the visa
expires at the end of the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage.

d.

If the holder does meet the requirements in BB4.5(a), the visa will be valid for the balance of the 3 year period.
This is the Balance stage of the Entrepreneur Work Visa.

e.

A further Entrepreneur Work Visa (also known as a Renewal) may be granted beyond the 3 year period, if the
conditions at BB4.10 are met, the application is approved by a business immigration specialist, and the
prescribed fee is paid.

BB2.1.5 Conditions of Entrepreneur Work Visas


a.

b.

The conditions specified on an Entrepreneur Work Visa will include the following conditions relating to work:
i.

As: Self-employed

ii.

For: (Business type and trading name of business)

iii.

At: (Location of business)

The travel conditions on the visa will give permission to travel to New Zealand for multiple journeys.

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Residence

Entrepreneur Work Visas and any other temporary visas granted to the holder of an Entrepreneur Work Visas
partner or dependent child/ren are subject to the condition that the holder must not apply for and be granted
welfare assistance under the Social Security Act 1964 while in New Zealand during the currency of their
Entrepreneur Work Visas or any visa gained through their relationship with a holder of an Entrepreneur Work
Visa.

Effective 25/08/2014
BB3 Determining an application for an Entrepreneur Work Visa
BB3.1 Summary of requirements for the grant of an Entrepreneur Work Visa
See previous instructions:
BB3.1 Effective 24/03/2014
Applications for an Entrepreneur Work Visa may be approved if:
a.

the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist that they will meet a
minimum capital investment of $100,000, excluding working capital, as at BB3.10, unless this requirement has
been waived under BB3.5.1(b); and

b.

the applicant has been awarded a minimum of 120 points for factors described in BB3.10(d); and

c.

the applicant provides a business plan specific to the proposed business that meets the requirements of
BB3.15; and

d.

the applicant has obtained professional or occupational registration in New Zealand if registration is required
for operating the proposed business; and

e.

the applicant has not been involved in bankruptcy or business failure within the 5 years preceding the date their
application was made; and

f.

the applicant has not been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety; and

g.

the applicant can provide evidence to satisfy a business immigration specialist that they have sufficient funds,
in addition to investment capital, to:

h.

i.

finance their business; and

ii.

provide maintenance and accommodation for the period of the Entrepreneur Work Visa for themselves
and any partner or dependent child/ren who will accompany them to New Zealand; and

a business immigration specialist is satisfied that the applicant:


i.

has sufficient business experience relevant to their business proposal; and

ii.

has a genuine intent to establish the business described in the business plan in New Zealand and will
abide by the conditions of the visa; and

i.

the applicant and any partner or dependent child/ren accompanying them meet requirements as set out
in BB2.1 (d) and (e); and

j.

the applicant meets English language requirements set out in BF1 and BF2; and

k.

the proposed business would not constitute an unacceptable risk to New Zealand laws or policies under
BB3.1.1.

BB3.1.1 Unacceptable risk


a.

INZ will decline an application for an Entrepreneur Work Visa where it considers the grant of the visa would
create unacceptable risks to the integrity of New Zealands immigration or employment laws or policies.

b.

Offering business opportunities to meet the requirements of an Entrepreneur Work Visa application by persons
whose main business is the facilitation of entry to New Zealand of non-New Zealand citizens and residence class
visa holders potentially creates an unacceptable risk to the integrity of New Zealands immigration laws and
policies. Therefore, applications for Entrepreneur Work Visas based on such business opportunities will not be
approved.

Effective 25/08/2014
BB3.5 Requirement for capital investment
See previous instructions:
BB3.5 Effective 24/03/2014
a.

An applicant must be able to make a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000, excluding working capital, in
to their proposed business, unless waived as per BB3.5.1 below.

b.

The principal applicant must:


i.

nominate funds and/or assets equivalent in value to NZ$100,000; and

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ii.

demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or assets (see BB3.5.5); and

iii.

demonstrate that the nominated funds and/or assets have been earned or acquired legally (see
BB3.5.5 (c) below).

BB3.5.1 Discretion to waive capital investment requirement


a.

Only members of the management team of the Business Migration Branch are able to waive the minimum
capital investment requirement.

b.

The requirement for applicants to demonstrate a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 can only be
waived for businesses in science, ICT, or other high value export-oriented sector, which demonstrates a high
level of innovation or credible short-term high growth prospects.

BB3.5.5 Ownership of capital investment


a.

The minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 may be owned either:


i.

solely by the principal applicant; or

ii.

jointly by the principal applicant and partner, provided a business immigration specialist is satisfied
that the principal applicant and partner have been living together for 12 months or more in a
partnership that is genuine and stable (see R2.1.15 and R2.1.15.1 (b) and R2.1.15.5 (a)(i)), and that
the partner supports the use of these funds for the proposed business. If so, the principal applicant
may claim the full value of such jointly owned funds or assets for assessment purposes.

b.

If nominated funds and/or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their
partner, the principal applicant may only claim the value of that portion of funds and/or assets for which they
provide evidence of ownership.

c.

The principal applicant may only nominate funds and/or assets that they earned or acquired legally, including
funds and/or assets which have been gifted to them unconditionally and in accordance with local law. Where
nominated funds and/or assets have been gifted to the principal applicant, a business immigration specialist
must be satisfied that the funds and/or assets being gifted:
i.

were earned lawfully by the person/s gifting the funds and/or assets; and

ii.

are based outside of New Zealand.

d.

The nominated funds and/or assets must be unencumbered.

e.

The nominated funds and/or assets must not be borrowed, but may be gifted as per BB3.5.5(c).

Effective 25/08/2014
BB3.10 Points scale for an Entrepreneur Work Visa
See previous instructions:
BB3.10 Effective 24/03/2014
a.

Applications must meet a minimum score of 120 or more points, in order to be granted an Entrepreneur Work
Visa. Applications not meeting the minimum score of 120 points will be declined.

b.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist why they should
be awarded the points they have claimed.

c.

Business immigration specialists must give written reasons for declining the application and not awarding any
points claimed.

d.

The following table outlines the points that can be awarded for an Entrepreneur Work Visa application:

Points for business experience (can be awarded in only one category)


Relevant self employment
10 years +

40

5 years +

30

3 years +

20

Other self employment


10 years +

20

5 years +

15

3 years +

Relevant senior management experience


10 years +

10

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5 years +

Points for benefit to New Zealand (can be awarded in up to two categories)


New full time employment creation
10+ new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents

80

5 or more new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents

50

3 or more new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents

30

2 new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents

20

1 new full time position for a New Zealand citizen or resident.

10

Points for approved export businesses (based on annual turnover)


$1,000,000 + turnover a year

80

$750,000 + turnover a year

60

$500,000 + turnover a year

40

$400,000 + turnover a year

30

$300,000 + turnover a year

20

$200,000 + turnover a year

10

Points for unique or new products or services to New Zealand


A credible business proposal that provides unique or new products/ services to New Zealand, or to
a particular region.
30

Points for capital investment (excluding working capital)


$1,000,000 +

80

$750,000 +

60

$500,000 +

50

$400,000 +

30

$300,000 +

20

$200,000 +

10

under $200,000

Points for age of prospective applicant (at date of lodging application)


24 and under

15

25-29

20

30-39

20

40-49

20

50-59

10

60 and over

Bonus points
Business based outside Auckland as defined in BB6.1.35.

20

Note: For definitions of terms for the purposes of the Entrepreneur Work Visa and Entrepreneur Residence Visa
Categories, please see the Definitions section at BB6.

BB3.10.1 Change to points scale and pass mark for Entrepreneur Work Visa
a.

The Minister of Immigration, in consultation with the Minister of Economic Development and the Minister for
Small Business, may amend the bonus points that can be awarded in the points scale at BB3.10.

b.

Any changes to the points scale, categories or the pass mark will be effected through changes to immigration
instructions and advertised on the INZ website.

Effective 27/11/2014

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BB3.15 Requirements for a business plan


Business plans must:
a.

be to establish or purchase a specific business in New Zealand; and

b.

be specific to the proposed business, not a generic or template business plan; and

c.

be no more than three months old on the date the application is made; and

d.

include satisfactory evidence:

e.

f.

i.

to support the claims that have been made for the proposed business; and

ii.

that the principal applicant has sufficient capital to finance their business proposal; and

iii.

that the principal applicant has sufficient business experience that is relevant to their business
proposal; and

demonstrate to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist that:


i.

the principal applicants financial forecasts are realistic; and

ii.

the principal applicant has sufficient relevant knowledge about the proposed business and the New
Zealand business environment; and

iii.

the principal applicant has done sufficient market research into the New Zealand business
environment and market for their proposed business, to optimise their chances of succeeding; and

iv.

the proposed business meets the objectives of the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category, as outlined
in BB1; and

include sufficient supporting documentation to support any of the claims made about the proposed business, or
concerning any aspect of the applicants skills, funds or experience.

BB3.15.1 Requirements for a business plan involving the purchase of an existing business
Where the business plan involves the purchase of an existing business, the plan must:
a.

identify the particular business to be purchased; and

b.

include:
i.

information that allows business immigration specialists to assess the benefit that the applicants
business activity will provide New Zealand; and

ii.

evidence that outlines the purchase price and the financial performance of the existing business,
which may include, but is not limited to the conditional sale and purchase agreement, an independent
valuation, and/or financial statements for the previous two years; and

iii.

information on numbers of positions currently employed in the business, such as wage records,
anonymised employment agreements and job descriptions for each role, or Employer Monthly
Schedules prepared for Inland Revenue.

BB3.15.5 Assessment of a business plan


a.

A business immigration specialist will assess applications based on:


i.

an applicants capacity to contribute to economic growth by growing or establishing a high growth and
innovative business in New Zealand; and

ii.

plans provided by the applicant to demonstrate how they will meet the objectives set out in their
business plan; and

iii.

evidence that the applicant has sufficient business experience relevant to the proposed business; and

iv.

information provided by the applicant demonstrating how their business will significantly benefit New
Zealand.

b.

In assessing a business plan, a business immigration specialist will consider the credibility of the information
provided and whether the business will significantly benefit New Zealand.

c.

Business immigration specialists must be satisfied that the information an applicant submits complies with the
evidential requirements set out in Entrepreneur Work Visa Category instructions and may request additional
evidence as they deem necessary to demonstrate that an applicant or a business plan meets the requirements
as set out in BB3.1.

d.

INZ may submit any business plan to an independent person or business for vetting. They will offer an
independent assessment and advice, which will be considered by a business immigration specialist in making a
decision.

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e.

Residence

INZ may also consult other government agencies or sections of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment when assessing business plans.

BB3.15.10 Verification of a business plan


a.

A business immigration specialist must be satisfied that documents provided in support of the business plan are
genuine and accurate, and may take any steps they determine necessary to verify such documents and the
information they contain.

b.

A business immigration specialist may interview, or ask another office of INZ to interview, the principal
applicant in order to determine whether or not the information contained in the business plan is genuine and
accurate.

Effective 24/03/2014
BB4 Stages of Entrepreneur Work Visas
BB4.1 During the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage
If an application for an Entrepreneur Work Visa has been approved, holders of Entrepreneur Work Visas must establish
and commence their proposed business in New Zealand during the first 12 months (the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage).

Effective 24/03/2014
BB4.5 Requirements at the end of the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage
a.

Towards the end of the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage, the holder must provide evidence sufficient to satisfy a
business immigration specialist that:
i.

the investment capital for the proposed business, as stated in the business plan, has been transferred
directly from the holders bank account(s) through the banking system to New Zealand; and

ii.

reasonable steps have been taken to establish or invest in the business as set out in the business plan.

BB4.5.1 Evidence of reasonable steps taken to establish and operate a business


a.

b.

Evidence of transferring investment capital to New Zealand through the banking system may include but is not
limited to:
i.

telegraphic transfer forms

ii.

other documents, evidence and information the business immigration specialist considers may
demonstrate the transfer of investment capital to New Zealand through the banking system.

Evidence of reasonable steps taken to establish and operate a business may include but is not limited to:
i.

documents evidencing the constitution of the business (e.g. certificate of incorporation)

ii.

audited accounts

iii.

GST records

iv.

other tax records

v.

property purchase or lease documents relating to the business' site

vi.

invoices for business equipment and supplies

vii. other documents, evidence and information a business immigration specialist considers may
demonstrate reasonable steps taken to establish or invest in a business (e.g. employment
agreements, bank statements, utility company invoices, sales agreements, contracts to provide
products or services).
BB4.5.5 Further Entrepreneur Start-Ups
a.

A business immigration specialist may extend the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage, in cases where they are not
satisfied that the requirements of BB4.5(a) have been met, but are satisfied that the holder may be able to
meet these requirements within a specified time, to allow the holder to take further steps to establish and
operate their business.

b.

Towards the end of the Entrepreneur Start-Up stage, the holder must provide evidence to satisfy a business
immigration specialist that they meet the requirements at BB4.5(a) to be granted an Entrepreneur Balance at
the expiry of that second period.

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c.

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Further Entrepreneur Start-Ups will not extend the maximum length of the Entrepreneur Work Visa, which will
still be for a period of up to 3 years (that is, the maximum duration remains up to 3 years from the date the
Entrepreneur Work Visa was granted).

Effective 24/03/2014
BB4.10 Grant of further Entrepreneur Work Visas beyond three years
a.

A further Entrepreneur Work Visa (or Renewal) may be granted beyond the initial 3 year work visa (for periods
not exceeding 3 years) where a business immigration specialist is satisfied that there are valid reasons for the
principal applicant needing a further Entrepreneur Work Visa to meet the requirements to apply for or be
granted residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category.

b.

In order to be granted a further Entrepreneur Work Visa, the application must be approved by a business
immigration specialist, and the prescribed fee paid.

c.

Further Entrepreneur Work Visas will be granted only where a business immigration specialist is satisfied that:
i.

any time in New Zealand has been spent setting up and operating the original business proposal;

ii.

any change to the original business proposal was granted by a business immigration specialist in
accordance with BB5; and

iii.

the principal applicant intends to spend the further period in New Zealand either implementing the
original business proposed or a business proposal for which a business immigration specialist has
given consent; and

iv.

the principal applicant has, in addition to investment capital, sufficient funds:

to finance their business; and

for their own maintenance and accommodation and that of any partner or dependent child/ren
accompanying them; and
v.

the principal applicant and any partner or dependent child/ren accompanying them have not drawn on
the New Zealand welfare system (see BB2.1.5(c)); and

vi.

the principal applicant and any partner or dependent child/ren accompanying them meet health and
character requirements for residence (see A4 and A5).

Note: Applicants can only be granted one further Entrepreneur Work Visa beyond the initial 3 year work visa. If they still
wish to run their business beyond the period of the further (or renewed) Entrepreneur Work Visa, they will need to make
a new application under the Entrepreneur Work Visa instructions, or any other applicable category, in force when they
apply.

Effective 24/03/2014
BB5 Changing a business proposal
See previous instructions:
BB5 Effective 24/03/2014
a.

The holder of an Entrepreneur Work Visa may submit one request to change their business plan within the
validity of their visa. Any changes proposed must be minimal, or the request will be declined.

b.

Change requests may be granted if a business immigration specialist is satisfied that:


i.

the changes proposed are minimal and do not significantly alter the nature of the proposed business;
and

ii.

there are genuine reasons for changing the original business proposal; and

iii.

the business still requires the same or a greater level of capital investment than the original business
proposal; and

iv.

the proposed changes would have been granted the same or greater points in the points scale set out
in BB3.10(d); and

v.

the business still meets the requirements for a business plan as set out in BB3.15; and

vi.

the applicant has sufficient business experience relevant to the proposed business; and

vii. the business continues to offer at least the same level of benefit to New Zealand, such as with regards
to requirements for full time positions being created for New Zealand citizens or residents, annual
turnover, new exports and/or the introduction of unique products of services to New Zealand or to a
particular region.
c.

Account will only be taken of the amount of capital that is to be actively invested in the business. This does not
include:
i.

working capital; or

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ii.

speculative or passive investment(s), such as reserve funds or term bank deposits; or

iii.

expenditure on items for the personal use of the applicant(s), such as personal residence, cars or
boats.

d.

If the request to change a business proposal is refused, the applicant must be offered the option of continuing
with their original business proposal.

e.

If the applicant still wishes to pursue the new business after the request for a change has been refused, they
must lodge a new application for an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

f.

If the applicant does not continue with the original business proposal, but starts the new business without
approval or a new application being approved, they may be made liable for deportation.

Note: A genuine reason for changing the original business proposal does not include inadequate market research.
A visa holder may be made liable for deportation where they are undertaking business activities which breach the
conditions of their visa.
Long Term Business Visa holders may also apply for a Change of Plan under these instructions, but do not have to meet
the requirements at BB5(b)(iv) or (v).

Effective 25/08/2014
BB6 Definitions
BB6.1 Definitions
See previous instructions:
BB6.1 Effective 24/03/2014
The definitions set out in this section define terms for the purposes of the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category (BB) and the
Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category (BH).
BB6.1.1 Definition of a business plan
A business plan is a plan to establish or purchase a specific business in New Zealand, which contains information as set out
in the business plan form, and is supported by appropriate documentation. Business plans must be based on specific
details of the proposed business: generic or template business plans will not be accepted.
BB6.1.5 Definition of funds earned or acquired legally
a.

Funds and/or assets earned or acquired legally are funds and/or assets earned or acquired in accordance with
the laws of the country in which they were earned or acquired.

b.

Business immigration specialists have discretion to decline an application if they are satisfied that, had the
funds and/or assets been earned or acquired in the same manner in New Zealand, they would have been
earned or acquired contrary to the law of New Zealand.

BB6.1.10 Definition of unencumbered funds


Unencumbered funds are funds that are not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether
equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims.
BB6.1.15 Definition of self-employment
a.

Self-employment is lawful full time active involvement in the management and operating of a business which
the principal applicant has established or purchased, or in which the principal applicant has made a substantial
investment.

b.

Substantial investment is defined as the purchase of 25% or more of the shareholding of a business.

c.

For the avoidance of doubt, self-employment does not include involvement of a passive or speculative nature.

d.

Applicants for an Entrepreneur Work Visa (see BB) may claim points for experience of self-employment in the
points scale at BB3.10(d) for businesses outside of New Zealand, and/or for self-employment in New Zealand
while on a visa that permitted self-employment.

e.

Applicants for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa (see BH) must have been self-employed in New Zealand in order
to be granted residence under this category.

BB6.1.20 Definition of senior management


a.

Senior management experience means extensive experience at a senior level within a lawful business
enterprise, in planning, organisation, control, change-management and direction-setting, where the business
enterprise had at least five full-time employees or an annual turn-over of NZ$1 million.

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b.

Residence

To demonstrate senior management experience, an applicant will need to be able to show they held the
day-to-day responsibilities of managing a business or company or corporation, or function within a large
company (with, at that time, 5 or more full time employees, or a turnover in excess of $1,000,000 per annum),
with specific executive powers conferred onto them with and by authority of the board of directors and/or the
shareholders.

BB6.1.25 Definition of creation of full time employment


a.

The creation of full time employment means a new full time and ongoing job or jobs that will be created for New
Zealand citizens or residents.

b.

A full time and ongoing job means a permanent role for at least 30 hours a week:

c.

i.

as demonstrated in written employment contracts for the role; and

ii.

excluding contract or casual roles.

The creation of full time employment may include cases where new permanent and ongoing part time jobs have
been created which, when taken together, are equivalent to new full time roles. Evidence must be provided in
respect of each claimed equivalent full time job to demonstrate the part time roles:
i.

are for two or more new roles with fixed hours that are equivalent to one new full time job; and

ii.

are for permanent and ongoing roles as demonstrated in written employment contracts for the roles;
and

iii.

meet all employment and immigration laws; and

iv.

exclude contract, sub-contracted or casual roles.

d.

The creation of employment for non-New Zealand citizens or residents in new or existing jobs will not result in
points being awarded in the points scale at BB3.10(d).

e.

The employment of New Zealand citizens and residents in existing jobs will not result in points being awarded
in the points scale at BB3.10(d).

BB6.1.30 Definition of providing unique or new products/services to New Zealand


A product or service is considered "new" if it is:

a.

i.

a significant enhancement or product line not being provided by existing businesses in New Zealand or
the region of New Zealand in which the prospective business would be located; or

ii.

a proposed enhancement that would promote New Zealands economic growth within the 3 year
validity of the Entrepreneur Work Visa.

A product of service is considered "unique" if it is:


i.

the only product or service of its type being provided in New Zealand; or

ii.

a product or service that is not available elsewhere in New Zealand or the region of New Zealand in
which the prospective business would be located.

BB6.1.35 Definition of a business based outside Auckland


A business based outside Auckland means a business with its headquarters or sites based outside the area covered by the
authority of the Auckland Council. Please see the Auckland Council website for details of the area they cover.
BB6.1.40 Definition of trading profitably
For the purposes of the instructions in Entrepreneur Work Visa Category (BB) and the Entrepreneur Residence Visa
Category (BH), "trading profitably" means:
a.

meeting or exceeding the projected annual turnover from the original business plan, and assessment from the
points scale at BB3.10(d); and

b.

making sufficient profit to enable the principal applicant to pay themselves at least the minimum wage per
annum.

BB6.1.45 Definition of substantial investment


Substantial investment means the purchase of 25% or more of the shareholding of a business.
BB6.1.50 Definition of working capital
For the purposes of Entrepreneur Work Visa Category and Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category instructions, working
capital is cash or capital that is tied to assets used in the on-going maintenance or day-to-day running of a business.

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BB6.1.55 Definition of revitalisation of an existing business


For the purposes of Entrepreneur Work Visa Category and Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category instructions,
revitalisation means significantly improving the performance of an existing business through the injection of new skills,
networks, management capability and/or capital. Evidence of revitalisation can include, but is not limited to, evidence of:
a.

doubling the annual turnover of the business; or

b.

creating two or more full time and ongoing jobs for New Zealand citizens or residents; or

c.

adding a series of new product lines to an existing business; or

d.

expanding the number of branches or sites of the business; or

e.

significantly expanding the customer base of the business.

BB6.1.60 Definition of business in ICT sector


For the purposes of these instructions, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is defined as one of three
important activities in the economy: ICT manufacturing, telecommunications and information technology (IT) services.
BB6.1.65 Definition of a high value export-oriented business
For the purposes of these instructions, a high value, export oriented business is one where the Entrepreneur Work Visa
application has claimed points in the points scale at BB3.10(d) for a business plan that aims to:
a.

create 5 or more new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents (50 points); and

b.

achieve an annual export turnover of NZ$500,000 per annum or more; and

where the applicant can demonstrate that they have met these goals at the time they apply for an Entrepreneur Residence
Category Visa.
BB6.1.70 Definition of innovation
For the purposes of these instructions, an innovative business is one that demonstrates a high probability of succeeding
in discovering and applying new ways to produce more with the same quantity of inputs.
BB6.1.75 Definition of unacceptable risk
Unacceptable risks to the integrity of New Zealands immigration or employment laws is defined as offering business
opportunities to meet the requirements of an Entrepreneur Work Visa by persons whose main business is the facilitation
of entry to New Zealand of non-New Zealand citizens and residence class visa holders.

Effective 27/11/2014

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BC Long Term Business Category (to


20/12/2013)
Note: The instructions contained in this section cease to be effective from 20 December 2013.

Effective 20/12/2013

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BE Employees of Relocating Businesses


Category
BE1 Objective
a.

The objective of the Employees of Relocating Businesses Category is to assist in promoting New Zealand as a
place in which to invest and locate business.

b.

This category facilitates the granting of residence to employees of businesses relocating to New Zealand, who
do not qualify for residence under any existing categories.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE2 Summary of requirements
The following considerations normally apply, but applications are decided on a case by case basis.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE2.1 Employee of a relocating business
Principal applicants in the Employees of Relocating Businesses Category are required to demonstrate that:
a.

they are an employee of a relocating business and that they are a key employee; and

b.

the relocation of the business is supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Note: An Immigration New Zealand business immigration specialist will consult with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
to determine their support for the relocation of the business (see BE3.1(c)).

Effective 29/11/2010
BE2.5 Ineligibility for approval under any other category
A business immigration specialist must be satisfied that the principal applicant in the Employees of Relocating Businesses
Category is not eligible for approval under any of the other categories of residence instructions.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE2.10 Compliance with employment and immigration law
Businesses relocated to New Zealand must comply with all relevant employment and immigration law in force in New
Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law includes but is not limited to:
a.

paying employees no less than the appropriate minimum wage rate or other contracted industry standard; and

b.

meeting holiday and special leave requirements or other minimum statutory criteria, e.g. occupational safety
and health obligations; and

c.

only employing people who have authority to undertake that work under the Immigration Act 2009.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE2.15 English language requirements
Principal applicants in the Employees of Relocating Businesses category must meet the English language requirements
(see BE5.1).
Any partner or dependent children aged 16 years and over who are included in the application must meet a minimum
standard of English or, where instructions allow, pre-purchase of ESOL tuition (see BF1.1).

Effective 29/11/2010
BE2.20 Payment of migrant levy
Applicants approved under the Employees of Relocating Businesses Category are required to pay a migrant levy
(see R5.90).

Effective 29/11/2010
BE3 Evidential requirements
BE3.1 Evidence concerning the relocating business
a.

The principal applicant must provide a statement from the CEO of the relocating business that:
i.

gives the name and location of the business intending to relocate to New Zealand; and

ii.

explains why the business is relocating and how that will benefit New Zealand; and

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iii.
b.

c.

Residence

confirms that the business will comply with all relevant employment and immigration law in force in
New Zealand.

The principal applicant must provide evidence of the business operation. This may include, but is not limited to,
original or certified copies of the following documents:
i.

business registration

ii.

company accounts or tax returns

iii.

other documents, evidence and information the business immigration specialist considers necessary
to determine the application.

The business immigration specialist will consult with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to determine their
support for the relocation of the business.

BE3.1.1 Criteria for a business benefiting New Zealand


a.

b.

A business will be considered to benefit New Zealand if a business immigration specialist is satisfied that it
promotes New Zealand's economic growth by for example:
i.

introducing new, or enhancing existing, technology, management or technical skills; or

ii.

introducing new, or enhancing existing, products or services; or

iii.

creating new or expanding existing export markets; or

iv.

creating employment (other than for the principal applicant);

and the business is trading profitably at the time the application is made or a business immigration specialist
is satisfied that it has the potential to be trading profitably within 12 months after relocating.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE3.5 Evidence concerning the employee's role in the relocating business
a.

b.

The principal applicant must provide a statement from the CEO of the relocating business that:
i.

describes the current role of the employee in the business, and the employee's intended role in the
relocated business; and

ii.

explains why the employee is reasonably considered to be a key staff member.

The principal applicant must provide evidence of their role in the relocating business. The evidence may
include, but is not limited to, original or certified copies of the following documents:
i.

references from employers;

on company letterhead; and

stating the occupation and dates of employment; and

giving the contact phone number and address of the employer


ii.

letters of appointment;

iii.

certificates of service;

iv.

pay slips;

v.

job specifications;

vi.

tax records;

vii. job assessments;


viii. other documents, evidence and information the business immigration specialist considers necessary
to determine the application.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE4 Process
a.

The business immigration specialist must be satisfied that documents provided as evidence are genuine and
accurate, and they may take any steps they determine necessary to verify such documents and the information
they contain.

b.

In considering the application, the business immigration specialist should liaise with the appropriate office of
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and may also consult the appropriate INZ branch/es.

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c.

Residence

In assessing the application, the business immigration specialist must check that claims of non-eligibility under
other categories of residence instructions are plausible, and that the other criteria set out in instructions are
met.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE5 General rules for approval in principle and relocation of business
Principal applicants who meet the criteria of the Employees of Relocating Businesses category will be advised that:
a.

their application has been approved in principle; and

b.

resident visas may be granted once the following requirements have been met:

c.

i.

the principal applicant provides acceptable evidence that the business has relocated to New Zealand;
and

ii.

the principal applicant provides the New Zealand address at which the business operates; and

iii.

the principal applicant pays any applicable migrant levy; and

iv.

the principal applicant submits evidence that they and any partner or dependent children aged 16 or
over meets the English language requirements (see BE5.1 and BF1.1); and

resident visas will be granted subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009

Effective 29/11/2010
BE5.1 English language requirements
See previous instructions BE5.1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

Principal applicants who lodge applications under the Employees of Relocating Businesses category meet the
minimum standards of English for that category if:
i.

they provide a certificate (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from the
International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which shows an overall band score of 4 or
more in the IELTS General or Academic Module; or

ii.

they provide evidence that they have an English-speaking background (see BF2.1) which is accepted
by a business immigration specialist as meeting the minimum standard of English; or

iii.

they provide other evidence which satisfies a business immigration specialist that, taking account of
that evidence and all the circumstances of the application, the person meets the minimum standard of
English (see BF2.5).

In any case under (a) (ii) or (iii), a business immigration specialist may require an applicant to provide an IELTS
certificate in terms of paragraph (a)(i). In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether
the applicant meets the minimum standard of English.

Note:
~ Full consideration must be given to all evidence of English language ability provided before a decision to request an
IELTS certificate under BE5.1(b) is made. If an IELTS certificate is requested, the reason(s) behind the decision must be
clearly documented and conveyed to the applicant.
~ IELTS is an international organisation that provides an assessment of ability in English. Its General and Academic
Modules provide band totals (test results) showing overall ability as well as performance in listening, reading, writing and
speaking.

Effective: 25/07/2011
BE5.5 Failure of a business to relocate to New Zealand
Applications for a resident visa must be declined if principal applicants do not present acceptable evidence that the
business has relocated to New Zealand within 24 months from the date of approval in principle.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE5.10 Temporary visa to arrange business relocation
a.

After approval in principle, a work visa may be granted (once an application has been lodged) to allow the
principal applicant to arrange the business relocation to New Zealand.

b.

The work visa will be current for 24 months after approval in principle has been given and be granted with
travel conditions allowing multiple journeys.

c.

Visitor visas for the same period may be granted (once an application has been lodged) to the principal
applicant's partner and dependants (see E4.1.10).

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d.

Residence

Student visas for the same period may be granted (once an application is lodged) to those of the principal
applicant's dependants who wish to study, in accordance with current student instructions.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE6 Resident visas
Resident visas granted under this category will be subject to a travel condition requiring first entry to New Zealand within
12 months of the grant of the visa.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE6.1 Resident visas subject to conditions
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 49(1)
a.

Under the Employees of Relocating Businesses Category, a resident visa is granted to a principal applicant and
accompanying partner and dependent children subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration
Act.

b.

The Employees of Relocating Businesses Category conditions that may be imposed by letter on the resident
visas are:
i.

that, the visa holder is employed in the relocated business for the 24 months following the relocation
of the business; and

ii.

that, if the visa holder is in a position to ensure that the relocating business complies with all relevant
employment and immigration law in New Zealand, the business has done so; and

iii.

that, the visa holder informs the nearest branch of the INZ of any changes of New Zealand address
during the 24 month employment period; and

iv.

that, within 3 months after the expiry of the 24 month employment period the visa holder must submit
suitable evidence that conditions (i) to (ii) have been met.

c.

If a principal applicant is granted a resident visa subject to conditions, the resident visa of any accompanying
partner and dependent children must be subject to the same conditions.

d.

For further information about the implications of visas subject to conditions, see RA8.

BE6.1.1 Imposing conditions


Principal applicants are advised of any condition imposed in a letter that states:
a.

the conditions; and

b.

that failure to comply with the conditions may result in the visa holder becoming liable for deportation under
section 159 of the Immigration Act 2009; and

c.

that the conditions will apply to the resident visa for the 24-month period following their first entry to New
Zealand as a resident.

BE6.1.5 Reminder from INZ to provide evidence that conditions have been met
Three months before the expiry of the 24-month employment period the INZ will write to the principal applicant
requesting that evidence of conditions being met be provided within 3 months after the expiry of the 24-month
employment period.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE6.5 Cancellation of conditions when conditions are met
a.

To allow the conditions imposed under BE6.1.1 above to be cancelled, the visa holder must provide satisfactory
evidence that:
i.

they have taken up residence in New Zealand; and

ii.

they have been an employee in New Zealand of the relocated business for 24 months; and

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b.

Residence

if the visa holder has been in a position to ensure that the relocating business complied with all relevant
employment and immigration law in New Zealand, the business immigration specialist may also request
evidence of the business' compliance with these requirements.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE7 After the two-year employment period has expired
BE7.1 Compliance with conditions
When the applicant has satisfied a business immigration specialist that the applicant has met the conditions of the
two-year employment investment period in full, the business immigration specialist will cancel the conditions on the visa.

Effective 29/11/2010
BE7.5 Non-compliance with conditions
If the conditions have not been complied with, the resident visa holder may become liable for deportation under section
159 of the Immigration Act 2009.

Effective 29/11/2010

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Residence

BF English language requirements

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BF1 Principal applicants


Previous policy:
BF1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category, Investor, Entrepreneur Residence Visa,
Employees of Relocating Businesses, General (Active) Investor, Professional Investor, and Investor 2
categories must meet a minimum standard of English (as specified in BF2) to ensure their English language
ability is sufficient to assist them to successfully settle in New Zealand.

b.

Applications under all Business Immigration categories must be declined if the principal applicant has not met
the minimum standard of English.

Effective 24/03/2014
BF1.1 Partners and dependent children
Previous policy:
BF1.1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Partners and dependent children aged 16 years and over, who are included in applications under the
Entrepreneur Residence Visa, Investor, Employees of Relocating Businesses, General (Active) Investor,
Professional Investor, or the Investor 2 categories may either:
i.

show they meet the minimum standard of English (as specified at BF2); or

ii.

pre-purchase ESOL training.

Effective 24/03/2014
BF2 Minimum standards of English
a.

b.

Unless instructions specify otherwise, principal applicants who lodge applications under any business
immigration category, meet the minimum standard of English if:
i.

they provide a certificate (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from the
International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which shows an overall band score of at least
4 in the IELTS General or Academic Module; or

ii.

they provide evidence that they have an English-speaking background (see BF2.1) which is accepted
by a business immigration specialist as meeting the minimum standard of English; or

iii.

they provide other evidence which satisfies a business immigration specialist that, taking account of
that evidence and all the circumstances of the application, the person meets the minimum standard of
English (see BF2.5).

In any case under (a) (ii) or (iii), a business immigration specialist may require an applicant to provide an IELTS
certificate in terms of paragraph (a)(i). In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether
the applicant meets the minimum standard of English.

Note: IELTS is an international organisation that provides an assessment of ability in English. Its General and Academic
Modules provide band totals (test results) showing overall ability as well as performance in listening, reading, writing and
speaking.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF2.1 Evidence of an English-speaking background
Evidence of an English-speaking background is original or certified copies of documents showing:

completion of all primary education and at least 3 years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New
Zealand Forms 3 to 5 or years 9 to 11) at schools using English as the language of instruction; or

completion of at least 5 years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or
years 9 to 13) at schools using English as the language of instruction; or

completion of a course of at least 3 years' duration leading to the award of a tertiary qualification at institutions
using English as the language of instruction; or

that the applicant holds General Certificate of Education (GCE) 'A' Levels from Britain or Singapore with a
minimum C pass (the passes must specifically include the subjects English Language or Literature, or Use of
English); or

that the applicant holds an International Baccalaureate full Diploma in English Medium; or

that the applicant holds a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English minimum C pass; or

that the applicant holds Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations (HKALE) including a minimum C pass in Use
of English; or

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Residence

that the applicant holds STPM 920 (Malaysia) A or B pass in English Literature; or

that the applicant holds University of Cambridge in collaboration with University of Malaya, General Certificate
of English (GCE) "A" levels with a minimum C pass. The passes must specifically include the subjects English or
General Paper; or

that the applicant holds a South African Matriculation Certificate, including a minimum D pass in English
(Higher Grade); or

that the applicant holds a South African Senior Certificate, including a minimum D pass in English (Higher
Grade), endorsed with the words "matriculation exempt"; or

that the applicant holds a New Zealand Tertiary Entrance Qualification gained on completion of the seventh
form.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF2.5 Circumstances that may indicate a person otherwise meets the minimum standard of
English
Circumstances that may indicate an applicant meets the minimum standard of English may include but are not limited to:

the country in which the applicant currently resides;

the country(ies) in which the applicant has previously resided;

the duration of residence in each country;

whether the applicant speaks any language other than English;

whether members of the applicant's family speak English

whether members of the applicant's family speak any language other than English;

the nature of the applicant's current or previous employment (if any) and whether it required or was likely to
have required skill in English language;

the nature of the applicant's qualifications (if any) and whether the obtaining of those qualifications was likely
to have required skill in English language.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF2.10 Employment in New Zealand
An applicant is also considered to have an English-speaking background if:
a.

they have been lawfully employed full-time in an occupation in New Zealand for a minimum of 12 months; and

b.

English was the language of employment.

'Employment' in the context of English language requirements does not include self- employment.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF2.15 Evidence of employment in New Zealand
Evidence of full-time employment in New Zealand for a minimum of 12 months is original or certified copies of:
a.

references from employers on company letterhead, which state the occupation and dates of employment and
the contact phone number and a address of the employer; or

b.

an employment contract with confirmation from the employer that the applicant is still employed.

Evidence that English was the language of employment is a written statement from the employer that English was the
primary language of employment.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF3 Pre-purchase of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) tuition
a.

Non-principal applicants who pre-purchase ESOL tuition, instead of meeting the minimum standard of English,
must pre-purchase ESOL tuition from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) by paying the required charge
to INZ (which collects this charge on behalf of the TEC). (See BF3.15.)

b.

Before a resident visa is granted, applicants must pay any ESOL tuition charge due.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF3.1 TEC to arrange ESOL tuition
a.

The applicant is entitled to tuition to the value of the ESOL entitlement component of the ESOL tuition charge.
This does not include INZ and TEC administration costs.

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b.

The TEC advises the applicant of the list of suitable ESOL tuition providers in New Zealand, from which the
applicant may nominate one of their own choice.

c.

The TEC will manage the contract between the ESOL tuition provider and the applicant.

d.

The applicant must advise the TEC of their New Zealand address.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF3.5 Applicant's agreement with TEC
a.

Each applicant who pre-purchases ESOL tuition must sign an agreement with TEC by which they agree, among
other things, that they understand the rules for taking up ESOL tuition in New Zealand and the refund
provisions.

b.

The content of the agreement is determined by INZ and the TEC.

c.

Included with the agreement is a schedule that sets out the personal details of the applicant and the amount of
tuition to be purchased.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF3.10 Completion of agreement
See previous instructions BF3.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

When an application for a resident visa is approved in principle, applicants will be given two copies of the
agreement to complete for each person in the application undertaking the English language training.

b.

After completion of the agreement, one copy is retained by the applicant, and the other copy is returned to the
INZ processing office with the tuition fee(s).

c.

If the agreement is not signed and returned to INZ within the time specified by INZ, the resident visa
application must be declined.

d.

The INZ copy of the agreement should be sent to the TEC.

Effective: 07/11/2011
BF3.15 The amount of ESOL tuition to be pre-purchased by non-principal applicants
See previous instructions BF3.15 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

The amount of ESOL tuition to be pre-purchased is determined by the applicant's average IELTS score across
all four bands (as shown in their "Overall Band" score in the IELTS Test Report Form) according to the following
table.
Overall Band score

Charge to be paid

ESOL entitlement

4.5 or more but less than 5

NZ$1,735

NZ$1,531.82

4 or more, but less than 4.5

NZ$3,420

NZ$3,063.64

3.5 or more, but less than 4

NZ$5,110

NZ$4,600.00

Less than 3.5

NZ$6,795

NZ$6,131.82

Note: No ESOL tuition is required to be pre-purchased if the applicant meets the English language requirements for
the category they are applying under.
b.

The charge includes the applicant's ESOL tuition entitlement, as well as the INZ and TEC administration costs.

c.

If an applicant has not submitted IELTS results when requested, the maximum charge of NZ$6,795 applies.

Effective 26/11/2012
BF3.20 Failure to pre-purchase ESOL tuition
Any ESOL tuition charge due must be paid before the grant of a resident visa. If it is not paid to INZ within the specified
time, the resident visa application must be declined.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF3.25 Limited period to use ESOL tuition
a.

If ESOL tuition is purchased the applicant must complete the tuition within 5 years from the date of payment.

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b.

Residence

ESOL tuition will not be available without further payment, nor will refunds be given, to applicants who do not
take up ESOL tuition within the time limits specified in paragraph (a).

Effective 29/11/2010
BF3.27 Extension of period to complete ESOL tuition
a.

Applicants who have pre-purchased ESOL tuition:


i.

in New Zealand on or after 31 March 2005 and prior to 31 March 2008; or

ii.

outside New Zealand on or after 31 September 2004 and prior to 31 March 2008

will have up to 5 years from the date of payment to complete the tuition.

Effective 29/11/2010
BF3.30 Refunds of ESOL tuition money
a.

If ESOL tuition money is paid but the principal applicant and partner and dependent children do not take up
residence, a refund may be granted upon request to INZ. The request must be made in writing.

b.

Requests made more than 6 months after the expiry date of any unused resident visa must be declined.

c.

Business immigration specialists considering requests for refunds must be satisfied that the principal applicant
and partner and dependent children included in the application have not been granted entry permission to New
Zealand as holders of resident visas.

d.

The person who paid the fee will be refunded only the ESOL entitlement. INZ and TEC administration costs will
not be refunded.

Effective 29/11/2010

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BH Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category


BH1 Objective
See previous instructions:
BH1 Effective 29/11/2010
The objective of the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category is to attract migrants who can demonstrate they have been
actively participating in business and contributing to New Zealand's economic development.

Effective 24/03/2014
BH2 Summary of requirements
BH2.1 Successful establishment and operation of a business that benefits New Zealand
significantly
See previous instructions:
BH2.1 Effective 14/05/2013
BH2.1 Effective 29/11/2010
Principal applicants in the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category are required to demonstrate that:
a.

they have successfully established a business in New Zealand that realises the benefits outlined in their
business plan, and have operated that business for at least:
i.

two years, and meet the requirements of BH2.1.1; or

ii.

six months, and meet the requirements of BH 2.1.5; and

b.

the business is benefiting New Zealand significantly (BH4.10); and

c.

the business complies with employment and immigration law (see BH2.5); and

d.

the same or greater amount of capital has been invested in the business as outlined in the business plan.

Note: In assessing capital investment in the business, no account will be taken of working capital, passive or speculative
investments, such as reserve funds or term bank deposits, any legal, accounting or administrative fees associated with
the establishment of the business, or expenditure on items for the personal use of the applicant(s), such as personal
residence, cars or boats.
For a definition of working capital please refer to the definition at BB6.1.50.
BH2.1.1 Requirements for applicants who have operated a business for at least two years
a.

b.

To be granted an Entrepreneur Residence Visa on the basis of operating a business for two years, the principal
applicant must:
i.

have been self employed in that business for two years prior to the date the application under the
Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category is made; and

ii.

hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa, Long Term Business Visa or other visa which allows
self-employment.

If a principal applicant does not hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa or Long Term Business Visa, they must
demonstrate that meet the requirements to have been approved for an Entrepreneur Work Visa under BB3.1.

BH2.1.5 Requirements for applicants who have operated a business for at least six months
a.

b.

To be granted an Entrepreneur Residence Visa on the basis of operating a business for six months, the principal
applicant must:
i.

have been self-employed in that business for at least six months prior to the date the application
under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category is made; and

ii.

have invested at least $NZ500,000 (excluding working capital) in their business; and

iii.

have created at least three ongoing and sustainable full time jobs for New Zealand citizens or
residents; and

iv.

hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa or a Long Term Business Visa at the time the residence visa
application is made.

Applicants who have operated a business for six months must provide evidence:
i.

of how their investment funds have been invested in their business and how this has benefited the
business or increased its value; and

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ii.

Residence

that any jobs created meet the definition of full time employment at BB6.1.25, as shown by
employment contracts, wage and salary records, or evidence of business turnover.

Effective 24/03/2014
BH2.5 Compliance with employment and immigration law
See previous instructions:
BH2.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

c.

Businesses established in New Zealand must comply with all relevant employment and immigration law in force
in New Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law includes but is not
limited to:
i.

paying employees no less than the appropriate minimum wage or other contracted industry standard;
and

ii.

meeting holiday and special leave requirements or other minimum statutory criteria, e.g. occupational
safety and health obligations; and

iii.

only employing people who have authority to undertake that work under the Immigration Act 2009.

Despite BH2.5 (a) above, where an application otherwise meets all requirements for approval and there is an
incident of non-compliance with any relevant employment or immigration law in force in New Zealand, a
business immigration specialist may nevertheless approve the application where:
i.

they are satisfied that the breach of requirements is of a minor nature; and

ii.

evidence is provided that satisfies the business immigration specialist that the cause and
consequences of the breach have been remedied.

To determine the nature of a breach, the business immigration specialist may consult with WorkSafe New
Zealand, the Labour Inspectorate and other sections of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment,
and/or the Accident Compensation Corporation.

Effective 25/08/2014
BH2.10 English language requirements
See previous instructions:
BH2.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants in the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category must meet the minimum standard of English
(see BF2).

b.

Any partner or dependent children aged 16 years and over who are included in the application must meet a
minimum standard of English (see BF2) or, where instructions allow, pre-purchase of ESOL tuition (see BF1.1).

Effective 24/03/2014
BH2.15 Health and character requirement
Principal applicants and partners and/or dependent children included in the application must meet health and character
requirements (see A4 and A5).

Effective 29/11/2010
BH2.20 Payment of migrant levy
See previous instructions:
BH2.20 Effective 29/11/2010
Applicants approved under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category are required to pay a migrant levy (see R5.90).

Effective 24/03/2014
BH2.25 Applicants must not have accessed welfare assistance
Applications under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category will also be declined if the principal applicant and any
partner or dependent child/ren applied for and was granted welfare assistance under the Social Security Act 1964 while
in New Zealand during the currency of their temporary visas.

Effective 24/03/2014

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BH3 Relationship to Long Term Business Category


BH3.1 Consistency with business proposal under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category
See previous instructions:
BH3.1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

c.

An application under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category will be declined if:
i.

the business on the basis of which the application is made was established while the principal applicant
was the holder of a work visa granted under the Entrepreneur Work Visa or Long Term Business Visa
Category; and

ii.

the business is different from the business proposal (except for a business proposal subsequently
modified with the consent of a business immigration specialist) in respect of which the applicant was
granted a work visa.

Despite BH3.1(a) above, an application may be approved if:


i.

the business that has been established would have met the requirements for a business plan under
the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category; and

ii.

the business that has been established required the same or a greater level of capital investment than
a business proposal in respect of which the applicant was granted or issued a work visa under the
Entrepreneur Work Visa Category; and

iii.

the applicant has relevant experience for the new business; and

iv.

the business has provided a significant benefit to New Zealand equal or greater than the original
business as determined by a business immigration specialist (see BH4.10).

c.
For the purposes of BH3.1(b)(ii), account will only be taken of the amount of capital that has been
actively invested in the business. No account will be taken of:
i.

working capital (see BB6.1.50); or

ii.

passive or speculative investments, such as reserve funds or term bank deposits; or

iii.
d.

expenditure on items for the personal use of the applicant(s), such as personal residence,
cars or boats.

d.
Applications for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa which have not met one or any of the goals in the
business plan, or realised their stated goal in one or any of the categories which were claimed in the points
scale at BB3.10(d) in the original Entrepreneur Work Visa application, will be declined unless:
i.

the applicant can demonstrate that this failure was due to extraordinary circumstances outside their
control; and

ii.

the circumstances were not foreseeable; and

iii.

the failure was not due to lack of planning or realistic goals on the part of the applicant or adviser
working on their behalf.

Note: People who hold a visa under the former Long Term Business Visa Category must demonstrate they meet these
requirements to be granted residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category.

Effective 24/03/2014
BH3.5 Consistency with business proposal under the Long Term Business Category (to 24 March
2014)
See previous instructions:
BH3.5 Effective 08/04/2013
BH3.5 Effective 29/11/2010
Note: The instructions contained in this section cease to be effective from 24 March 2014.

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BH3.10 Direct applications under Entrepreneur category (to 24/03/2014)


See previous instructions:
BH3.10 Effective 29/11/2010
Note: The instructions contained in this section cease to be effective from 24 March 2014.

Effective 24/03/2014
BH4 Successful establishment of a business in New Zealand
BH4.1 Criteria for successfully establishing a business in New Zealand
See previous instructions:
BH4.1 Effective 29/11/2010
A principal applicant will be considered to have successfully established a business in New Zealand if they have
established or purchased, or made a substantial investment in a business operating in New Zealand; and
a.

has been self-employed in New Zealand in that business for at least 2 years if applying under BH2.1(a)(i); or

b.

has been self-employed in their business for at least six months, if applying under BH2.1(a)(ii).

Effective 24/03/2014
BH4.5 Definitions
Please refer to section BB6 for definitions of terms for the purposes of the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category (BB) and the
Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category (BH).

Effective 24/03/2014
BH4.10 Criteria for a business benefiting New Zealand
See previous instructions:
BH4.10 Effective 08/04/2013
a.

A business is considered to add significant benefit to New Zealand if it can demonstrate that it has promoted
New Zealand's economic growth by for example:
i.

introducing new, or enhancing existing, technology, management or technical skills; or

ii.

introducing new, or enhancing existing, products or services; or

iii.

creating new, or significantly expanding existing, export markets; or

iv.

creating sustained and ongoing full time employment for one or more New Zealand citizens or
residents; or

v.

the revitalisation of an existing New Zealand business that has led to significantly increased financial
performance; or

vi.

introducing productivity-enhancing spillover benefits or increased capacity utilisation (such as


significant net new job creation); and

b.

The business is trading profitably on the date the application is lodged or a business immigration specialist is
satisfied that it clearly has the potential to become profitable within the following 12 months.

c.

For definitions of new products or services and trading profitably please refer to the Definitions section
at BB6.

Effective 24/03/2014
BH5 Evidential requirements for entrepreneurs
BH5.1 Evidence that the principal applicant has established a business in New Zealand
a.

All documents submitted to prove that the principal applicant has established a business in New Zealand
must be produced by a reliable independent agency.

b.

Evidence that the principal applicant has established a business in New Zealand may include, but is not limited
to:
i.

a certificate of incorporation

ii.

audited accounts

iii.

GST records

iv.

other tax records

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c.

Residence

The business immigration specialist may request any other documents to support the application.

Effective 29/11/2010
BH5.5 Evidence that the business is benefiting New Zealand
a.

b.

Evidence that the principal applicant's business is benefiting New Zealand may include, but is not limited to:
i.

audited accounts

ii.

tax records

iii.

export/import documentation, such as letters of credit

iv.

employment records.

The business immigration specialist may request any other documents to support the application.

Effective 29/11/2010
BH5.10 Evidence of compliance with relevant employment and immigration law
A business immigration specialist may request evidence that the principal applicant has complied with all relevant
employment and immigration law in New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
BH7 Approval in principle
BH7.1 General rules for approval in principle
See previous instructions:
BH7.1 Effective 29/11/2010
Principal applicants who meet the criteria of the Entrepreneur Residence Category will be advised that:
a.

their application has been approved in principle; and

b.

resident visas may be granted once the following requirements have been met:

c.

i.

the principal applicant pays any applicable migrant levy; and

ii.

the principal applicant submits evidence that they and any partner or dependent children aged 16 or
over meet the English language requirements (see BF).

Applications for a resident visa may be declined if principal applicants do not present the requirements listed in
the approval in principle letter within the timeframe specified by a business immigration specialist.

BH7.1.1 Approval in principle for applicants under BH2.1(a)(ii)


Principal applicants who meet the criteria under BH2.1(a)(ii) will also be advised (in addition to the requirements as set
out at BH7.1) that their resident visas will be granted subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act
2009.

Effective 24/03/2014
BH7.5 Failure to meet approval in principle requirements (to 24/03/2014)
See previous instructions:
BH7.5 Effective 29/11/2010
Note: The instructions contained in this section cease to be effective from 24 March 2014.

Effective 24/03/2014
BH7.10 Resident visas that are subject to conditions
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 49
a.

All resident visas granted under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category under BH2.1(a)(ii) are subject to
the following conditions (imposed under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009):
i.

the principal applicant must be self-employed in the business for a minimum of two years (including
the time spent operating the business while holding an Entrepreneur Work Visa); and

ii.

the principal applicant must retain the investment and maintain the new full time jobs created in the
business, employing people under these conditions for a minimum of two years (including the time
spent operating the business while holding an Entrepreneur Work Visa); and

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iii.
b.

Residence

the principal applicant must inform the nearest branch of INZ of any changes of their New Zealand
address during the period that the conditions have been imposed on their resident visa.

Any accompanying partner and dependent child/ren of a principal applicant granted a resident visa will be
subject to the condition that the principal applicant complies with the conditions of their visa.

BH7.10.1 Informing resident visa holders of conditions


Principal applicants will be advised of the conditions in a letter that states:
a.

the conditions their resident visa is subject to;

b.

what they need to do in order to have these conditions lifted, and in what time frame; and

c.

that failure to comply with the conditions may result in the visa holder becoming liable for deportation under
section 159 of the Immigration Act 2009.

BH7.10.5 Reminder from INZ to provide evidence of conditions being met


a.

INZ will attempt to contact the principal applicant three months before the end of the conditions period
requesting evidence that conditions are being met.

b.

Evidence that the principal applicant has met and complied with the conditions of their visa must be provided
no later than three months after their conditions are due to be lifted (see BH7.10.1).

BH7.10.10 Evidence of meeting conditions


a.

The principal applicant will need to show that they have:


i.

been self-employed in the business for at least two years (inclusive of time spent operating the
business while holding an Entrepreneur Work Visa); and

ii.

retained the investment and maintained the created three new full time positions for New Zealand
citizens or residents in the established business for at least two years (inclusive of time spent
operating the business while holding an Entrepreneur Work Visa).

b.

Notwithstanding BH7.10(a)(ii) above, where the principal applicant fails to retain the investment and/or
maintain the created three full time positions in the established business, a business immigration specialist
may consider, on a case by case basis, whether the failure was beyond the control of the principal applicant
(e.g. unforeseen economic conditions) and, if satisfied that this was the case, may consider the conditions met.

c.

Suitable evidence to prove that the principal applicant has met the conditions must be produced by a reliable
agency or professional (for example, a solicitor or chartered accountant) who is independent both of the
business and the applicants immigration adviser or lawyer.

d.

Suitable evidence can include, but is not limited to, original or certified copies of the following documents:
a Certificate of Incorporation

financial accounts

GST records

other tax records

employment agreements/contracts

IRD Employee schedules

payslips

job specifications

letters of appointment

evidence of employees New Zealand citizenship or resident status (for example: passport, birth certificate)

property purchase or lease documents relating to the business' site

invoices for business equipment and supplies

other documents, evidence and information a business immigration specialist considers may demonstrate
reasonable steps taken to maintain the business as a going concern (e.g. employment agreements, bank
statements, utility company invoices).

BH7.10.15 Compliance with conditions


When the principal applicant under this category satisfies a business immigration specialist that the conditions imposed on
their resident visa under section 49(1) have been met or complied with, those conditions will be cancelled and the
business immigration specialist will advise the applicant in writing.

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BH7.10.20 Non-compliance with conditions


If the conditions have not been complied with, the resident visa holder may become liable for deportation under section
159 of the Immigration Act 2009.

Effective 24/03/2014

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BJ Migrant Investment Categories


BJ1 Objective
The objective of the Migrant Investment Categories is to attract financial capital to local firms or government by providing
resident visas to those who wish to make a significant contribution to New Zealand's economy.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ2 Overview
The Migrant Investment Categories are comprised of two sub-categories. These are the Investor 1 Category and the
Investor 2 Category.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ2.1 Investor 1 Category
a.

To be approved under this category a principal applicant must:


i.

meet requirements for health and character; and

ii.

invest NZ$10 million in New Zealand in an acceptable investment for a three year period.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ2.5 Investor 2 Category
See previous instructions:
BJ2.5 Effectiver 29/11/2010
a.

A person who is interested in applying for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category may complete an
Expression of Interest (EOI) form in the prescribed manner.

Note: Applications can be made under Investor 1 Category without the need to submit an EOI or be invited to apply.
b.

EOIs which meet prerequisites for health, character, English language, age, business experience, investment
funds and settlement funds, and have a minimum point score of 20, are entered into the Investor 2 Category
EOI Pool (see BJ4.15).

c.

EOIs in the Investor 2 Category EOI Pool are selected from that Pool periodically on the Government's behalf
by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

d.

Points for age, business experience, English language ability, and investment funds are claimed by a person
expressing interest in accordance with the requirements set out in the Investor 2 Category (see BJ4).

e.

EOIs will be ranked in order of points and those that score highest may be periodically selected from the Pool,
according to their points ranking, in quantities sufficient to fulfil the annual approval cap stipulated at BJ2.15.

f.

Entry into the Pool does not guarantee that an EOI will be selected for consideration or that an Invitation to
Apply will be issued.

g.

A selected EOI may result in an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category,
subject to:
i.

an assessment of the credibility of the information provided in the EOI; and

ii.

whether the EOI indicates the presence of any health or character issues that may adversely affect the
ability of the person expressing interest to be granted a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category;
and

iii.

whether the EOI indicates that the person expressing interest will not meet the Investor 2 Category
criteria.

h.

Only a person with an ITA may apply for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category.

i.

The issue of an ITA does not guarantee that a resident visa will be granted.

j.

If a person is invited to apply, information provided in the EOI, and any further evidence, information and
submissions will form the basis for determination of a subsequent application for a resident visa under the
Investor 2 Category.

k.

Applications for a resident visa resulting from an ITA must include:


i.

information and evidence to support the claims made in the EOI; and

ii.

information concerning any relevant fact (including any material change in circumstances that occurs
after the EOI was submitted) if that fact or change in circumstances could affect the decision on the
application. Such a relevant fact or change in circumstances may relate to the principal applicant or

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another person included in the application, and may relate to any matter relevant to the Investor 2
Category.
l.

To be approved under the Investor 2 Category a principal applicant must:


i.

meet requirements for health and character (see A4 and A5); and

ii.

qualify for the points for English language, age, business experience and nominated investment funds
on the basis of which their EOI was selected from the Pool; and

iii.

invest NZ$1.5 million in New Zealand.

Effective 27/11/2014
BJ2.15 Applications available under the Investor 2 Category
a.

Up to 300 applications can be approved annually under the Investor 2 Category. These sit within the total
number of places available under the Skilled/Business stream of the New Zealand Residence Programme
(NZRP).

b.

The Minister of Immigration may review and adjust the number of applications that can be approved
periodically, provided the adjustment is within the NZRP.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ2.20 Approval in principle
Under both of the Migrant Investment Categories (MIC), where an application is approved in principle the principal
applicant will be required to provide acceptable evidence of having transferred and invested the nominated funds in
accordance with the relevant requirements of the category under which they have applied, before a resident visa is
granted.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ2.25 Resident visas granted with conditions
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 49
a.

Under the Migrant Investment Categories (MIC), a resident visa is granted to a principal applicant and
accompanying partner and dependent children subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act
2009. All resident visas granted in accordance with these instructions must specify that the visa will be subject
to the following conditions under section 49(1).

b.

The MIC conditions are that:


i.

the principal applicant retains an acceptable investment in New Zealand for a minimum of three years
(Investor 1 Category) or four years (Investor 2 Category) and spends a minimum period of time in
New Zealand during the required investment period (see BJ9); and

ii.

the principal applicant informs the nearest branch of INZ of any changes of New Zealand address
during the required investment period; and

iii.

a principal applicant who was awarded 1 point for English language ability (IELTS 3) under the
Investor 2 Category, must complete a minimum 20 hours of English language tuition with a New
Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) registered education provider in New Zealand within the four
year investment period; and

iv.

at the two-year anniversary of the investment period, the principal applicant submit evidence that
they:

are retaining an acceptable investment in New Zealand; and

meeting minimum period of time in New Zealand requirements; and


v.

c.

within 3 months after the expiry date of the required investment period, the principal applicant submit
evidence to INZ that they have met conditions (i) and (iii) if applicable.

Any accompanying partner and dependent children of a principal applicant granted a resident visa will be
subject to the condition that the principal applicant complies with the conditions of their visa.

BJ2.25.1 Imposing conditions


a.

Principal applicants are advised of the conditions of their visa in a letter that states:
i.

the conditions; and

ii.

that failure to comply with the conditions may result in the visa holder becoming liable for deportation
under section 159 of the Immigration Act 2009.

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The letter will also specify the date on which the required investment period begins (see BJ7.25).

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ2.30 Verification
a.

Business immigration specialists must be satisfied that all documents provided as evidence are genuine and
accurate, and may take any steps they determine necessary to verify such documents and the information they
contain.

b.

All documentation provided should be independent and verifiable to a business immigration specialist's
satisfaction.

c.

A business immigration specialist may interview, or ask another branch of Immigration New Zealand to
interview, the principal applicant in order to determine whether or not the information provided in an
application is genuine and accurate.

Note: A business immigration specialist is an immigration officer.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ3 Investor 1 Category
a.

b.

Principal applicants under the Investor 1 Category are assessed against:


i.

health and character requirements; and

ii.

investment funds requirements.

For an application to be approved under the Investor 1 Category:


i.

the principal applicant and family members included in the application must meet health and
character requirements (see A4 and A5); and

ii.

the principal applicant must nominate funds and/or assets equivalent in value to at least NZ$10
million and demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or assets; and

iii.

the principal applicant must demonstrate that the nominated funds have been legally earned or
acquired; and

iv.

the principal applicant must undertake to invest NZ$10 million for a period of three years in New
Zealand and transfer and place the funds in an acceptable investment in accordance with the
instructions in BJ7.10.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ3.5 Health and character requirements
Applicants under the Investor 1 Category must meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ3.10 Investment funds
See previous instructions:
BJ3.10 Effective 7/11/2011
BJ3.10 Effective 25/07/2011
BJ3.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

The principal applicant must invest a minimum of NZ$10 million in New Zealand for a period of three years.

b.

The principal applicant must:

c.

i.

nominate funds and/or assets equivalent in value to NZ$10 million; and

ii.

demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or assets (see BJ3.10.1); and

iii.

demonstrate that the nominated funds and/or assets have been earned or acquired legally (see
BJ3.10.1 (c) below).

All invested funds must meet the conditions of an acceptable investment as set out under BJ3.10.25.

BJ3.10.1 Ownership of nominated funds and/or assets


a.

Nominated funds and/or assets may be owned either:


i.

solely by the principal applicant; or

ii.

jointly by the principal applicant and partner and/or dependent children who are included in the
resident visa application, provided a business immigration specialist is satisfied the principal applicant
and partner have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and

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stable (see R2.1.15 and R2.1.15.1 (b) and R2.1.15.5 (a)(i)). If so, the principal applicant may claim
the full value of such jointly owned funds or assets for assessment purposes.
b.

If nominated funds and/or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their
partner or dependent child, the principal applicant may only claim the value of that portion of funds and/or
assets for which they provide evidence of ownership.

c.

The principal applicant may only nominate funds and/or assets that they earned or acquired legally, including
funds and/or assets which have been gifted to them unconditionally and in accordance with local law. Where
nominated funds and/or assets have been gifted to the principal applicant a business immigration specialist
must be satisfied that the funds and/or assets being gifted were earned lawfully by the person/s gifting the
funds and/or assets.

d.

The nominated funds and/or assets must be unencumbered.

e.

The nominated funds and/or assets must not be borrowed.

BJ3.10.5 Definition of 'funds earned or acquired legally'


a.

Funds and/or assets earned or acquired legally are funds and/or assets earned or acquired in accordance with
the laws of the country in which they were earned or acquired.

b.

Business immigration specialists have discretion to decline an application if they are satisfied that, had the
funds and/or assets been earned or acquired in the same manner in New Zealand, they would have been
earned or acquired contrary to the criminal law of New Zealand.

BJ3.10.10 Definition of 'unencumbered funds'


Unencumbered funds are funds that are not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether
equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims.
BJ3.10.15 Funds already held in New Zealand
a.

Funds held in New Zealand at the time the application is made may be included in investment funds. However,
periods of investment in New Zealand before approval in principle cannot be taken into account when
calculating the three-year investment period.

b.

Funds held in New Zealand must originally have been transferred to New Zealand through the banking system,
or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system from the country or countries in which they were
earned or acquired legally, or have been earned or acquired lawfully in New Zealand (see BJ7.10).

BJ3.10.20 Evidence of the principal applicant's nominated funds and assets


a.

Principal applicants must provide evidence of net funds and/or assets to the value of the required investment
funds.

b.

Principal applicants must provide evidence to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist that the
nominated funds and/or assets were earned or acquired legally.

c.

All documents provided as valuations of assets must be:

d.

i.

no more than three months old at the date the resident visa application is made; and

ii.

produced by a reliable independent agency.

A business immigration specialist may seek further evidence if they:


i.

are not satisfied that the nominated funds and/or assets were earned or acquired legally; or

ii.

consider that the nominated funds and/or assets may have been gifted or borrowed without being
declared; or

iii.

are not satisfied with the valuation provided; or

iv.

consider that the nominated funds and/or assets fail in some other way to meet the rules for
investment funds.

BJ3.10.25 Definition of 'acceptable investment'


a.

An acceptable investment means an investment that:


i.

is capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances; and

ii.

is not for the personal use of the applicant(s) (see BJ5.50.1 below); and

iii.

is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency; and

iv.

is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds (see BJ5.50.5) that comply with all relevant laws in
force in New Zealand; and

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v.

has the potential to contribute to New Zealand's economy; and

vi.

is invested in either one or more of the following:

Residence

bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities; or

bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX); or

bonds issued by New Zealand firms with at least a BBB- or equivalent rating from internationally
recognised credit rating agencies (for example, Standard and Poor's); or

equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds and venture capital funds); or

bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks; or

equities in New Zealand registered banks; or

residential property development(s) (see BJ3.10.40); or

bonds in finance companies (see BJ3.10.25 (c)); or

eligible New Zealand venture capital funds (see BJ3.10.45).

Note: For the purposes of these instructions, convertible notes are considered to be an equity investment.
b.

New Zealand registered banks are defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989.

c.

Notwithstanding (a) above, where an investment fails to meet one of the acceptable investment requirements,
a business immigration specialist may consider, on a case by case basis, whether the failure was beyond the
control of the principal applicant and if satisfied that this was the case, may consider the investment
acceptable.

d.

A Business Immigration Specialist may consider bonds in finance companies as an acceptable investment
where the finance company:
i.

is a wholly-owned subsidiary of,

ii.

raises capital solely for, and

iii.

has all its debt securities unconditionally guaranteed by a New Zealand Stock Exchange listed
company or a local authority.

Note: The value of an investment is based on the net purchase price (for example, less any accrued interest, commission,
brokerage and/or trade levy), not on the face value of the investment.
BJ3.10.30 Personal use of investment funds
Personal use includes investment in assets such as a personal residence, car, boat or similar.
BJ3.10.35 Managed funds
a.

b.

For the purposes of these instructions managed funds are defined as either:
i.

a managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution; or

ii.

funds invested in equities that are managed on an investor's behalf by a fund manager or broker.

In order to be acceptable as a form of investment managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand
companies. Managed fund investments in New Zealand with international exposure are acceptable only for the
proportion of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.

Example: Only 50 percent of a managed fund that equally invests in New Zealand and international equities would be
deemed to be an acceptable investment as set out in BJ3.10.
BJ3.10.40 Residential property development
For the purposes of these instructions, residential property development(s) is defined as property(ies) in which people
reside and is subject to the following conditions:
a.

the residential property must be in the form of new developments on either new or existing sites; and

b.

the residential property(ies) cannot include renovation or extension to existing dwellings; and

c.

the new developments must have been approved and gained any required consents by any relevant regulatory
authorities (including local authorities); and

d.

the purpose of the residential property investments must be to make a commercial return on the open market;
and

e.

neither the family, relatives, nor anyone associated with the principal investor, may reside in the development;
and

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f.

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the costs associated with obtaining any regulatory approval (including any resource or building consents) are
not part of the principal applicants acceptable investments.

BJ3.10.45 Venture capital funds


a.

For the purposes of these instructions, a venture capital fund is defined as a fund that invests capital in an
early-stage or start-up (or seed) company or companies in exchange for an equity stake in that company or
companies.

b.

In order for a venture capital fund investment to be deemed acceptable by a business immigration specialist,
nominated funds can be placed in approved on-call accounts or venture capital funds, subject to the following
conditions:
i.

applicants must have entered into a binding fund investment contract with an approved venture
capital fund manager and into an approved fund structure (for example a New Zealand limited
partnership), to supply an agreed amount of funds as committed capital; and

ii.

the committed funds are a fixed commitment, managed on an applicants behalf by a fund manager or
broker, to be drawn down over a stated period; and

iii.

nominated funds can either be committed to an acceptable investment or placed into on-call accounts
which meet the specifications in BJ3.10.45(e); and

iv.

applicants must maintain a level of funds in any approved on-call account equal to the nominated
amount minus any funds already committed to the venture capital fund; and

v.

applicants must be able to demonstrate that all funds placed into on-call accounts are in those
accounts pending call-up by their nominated venture capital fund.

c.

In order to be approved, all on-call accounts or venture capital funds must be managed on an applicants behalf
by a fund manager or broker and held in New Zealand in New Zealand dollars.

d.

Funds and fund administrators or managers must be able to provide confirmation that both funds and
managers are fully compliant with any legislative and regulatory obligations, applicable codes of practice and
licensing or registration requirements under New Zealand law, including any requirements imposed by the
Financial Markets Authority.

e.

For the purposes of these instructions, acceptable on-call accounts are defined as an investment that can be
liquidated to meet the needs of the venture capital fund, including trusts, bonds, or shares in equities.

Effective: 24/03/2014
BJ4 Investor 2 Category (Expression of Interest and Invitation to Apply)
BJ4.1 Expressing interest in being invited to apply under the Investor 2 Category
See also Immigration Act 2009, s 92
a.

b.

c.

People notify their interest in being invited to apply for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category by
tendering an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Immigration New Zealand in the prescribed manner. The
prescribed manner for completing and submitting an EOI is that the person expressing interest submits to a
business immigration specialist:
i.

a completed Investor 2 Category Expression of Interest Form (INZ 1165); and

ii.

the appropriate fee.

Through completion of an EOI, a person:


i.

provides information regarding their: identity (see A2), health (see A4), character (see A5) and
settlement funds (see BJ5.45); and

ii.

provides information about their English language ability in accordance with the requirements for
English language ability set out at BJ5.15 and BJ5.35 of these instructions; and

iii.

claims points for age, business experience, English language, and investment funds (in accordance
with requirements set out in BJ4 of the Investor 2 Category).

It is the responsibility of the person submitting the EOI to ensure that it is correct in all material respects.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ4.5 Implications of providing false or misleading information
See previous instructions:
BJ4.5 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 58, 93, 157, 158
a.

The Immigration Act 2009 provides that:

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i.

the provision of false or misleading information as part of an Expression of Interest (EOI) or


associated submission; or

ii.

the withholding of relevant, potentially prejudicial information from an EOI or associated submission;
or

iii.

failure to advise an immigration officer of any fact or material change in circumstances that occurs
after an EOI is lodged that may affect a decision to invite the person to apply for a resident visa or to
grant a resident visa,

is sufficient grounds for the decline of an application for a resident visa and for the holder of a residence class or
temporary class visa to become liable for deportation.
b.

Information relating to a claim made in an EOI that is factually inaccurate and is relevant to the issuing of an
Invitation to Apply or the assessment of a resident visa application, will be considered misleading unless the
principal applicant can demonstrate that there is a reasonable basis for making that claim.

Effective 27/11/2014
BJ4.15 Submission of Expressions of Interest to the Pool
See previous instructions BJ4.15 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 92
Expressions of Interest submitted in the prescribed manner may be entered into a Pool of Expressions of Interest (the
Pool) if the person expressing interest:
a.

has confirmed that health and character requirements for entry to the Pool have been met because none of the
people included in their Expression of Interest are people who:
i.

would not be granted a medical waiver (see A4.60); or

ii.

are described in sections 15 and 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 (see A5.20); and

b.

has claimed points for a minimum overall band score of IELTS 3 for English language ability (see BJ5.35); and

c.

has confirmed that they are aged 65 years or younger (see BJ5.25); and

d.

has claimed points for a minimum of three years of business experience (see BJ5.30); and

e.

has claimed points for a minimum of NZ$1.5 million of investment funds (see BJ5.40); and

f.

has confirmed that they legally own NZ$1 million of settlement funds in addition to the $1.5 million investment
funds (see BJ5.45).

Effective 30/07/2012
BJ4.20 Selection of Expressions of Interest
See previous instructions:
BJ4.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

As Expressions of Interest (EOI) are entered into the Pool they will be ranked on the basis of total points
claimed for age, business experience, English language ability, and investment funds in accordance with the
points allocated to these factors under the Investor 2 Category. The ranking of EOIs relative to each other will
change as EOIs enter, or are withdrawn from, the Pool, or as the points claimed by EOIs already in the Pool
change.

b.

Expressions of Interest may be selected from the Pool according to their points ranking in quantities sufficient
to fulfil the annual approval cap stipulated at BJ2.15.

Effective 27/11/2014
BJ4.25 Currency of an Expression of Interest
See previous instructions BJ4.25 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) is current for a period of six months from the date of initial submission to the
Pool unless no Pool selection of EOIs has occurred within that six-month period. Where this is the case, the EOI
is current until such time as a selection from the Pool has occurred.

b.

An EOI that is no longer current will be withdrawn from the Pool.

c.

An EOI will also be withdrawn from the Pool if it is rejected after selection because it does not meet
prerequisites for entry to the Pool and as a result no Invitation to Apply is issued.

Effective 27/11/2014

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BJ4.30 Invitation to Apply for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category
See previous instructions:
BJ4.30 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 94
a.

People whose Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been selected from the Pool may be issued with an Invitation
to Apply (ITA) for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category if:

i.

the information provided does not indicate the presence of any health or character issues which may
adversely affect their ability to be granted a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category; and

ii.

a business immigration specialist considers that the person's claims in regards to:

points for age, business experience, English language ability, investment funds; and

o
settlement funds,
which were the basis for selection from the Pool, are credible.
b.

A business immigration specialist may seek further evidence, information or submissions from a person whose
EOI has been selected from the Pool, for the purpose of determining whether to issue them with an ITA under
the Investor 2 Category.

c.

A business immigration specialist's decision to issue an ITA for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category
(based on information, evidence and submissions provided prior to application) does not guarantee:

d.

i.

that the points claimed by the applicant will be awarded; or

ii.

a positive assessment in respect of health, character, English language, or any other requirements, of
any subsequent application for a resident visa; or

iii.

that the person will be granted a resident visa.

The selection of an EOI from the Pool may not result in an ITA for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category.

Effective 27/11/2014
BJ5 Investor 2 Category (Summary of Requirements)
BJ5.1 Ability to apply
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 57, 94
A person may only apply for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category if:
a.

they have been issued with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the Investor 2 Category; and

b.

they apply for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category within four months of the date of the letter in which
that invitation is made; and

c.

that ITA has not been revoked.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.5 Approval of applications under the Investor 2 Category
a.

b.

Principal applicants under the Investor 2 Category are assessed against:


i.

age, health, character and English language requirements; and

ii.

investment and settlement fund requirements; and

iii.

business experience requirements.

For an application under the Investor 2 category to be approved:


i.

the principal applicant and family members included in the application must meet health and
character requirements; and

ii.

the principal applicant must qualify for the points on the basis of which their EOI was selected from the
Pool; and

iii.

the principal applicant must be aged 65 years or younger; and

iv.

the principal applicant must have a minimum of three years of business experience; and

v.

the principal applicant must have a minimum overall band score of IELTS 3 for English language
ability; and

vi.

the principal applicant must nominate investment funds and/or assets equivalent in value to at least
NZ$1.5 million; and

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vii. the principal applicant must nominate NZ$1 million of settlement funds; and
viii. the principal applicant must demonstrate ownership of the nominated funds and/or assets and that
they have been legally earned or acquired.
c.

Despite BJ5.5(b)(ii) above, if a principal applicant does not qualify for the points for business experience and
nominated investment funds on the basis of which their EOI was selected from the Pool (see BJ4.20), a
business immigration specialist may, on a case by case basis, determine that the application may nevertheless
be approved, where the principal applicant has satisfied a business immigration specialist that there was a
reasonable basis for making the claim for points in the Expression of Interest and that in making that claim
there was no fraud, or intent to provide false or misleading information.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.10 Health and character requirements
Applicants under the Investor 2 Category must meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.15 English language requirements
a.

Principal applicants under the Investor 2 Category must meet a minimum standard of English (see BJ5.35).

b.

Any partner or dependent children aged 16 years and over who are included in a Investor 2 Category
application must meet a minimum standard of English or pre-purchase ESOL tuition (see BF1.1).

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.20 Investor 2 Category points system
a.

Age, business experience, English language ability, and nominated investment funds are assessed using a
points system.

b.

An application for a resident visa under the Investor 2 Category will be declined if a principal applicant does not
qualify for the points for business experience and nominated investment funds on the basis of which their
Expression of Interest was selected from the Pool, unless BJ5.5(c) applies

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.25 Age
a.

Principal applicants under the Investor 2 Category must be aged 65 years or younger at the time of application.

b.

A principal applicant's age under the Investor 2 Category qualifies for points as follows:

Points

Age

Points

Age

60 - 65

42

18

59

41

19

58

40

20

57

39

21

56

38

22

55

37

23

54

36

24

53

35

25

52

34

26

51

33

27

50

10

32

28

49

11

31

29

48

12

30

30

47

13

29

31

46

14

28

32

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45

15

27

33

44

16

26

34

43

17

25 or
below

35

BJ5.25.1 Evidence of age


Evidence of age may include, but is not limited to, original or certified copies of:
a.

a birth certificate; or

b.

a passport or other travel document; or

c.

an identity document (from countries which require these and where birth details are confirmed before the
document is issued).

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.30 Business experience
See previous instructions BJ5.30 Effective 29/11/2010
a.
b.

Principal applicants must have a minimum of three years of recognised business experience.
Recognised business experience qualifies for points as set out below:

Business
Experience years

Points

12

15

18

21

24

27

10+

30

BJ5.30.1 Basic rules for business experience


a.

Business experience is recognised for the award of points if it is experience in planning, organisation, control,
senior change-management, direction-setting and mentoring acquired through ownership of, or management
level experience in, a lawful business enterprise that has at least five full-time employees or an annual
turn-over of NZ$1 million.

b.

A principal applicant is considered to own a business if they own at least 25 percent of a business.

c.

A lawful business enterprise is an organisation that:


i.

operates lawfully in a commercial environment with the goal of returning a profit; and

ii.

is not set up primarily for passive or speculative purposes.

BJ5.30.5 Length of business experience


a.

The length of business experience is determined on the basis of full-time business experience of at least 30
hours per week. Credit for part-time business experience may be given on a proportional basis.

Example: Business experience gained over eight years for 15 hours per week would equal four years' business
experience based on a 30-hour week.
b.

Credit is given for 30 hour weeks only, even where a principal applicant has worked more than 30 hours in any
week.

BJ5.30.10 Evidence of the principal applicant's business experience


a.

Documents submitted as evidence of the principal applicant's business experience must show the position(s)
and the responsibilities held.

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b.

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Evidence of the principal applicant's business experience can include, but is not limited to, original or certified
copies of the following documents as are necessary to allow a business immigration specialist to make a
decision:
i.

business registration

ii.

company financial accounts

iii.

company tax returns and tax records

iv.

shareholder certificates or proof of ownership of business

v.

job specifications

vi.

job assessments

vii. personal tax returns


viii. letters of appointment
ix.

certificates of service

x.

strategic planning documents

xi.

references from employers on company letterhead, stating the occupation and dates of employment,
and giving the contact phone number and address of the employer.

c.

A business immigration specialist may require additional documents, evidence and information as they
consider necessary to determine an application.

d.

Evidence of part-time business experience includes that listed in paragraph (b) above, but must show actual
weekly hours worked.

Note: Documents provided as evidence of business experience must, in combination, demonstrate experience of all the
elements contained within the requirements for recognition of the business experience (see BJ5.30.1).
Note: New Zealand business experience must be lawfully gained.

Effective 25/07/2011
BJ5.35 English language ability
a.
b.

Principal applicants must have a minimum overall band score of IELTS 3 for English language ability.
English language ability qualifies for points as follows:

IELTS overall
band score

Points

5+

10

BJ5.35.1 Evidence of English language ability


a.

Unless claiming 10 points for IELTS 5 or more, Principal applicants must provide a certificate (no more than 2
years old at the time the application is lodged) from the International English Language Testing System
(IELTS), which shows overall band scores of 3 or 4 or more in the IELTS General or Academic Module.

b.

Principal applicants claiming 10 points for IELTS 5 or more must provide one of the following:
i.

a certificate (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from the International
English Language Testing System (IELTS), which shows an overall band score of 5 or more in the
IELTS General or Academic Module; or

ii.

evidence that they have an English-speaking background (see BF2.1) which is accepted by a business
immigration specialist as meeting the standard of English for which 10 points can be awarded; or

iii.

other evidence which satisfies a business immigration specialist that, taking account of that evidence
and all the circumstances of the application, the person meets the standard of English for which 10
points can be awarded. Evidence may include but is not limited to:

the country in which the applicant currently resides;

the country(ies) in which the applicant has previously resided;

the duration of residence in each country;

the nature of the applicant's current or previous employment (if any) and whether it required or was likely
to have required skill in English language;

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the nature of the applicant's qualifications (if any) and whether the obtaining of those qualifications was
likely to have required skill in English language.

o
c.

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In any case under (b) (ii) or (iii), a business immigration specialist may require an applicant to provide an IELTS
certificate in terms of paragraph (b)(i). In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether
the applicant can be awarded 10 points for English language ability.

Note: IELTS is an international organisation that provides an assessment of ability in English. Its General and Academic
Modules provide band totals (test results) showing overall ability as well as performance in listening, reading, writing and
speaking.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.40 Investment funds
See previous instructions BJ5.40 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

The principal applicant must nominate a minimum of NZ$1.5 million to invest in New Zealand.

b.

Points can be claimed for the amount of funds the principal applicant intends to invest in New Zealand.

c.

The principal applicant must:

d.
e.

i.

nominate funds and/or assets equivalent to the amount that they wish to invest in New Zealand; and

ii.

demonstrate ownership of the nominated funds and/or assets (see BJ5.40.1 below); and

iii.

demonstrate that the nominated funds and/or assets have been earned or acquired legally (see
BJ5.40.1 (c) below).

All invested funds must meet the conditions of an acceptable investment set out in BJ5.50.
Investment funds qualify for points as follows:

Investment
Amount
(NZ$M)

Points

Investment
Amount
(NZ$M)

Points

$1.50

10

$5.75

95

$1.75

15

$6

100

$2

20

$6.25

105

$2.25

25

$6.5

110

$2.5

30

$6.75

115

$2.75

35

$7

120

$3

40

$7.25

125

$3.25

45

$7.5

130

$3.5

50

$7.75

135

$3.75

55

$8

140

$4

60

$8.25

145

$4.25

65

$8.5

150

$4.5

70

$8.75

155

$4.75

75

$9

160

$5

80

$9.25

165

$5.25

85

$9.5

170

$5.5

90

$9.75

175

BJ5.40.1 Ownership of nominated funds and/or assets


a.

Nominated funds and/or assets may be owned either:


i.

solely by the principal applicant; or

ii.

jointly by the principal applicant and partner who are included in the resident visa application,
provided a business immigration specialist is satisfied the principal applicant and partner have been
living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see R2.1.15 and
R2.1.15.1 (b) and R2.1.15.5 (a)(i)); or

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iii.

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jointly by the principal applicant and dependent children who are included in the resident visa
application.

If so, the principal applicant may claim the full value of such jointly owned funds or assets for assessment purposes.
b.

If nominated funds and/or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their
partner or dependent child, the principal applicant may only claim the value of that portion of funds and/or
assets for which they provide evidence of ownership.

c.

The principal applicant may only nominate funds and/or assets that they earned or acquired legally, including
funds and/or assets which have been gifted to them unconditionally and in accordance with local law. Where
nominated funds and/or assets have been gifted to the principal applicant a business immigration specialist
must be satisfied that the funds and/or assets being gifted were earned lawfully by the person/s gifting the
funds and/or assets.

d.

The nominated funds and/or assets must be unencumbered.

e.

The nominated funds and/or assets must not be borrowed.

BJ5.40.5 Definition of 'funds earned or acquired legally'


a.

Funds and/or assets earned or acquired legally are funds and/or assets earned or acquired in accordance with
the laws of the country in which they were earned or acquired.

b.

Business immigration specialists have discretion to decline an application if they are satisfied that, had the
funds and/or assets been earned or acquired in the same manner in New Zealand, they would have been
earned or acquired contrary to the criminal law of New Zealand.

BJ5.40.10 Definition of 'unencumbered funds'


Unencumbered funds are funds that are not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether
equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims.
BJ5.40.15 Funds already held in New Zealand
a.

Funds held in New Zealand at the time the application is made may be included in investment funds, however,
periods of investment in New Zealand before approval in principle cannot be taken into account when
calculating the four-year investment period.

b.

Funds held in New Zealand must originally have been transferred to New Zealand through the banking system,
or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system from the country or countries in which they were
earned or acquired legally, or have been earned or acquired legally in New Zealand.

BJ5.40.20 Evidence of the principal applicant's nominated funds and assets


a.

Principal applicants must provide evidence of net funds and/or assets to the value of the required investment
funds.

b.

Principal applicants must provide evidence to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist that the
nominated funds and/or assets were earned or acquired legally.

c.

All documents provided as valuations of assets must be:

d.

i.

no more than three months old at the date the resident visa application is made; and

ii.

produced by a reliable independent agency.

A business immigration specialist may seek further evidence if they:


i.

are not satisfied that the nominated funds and/or assets were earned or acquired legally; or

ii.

consider that the nominated funds and/or assets may have been gifted or borrowed; or

iii.

are not satisfied with the valuation provided; or

iv.

consider that the nominated funds and/or assets fail in some other way to meet the rules for
investment funds.

Effective 25/07/2011
BJ5.45 Settlement funds
BJ5.45.1 Aim and Intent
Principal applicants under the Investor 2 Category must demonstrate that they have the ability to support themselves,
their partner, and/or dependent children (see R2.1.30) who are included in the resident visa application during the four
year investment period in New Zealand.

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BJ5.45.5 Requirement for settlement funds


Principal applicants must demonstrate ownership of a minimum of NZ$1 million in addition to their nominated investment
funds.
BJ5.45.10 Ownership of settlement funds
a.

Funds may be owned either:


i.

solely by the principal applicant; or

ii.

jointly by the principal applicant and partner and/or dependent children (see R2.1.30) who are
included in the resident visa application.

b.

The principal applicant may claim the full value of jointly owned funds or assets for assessment purposes
provided a business immigration specialist is satisfied the principal applicant and partner have been living
together for 12 months or more in a genuine and stable partnership (see R2.1.15, R2.1.15.1 (b) and R2.1.15.5
(a) (i)).

c.

If funds or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their partner or dependent
child, the principal applicant may only claim the value of that portion of the funds or assets for which they
provide evidence of ownership.

BJ5.45.15 Evidence of settlement funds


Evidence of settlement funds may include, but is not limited to:
a.

funds held in a New Zealand bank account(s); and/or

b.

funds held in an offshore bank account(s), together with evidence that the funds can be accessed from New
Zealand; and/or

c.

acceptable evidence of net assets (either in New Zealand or offshore).

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ5.50 Definition of acceptable investment
See previous instructions:
BJ5.50 Effective 07/11/2011
BJ5.50 Effective 25/07/2011
BJ5.50 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

An acceptable investment means an investment that:


i.

is capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances; and

ii.

is not for the personal use of the applicant(s) (see BJ5.50.1 below); and

iii.

is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency; and

iv.

is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds (see BJ5.50.5) that comply with all relevant laws in
force in New Zealand; and

v.

has the potential to contribute to New Zealand's economy; and

vi.

is invested in either one or more of the following:

bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities; or

bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX); or

bonds issued by New Zealand firms with at least a BBB- or equivalent rating from internationally
recognised credit rating agencies (for example, Standard and Poor's); or

equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds and venture capital funds); or

bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks; or

equities in New Zealand registered banks; or

residential property development(s) (see BJ5.50.10) or

bonds in finance companies (see BJ5.50 (c));or

eligible New Zealand venture capital funds (see BJ5.50.15).

Note: For the purposes of these instructions, convertible notes are considered to be an equity investment.
New Zealand registered banks are defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989.
b.

Notwithstanding (a) above, where an investment fails to meet one of the acceptable investment requirements,
a business immigration specialist may consider, on a case by case basis, whether the failure was beyond the

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control of the principal applicant and if satisfied that this was the case, may consider the investment
acceptable.
c.

A Business Immigration Specialist may consider bonds in finance companies as an acceptable investment
where the finance company:
i.

is a wholly-owned subsidiary of,

ii.

raises capital solely for, and

iii.

has all its debt securities unconditionally guaranteed by a New Zealand Stock Exchange listed
company or a local authority.

Note: The value of an investment is based on the net purchase price (for example, less any accrued interest,
commission, brokerage and/or trade levy), not on the face value of the investment.
BJ5.50.1 Personal use of investment funds
Personal use includes investment in assets such as a personal residence, car, boat or similar.
BJ5.50.5 Managed funds
a.

b.

For the purposes of these instructions, managed funds are defined as either:
i.

a managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution; or

ii.

funds invested in equities that are managed on an investor's behalf by a fund manager or broker.

In order to be acceptable as a form of investment managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand
companies. Managed fund investments in New Zealand with international exposure are acceptable only for the
proportion of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.

Example: Only 50 percent of a managed fund that equally invests in New Zealand and international equities would be
deemed to be an acceptable investment as set out in BJ5.50.5
BJ5.50.10 Residential property development
For the purposes of these instructions, residential property development(s) is defined as property(ies) in which people
reside and is subject to the following conditions:
a.

the residential property must be in the form of new developments on either new or existing sites; and

b.

the residential property(ies) cannot include renovation or extension to existing dwellings; and

c.

the new developments must have been approved and gained any required consents by any relevant regulatory
authorities (including local authorities); and

d.

the purpose of the residential property investments must be to make a commercial return on the open market;
and

e.

neither the family, relatives, nor anyone associated with the principal investor, may reside in the development;
and

f.

the costs associated with obtaining any regulatory approval (including any resource or building consents) are
not part of the principal applicants acceptable investments.

BJ5.50.15 Venture capital funds


a.

For the purposes of these instructions, a venture capital fund is defined as a fund that invests capital in an
early-stage or start-up (or seed) company or companies in exchange for an equity stake in that company or
companies.

b.

In order for a venture capital fund investment to be deemed acceptable by a business immigration specialist,
nominated funds can be placed in approved on-call accounts or venture capital funds, subject to the following
conditions:
i.

applicants must have entered into a binding fund investment contract with an approved venture
capital fund manager and into an approved fund structure (for example a New Zealand limited
partnership), to supply an agreed amount of funds as committed capital; and

ii.

the committed funds are a fixed commitment, managed on an applicants behalf by a fund manager or
broker, to be drawn down over a stated period; and

iii.

nominated funds can either be committed to an acceptable investment or placed into on-call accounts
which meet the specifications in BJ5.50.15(e); and

iv.

applicants must maintain a level of funds in any approved on-call account equal to the nominated
amount minus any funds already committed to the venture capital fund; and

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v.

Residence

applicants must be able to demonstrate that all funds placed into on-call accounts are in those
accounts pending call-up by their nominated venture capital fund.

c.

In order to be approved, all on-call accounts or venture capital funds must be managed on an applicants behalf
by a fund manager or broker and held in New Zealand in New Zealand dollars.

d.

Funds and fund administrators or managers must be able to provide confirmation that both funds and
managers are fully compliant with any legislative and regulatory obligations, applicable codes of practice and
licensing or registration requirements under New Zealand law, including any requirements imposed by the
Financial Markets Authority.

e.

For the purposes of these instructions, acceptable on-call accounts are defined as an investment that can be
liquidated to meet the needs of the venture capital fund, including trusts, bonds, or shares in equities.

Effective: 24/03/2014
BJ6 Summary of points for the Investor 2 category
Points
Age

Points

Age

60 - 65

42

18

59

41

19

58

40

20

57

39

21

56

38

22

55

37

23

54

36

24

53

35

25

52

34

26

51

33

27

50

10

32

28

49

11

31

29

48

12

30

30

47

13

29

31

46

14

28

32

45

15

27

33

44

16

26

34

43

17

25 or
below

35

Business
Experience years Points
3

12

15

18

21

24

27

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10+

30

IELTS overall
band score

Points

5+

10

Investment
Amount
(NZ$M)

Residence

Points

Investment
Amount
(NZ$M)

Points

$1.50

10

$5.75

95

$1.75

15

$6

100

$2

20

$6.25

105

$2.25

25

$6.5

110

$2.5

30

$6.75

115

$2.75

35

$7

120

$3

40

$7.25

125

$3.25

45

$7.5

130

$3.5

50

$7.75

135

$3.75

55

$8

140

$4

60

$8.25

145

$4.25

65

$8.5

150

$4.5

70

$8.75

155

$4.75

75

$9

160

$5

80

$9.25

165

$5.25

85

$9.5

170

$5.5

90

$9.75

175

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ7 Approval in principle and transfer of funds
BJ7.1 Aim and intent
The instructions regarding the nominated investment funds and/or assets and the method of transfer of those funds to
New Zealand are designed to ensure:
a.

the legitimacy and lawful ownership of the nominated funds and/or assets; and

b.

the direct transfer of the investment funds through a structured and prescribed process to guarantee ongoing
legitimacy and lawful ownership of the funds invested in New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ7.5 Approval in principle
Principal applicants who are assessed as meeting the requirements under either:
a.

the Investor 1 Category set out at BJ3 (b) i iii; or

b.

the Investor 2 Category set out at BJ5.5(b) i - viii.

will be advised that:


i.

their application has been approved in principle; and

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ii.

Residence

resident visas may be granted once they:

provide acceptable evidence of having transferred and invested the nominated funds in accordance with
the relevant instructions; and

provide a New Zealand address at which they can be contacted by mail, after they arrive in New Zealand;
and

pay any applicable migrant levy and, if applicable, submit evidence that any applicant aged 16 or over in
the Investor 2 Category meets the English language requirement; and
iii.

resident visas will be granted subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ7.10 Transfer of the nominated investment funds
See previous instructions BJ7.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

c.

When their application is approved in principle, the principal applicant will be required to transfer the
nominated investment funds to New Zealand. These funds must:
i.

be the funds initially nominated, or the funds that result from the sale of the same assets as those
initially nominated, in the resident visa application; or

ii.

be funds, in the case of the Investor 1 Category as agreed to by a business immigration specialist,
secured against the nominated assets in the resident visa application and as approved in accordance
with (b) below; and

iii.

be transferred through the banking system directly from the principal applicant's bank account(s) to
New Zealand; or

iv.

be transferred by a foreign exchange company to New Zealand through the banking system.
Business immigration specialists may not accept the transferred funds if the applicant cannot provide
satisfactory evidence of the following:

the nominated investment funds have been transferred to the foreign exchange company directly from the
principal applicants bank account(s); and

the nominated investment funds have not been transferred through the foreign exchange company
contrary to the laws of New Zealand; and

nominated investment funds transferred are traceable; and

cash transactions were not made; and

the foreign exchange company is not suspected of, or proven to have committed fraudulent activity or
financial impropriety in any country it operates from or in.

Under the Investor 1 Category, a business immigration specialist may consider, on a case by case basis,
borrowed funds as acceptable investment funds where the principal applicant is able to demonstrate that:
i.

they own net assets equal or greater in value to the required investment amount; and

ii.

the borrowed investment funds will be from a bank or commercial lending institution acceptable to a
business immigration specialist and will be secured against the assets identified under (i); and

iii.

it is not economically viable or practical to liquidate the nominated assets. eg sell a business.

The investment funds that are transferred to New Zealand and subsequently into an acceptable investment
must be from the same source of funds as nominated in the resident visa application.

Note: Nominated funds held in a country other than the country in which they were earned or acquired legally must have
been originally transferred through the banking system, or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system
from that country.

Effective 25/07/2011
BJ7.15 Evidence of the transfer of the nominated funds to New Zealand
a.

Acceptable evidence of the transfer of the nominated funds must be provided by way of the telegraphic transfer
documentation together with a current bank statement showing the transfer(s).

b.

A business immigration specialist may request any other information to satisfy them that the above
requirements have been met.

Effective 29/11/2010

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BJ7.20 Timeframe for investing funds in New Zealand


See previous instructions:
BJ7.20 Effective 25/07/2011
BJ7.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants must meet the requirements for transferring and investing the nominated funds within 12
months of the date of the letter advising of approval in principle.

b.

Principal applicants may request an extension to the 12-month transfer and investment period (see BJ7.20.1).

c.

Applications for a resident visa must be declined if principal applicants do not transfer and invest the nominated
funds within 12 months (or up to a maximum of 24 months for Investor 1 applicants, or 18 months for Investor
applicants if an extension is granted, see BJ7.20.1 below) from the date of approval in principle.

d.

Principal applicants must provide acceptable evidence of having transferred and invested the nominated funds
to the Business Migration Branch no later than three months after the expiry of the approved timeframe to
transfer and invest the funds (i.e. three months after the 12-, 18- or 24-month timeframe from the date of
approval in principle).

BJ7.20.1 Extending the timeframe for investing funds in New Zealand


a.

Principal applicants may request an extension to their transfer and investment period for up to a further 12
months for Investor 1 applicants, or six months for Investor 2 applicants.

b.

If a principal applicant wishes to request an extension to the timeframe for transferring and investing the
nominated investment funds to New Zealand they must contact the Business Migration Branch of Immigration
New Zealand within 12 months of the date of the letter advising of approval in principle and present evidence
of reasonable attempts to transfer the nominated investment funds to New Zealand.

c.

Following a principal applicants presentation of evidence a business immigration specialist may:


i.

grant an extension to the transfer and investment period if they believe the evidence shows the
principal applicant has made reasonable attempts to transfer and invest nominated investment funds
within the 12-month time period; or

ii.

decline to grant an extension to the transfer and investment period if they believe the principal
applicant has not made reasonable attempts to transfer and invest nominated investment funds
within the 12-month time period.

Effective 24/03/2014
BJ7.25 When the investment period begins
a.

If the investment already meets the investment requirements, the required investment period begins on the
date of the letter of advising approval in principle.

b.

If the investment is made after approval in principle, the required investment period will begin on the date the
investment requirements are met.

c.

The date the investment period begins is specified in the letter to the successful principal applicant that advises
the conditions on their resident visa (see BJ8.10).

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ7.30 Evidence of the principal applicant's investment
a.

b.

Principal applicants must submit the following information and documentation as evidence of having invested
funds:
i.

the full name of the investor; and

ii.

the amount invested in New Zealand dollars; and

iii.

the date the investment was made; and

iv.

the type of investment (in the case of shares or bonds in companies, the names of the companies
invested in and the number of shares or bonds purchased must be listed); and

v.

documentary evidence of the investment; and

vi.

a letter from a reliable independent professional (for example, a solicitor or chartered accountant),
confirming that the funds have been invested.

A business immigration specialist, at their discretion, may require any other form of evidence.

Effective 29/11/2010

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BJ7.40 Temporary visa to arrange transfer and/or investment of funds


See previous instructions BJ7.40 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

After approval in principle, and upon application, a work visa may be granted to allow the principal applicant to
arrange the transfer to, and investment of funds in, New Zealand.

b.

The work visa will be granted with travel conditions allowing for multiple journeys to New Zealand for 12
months after approval in principle has been given. A further visa endorsed with travel conditions allowing for
multiple journeys may be granted upon application for up to a further 12 months for Investor 1 applicants, or
a further 6 months for Investor 2 applicants (see BJ7.20).

c.

On application, visitor's visas may be granted for the same period to the principal applicant's partner and
dependants (see WS2(c)).

d.

Student visas may be granted for the same period on application to those of the principal applicant's
dependants who wish to study, in accordance with current student instructions (see U8).

Effective: 07/11/2011
BJ8 Resident visas
BJ8.1 Issue of resident visas
a.

b.

Resident visas may only be granted once principal applicants have:


i.

met the transfer requirements set out at BJ7.10; and

ii.

placed the funds into an acceptable investment; and

iii.

paid any applicable migrant levy (see R5.90); and

iv.

paid any applicable ESOL tuition fee(s) (see BF3.15).

Resident visas will be granted subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 in
accordance with the instructions set out at BJ8.10.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ8.10 Resident visas subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 49
All resident visas granted under one of the Migrant Investment Categories must subject to the following conditions under
section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009:
a.

that the principal applicant retains an acceptable investment in New Zealand for a minimum of three years
under the Investor 1 Category or four years under the Investor 2 Category and spends a minimum period of
time in New Zealand during the required investment period (see BJ8.15); and

b.

that the principal applicant informs the nearest branch of INZ of any changes of New Zealand address during
the investment period; and

c.

that a principal applicant who was awarded 1 point for English language ability (IELTS 3) under the Investor 2
Category, must complete a minimum 20 hours of English language tuition with a New Zealand registered school
or tertiary education provider as defined in the Education Act 1989 within the four year investment period; and

d.

at the two-year anniversary of the investment period, the principal applicant submits evidence that they:

e.

i.

are retaining an acceptable investment in New Zealand; and

ii.

meeting minimum period of time in New Zealand requirements; and

that within 3 months after the expiry date of the investment period, the principal applicant submit evidence to
INZ that they have met requirements (i) and (iii) if applicable.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ8.15 Section 49(1) condition: minimum period of time in New Zealand
See previous instructions:
BJ8.15 Effective 25/07/2010
BJ8.15 Effective 29/11/2010
As set out at BJ8.10(a), the principal applicant under each category of the Migrant Investment Categories must spend a
minimum period of time in New Zealand during the required investment period. The time periods are:
a.

Investor 1 Category 12 percent of each of the final two years of the three year investment period (44 days per
year).

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b.

Residence

Investor 2 Category 40 percent of each of the final three years of the four year investment period (146 days
per year).

Effective: 07/11/2011
BJ8.20 Investment transfers during the investment period
Investment funds may be transferred from one investment to another during the investment period, provided:
a.

the funds remain invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency at all times during the investment period;
and

b.

the investment of the funds continues, during the investment period, to meet all other requirements for
investments.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ9 Section 49(1) conditions
BJ9.1 Reminder from Immigration New Zealand to provide evidence of section 49(1) conditions
being met
a.

b.

Immigration New Zealand will attempt to contact the principal applicant:


i.

three months before the two-year anniversary; and

ii.

three months before the expiry of the required investment period requesting evidence that section
49(1) conditions are being met.

The evidence must be provided no later than three months after the two-year anniversary and the expiry of the
required investment period.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ9.5 End of investment period
Conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 may be cancelled if the principal applicant provides evidence
of compliance within three months after the expiry date of the investment period.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ9.10 Retention of acceptable investment
a.

The principal applicant will need to show that they have retained an acceptable investment in New Zealand for
the required investment period.

b.

Suitable evidence will include documentation from a reliable independent professional (for example, a solicitor
or chartered accountant) stating:
i.

the full name of the investor; and

ii.

the amount invested; and

iii.

the date the investment was lodged; and

iv.

the type of investment (in the case of shares or bonds, the names of the companies invested in and
the number of shares or bonds purchased must be listed); and

v.

confirmation that the funds were invested in New Zealand for the full investment period or, if
transferred, the date of lodgement and withdrawal of the investment.

c.

If the principal applicant has established or purchased a shareholding or bonds in more than one business this
information should be provided for each of the businesses.

d.

If the principal applicant has transferred funds between several organisations during the investment period,
principal applicants should provide letters from every organisation they have invested with. Lodgement and
withdrawal dates will be checked to ensure that funds have been held continuously in New Zealand for the
required investment period.

e.

A business immigration specialist may request any other information in order to be satisfied that the above
requirements have been met.

f.

Evidence that the requirements have been met includes:


i.

submission of the evidence required by paragraphs (b) to (f) no later than three months after the
two-year anniversary and the expiry date of the required investment period; and

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ii.

Residence

subsequent written confirmation on file (by a business immigration specialist) that the investment
requirements have been met.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ9.15 Minimum period of time spent in New Zealand
The principal applicant is considered to have met the time in New Zealand requirement if they have been in New Zealand
as a resident for the length of time specified under BJ8.15.
Note: At the two-year anniversary of the investment period, the principal applicant must have met the required minimum
amount of time in New Zealand for the preceding 12 month period.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ9.20 English language tuition
a.

The principal applicant who was granted a resident visa under the Investor 2 category is considered to have
met the English tuition requirements if they have completed a minimum of 20 hours of English language tuition
with a New Zealand registered school or tertiary education provider as defined in the Education Act 1989 within
the four year investment period.

b.

Suitable evidence can include a certificate of course completion.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ9.25 Non compliance with section 49(1) conditions
If section 49(1) conditions have not been complied with at the two-year anniversary check and at the end of the required
investment period, the holder of the resident visa may be made liable for deportation.

Effective 29/11/2010
BJ9.30 Compliance with section 49(1) conditions
a.

When the principal applicant has satisfied an immigration officer that they have met the section 49(1)
conditions at the two-year anniversary of the investment period will be eligible for a variation of travel
conditions to allow travel for a further two years (RV3.15).

b.

When the principal applicant has satisfied an immigration officer at the end of the required investment period,
that the conditions on their resident visa under section 49(1) have been complied with, those requirements will
be cancelled and the officer will advise the applicant in writing.

Effective 29/11/2010

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Residence

BL Entrepreneur Plus Category (to


24/03/2014)
Note: The instructions contained in this section cease to be effective from 24 March 2014.

Effective 24/03/2014

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Residence

Family Categories
IN THIS SECTION
F1 Objective ......................................................................... 20-1
F2 Partnership Category ......................................................... 21-1
F3 Parent Retirement Category ................................................ 22-1
F4 Parent Category................................................................ 23-1
F5 Dependent Child Category .................................................. 24-1
F6 Sibling and Adult Child Category (to 16/05/2012) ................... 24-5
F7 Inter-country adoption ....................................................... 25-1

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F1 Objective
The objectives of the Family Categories are to:
a.

strengthen families and communities, while reinforcing the Government's overall objectives in immigration
instructions; and

b.

contribute to New Zealand's economic transformation and social development.

Effective 29/11/2010

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F2 Partnership Category
F2.1 Objective
Partnership Category contributes to the overall objective of the Family Categories (see F1) by allowing the partners of
New Zealand citizens and residence class visa holders to apply for a residence class visa in order to live with their partner
in New Zealand.
Note: Partners of New Zealand citizens and residence class visa holders do not have an automatic right of residence in
New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
F2.5 How do partners of New Zealand citizens and residents qualify for a residence class visa?
See previous instructions:
F2.5 Effective 07/11/2011
F2.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

To be granted a residence class visa under Partnership Category applicants must provide sufficient evidence to
satisfy an immigration officer that they have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that
is genuine and stable with a New Zealand citizen or resident.

b.

For the purpose of these instructions 'partnership' means:


i.

a legal marriage; or

ii.

a civil union; or

iii.

a de facto relationship

and 'partner' means one of the parties to such a partnership indicated in (i), (ii) and (iii) above.
c.

In each case the onus of proving that the partnership on which the application is based is genuine and stable
lies with the principal applicant and their New Zealand partner.

d.

An application under Partnership Category will be declined if:

e.

i.

the application is not supported by an eligible New Zealand citizen or resident partner; or

ii.

an immigration officer is not satisfied that the partnership on which the application is based is genuine
and stable; or

iii.

the application is based on marriage or a civil union to a New Zealand citizen or resident and either
that New Zealand citizen or resident, or the principal applicant is already married to or in a civil union
with another person; or

iv.

both the principal applicant and the New Zealand citizen or resident partner cannot satisfy an
immigration officer they comply with the minimum requirements for recognition of partnerships
(see F2.15); or

v.

the applicant(s) does not meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

Applications for residence under Partnership Category will also be declined if the principal applicant was a
partner to the eligible New Zealand partner but not declared on the eligible New Zealand partners application
for a residence class visa (if applicable), unless an immigration officer is satisfied the non-declaration occurred
with:
i.

no intention to mislead; and

ii.

would not have resulted in a different outcome in the eligible New Zealand partners application.

If both these clauses are met, an immigration officer should continue to assess the application and may approve it
if all other requirements are met.
Note: Notwithstanding (e) above, officers should not decline an application on the basis of this provision without first
providing the principal applicant an opportunity to explain the non-declaration in accordance with R5.15 Explaining
discrepancies in family details.
F2.5.1 Eligibility for a permanent resident visa for partners of New Zealand citizens living overseas
a.

A principal applicant may be granted a permanent resident visa (RA1.5) if:


i.

they meet all the other criteria for a residence class visa under the Partnership Category; and

ii.

they have a New Zealand citizen partner who has been residing outside New Zealand for a period of at
least five years at the time the application is made; and

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iii.
b.

c.

Residence

the couple have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship for at least five years at the
time the application is made.

To meet the requirements of a(ii) above, the New Zealand citizen partner must either be
i.

outside New Zealand at the time the application is made; or

ii.

have been in New Zealand for less than three months after residing outside New Zealand for at least
five years at the time the application is made.

For the purposes of these instructions, residing outside New Zealand means spending less than 3 months in
New Zealand in each of the five 12 month periods immediately preceding either:
i.

the date the application is made (if the application was made outside New Zealand); or

ii.

the date the New Zealand citizen partner arrived in New Zealand (if the application was made in New
Zealand.

d.

Any secondary applicants included in an application where the principal applicant is eligible for a permanent
resident visa under these instructions may also be granted a permanent resident visa (RA1.5).

e.

Any applicants who do not meet the criteria set out in this section but who meet all other requirements of the
Partnership Category should be granted a resident visa (RA1.1).

Effective 19/08/2013
F2.10 Definitions
See previous instructions:
F2.10 Effective 02/12/2013
F2.10 Effective 08/04/2013
F2.10 Effective 29/11/2010
F2.10.1 Definition of 'genuine and stable' partnership
A partnership is genuine and stable if an immigration officer is satisfied that it:
a.

is genuine, because it has been entered into with the intention of being maintained on a
exclusive basis; and

b.

is stable, because it is likely to endure.

long-term and

F2.10.2 Definition of the New Zealand partner


For the purposes of the Partnership Category, the New Zealand partner is the New Zealand citizen or resident who is
supporting an application for a residence class visa made by their non-New Zealand citizen or resident partner.
F2.10.5 Definition of 'New Zealand resident' for the purposes of Partnership Category
a.

b.

c.

New Zealand resident means a person who:


i.

holds, or is deemed to hold, a current New Zealand residence class visa; or

ii.

holds a valid Australian passport.

Despite (a) above, the following people are defined as New Zealand residents for the purposes of Partnership
Category only where an immigration officer is satisfied that New Zealand is their primary place of established
residence at the time the application under Partnership is made and at the time of assessment of the
application:
i.

holders of valid Australian passports who do not hold a current New Zealand residence class visa;

ii.

holders of current New Zealand residence class visas that have been granted on the basis that the
person is the holder of a current Australian permanent residence visa, or a current Australian resident
return visa.

Where (b) applies, evidence must be provided that the eligible New Zealand partners primary place of
established residence is New Zealand. The evidential requirements are set out at F2.20.5.

F2.10.10 Definition of eligible to support a residence class visa application under the Partnership Category
a.

For a New Zealand partner (F2.10.2) to be eligible to support a residence class visa application under the
Partnership Category they:
i.

must not have acted as a partner in more than one previous successful residence class visa
application; and

ii.

must not have acted as a partner in a successful application for a residence class visa in the five years
immediately preceding the date the current application is made; and

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b.

Residence

iii.

the New Zealand partner cannot, in the seven years prior to the date the application is made, have
been the perpetrator of an incident of domestic violence which has resulted in the grant of a resident
visa to a person under the category for victims of domestic violence (see S4.5); and

iv.

must meet the character requirement for partners supporting applications made under the
Partnership Category as set out in R5.95.

A New Zealand partner is considered to have acted as a partner if they previously:


i.

supported a successful Partnership Category application for a residence class visa; or

ii.

were the principal applicant in a successful Partnership Category application for a residence class visa;
or

iii.

were the principal applicant in a successful application for a residence class visa that included a
secondary applicant partner, excluding residence class visa applications made under RV After the
grant of a resident visa; or

iv.

were a secondary applicant partner in a successful application for a residence class visa, excluding
residence class visa applications made under RV After the grant of a resident visa.

Note: Applications under Partnership Category include applications made under the Family Category Spouse and De facto
partner policy in force before Partnership Category took effect.

Effective 01/04/2014
F2.15 Minimum requirements for the recognition of partnerships
See previous instructions F2.15 Effective 29/11/2010
Partnerships will only be recognised for the purposes of these instructions if:
a.

the couple are both aged 18 years or older at the time that the application for a residence class visa was lodged;
or

b.

(if one or both of the parties to the partnership are aged 16 years or older but are less than 18 years of age at
the time their application for a residence class visa is lodged), they have the support of the parent(s) or
guardian(s) of that (those) party(ies); and

c.

the couple have met prior to the date the application under these instructions is made; and

d.

the couple are not close relatives.

Note: For the purposes of these instructions relationships between close relatives are considered to be:
i. relationships specified as "prohibited degrees of marriage" under Schedule 2 of the Marriage Act 1955;
ii. relationships specified as "prohibited degrees of civil union" under Schedule 2 of the Civil Union Act 2004; and
iii. de facto relationships equivalent to the provisions under Schedule 2 of the Marriage Act 1955 and under Schedule 2
of the Civil Union Act 2004.

Effective 19/08/2013
F2.20 Evidence
a.

Evidence supporting an application under Partnership Category for a residence class visa should include as
much information and as many documents as are necessary to show that:
i.
o

is a New Zealand citizen or resident (see F2.10.5); and

supports their application for a residence class visa under the Partnership Category; and

is eligible to support an application under partnership instructions ( see F2.10.10); and


ii.

b.

the principal applicant's partner:

the principal applicant and their New Zealand citizen or resident partner are living together in a
partnership that is genuine and stable.

Factors that have a bearing on whether two people are living together in a partnership that is genuine and
stable include but are not limited to:
i.

the duration of the parties relationship;

ii.

the existence, nature, and extent of the parties' common residence;

iii.

the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support,
between the parties;

iv.

the common ownership, use, and acquisition of property by the parties;

v.

the degree of commitment of the parties to a shared life;

vi.

children of the partnership, including the common care and support of such children by the parties;

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Residence

vii. the performance of common household duties by the partners; and


viii. the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
c.

The items listed in F2.20.1 to F2.20.15 below are examples of relevant evidence; other documents may also be
relevant.

F2.20.1 Evidence that partner is New Zealand citizen or resident


a.

b.

Evidence that a partner is a New Zealand citizen may include but is not limited to original or certified copies of:
i.

New Zealand passport; or

ii.

a New Zealand birth certificate issued prior to 1 January 2006; or

iii.

a New Zealand birth certificate issued on or after 1 January 2006 that positively indicates New Zealand
citizenship; or

iv.

a certificate of New Zealand citizenship; or

v.

a confirmation of New Zealand citizenship by descent certificate issued under the Citizenship Act
1977; or

vi.

an evidentiary certificate issued under the Citizenship Act 1977 confirming New Zealand citizenship.

Evidence that a partner is a New Zealand resident may include but is not limited to original or certified copies
of:
i.

current resident visa or permanent resident visa; or

ii.

evidence that the partner is deemed to hold a resident visa or permanent resident visa; or

iii.

a valid Australian passport.

F2.20.5 Evidence that New Zealand is the primary place of established residence
a.

Evidence that New Zealand is the New Zealand partners primary place of established residence may include
but is not limited to original or certified copies of:
correspondence addressed to the sponsor

employment records

records of benefit payments from the Ministry of Social Development

banking records

rates demands

Inland Revenue records

mortgage documents

tenancy and utility supply agreements

documents showing that the New Zealand partners household effects have been moved to New Zealand.

b.

The presence or absence of any of the documents listed above is not determinative. Each case will be decided
on the basis of all the evidence provided.

F2.20.10 Evidence of support by New Zealand citizen or resident partner


A principal applicant must provide a Partnership Support Form for Residence (INZ 1178) which:
a.

confirms that the New Zealand partner is a New Zealand citizen or resident; and

b.

confirms support for the application; and


includes a declaration that the New Zealand partner:

is eligible to support a partnership application (see F2.10.10); and

is in a partnership with the principal applicant that meets the minimum requirements for recognition of
partnerships (see F2.15).

F2.20.15 Evidence of living together in partnership that is genuine and stable


a.

Evidence that the principal applicant and partner are living together may include but is not limited to original or
certified copies of documents showing shared accommodation such as:
i.

joint ownership of residential property

ii.

joint tenancy agreement or rent book or rental receipts

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iii.

Residence

correspondence (including postmarked envelopes) addressed to both principal applicant and partner
at the same address.

b.

If a couple has been living separately for any period during their partnership, they should provide evidence of
the length of the periods of separation, the reasons for them, and how their relationship was maintained during
the periods of separation, such as letters, itemised telephone accounts or e-mail messages.

c.

Evidence about whether the partnership is genuine and stable may include but is not limited to, original or
certified copies of documents and any other information such as:
i.

a marriage certificate for the parties;

ii.

a civil union certificate for the parties;

iii.

birth certificates of any children of the parties;

iv.

evidence of communication between the parties;

v.

photographs of the parties together;

vi.

documents indicating public recognition of the partnership;

vii. evidence of the parties being committed to each other both emotionally and exclusively such as
evidence of:
o

joint decision making and plans together

sharing of parental obligations

sharing of household activities

sharing of companionship/spare time

sharing of leisure and social activities

presentation by the parties to outsiders as a couple.


viii. evidence of being financially interdependent such as evidence of

d.

shared income

joint bank accounts operated reasonably frequently over a reasonable time

joint assets

joint liabilities such as loans or credit to purchase real estate, cars, major home appliances

joint utilities accounts (electricity, gas, water, telephone)

mutually agreed financial arrangements.

The presence or absence of any of the documents, information or evidence listed above is not determinative.
Each case will be decided on the basis of all the evidence provided. Evidence about these matters may also be
obtained at interview and can be considered up until the date of final decision.

Effective 29/11/2010
F2.25 Verification
F2.25.1 Interviews
a.

Immigration officers will usually conduct an interview with both the principal applicant and their partner to
determine whether the couple is living together in a partnership that is genuine and stable.

b.

Interviews may be waived if an immigration officer is satisfied without an interview that the couple is living
together in a partnership that is genuine and stable.

c.

Immigration officers may also make home visits and conduct interviews with any other person relevant to the
application. Additional interviews may also be conducted during and/or at the end of any deferral period
(see F2.35) to determine whether the couple is still living together in a partnership that is genuine and stable.

d.

Home visits may only be made between the hours of 7.00 am and 9.00 pm so long as the time of the visit is
reasonable in the circumstances.

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F2.25.5 Family details


Immigration officers may refer to former applications lodged by applicants, family members of applicants, or partners in
order to verify declarations made by applicants about their family details (such as the number of family members, the
whereabouts of family members, or an applicant's or partner's marital status).

Effective 29/11/2010
F2.30 Determining if the couple is living together in a partnership that is genuine and stable
a.

When determining if the couple is living together in a partnership that is genuine and stable the immigration
officer will take into account those factors set out at F2.20(b) and must consider, and be satisfied, there is
sufficient proof, (from documents, other corroborating evidence, or interviews) of all four of the following
elements:
i.

'Credibility': the principal applicant and the partner both separately and together, must be credible in
any statements made and evidence presented by them.

ii.

'Living together': the principal applicant and partner must be living together unless there are genuine
and compelling reasons for any period(s) of separation (see F2.30.1).

iii.

'Genuine partnership': the principal applicant and partner must both be found to be genuine as to
their:

reasons for marrying, entering a civil union or entering into a de facto relationship; and

intentions to maintain a long term partnership exclusive of others.


iv.

b.

'Stable partnership': the principal applicant and partner must demonstrate that their partnership is
likely to endure.

A residence class visa must not be granted unless the immigration officer is satisfied, having considered each
of the four elements in (a) above (both independently and together) that the couple is living together in a
partnership that is genuine and stable.

Note: The onus of satisfying an immigration officer that the partnership is genuine and stable lies with the principal
applicant and their partner (see F2.5(c)).
F2.30.1 Assessment of periods of separation
a.

If a principal applicant and their partner have lived apart for periods during their partnership, the application
should not automatically be declined. Instead, immigration officers should determine whether there are
genuine and compelling reasons for any period(s) of separation.

b.

Determining whether there are genuine and compelling reasons will depend on the circumstances in each case,
and may require consideration of:
either partner's family, education or employment commitments;

the duration of the partnership and the length of time the couple has spent apart;

the extent to which the couple has made efforts to be together during the time apart.

Effective 29/11/2010
F2.35 Deferring the final decision if the partnership is genuine and stable but less than 12
months duration
a.

An application can only be deferred if the applicant has been assessed as living together in a genuine and stable
partnership with their New Zealand citizen or resident partner but the 12 month qualifying period has not been
met.

b.

If, after assessing an application, an immigration officer is satisfied the couple are living together in a
partnership that is genuine and stable, but the duration of that partnership is less than the 12 months required,
(see F2.5(a)) they may defer the final decision to enable the qualifying period to be met.

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c.

Residence

If the principal applicant wishes to be in New Zealand with their partner during the deferral period, they may be
granted a work visa (once an application has been made) for a period sufficient to enable the qualifying period
to be met and any further assessment of their residence class visa application to be completed.

Effective 29/11/2010
F2.40 General rules
See previous instructions:
F2.40 Effective 01/07/2013
F2.40 Effective 29/11/2010
F2.40.1 English language requirements
a.

If a principal applicant was eligible to be included as a partner of a principal applicant in an earlier successful
application under the General Skills Category, Skilled Migrant Category, Residence From Work Category,
Business Immigration Instructions or previous Business Investor Category, but was not at that time included in
the application, they will have to meet the criteria of the English language instructions applicable at the time
the application under Partnership Category is made.

b.

Such an applicant will be subject to the applicable English language instructions as if they were a non-principal
applicant under the Skilled Migrant Category or Business Immigration Instructions.

c.

A principal applicant who would have been eligible for inclusion in an earlier General Skills Category or Skilled
Migrant Category application will be subject to the English language of the Skilled Migrant Category applicable
at the time the application under Partnership Category is made.

d.

A principal applicant who would have been eligible for inclusion in an earlier Business Investor category or
Business Immigration Instructions application will be subject to the English language requirements of Business
Immigration Instructions applicable at the time the application under Partnership Category is made.

F2.40.5 Applications under Partnership Category of persons eligible for inclusion in earlier registrations or
expressions of interest
If the principal applicant in an application under Partnership Category was eligible for inclusion in a successful registration
under the Family Quota, the Refugee Family Support Category, Samoan Quota Scheme or the Pacific Access Category, or
in an expression of interest under the Parent Category from which an invitation to apply was subsequently issued, but was
not included, they must not subsequently be granted residence under Partnership Category.
F2.40.10 Resident visas with conditions imposed under section 49(1)
If a New Zealand partner holds a resident visa subject to conditions (excluding travel conditions) imposed under section
49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009, then the principal applicant's resident visa will be subject to the condition that the New
Zealand resident partner complies with those conditions (see R5.65.1).

Effective 02/12/2013

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F3 Parent Retirement Category


F3.1 Objective
The objective of the Parent Retirement Category is to provide a residence class visa to those with family links to New
Zealand who wish to make a significant contribution to New Zealand's economy.

Effective 29/11/2010
F3.5 Parent Retirement Category requirements
a.

b.

For an application to be approved under the Parent Retirement Category the principal applicant must:
i.

nominate funds and/or assets equivalent in value to at least NZ$1 million and undertake to invest
them in New Zealand for a period of four years; and

ii.

demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or assets and that they have been legally earned or
acquired; and

iii.

transfer and place the funds in an acceptable investment in accordance with the instructions
at F3.10.25; and

iv.

nominate NZ$0.5 million of settlement funds and demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or
assets; and

v.

demonstrate an annual income of at least NZ$60,000; and

vi.

meet the Family requirements as set out at F3.20.

The principal applicant and any secondary applicant included in the application must meet health and character
requirements (see A4 and A5).

Effective 29/11/2010
F3.10 Investment funds
See previous instructions:
F3.10 Effective 07/11/2011
F3.10 Effective 25/07/2011
F3.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

The principal applicant must invest a minimum of NZ$1 million in New Zealand for a period of four years.

b.

The principal applicant must:

c.

i.

nominate funds and/or assets equivalent in value to NZ$1 million; and

ii.

demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or assets.

All invested funds must meet the conditions of an acceptable investment as set out under F3.10.25.

F3.10.1 Ownership of nominated funds and/or assets


a.

Nominated funds and/or assets may be owned either:


i.

solely by the principal applicant; or

ii.

jointly by the principal applicant and partner who are included in the resident visa application,
provided a business immigration specialist is satisfied the principal applicant and partner have been
living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see R2.1.15 and
R2.1.15.1(b) and R2.1.15.5(a)(i)). If so, the principal applicant may claim the full value of such jointly
owned funds or assets for assessment purposes .

b.

If nominated funds and/or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their
partner, the principal applicant may only claim the value of that portion of funds and/or assets for which they
provide evidence of ownership.

c.

The principal applicant may only nominate funds and/or assets that they earned or acquired legally, including
funds and/or assets which have been gifted (with the exception of New Zealand based-funds or assets) to them
unconditionally and in accordance with local law. Where nominated funds and/or assets have been gifted to the
principal applicant a business immigration specialist must be satisfied that the funds and/or assets being gifted
were earned legally by the person(s) gifting the funds and/or assets.

d.

The nominated funds and/or assets must be unencumbered.

e.

The nominated funds and/or assets must not be borrowed.

Note: New Zealand-based funds or assets cannot be gifted under these instructions.

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F3.10.5 Definition of 'funds earned or acquired legally'


a.

Funds and/or assets earned or acquired legally are funds and/or assets earned or acquired in accordance with
the laws of the country in which they were earned or acquired.

b.

Business immigration specialists have discretion to decline an application if they are satisfied that, had the
funds and/or assets been earned or acquired in the same manner in New Zealand, they would have been
earned or acquired contrary to the criminal law of New Zealand.

F3.10.10 Definition of 'unencumbered funds'


Unencumbered funds are funds that are not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether
equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims.
F3.10.15 Funds already held in New Zealand
a.

Funds held in New Zealand at the time the application is made may be included in investment funds. However,
periods of investment in New Zealand before Approval in Principle cannot be taken into account when
calculating the four-year investment period.

b.

Funds held in New Zealand must originally have been transferred to New Zealand through the banking system,
or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system from the country or countries in which they were
earned or acquired legally, or have been earned or acquired legally in New Zealand.

F3.10.20 Evidence of the principal applicant's nominated funds and assets


a.

Principal applicants must provide evidence of net funds and/or assets to the value of the required investment
funds.

b.

All documents provided as valuations of assets must be:

c.

i.

no more than three months old at the date the resident visa application is made; and

ii.

produced by a reliable independent agency.

A business immigration specialist may seek further evidence if they:


i.

are not satisfied with the valuation provided; or

ii.

consider that the nominated funds and/or assets fail in some other way to meet the rules for
investment funds.

F3.10.25 Definition of 'acceptable investment'


a.

An acceptable investment means an investment that:


i.

is capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances; and

ii.

is not for the personal use of the applicant(s) (see F3.10.30); and

iii.

is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency; and

iv.

is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New
Zealand (see F3.10.35); and

v.

has the potential to contribute to New Zealand's economy; and

vi.

is invested in either one or more of the following:

bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities; or

bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX); or

bonds issued by New Zealand firms with at least a BBB- or equivalent rating from internationally
recognised credit rating agencies (for example, Standard and Poor's); or

equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds) (see F3.10.35); or

bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks; or

equities in New Zealand registered banks; or

residential property development(s) (see F3.10.40); or

bonds in finance companies (see F3.10.25 (c)).

Note: For the purposes of these instructions, convertible notes are considered to be an equity investment.
New Zealand registered banks are defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989.
b.

Notwithstanding (a) above, where an investment fails to meet one of the acceptable investment requirements,
a business immigration specialist may consider, on a case by case basis, whether the failure was beyond the

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control of the principal applicant and if satisfied that this was the case, may consider the investment
acceptable.
c.

A Business Immigration Specialist may consider bonds in finance companies as an acceptable investment
where the finance company:
i.

is a wholly-owned subsidiary of,

ii.

raises capital solely for, and

iii.

has all its debt securities unconditionally guaranteed by a New Zealand Stock Exchange listed
company or a local authority.

Note: The value of an investment is based on the net purchase price (for example, less any accrued interest,
commission, brokerage and/or trade levy), not on the face value of the investment.
F3.10.30 Personal use of investment funds
Personal use includes investment in assets such as a personal residence, car, boat or similar.
F3.10.35 Managed funds
a.

b.

For the purposes of these instructions, managed funds are defined as either:
i.

a managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution; or

ii.

funds invested in equities that are managed on an investor's behalf by a fund manager or broker.

In order to be acceptable as a form of investment managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand
companies. Managed fund investments in New Zealand with international exposure are acceptable only for the
proportion of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.

Example: Only 50 percent of a managed fund that equally invests in New Zealand and international equities would
be deemed to be an acceptable investment as set out in F3.15.25.
F3.10.40 Residential property development
For the purposes of these instructions, residential property development(s) is defined as property(ies) in which people
reside and is subject to the following conditions:
a.

the residential property must be in the form of new developments on either new or existing sites; and

b.

the residential property(ies) cannot include renovation or extension to existing dwellings; and

c.

the new developments must have been approved and gained any required consents by any relevant regulatory
authorities (including local authorities); and

d.

the purpose of the residential property investments must be to make a commercial return on the open market;
and

e.

neither the family, relatives, nor anyone associated with the principal investor, may reside in the development;
and

f.

the costs associated with obtaining any regulatory approval (including any resource or building consents) are
not part of the principal applicants acceptable investments.

Effective 30/07/2012
F3.15 Settlement funds and annual income
See previous instructions F3.15 Effective 29/11/2010
F3.15.1 Aim and intent
Principal applicants under the Parent Retirement Category must demonstrate that they have the ability to support
themselves and their partner included in the resident visa application during the four year investment period in New
Zealand.
F3.15.5 Requirement for settlement funds and annual income
In addition to their nominated investment funds, principal applicants must demonstrate:
a.

ownership of a minimum of NZ$0.5 million; and

b.

an annual income of at least NZ$60,000 at the time of application.

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F3.15.10 Ownership of settlement funds


a.

Funds may be owned either:


i.

solely by the principal applicant; or

ii.

jointly by the principal applicant and their partner who are included in the resident visa application.

b.

The principal applicant may claim the full value of jointly owned funds or assets for assessment purposes
provided a business immigration specialist is satisfied the principal applicant and partner have been living
together for 12 months or more in a genuine and stable partnership (see R2.1.15, R2.1.15.1 (b) and R2.1.15.5
(a) (i)).

c.

If funds or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their partner, the principal
applicant may only claim the value of that portion of the funds or assets for which they provide evidence of
ownership.

F3.15.15 Evidence of settlement funds


Evidence of settlement funds may include, but is not limited to:

funds held in a New Zealand bank account(s)

funds held in an offshore bank account(s), together with evidence that the funds can be accessed from New
Zealand

acceptable evidence of net assets (either in New Zealand or offshore).

F3.15.20 Annual income


Annual income may be:
a.

earned solely by the principal applicant; or

b.

a combined income of the principal applicant and partner (see R2.1.10) who is included in the resident visa
application.

F3.15.25 Evidence of annual income


Evidence of annual income may include, but is not limited to:

pensions

earnings from rental properties

dividends from share portfolios

interest from investments

profits from company ownership

share market trading.

Effective 30/07/2012
F3.20 Family requirements
See previous instructions:
F3.20 Effective 30/07/2012
F3.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

The principal applicant must:


i.

be the parent of an adult child who is in New Zealand, is a New Zealand citizen, or the holder (or
deemed to be the holder) of a residence class visa that is not subject to conditions under section 49 of
the Immigration Act 2009, and is not a person to whom (b) below applies; and

ii.

have no dependent children.

An adult child who arrived in New Zealand as a member of a mass arrival group (as specified at C8.5.1) and
who was not an unaccompanied minor when they arrived (see C8.5.5) will not be considered when applying the
requirements of (a)(i) above.

F3.20.1 Evidence of relationship of parent(s) to children


a.

Evidence of a parent's relationship to their children is original or certified copies of:


i.

birth certificates establishing the relationship of the children to the parent(s); or

ii.

household registration documents, if these establish the relationship of the children to the parent(s);
or

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iii.
b.

Residence

evidence of adoption (see R3), which establishes the relationship of the children to the parents.

Other evidence establishing the relationship of the children to the parents may also be provided.

F3.20.5 Evidence of immigration status of adult child


a.

Evidence that the principal applicant's adult child is a New Zealand citizen may include but is not limited to
original or certified copies of:
a valid New Zealand passport

a Certificate of New Zealand Citizenship

a recent official statement of citizenship from the Department of Internal Affairs

a New Zealand birth certificate

an endorsement in a foreign passport indicating the fact of New Zealand citizenship.

b.

Evidence that the adult child is a New Zealand residence class visa holder (or is deemed to hold a residence
class visa) may include but is not limited to original or certified copies of:
a New Zealand resident visa or permanent resident visa in their passport or travel document

a New Zealand residence permit or returning resident's visa granted under the Immigration Act 1987 in their
passport or travel document

a valid Australian passport.

Effective 29/07/2013
F3.25 Approval in principle and transfer of funds
See previous instructions:
F3.25 Effective 30/07/2012
F3.25 Effective 25/07/2011
F3.25 Effective 29/11/2010
F3.25.1 Aim and intent
The instructions regarding the nominated investment funds and/or assets and the method of transfer of those funds to
New Zealand is designed to ensure:
a.

the legitimacy and lawful ownership of the nominated funds and/or assets; and

b.

the direct transfer of the investment funds through a structured and prescribed process to guarantee on-going
legitimacy and lawful ownership of the funds invested in New Zealand.

F3.25.5 Approval in principle


Principal applicants who are assessed as meeting the requirements under the Parent Retirement Category will be advised
that:
a.

their application has been approved in principle; and

b.

resident visas may be granted once they:


provide acceptable evidence of having transferred and invested the nominated funds in accordance with the
relevant requirements set out in instructions; and

provide a New Zealand address at which they can be contacted by mail, after they arrive in New Zealand; and

pay any applicable migrant levy; and

c.

resident visas will be granted subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009.

F3.25.10 Transfer of the nominated investment funds


a.

When their application is approved in principle, the principal applicant will be required to transfer the
nominated investment funds to New Zealand. These funds must:
i.

be the funds initially nominated, or the funds that result from the sale of the same assets as those
initially nominated, in the resident visa application; or

ii.

be funds, as agreed to by a business immigration specialist, secured against the nominated assets in
the resident visa application and as approved in accordance with (b) below; and

iii.

be transferred through the banking system directly from the principal applicant's bank account(s) to
New Zealand; or

iv.

be transferred by a foreign exchange company to New Zealand through the banking system. Business
immigration specialists may not accept the transferred funds if the applicant cannot provide
satisfactory evidence of the following:

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b.

c.

Residence

the nominated investment funds have been transferred to the foreign exchange company directly from the
principal applicants bank account(s): and

the nominated investment funds have not been transferred through the foreign exchange company
contrary to the criminal law of New Zealand; and

nominated investment funds transferred are traceable; and

cash transactions were not made; and

the foreign exchange company is not suspected of, or proven to have committed fraudulent activity or
financial impropriety in any country it operates from or in.

A business immigration specialist may consider, on a case by case basis, borrowed funds as acceptable
investment funds where the principal applicant is able to demonstrate that:
i.

they own net assets equal or greater in value to the required investment amount; and

ii.

the borrowed investment funds will be from a bank or commercial lending institution acceptable to a
business immigration specialist and will be secured against the assets identified under (i); and

iii.

it is not economically viable or practical to liquidate the nominated assets eg sell a business.

The investment funds that are transferred to New Zealand and subsequently into an acceptable investment
must be from the same source of funds as nominated in the resident visa application.

Note: Nominated funds held in a country other than the country in which they were earned or acquired legally must have
been originally transferred through the banking system, or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system
from that country.
F3.25.15 Evidence of the transfer of the nominated funds to New Zealand
a.

Acceptable evidence of the transfer of the nominated funds must be provided by way of the telegraphic transfer
documentation together with a current bank statement showing the transfer(s).

b.

A business immigration specialist may request any other information to satisfy them that the above
requirements have been met.

F3.25.20 Time frame for investing funds in New Zealand


a.

Principal applicants must meet the requirements for transferring and investing the nominated funds within 12
months of the date of the letter advising of approval in principle.

b.

Applications for residence must be declined if principal applicants do not present acceptable evidence of having
transferred and invested the nominated funds within 12 months from the date of approval in principle.

c.

Principal applicants must provide acceptable evidence of having transferred and invested the nominated funds
to the Business Migration Branch no later than three months after the expiry of the approved timeframe to
transfer and invest the funds (i.e. three months after the 12-month timeframe from the date of approval in
principle).

F3.25.25 When the investment period begins


a.

If the investment already meets the investment requirements, the required investment period begins on the
date of the letter advising approval in principle.

b.

If the investment is made after approval in principle, the required investment period will begin on the date the
investment requirements are met.

c.

The date the investment period begins is specified in the letter to the successful principal applicant that advises
of the conditions on their resident visa (see F3.30.10).

F3.25.30 Evidence of the principal applicant's investment


a.

Principal applicants must submit the following information and documentation as evidence of having invested
funds:
i.

the full name of the investor; and

ii.

the amount invested in New Zealand dollars; and

iii.

the date the investment was made; and

iv.

the type of investment (in the case of shares or bonds in companies, the names of the companies
invested in and the number of shares or bonds purchased must be listed); and

v.

documentary evidence of the investment; and

vi.

a letter from a reliable independent professional (for example, a solicitor or chartered accountant),
confirming that the funds have been invested.

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b.

Residence

A business immigration specialist, at their discretion, may require any other form of evidence.

F3.25.35 Temporary visa to arrange transfer and/or investment of funds


a.

After approval in principle, and upon application, a work visa may be granted to allow the principal applicant to
arrange the transfer to, and investment of funds in, New Zealand.

b.

The work visa will be valid for multiple entries to New Zealand for 12 months after Approval in Principle has
been given.

c.

A work visa may be granted for the same period on application to the principal applicant's partner (see
WS2(e)).

Effective 25/08/2014
F3.30 Resident visas
F3.30.1 Grant of resident visas
a.

b.

Residence visas may only be granted once principal applicants have:


i.

met the transfer requirements set out at F3.25.10; and

ii.

placed the funds into an acceptable investment; and

iii.

paid any applicable migrant levy (see R5.90).

Residence visas will be granted subject to the conditions imposed under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act
2009 in accordance with the instructions set out at F3.30.10.

F3.30.10 Resident visas subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 49
Under the Parent Retirement Category, a resident visa granted to a principal or secondary applicant is subject to the
following conditions imposed under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009:
a.

that the principal applicant retains an acceptable investment in New Zealand for a minimum of four years under
the Parent Retirement Category; and

b.

that the principal applicant informs the nearest branch of INZ of any changes of New Zealand address during
the investment period; and

c.

at the two-year anniversary of the investment period, the principal applicant submits evidence that they are
retaining an acceptable investment in New Zealand; and

d.

that within 3 months after the expiry date of the investment period, the principal applicant submits evidence to
INZ that they have met requirement (a).

F3.30.15 Investment transfers during the investment period


Investment funds may be transferred from one investment to another during the investment period, provided:
a.

the funds remain invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency at all times during the investment period;
and

b.

the investment of the funds continues, during the investment period, to meet all other requirements for
investments.

Effective 29/11/2010
F3.35 Section 49(1) conditions
F3.35.1 Reminder from Immigration New Zealand to provide evidence of section 49(1) conditions being met
a.

b.

Immigration New Zealand will attempt to contact the principal applicant:


i.

three months before the two-year anniversary; and

ii.

three months before the expiry of the required investment period requesting evidence that section
49(1) conditions are being met.

The evidence must be provided no later than three months after the two-year anniversary and the expiry of the
required investment period.

F3.35.5 End of investment period


Conditions imposed under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 may be lifted if the principal applicant provides
evidence of compliance within three months after the expiry date of the investment period.

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F3.35.10 Retention of acceptable investment


a.

The principal applicant will need to show that they have retained an acceptable investment in New Zealand for
the required investment period.

b.

Suitable evidence will include documentation from a reliable independent professional (for example, a solicitor
or chartered accountant) stating:
i.

the full name of the investor; and

ii.

the amount invested; and

iii.

the date the investment was lodged; and

iv.

the type of investment (in the case of shares or bonds, the names of the companies invested in and
the number of shares or bonds purchased must be listed); and

v.

confirmation that the funds were invested in New Zealand for the full investment period or, if
transferred, the date of lodgement and withdrawal of the investment.

c.

If the principal applicant has established or purchased a shareholding or bonds in more than one business this
information should be provided for each of the businesses.

d.

If the principal applicant has transferred funds between several organisations during the investment period,
they should provide letters from every organisation they have invested with. Lodgement and withdrawal dates
will be checked to ensure that funds have been held continuously in New Zealand for the required investment
period.

e.

A business immigration specialist may request any other information in order to be satisfied that the above
requirements have been met.

f.

Evidence that the requirements have been met includes:


i.

submission of the evidence required by paragraphs (b) to (e) no later than three months after the
two-year anniversary and the expiry date of the required investment period; and

ii.

subsequent written confirmation on file (by a business immigration specialist) that the investment
requirements have been met.

F3.35.15 Non compliance with section 49(1) conditions


See also Immigration Act 2009 s 159
If section 49(1) conditions have not been complied with at the two-year anniversary check and at the end of the required
investment period, the resident visa holder may become liable for deportation under section 159 of the Immigration Act
2009.
F3.35.20 Compliance with section 49(1) conditions
a.

When the principal applicant has satisfied an immigration officer that they have met the section 49(1)
conditions at the two-year anniversary of the investment period and they will be eligible for a variation of travel
conditions to allow travel for a further 24 months (RV3.15).

b.

When the principal applicant has satisfied a visa or immigration officer that the conditions imposed on their
resident visa under section 49(1) have been complied with, those conditions will no longer apply and the officer
will advise the applicant in writing.

Effective 29/11/2010

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F4 Parent Category
F4.1 Summary of requirements
F4.1.1 Objective
The objective of the Parent Category is to support family connections, in order to:
a.

progress New Zealand Government economic objectives for immigration; and

b.

attract and retain skilled and productive migrants, while also limiting the costs of New Zealand Government
benefits.

F4.1.5 Ability to apply


A person may only apply for a resident visa under the Parent Category (see F4.10) if:
a.

they have been issued an invitation to apply under the Parent Category; and

b.

they apply for a resident visa under the Parent Category within four months of the date of the letter inviting
them to apply; and

c.

that invitation has not been revoked.

F4.1.10 Health, character and English language requirements


Applicants under the Parent Category must meet:
a.

the health and character requirements specified at A4 and A5; and

b.

a minimum standard of English, or pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages tuition to the
specified level (see F4.15).

F4.1.15 Family relationships


a.

In each case, the parent(s) must:


i.

be sponsored by the adult child referred to in F4.1.15(c) below, who is an acceptable sponsor as set
out at R4.5.

ii.

demonstrate they meet the family relationship requirements at F4.20.

b.

An applicant under Parent Category must have no dependent children (see F4.20.5).

c.

The applicants sponsor must have been a New Zealand citizen and/or New Zealand resident for at least three
years immediately preceding the date the application they wish to sponsor is made (see F4.25); and

d.

The applicants sponsor must meet the undertakings set out at R4.10 for the first 5 years of the applicants stay
in New Zealand as a resident.

Note: Parents sponsored by children who INZ determines to be dependent will not meet the requirements to be
granted residence.
F4.1.20 Two tiered system
Applicants under the Parent Category must either:
a.

b.

meet one of the requirements for tier one at F4.30 that they:
i.

have a sponsor (and, if applicable, that sponsors partner) who meets a minimum annual income level
for tier one (see F4.30.1); or

ii.

have a sufficient guaranteed lifetime minimum income (see F4.30.5); or

iii.

bring sufficient settlement funds to New Zealand (see F4.30.10); or

meet the requirements for tier two at F4.35 that:


i.

they have a sponsor (and, if applicable, that sponsors partner) who meets a minimum income for tier
two (see F4.35.1); and

ii.

the applicants other adult children (if any) live lawfully and permanently outside the country in which
the applicant lives lawfully and permanently (see F4.35.5).

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F4.1.25 Evidential requirements


All applicants under the Parent Category must meet the evidential requirements set out at F4.40.

Effective 30/07/2012
F4.5 Definitions
See previous instructions:
F4.5 26/11/2012
F4.5 30/07/2012
F4.5.1 Definition of 'lawfully and permanently'
People are lawfully and permanently in a country if they either:
a.

b.

are:
i.

citizens or persons who have the right of or permission to take up indefinite residence in that country,
and

ii.

actually reside in that country; or

live in a refugee camp in that country with little chance of repatriation.

Note: For the purpose of determining whether an applicant meets the requirements of the Parent Category, if a person
does not have the right of, or permission to take up, indefinite residence in the country in which they actually reside, they
are deemed to be lawfully and permanently in the country in which they:
~ predominantly lived in the last 10 years; and
~ are entitled to reside lawfully and permanently.
F4.5.5 Definition of 'dependent child'
For the purpose of the Parent Category, and despite the definition in section 4 of the Immigration Act 2009, a child is
dependent if they:
a.

b.

c.

d.

are:
i.

aged 21 to 24, with no child(ren) of their own; and

ii.

single (see F5.5); and

iii.

totally or substantially reliant on their parent(s) for financial support, whether living with them or not;
or

i.

aged 18 to 20, with no child(ren) of their own; and

ii.

single (see F5.5); or

i.

aged 17 or younger; and

ii.

single (see F5.5).

are:

are:

When determining whether a child of 21 to 24 years of age is totally or substantially reliant on their parent(s)
for financial support, immigration officers must consider the whole application, taking into account all relevant
factors including whether the child:
is in paid employment, whether this is full-time or part-time, and its duration;

has any other independent means of financial support;

is living with their parents or another family member, and the extent to which other support is provided; or

is studying, and whether this is full-time or part-time.

F4.5.10 Definition of 'adult child'


For the purpose of the Parent Category, 'adult child' means a child of 18 or older, unless they are dependent (see F4.5.5).
F4.5.15 Definition of 'adult child for sponsorship purposes
a.

For sponsorship purposes, 'adult child' means a child of 18 or older.

b.

However, children aged 18 to 24 must only be considered as 'adult children for sponsorship purposes if they
can satisfy an immigration officer that they, like other sponsors, are able to meet sponsorship undertakings
(see R4.10) and, if applicable, the minimum income requirement (see F4.30.1 and F4.35.1).

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Note: Parents sponsored by adult children who are also dependent children will not meet the requirements at F4.20.5.
F4.5.20 Definition of guaranteed lifetime minimum income
For the purposes of the Parent Category, a guaranteed lifetime minimum income is an annual income that is paid to a
person indefinitely to at least the level required to be granted residence under tier one of the Parent Category (see
F4.30.5). Income can only be considered indefinite if it will continue to be paid to a person indefinitely once they become
a New Zealand resident and citizen.
F4.5.25 Definition of 'funds earned or acquired legally'
a.

Funds and/or assets earned or acquired legally are funds and/or assets earned or acquired in accordance with
the laws of the country in which they were earned or acquired.

b.

Immigration officers have discretion to decline an application if they are satisfied that, had the funds and/or
assets been earned or acquired in the same manner in New Zealand, they would have been earned or acquired
contrary to the criminal law of New Zealand.

F4.5.30 Definition of 'unencumbered funds'


Unencumbered funds are funds that are not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether
equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims.
F4.5.35 Definition of New Zealand Government benefit
For the purposes of the Parent Category, a New Zealand Government benefit is welfare assistance which was applied for
and granted under the Social Security Act 1964.

Effective 16/05/2014
F4.10 Expressions of interest and applications under the Parent Category
See previous instructions
F4.10 Effective 20/07/2014
F4.10 Effective 24/03/2014
F4.10 Effective 02/12/2013
F4.10 Effective 29/07/2013
F4.10 Effective 01/07/2013
F4.10 Effective 30/07/2012
F4.10.1 Expressing interest in being invited to apply for residence under the Parent Category
a.

b.

c.

A person notifies that they are interested in being invited to apply for a resident visa under the Parent Category
by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) in the prescribed manner. In
order to submit an EOI in the prescribed manner, a person must submit to an immigration officer:
i.

a completed prescribed Parent Category EOI form; and

ii.

the appropriate fee (if any).

By completing an EOI, a person provides a declaration about their and any potential secondary applicants:
i.

identity, health and character; and

ii.

English language ability or an intention to agree to pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other
Languages (ESOL) tuition F4.15); and

iii.

relationship to their sponsoring adult child and any other children the applicants have (see F4.20);
and

iv.

adult childs eligibility to sponsor them for New Zealand residence under the Parent Category
(see F4.25); and

v.

guaranteed lifetime minimum income, settlement funds, or the income of their sponsor, or of their
sponsor and their sponsors partner F4.30 and F4.35).

It is the responsibility of the person submitting the EOI to ensure that the information given is correct in all
material respects.

Note: For the purposes of F4.10.1(b)(v), people submitting EOIs under tier two will only be required to declare their
sponsor and/or their sponsors partners income.

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F4.10.5 Implications of providing false or misleading information


See Immigration Act 2009, ss 93 and 158
a.

b.

The Immigration Act 2009 provides that there is sufficient grounds to decline an application for a resident visa
and for the holder of a resident visa granted under the Parent Category to become liable for deportation in
cases of:
i.

the provision of false or misleading information as part of an EOI or associated submission; or

ii.

the withholding of relevant potentially prejudicial information from an EOI or associated submission;
or

iii.

failure to advise an immigration officer of any fact or material change in circumstances that occurs
after an EOI is submitted that may affect a decision to invite the person to apply for a resident visa or
to grant a resident visa.

Information relating to a claim made in an EOI that is factually inaccurate and is relevant to the issuing of an
invitation to apply or the assessment of a resident visa application will be considered misleading unless the
principal applicant can demonstrate that there is a reasonable basis for making that claim.

F4.10.10 Submission of Expressions of Interest to the Pool


a.

EOIs submitted in the prescribed manner may be entered into a pool of Expressions of Interest (the Pool).

b.

A person may only have one EOI in the Pool at any time (regardless of the tier of the EOI).

c.

Each EOI will be entered into the Pool in either tier one or tier two as indicated in the EOI form.

d.

Despite (c) above, if permission is given by the person expressing interest, an EOI may be entered into the
alternative tier of the Pool (see F4.10.10(e) and (f)).

e.

If a person with an EOI in the Pool under tier two updates their information and becomes eligible to be entered
into the Pool under tier one, their EOI will be entered into the Pool under tier one based on the original date the
EOI was previously entered under tier two.

f.

If a person with an EOI in the Pool under tier one updates their information and is no longer eligible under tier
one, but is eligible under tier two, their EOI will be entered into the Pool under tier two based on the original
date the EOI was previously entered under tier one.

g.

Where a person with an EOI already entered into the Pool updates their information and no longer meets the
requirements of the Parent Category under either tier, their EOI will be withdrawn from the Pool and lapsed.

F4.10.15 Selection of Expressions of Interest


a.

EOIs will be selected from the pool in the following order:


i.

Tier one EOIs will be selected first and in order based on the date the EOIs were entered into the Pool;
and

ii.

Residence applications lodged under the Parent and Sibling and Adult Child categories before 16 May
2012 will be selected second, in date order; and

iii.

Tier two EOIs will be selected third and in order based on the date the EOIs were entered into the Pool,
only if there are no tier one EOIs and no applications that were lodged before 16 May 2012.

b.

The ranking of EOIs will change as EOIs enter, or are selected from, the Pool or any given tier of the Pool.

c.

EOIs will be selected in sufficient numbers to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Residence Programme
(NZRP) at the time of selection (subject to any adjustment to the number or distribution of places in the NZRP
determined by the Government) (see R6).

d.

EOIs are selected from the Pool periodically on the Government's behalf by the Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment.

F4.10.20 Invitation to apply for a resident visa under the Parent Category
a.

People whose EOIs have been selected from the Pool may be issued an invitation to apply for a resident visa
under the Parent Category.

b.

An immigration officer may decline an EOI if they are not satisfied claims made within the EOI are:

c.

i.

credible; or

ii.

sufficient to meet the requirements of the Parent Category.

An immigration officer may, but is not required to, seek further evidence, information and submissions from a
person whose EOI has been selected from the Pool, for the purpose of determining whether their claims are
credible and whether there are any health or character issues that may adversely affect their ability to be
granted a resident visa under the Parent Category.

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d.

If an immigration officer is not satisfied the claims made in an EOI selected from the Pool under tier one would
be sufficient to meet the requirements of the Parent Category under tier one, but believes the EOI would meet
the requirements under tier two, the EOI will be re-entered into the Pool under tier two. Despite F4.10.10(d),
an immigration officer is not required to gain permission from the person expressing interest in order to do this.
The EOIs place in the Pool will be based on the date the EOI was first entered into the Pool under tier one.

e.

In any particular case, the selection of an EOI from the Pool may not result in an invitation to apply for a
resident visa under the Parent Category.

Note: A decision to invite a person to apply for a resident visa under the Parent Category does not guarantee in any
subsequent application for a resident visa a positive assessment of any requirements for the Parent Category or
generic residence (including health, and character).
f.

For the purposes of F4.10.20(d), re-entry into the Pool does not guarantee a person will be invited to apply
once their EOI is selected from the Pool under tier two.

F4.10.25 Assessing Parent Category applications


a.

A person who is sent an invitation to apply for residence under tier one of the Parent Category may only apply
for residence using tier one requirements (see F4.30).

b.

A person who is sent an invitation to apply for residence under tier two of the Parent Category may make a
Parent Category application using the requirements for either tier one or tier two (see F4.30 and F4.35).

c.

Applications received under tier one of the Parent Category:

d.

i.

will be assessed against the requirements for tier one at F4.30 and the generic requirements for the
Parent Category (sections F4.15 to F4.25); and

ii.

despite R5.20(c), cannot be assessed against the requirements for tier two at F4.35.

Applications received under tier two of the Parent Category:


i.

will be assessed against the requirements for tier two at F4.35 and the generic requirements for the
Parent Category (sections F4.15 to F4.25); and

ii.

may be assessed against tier one requirements at F4.30 in accordance with R5.20(c).

e.

Applications received under the Parent Category before 16 May 2012 will be processed using the requirements
in force at the time they were accepted for processing.

f.

Applications under the Parent Category will be approved if the applicants included in the application meet:
i.

health and character requirements applicable at the time their residence application was lodged; and

ii.

the additional requirements for the particular tier (see F4.30 or F4.35) on the basis of which they were
invited to apply for residence or, in the case of tier one applications, the alternative requirements
listed at F4.30 (a), (b) or (c) that were applicable at the time their residence application was lodged;
and

iii.

the other criteria on the basis of which they were invited to apply for residence.

Effective 17/11/2014
F4.13 Transitional provisions for Parent Category applications accepted for processing before
16 May 2012
See previous instructions F4.13 Effective 30/07/2012
a.

An applicant with a Parent Category application that was accepted for processing by Immigration New Zealand
(INZ) before 16 May 2012 but has not been decided may submit a Parent Category expression of interest (EOI)
(see F4.10).

b.

If the applicant is invited to apply for residence, they may lodge a new Parent Category application, provided
they meet the requirements set out at F4.1.5.

Note: The applicant under F4.13.1 must submit an EOI in the prescribed manner, including paying the appropriate EOI
fee (see F4.10.1)
F4.13.1 Application fee waivers
a.

The application fee will be waived for applications under tier one lodged by people who have an existing Parent
Category that was accepted for processing before 16 May 2012 (as per F4.13 above).

b.

The application fee will not be waived for applications under tier two lodged by people who have an existing
Parent Category that was accepted for processing before 16 May 2012 (as per F4.13 above).

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c.

Residence

Where an applicant has a Parent Category application accepted for processing by INZ and their application fee
waived, the Parent Category residence application that was accepted for processing before 16 May 2012 will be
lapsed.

F4.13.5 Transitional provisions for medical and police certificates


a.

Where an applicant lodges a subsequent application under F4.13 above, the applicants:
i.

Medical and Chest X-ray Certificate (INZ 1007) included in their initial Parent Category application
may be considered valid for the purposes of A4.20; and

ii.

police certificate included in their initial Parent Category application may be considered valid for the
purposes of A5.10(a).

b.

Applicants must still meet the health and character requirements set out at A4 and A5.

c.

Despite (a) above, an immigration officer may request:


i.

a General Medical Certificate (INZ 1007) and a Chest X-ray Certificate (INZ 1096) which are less than
three months old if they consider this is necessary to establish whether the applicant has an
acceptable standard of health; and

ii.

a new police certificate if there is a good reason to do so.

Effective 26/11/2012
F4.15 English language requirements for the Parent Category
See previous instructions:
F4.15 Effective 26/11/2012
F4.15 Effective 30/07/2012
F4.15.1 Minimum standard of English
a.

Applications under the Parent Category must be declined if any applicant included in the application has not
met the minimum standard of English or the requirements to pre-purchase English for speakers of other
languages (ESOL) tuition.

b.

Applicants under the Parent Category meet the minimum standard of English if they:

c.

d.

i.

provide a Test Report Form (no more than two years old at the time the application is lodged) from the
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) that shows they meet at least two
competencies of level 4 or above; or

ii.

provide other evidence that satisfies an immigration officer that, taking account of that evidence and
all the circumstances of the application, they are a competent user of English (see SM5.5(c)(iii)); or

iii.

satisfy the requirements of SM5.10(b)(i) or (iii); or

iv.

are citizens of Samoa who have applications assessed under the Parent Category at the Apia
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) branch and, after an interview, satisfy an immigration officer that
they have sufficient English language ability.

When applying (b)(iv) above, the interviewing immigration officer determines if applicants meet the minimum
English language requirement by assessing whether they are able to:
i.

read English; and

ii.

understand and respond to questions in English; and

iii.

maintain an English language conversation about themselves, their family or their background.

In any case in terms of (b) above, an immigration officer may require any or each applicant to provide an IELTS
certificate. In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether the applicant meets the
minimum standard of English.

Note: Full consideration must be given to all evidence of English language ability provided before a decision to request an
IELTS certificate under F4.15.1 (d) is made. If an IELTS certificate is requested, the reason(s) behind the decision must
be clearly documented and conveyed to the applicant.
F4.15.5 Pre-purchase of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) tuition
a.

Instead of meeting the minimum standard of English, any applicant may pre-purchase ESOL tuition. ESOL
tuition must be pre-purchased from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) by paying the required charge to
INZ (who collect this charge on behalf of TEC).

b.

Applicants must pay any ESOL charge due, sign the ESOL Agreement and return it to INZ within the time
specified by INZ before a resident visa is able to be granted (see F4.15.20).

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F4.15.10 The amount of ESOL tuition to be pre-purchased by applicants


For the purposes of the Parent Category, the amount of ESOL tuition to be paid is NZ$1,735 per applicant, which gives an
ESOL entitlement of NZ$1,533.33 per applicant.
F4.15.15 TEC to arrange ESOL tuition
a.

The applicant is entitled to tuition to the value of the ESOL entitlement of the ESOL tuition charge. This does not
include the INZ and TEC administration costs.

b.

TEC advises the applicant of the list of suitable ESOL tuition providers in New Zealand, from which the applicant
may nominate one of their own choice.

c.

TEC will manage the contract between the ESOL tuition provider and the applicant.

d.

The applicant must advise TEC of their New Zealand address.

F4.15.20 Applicant's agreement with TEC


a.

Each applicant who pre-purchases ESOL tuition must sign an Agreement with TEC by which they agree, among
other things, that they understand the rules for taking up ESOL tuition in New Zealand and the refund
provisions.

b.

The content of the Agreement is determined by INZ and TEC.

c.

Included with the Agreement is a Schedule that sets out the personal details of the applicant and the amount
of tuition to be purchased.

F4.15.25 Completion of Agreement


a.

When an application for a resident visa is approved in principle, applicants will be given two copies of the
Agreement to complete for each person in the application undertaking ESOL tuition.

b.

After completion of the Agreement, one copy is retained by the applicant, and the other copy is returned to the
relevant INZ processing office with the tuition fee(s).

c.

If the Agreement is not signed and returned to INZ within the time specified by INZ, the resident visa
application must be declined.

d.

The INZ copy of the Agreement should be sent to the TEC.

F4.15.30 Failure to pre-purchase ESOL tuition


Any ESOL tuition fee must be paid before a resident visa may be granted. If the tuition fee is not paid to the INZ within
the specified time, the resident visa application must be declined.
F4.15.35 Limited period to use ESOL tuition
a.

If ESOL tuition is purchased, the applicant must complete the tuition within five years from the date of
payment.

b.

ESOL tuition will not be available without further payment, nor will refunds be given, to applicants who do not
take up ESOL tuition within the time limits specified at F4.15.35(a).

F4.15.40 Refund of ESOL tuition fees


a.

If ESOL tuition fees are paid but the applicant does not take up residence by being a residence class visa holder
in New Zealand, a refund of the ESOL tuition fee may be granted upon request to INZ. The request must be
made in writing.

b.

Requests for refunds must be declined if they are made more than six months after the expiry of the travel
conditions allowing travel to New Zealand.

c.

Immigration officers considering requests for refunds must be satisfied that none of the applicants included in
the application have:
i.

entered New Zealand as residents; or

ii.

hold resident visas with current travel conditions.

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d.

Residence

The person who paid the ESOL tuition fee will only be refunded the ESOL entitlement. INZ and TEC
administration costs will not be refunded.

Effective 14/05/2013
F4.20 Family relationship requirements for the Parent Category
See previous instructions F4.20 Effective 30/07/2012
F4.20.1 Who are considered to be children of the principal applicant and the principal applicant's family?
a.

b.

c.

For the purposes of the Parent Category, children of the principal applicant and the principal applicant's family
include:
i.

all biological or adopted children of the principal applicant; and

ii.

any child of the principal applicant's partner (whether or not the partner is included in the application)
if that child has lived with the principal applicant for a predominant period of the child's life between
the time their relationship with the principal applicant began and until the time the child turned 18
years of age.

For the purposes of the Parent Category, where the principal applicant is a legal guardian, children of the
principal applicant and the principal applicant's family include:
i.

the New Zealand citizen or resident sponsor; and

ii.

all biological and adopted children of the principal applicant; and

iii.

any children of whom they are (or were) legal guardians by reason of the parents of those children
being deceased; and

iv.

any child of the principal applicant's partner (whether or not the partner is included in the application),
if that child has lived with the principal applicant for a predominant period of the child's life between
the time their relationship with the principal applicant began and until the time the child turned 18
years of age.

For the purposes of the Parent Category, where the principal applicant is a grandparent, children of the
principal applicant and the principal applicant's family include:
i.

the New Zealand citizen or resident sponsor; and

ii.

all biological and adopted children of the principal applicant; and

iii.

any child of the principal applicant's partner (whether or not the partner is included in the application),
if that child has lived with the principal applicant for a predominant period of the child's life between
the time their relationship with the principal applicant began and until the time the child turned 18
years of age.

F4.20.5 Applicants who have dependent children


Applicants under the Parent Category must not have any dependent children (see F4.5.5). An application will be declined
if any applicant(s) included in the application have dependent children.
F4.20.10 Grandparents and legal guardians
Only one grandparent and their partner, or one legal guardian and their partner, may be sponsored under Parent
Category.
F4.20.10.1 Grandparents
A sponsor's grandparent and their partner will be considered to be parent(s)' and a sponsor will be considered to be an
adult child' under Parent Category if both the sponsor's parents are deceased (see F4.40.5 and F4.40.15).
F4.20.10.5 Legal guardians
A sponsors legal guardian and their partner will be considered to be parent(s)' and a sponsor will be considered to be an
'adult child' under Parent Category (see F4.40.10 and F4.40.15) if:
a.

both the sponsor's parents died before the sponsor attained the age of 18 years; and

b.

the principal applicant had legal guardianship of the sponsor (that is, custody of the sponsor and the right to
control the sponsor's upbringing) before the sponsor attained the age of 18 years; and

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c.

Residence

the principal applicant was the most recent legal guardian of the sponsor.

Effective 08/04/2013
F4.25 Sponsorship requirements for the Parent Category
See previous instructions F4.25 Effective 30/07/2012
In order to gain residence under the Parent Category, applicants must be sponsored by an adult child (see F4.5.10) who:
a.

b.

meets the requirements to be an acceptable sponsor as set out at R4.5, including being:
i.

ordinarily resident in New Zealand; and

ii.

a New Zealand citizen and/or the holder of a New Zealand residence class visa for at least three years
immediately preceding the date the application they wish to sponsor is made; and

agrees to meet the undertakings set out at R4.10 for the first five years of the applicants stay in New Zealand
as a resident.

Note: For the purposes of F4.25, a person is considered to be ordinarily resident in New Zealand where an immigration
officer is satisfied that New Zealand is their primary place of established residence.

Effective 08/04/2013
F4.30 Additional requirements for tier one of the Parent Category
See previous instructions:
F4.30 Effective 02/12/2013
F4.30 Effective 14/05/2013
F4.30 Effective 01/04/2013
F4.30 Effective 26/11/2012
F4.30 Effective 30/07/2012
In addition to the requirements of the Parent Category in sections F4.1 to F4.25, applicants under tier one of the Parent
Category must meet one of the following requirements:
a.

Sponsors income (see F4.30.1); or

b.

Guaranteed lifetime minimum income (see F4.30.5); or

c.

Settlement funds (see F4.30.10).

F4.30.1 Sponsors income


a.

b.

To meet the gross minimum income requirements:


i.

a sponsor or their partner must earn a minimum of $65,000 per annum; or

ii.

a sponsor and their partner together must earn a minimum of $90,000 per annum.

The gross minimum income requirement referred to in (a) above must be met by personal income that is
obtained from one or any combination of:
i.

sustained paid employment; or

ii.

regular self-employment; or

iii.

regular investment income.

c.

The minimum income requirement must be met by personal income. Income earned by another legal entity,
such as a business or a trust, cannot be included unless it has been paid directly to the sponsor and/or their
partner in the form of wages or drawings.

d.

When assessing whether the income obtained from the source(s) in (b) above is sustained and/or regular,
officers may consider, but are not limited to, such factors as the length of employment, terms of employment
and the regularity of payments.

e.

The income of a sponsors partner may only be considered if the partner has been:
i.

living with the sponsor for a period of at least 12 months in a partnership that is genuine and stable
(see F2.10.1), and they meet the requirements for the recognition of a partnership set out at F2.15;
and

ii.

a New Zealand residence class visa holders for at least three years immediately preceding the date the
application their partner wishes to sponsor is made, or is a New Zealand citizen.

F4.30.5 Guaranteed lifetime minimum income


a.

If there is one applicant included in the application, the applicant must have a guaranteed lifetime minimum
income of at least NZ$27,584 gross per annum.

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b.

If a partner is also included in the application, the applicants jointly must have a guaranteed lifetime minimum
income of at least NZ$40,523 gross per annum.

c.

The applicants must meet the evidential requirements set out at F4.40.30.1.

F4.30.10 Settlement funds


a.

b.

Principal applicants must:


i.

nominate funds (or assets that can be converted into funds) to bring to New Zealand of a minimum
value of NZ$500,000; and

ii.

demonstrate ownership of the nominated funds and/or assets (see the evidential requirements set out
at F4.40.30.5); and

iii.

demonstrate that the nominated funds and/or assets have been earned or acquired legally
(see F4.5.25 and F4.40.30.5).

b.

Funds or assets may be owned either:


i.

solely by the principal applicant; or

ii.

jointly by the principal applicant and their partner who is included in the resident visa application.

c.

The principal applicant may claim the full value of jointly owned funds or assets (as per F4.30.10(b)(ii) above)
for assessment purposes, provided an immigration officer is satisfied the principal and secondary applicants
meet the partnership requirements set out at R2.1.15.

d.

If funds or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their partner, the principal
applicant may only claim the value of that portion of the funds or assets for which they provide evidence of
ownership.

e.

The principal applicant may only nominate funds or assets that they earned or acquired legally, including funds
and/or assets which have been gifted to them unconditionally and in accordance with local law (also see
F4.5.25). Where nominated funds or assets have been gifted to the principal applicant an immigration officer
must be satisfied that the funds or assets being gifted were earned lawfully by the person(s) gifting the funds
or assets.

f.

The nominated funds and/or assets must be unencumbered.

g.

The nominated funds and/or assets must not be borrowed.

h.

The principal applicant and/or their partner who is included in the application must transfer, or have
transferred, a total of NZ$500,000 in settlement funds to New Zealand from outside New Zealand.

Note: The value of the amount transferred will be dependent on the currency exchange rate at the time of transfer, not
at the time the residence application is assessed (see also F4.30.10.15). Funds that have not been transferred to New
Zealand by the principal applicant and/or their partner who is included in the application may not be used to meet
requirements for F4.30.10.
F4.30.10.1 Aim and intent of settlement funds transfer
The instructions regarding the nominated settlements funds and the method of transfer of those funds to New Zealand are
designed to ensure:
a.

the legitimacy and lawful ownership of the nominated funds; and

b.

the direct transfer of the settlement funds through a structured and prescribed process to guarantee ongoing
legitimacy and lawful ownership of the funds brought to New Zealand.

F4.30.10.5 Approval in principle pending the transfer of settlement funds


If the applicants meet the criteria set out for settlement funds at F4.30.10 and all other requirements under the Parent
Category (excluding instructions for transferring funds to New Zealand at F4.30.10.15), the applicants will be advised
that:
a.

their application has been approved in principle; and

b.

resident visas may be granted once they:


i.

provide acceptable evidence of having transferred the nominated funds in accordance with the
relevant instructions; and

ii.

pay any applicable migrant levy and any outstanding fee for English language tuition to meet English
language requirements (see F4.15).

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F4.30.10.10 Timeframe for transferring funds to New Zealand


a.

Principal applicants must meet the requirements for transferring nominated funds within 12 months of the date
of the letter advising of approval in principle.

b.

Applications for a resident visa must be declined if a principal applicant does not present acceptable evidence
of having transferred the nominated settlement funds within 12 months (or 18 months if an extension is
granted, see provisions (c), (d), and (e) below) from the date of approval in principle.

c.

Principal applicants may request an extension to their transfer period for up six months.

d.

If a principal applicant wishes to request an extension to the timeframe for transferring the nominated funds to
New Zealand, they must contact the immigration officer within 12 months of the date of the letter advising of
Approval in Principle and present evidence of reasonable attempts to transfer the nominated funds to New
Zealand.

e.

Following a principal applicants presentation of evidence an immigration officer may:


i.

grant an extension to the transfer period if they believe the evidence shows the principal applicant has
made reasonable attempts to transfer the nominated funds within the 12 month time period; or

ii.

decline to grant an extension to the transfer period if they believe the principal applicant has not made
reasonable attempts to transfer the nominated funds within the 12 month time period.

F4.30.10.15 Transferring funds to New Zealand


a.

When their application meets the requirements for tier one through settlement funds, as per F4.30.10, and is
approved in principle, the applicant will be required to transfer the nominated settlement funds to New Zealand
and meet the evidential requirements set out at F4.40.30.10.

b.

A minimum of NZ$500,000 in total must be transferred to New Zealand.

c.

These funds must be the funds initially nominated, or the funds that result from the sale of the same assets as
those initially nominated, in the resident visa application; and
i.

be transferred through the banking system directly from the principal and/or secondary applicant's
bank account(s) to New Zealand; or

ii.

be transferred by a foreign exchange company to New Zealand through the banking system.
Immigration officers may not accept the transferred funds if the applicant cannot provide satisfactory
evidence of the following:

the nominated funds have been transferred to the foreign exchange company directly from the applicants
bank account(s); and

the nominated funds have been transferred through a foreign exchange company in a way that is not
contrary to laws of New Zealand; and

the nominated funds transferred are traceable; and

cash transactions were not made; and

the foreign exchange company is not suspected of, or proven to have committed, fraudulent activity or
financial impropriety in any country it operates from or in.

Note: Nominated funds held in a country other than the country in which they were earned or acquired legally must have
been originally transferred through the banking system, or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system
from the country in which they were earned or acquired.

Effective 01/04/2014
F4.35 Additional requirements for tier two of the Parent Category
See previous instructions F4.35 Effective 30/07/2012
In addition to the requirements of the Parent Category set out in sections F4.1 to F4.25, applicants under tier two of the
Parent Category must meet both of the following requirements:
a.

Minimum income of sponsors (see F4.35.1); and

b.

Location of applicants other adult children (see F4.35.5).

F4.35.1 Minimum income of sponsors


a.

In order for an applicant to qualify for residence under tier two of the Parent Category, their sponsor or their
sponsors partner must have a gross minimum income of at least $33,675 per annum. This must be met by
personal income that is obtained from one or any combination of:
i.

sustained paid employment; or

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ii.

regular self-employment; or

iii.

regular investment income.

Residence

b.

The minimum income requirement must be met by personal income. Income earned by another legal entity,
such as a business or a trust, cannot be included unless it has been paid directly to the sponsor or their partner
in the form of wages or drawings.

c.

When assessing whether the income obtained from the source(s) in (a) above is sustained and/or regular,
officers may consider, but are not limited to, such factors as the length of employment, terms of employment
and the regularity of payments.

d.

The sponsors partners income may only be considered if the partner:


i.

has been living with the sponsor for a period of at least 12 months in a partnership that is genuine and
stable (see F2.10.1), and they meet the requirements for the recognition of a partnership set out
at F2.15; and

ii.

has been a New Zealand residence class visa holder for at least three years or is a New Zealand
citizen.

F4.35.5 Location of applicants other adult children


In order to qualify for residence under tier two of the Parent Category, all of the applicants adult children must live
lawfully and permanently outside the country in which the applicant or applicants live lawfully and permanently
(see F4.5.1 and F4.40.35).
F4.35.5.1 Deferring the final decision
a.

If the principal applicant under tier two has not met the criteria under F4.35.5 at the time of assessment, but
may be able to meet the criteria within six months, the final decision on the application may be deferred for up
to six months.

b.

A principal applicant and a partner included in the application already in New Zealand may be granted a further
temporary visa or visas (once an application is made) for a period sufficient to enable a further assessment of
their application after the six-month deferral period.

F4.35.10 Sponsors who are New Zealand Government beneficiaries ineligible


a.

b.

A person will not be invited to apply for residence if they:


i.

submit an expression of interest under tier two; and

ii.

indicate that their sponsor receives a New Zealand Government benefit from Work and Income.

Sponsors who receive a New Zealand Government benefit from Work and Income at the time an application is
assessed will not be eligible to sponsor applicants for residence under tier two requirements of the Parent
Category.

Effective 26/11/2012
F4.40 Evidence
See previous instructions:
F4.40 Effective 08/04/2013
F4.40 Effective 30/07/2012
F4.40.1 Evidence of relationship of parent(s) to children
a.

b.

Evidence of a parents relationship to their children is original or certified copies of:


i.

birth certificates establishing the relationship of the children to the parent; or

ii.

household registration documents, if these establish the relationship of the children to the parent; or

iii.

evidence of adoption (see R3), which establishes the relationship of the children to the parent.

Other evidence establishing the relationship of the children to the parents may also be provided, or requested
by an immigration officer.

F4.40.5 Evidence of relationship to grandparent where the sponsor's parents are deceased
a.

Evidence of sponsor's relationship to their grandparent(s) is original or certified copies of:


i.

birth certificates establishing the relationship of the sponsor to the grandparent(s); or

ii.

household registration documents, if these establish the relationship of the sponsor to the
grandparent(s); or

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iii.
b.

Residence

evidence of adoption (see R3), which establishes the relationship of the sponsor to the
grandparent(s).

Other evidence establishing the relationship of the sponsor to the grandparent(s) may also be provided, or
requested by an immigration officer.

F4.40.10 Evidence of legal guardianship where the sponsor's parents are deceased
Evidence of legal guardianship of the sponsor includes but is not limited to documents showing that the principal applicant
had custody of the sponsor and the right to control the sponsor's upbringing before the sponsor attained the age of 18,
such as the following:

legal documents (such as the sponsor's parent's will) showing that the principal applicant was named as the
guardian of the sponsor, to have custody of the sponsor and the right to control their upbringing in the event
of the death of the sponsor's biological or adoptive parents; or

a court order granting legal guardianship of the sponsor to the principal applicant (including custody of the
sponsor and the right to control their upbringing) after the death of their parents and prior to the sponsor
attaining the age of 18 years; or

documents showing that the sponsor lived with the principal applicant after the death of their parents and prior
to the sponsor attaining the age of 18 years; or

documents such as medical and school records indicating that the principal applicant acted in the role of a
parent for the sponsor after the death of their biological or adoptive parents and prior to the sponsor attaining
the age of 18 years.

F4.40.15 Evidence that parents are deceased


a.

Evidence that a sponsor's parents are deceased is original or certified copies of death certificates for both
parents.

b.

Where a death certificate is unobtainable, other documentary evidence must be provided that satisfies an
immigration officer that the sponsor's parents are deceased, and the date(s) of their death.

c.

A death certificate is considered to be obtainable even if there is a possible delay or expense in obtaining it.

F4.40.20 Evidence of dependence


a.

Up to and including 20 years of age, if a child is unmarried then he or she is presumed to be dependent.

b.

For children aged 21 to 24, evidence of actual independence may be required.

F4.40.25 Evidence of sponsorship


Evidence is a Sponsorship Form for Residence in New Zealand that:
a.

confirms that the sponsor meets the requirements for sponsors who are natural persons set out at R4.5(d); and

b.

contains the undertakings required (see R4.10).

F4.40.25.1 Evidence that the sponsor and/or their partner meets the minimum income requirement
Evidence of meeting the minimum income requirement for sponsors (see F4.30.10 and F4.35.1) may include, but is not
limited to, original or certified copies of the following documents:

an Inland Revenue Summary of Earnings which shows all income from employment, pension and withholding
payments; or

wage slips; or

a current employment contract; or

bank statements or any other documents from financial institutions.

F4.40.30 Evidence of applicants funds under tier one


F4.40.30.1 Evidence of guaranteed minimum lifetime income
a.

b.

Evidence of guaranteed minimum lifetime income includes:


i.

pensions that will be paid to the applicant(s) indefinitely, including during any time that they will be
New Zealand residents or citizens; or

ii.

other stable income paid to the applicant(s) indefinitely, including during any time that they will be
New Zealand residents or citizens.

An immigration officer may decline an application if they are not satisfied the applicant(s) income:
i.

is guaranteed; or

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ii.

is stable (to at least the minimum level specified at F4.30.5); or

iii.

will be paid to the applicant(s) indefinitely.

Residence

F4.40.30.5 Evidence of the principal applicant's settlement funds and assets


a.

Evidence of settlement funds and that those funds are, or have been, sourced from outside New Zealand may
include, but is not limited to:

funds held in an offshore bank account(s)(if requested, this may include evidence that funds can be accessed
from New Zealand); or

acceptable evidence of net assets held outside New Zealand.

a.

All documents provided as valuations of assets must be:

b.

i.

no more than three months old at the date the resident visa application is made; and

ii.

produced by a reliable independent agency.

An immigration officer may seek further evidence if they:


i.

are not satisfied that the nominated funds and/or assets were earned or acquired legally; or

ii.

consider that the nominated funds and/or assets may have been gifted or borrowed; or

iii.

are not satisfied with the valuation provided; or

iv.

consider that the nominated funds and/or assets fail in some other way to meet the rules for
settlement funds.

F4.40.30.10 Evidence of the transfer of the nominated funds to New Zealand


a.

Acceptable evidence of the transfer of the nominated funds must be provided by way of the telegraphic transfer
documentation together with a current bank statement showing the transfer(s).

b.

An immigration officer may request any other information to satisfy them that the above requirements have
been met.

F4.40.35 Evidence of being 'lawfully and permanently' in a country


a.

Evidence that a person is lawfully and permanently in a country may include, but is not limited to, original or
certified copies of:
a passport or passport pages showing identity and a visa (or permit) indicating the holder is entitled to remain
indefinitely in that country; or

letters or other documents showing that indefinite residence in another country has been granted; or

a passport or passport pages showing identity and nationality; or

naturalisation or citizenship certificates.

b.

If a person does not need a visa (or permit) to live in their country of residence (e.g. European Union nationals
living in other European Union countries), principal applicants must provide original or certified copies of:
registration cards or certificates from the local police or municipal authority; or

confirmation of the person's residence status from an authoritative source such as a municipal, judicial, police
or government authority.

c.

Under both (a) and (b) above, evidence must also be provided of actual residence in the country. Evidence may
include, but is not limited to, original or certified copies of:
correspondence addressed to the person; or

employment references; or

rates demands; or

income tax returns; or

mortgage documents; or

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Residence

documents showing that household effects have been moved to that country.

Effective 14/05/2013
F4.45 Verification of family details and documents
Immigration officers may refer to former applications lodged by applicants, family members of applicants or sponsors in
order to verify declarations made by applicants about their family details (such as the number of family members, the
whereabouts of family members, or an applicant's or partner's marital status).

Effective 30/07/2012
F4.50 Conditions of a resident visa granted under the Parent Category
See previous instructions F4.50 Effective 30/07/2013
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 49, 55
a.

A resident visa granted under the Parent Category is subject to the condition, imposed under sections 49(1)
and 55 of the Immigration Act 2009, that the sponsor of the visa holder meets their obligations as set out
at R4.10 until five years from the visa holders first day as a resident in New Zealand.

b.

The multiple entry travel conditions on a resident visa granted under the Parent Category must be valid until
five years from the visa holders first day as a resident in New Zealand.

Effective 14/05/2013

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Residence

F5 Dependent Child Category


F5.1 How do dependent children qualify for a resident visa?
See previous instructions:
F5.1 Effective 24/03/2014
F5.1 Effective 30/07/2012
F5.1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants meet Dependent Child Category if they:


i.
o

aged 21 to 24, with no child(ren) of their own; and

single (see F5.5); and

totally or substantially reliant on an adult (whether their parent or not) for financial support, whether they
live with them or not; and

their parent(s) is lawfully and permanently in New Zealand; or


ii.

are:

aged 18 to 20, with no child(ren) of their own; and

single (see F5.5); and

their parent(s) is lawfully and permanently in New Zealand; or


iii.

b.

are:

are:

aged 17 or younger; and

single (see F5.5); and

their parent(s) is lawfully and permanently in New Zealand.

Principal applicants under Dependent Child Category must also:


i.

have been born to, or adopted by (see R3), their parent(s) before their parent(s) made their own
application for a residence class visa, and have been declared as dependent children on their parent(s)
application for a residence class visa; or

ii.

have been born to their parent(s) after their parent(s) made their own application for a residence class
visa; or

iii.

have been adopted by (see R3) their parent(s) after their parent(s) made their own application for a
residence class visa, by a New Zealand adoption order made under the Adoption Act 1955, or an
overseas adoption order which, under section 17 of the Adoption Act 1955, has the same effect as a
New Zealand adoption order.

Note: In the event that the principal applicant was born to, or adopted by their parent(s) before their parent(s)
made their own application for a residence class visa, but that principal applicant was not declared as a
dependent child on their parents application for a residence class visa, section R5.15 will apply.
c.

When determining whether a child of 21 to 24 years of age is totally or substantially reliant on an adult
(whether their parent or not) for financial support, immigration officers must consider the whole application,
taking into account all relevant factors including:
i.

whether the child is in paid employment, whether this is full time or part time, and its duration;

ii.

whether the child has any other independent means of financial support;

iii.

whether the child is living with its parents or another family member, and the extent to which other
support is provided;

iv.

whether the child is studying, and whether this is full time or part time.

v.

Principal applicants under Dependent Child Category must meet health and character requirements
(see A4 and A5).

Effective 18/04/2014
F5.5 Definitions
F5.5.1 Definition of 'single'
A person is single if they are not living with a partner in a genuine and stable partnership (F2.10.1).

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Residence

Note: For the purposes of these instructions partnerships are considered to exist irrespective of duration.
F5.5.5 Definition of 'lawfully and permanently in New Zealand'
People who are lawfully and permanently in New Zealand must be actually residing in New Zealand and be either:
a.

citizens of New Zealand; or

b.

holders (or deemed to be holders) of New Zealand residence class visas.

Effective 29/11/2010
F5.10 Evidence
See previous instructions:
F5.10 Effective 30/07/2012
F5.10 Effective 29/11/2010
The items listed in F5.10.1 to F5.10.35 below are examples of relevant evidence: other documents may also be relevant.
F5.10.1 Evidence of dependent child's relationship to parent(s)
a.

b.

Evidence of the dependent child's relationship to the parent(s) is original or certified copies of:
i.

birth certificates establishing the relationship of the dependent child to the parent(s); or

ii.

household registration documents, if these establish the relationship of the dependent child to the
parent(s); or

iii.

evidence of adoption (see R3), which establishes the relationship of the dependent child to the
parent(s).

Other evidence establishing the relationship of the children to the parent(s) may also be provided.

F5.10.5 Evidence of declaration by parent(s)


Evidence of declaration as a dependent child is the declaration of children on the parent(s) residence application form.
F5.10.10 Evidence that principal applicant is single, with no children, and 24 or younger
a.

b.

Evidence that the principal applicant is single, with no children, and aged 18 to 24, is:
i.

a declaration in the residence application form that the principal applicant is not married, is not in a
civil union, and is not living in a de facto relationship; and

ii.

a declaration in the residence application form that the principal applicant has no children; and

iii.

a birth certificate or other evidence that the principal applicant is aged 18 to 24.

Evidence that the principal applicant is single, and 17 or younger, is:


i.

a declaration in the residence application form that the principal applicant is not married, is not in a
civil union, and is not living in a de facto relationship; and

ii.

a birth certificate or other evidence that the principal applicant is 17 or younger.

F5.10.15 Evidence of financial dependence (see F5.1)


a.

Up to and including 17 years of age, if a child is single, they are presumed to be dependent.

b.

From 18 years of age up to and including 20 years of age, if a child is single and has no children of their own,
they are presumed to be dependent.

c.

From 21 years of age up to and including 24 years of age, evidence of actual dependence may be required.

F5.10.20 Evidence of adoption under New Zealand Adoption Act 1955 (see F5.1(b)(iii))
Evidence is the original or a certified copy of the Notice of Adoption Order.
Note: Notices of interim orders are not evidence of adoption.
F5.10.25 Evidence that overseas adoption has the same effect as a New Zealand adoption (see F5.1(b)(iii))
Evidence that an overseas adoption has the same effect as a New Zealand adoption under section 17 of the Adoption Act
1955, includes:
a.

a ruling from a New Zealand court; or

b.

the assessment of the immigration officer, if there are clear precedents for adoptions from the country
concerned.

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Residence

F5.10.30 Evidence of parents New Zealand citizenship or residence class visa


a.

Evidence that a parent is a New Zealand citizen may include but is not limited to original or certified copies of:
New Zealand passport; or

a New Zealand birth certificate issued prior to 1 January 2006; or

a New Zealand birth certificate issued on or after 1 January 2006 that positively indicates New Zealand
citizenship; or

a certificate of New Zealand citizenship; or

a confirmation of New Zealand citizenship by descent certificate issued under the Citizenship Act 1977; or

an evidentiary certificate issued under the Citizenship Act 1977 confirming New Zealand citizenship.

b.

Evidence that a parent is a New Zealand resident is:


i.

a current New Zealand residence class visa in their passport or certificate of identity; or

ii.

evidence the parent is deemed to hold a New Zealand residence class visa.

F5.10.35 Evidence of being 'lawfully and permanently' in New Zealand


Evidence must be provided of actual residence in New Zealand. Evidence may include but is not limited to original or
certified copies of:

correspondence addressed to the applicant

employment references

rates demands

income tax returns

mortgage documents

documents showing that household effects have been moved to New Zealand.

Effective 18/04/2014
F5.15 Verification of family details
Immigration officers may refer to former applications lodged by applicants, family members of applicants, or sponsors in
order to verify declarations made by applicants about their family details (such as the number of family members, the
whereabouts of family members, or an applicant's marital status).

Effective 29/11/2010
F5.20 Dependent children under 16 whose parents are separated or divorced
a.

If the parents of a child under the age of 16 are separated or divorced, the New Zealand citizen or resident
parent must have the right to remove the child from the country in which rights of custody or visitation have
been granted, or, if no such rights of visitation have been granted, from the country of residence.

b.

Such children will not be granted a resident visa unless the New Zealand citizen or resident parent produces
satisfactory evidence of their right to remove the child from the country in which the rights of custody or
visitation have been granted or, if no such rights of visitation have been granted, from the country of residence.

c.

Except where (d) applies, evidence of the right to remove the child from the country in which rights of custody
or visitation have been granted must include original or certified copies of:

d.

i.

legal documents showing that the New Zealand citizen or resident parent has the sole right to
determine the residence of the child, without rights of visitation by the other parent; or

ii.

a court order permitting the New Zealand citizen or resident parent to remove the child from its
country of residence; or

iii.

legal documents showing that the New Zealand citizen or resident parent has custody of the child and
a signed statement from the other parent, witnessed in accordance with local practice or law, agreeing
to allow the child to live in New Zealand if the application is approved.

Where an immigration officer is satisfied that:


i.

by virtue of local law, the New Zealand citizen or resident parent has the statutory right to custody of
the child; and

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ii.

Residence

it is not possible or required under that local law to obtain individualised legal documents to verify that
custodial right, the New Zealand citizen or resident parent will be considered by INZ to have the right
to remove the child from its country of residence.

Effective 29/11/2010
F5.25 Dependent children under 16 with only one parent holding New Zealand citizenship or a
New Zealand residence class visa
See previous instructions F5.25 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

If one of the parents of a child under the age of 16 is not a New Zealand citizen or resident, the New Zealand
citizen or resident parent must have the right to remove the child from the childs country of residence.

b.

Such children will not be granted a residence class visa unless the New Zealand citizen or resident parent
produces satisfactory evidence of their right to remove the child from the childs country of residence.

c.

Except where (e) applies evidence of the right to remove the dependent child from the childs country of
residence in situations where one parent is not a New Zealand citizen or resident, but the parents are not
separated or divorced, must include original or certified copies of:
i.

a written statement confirmed by both parents at an interview with an immigration officer, either in
person or by phone; or

ii.

a court order permitting the applicant to remove the child from the childs country of residence.

d.

If because of the death of one of the parents of a child under the age of 16, only one parent holds New Zealand
citizenship or residence class visa, the death certificate of the other parent must be provided.

e.

Where an immigration officer is satisfied that:


i.

by virtue of local law, the New Zealand citizen or resident parent has the statutory right to custody of
the child; and

ii.

it is not possible or required under that local law to obtain individualised legal documents to verify that
custodial right, the New Zealand citizen or resident parent will be considered by INZ to have the right
to remove the child from the childs country of residence.

Effective 26/11/2012
F5.30 English language requirements
a.

If a principal applicant was eligible to be included as a dependent child of a principal applicant in an earlier
successful application under the General Skills Category, Skilled Migrant Category, Business Immigration
Instructions or previous Business Investor Category, but was not at that time included in the application, they
will have to meet the criteria of the English language instruction applicable at the time the application under
Dependent Child Category is made.

b.

Such an applicant will be subject to the applicable English language instruction as if they were a non-principal
applicant under the Skilled Migrant Category or Business Immigration Instructions.

c.

A principal applicant who would have been eligible for inclusion in an earlier General Skills category or Skilled
Migrant Category application will be subject to the English language instruction of the Skilled Migrant Category
applicable at the time the application under the Dependent Child Category is made.

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d.

Residence

A principal applicant who would have been eligible for inclusion in an earlier Business Investor category or
Business Immigration Instructions application will be subject to the English language instructions of Business
Immigration Instructions applicable at the time the application under Dependent Child Category is made.

Effective 29/11/2010
F5.35 Application under Dependent Child Category of person eligible for...
F5.35 Application under Dependent Child Category of person eligible for inclusion in an earlier Family Quota,
Refugee Family Support Category, Samoan Quota Scheme or Pacific Access Category registration
If the principal applicant in an application under Dependent Child Category was eligible for inclusion in a successful
registration under either the Family Quota, Refugee Family Support Category, Samoan Quota Scheme or Pacific Access
Category but was not included, they will not be granted a resident visa under Dependent Child Category.

Effective 29/11/2010
F5.40 Resident visas with conditions
See previous instructions F5.40 Effective 29/11/2010
Dependent children accompanying principal applicants who are subject to conditions set out under section 49(1), will be
granted resident visas subject to the condition that the principal applicant comply with the conditions of the principal
applicants visa. (See R5.65.1).

Effective: 26/03/2012
F6 Sibling and Adult Child Category (to 16/05/2012)
Note: The instructions contained in this section cease to be effective from 16 May 2012.

Effective 16/05/2012

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Residence

F7 Inter-country adoption
F7.1 Guidelines for inter-country adoptions
a.

If a New Zealand residence class visa holder or citizen legally adopts a child overseas, they may apply on its
behalf for either New Zealand citizenship or residence.

b.

If a residence class visa is applied for, the child must meet the same requirements as other children of New
Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders.

c.

The fact that a child has been adopted does not, of itself, entitle the child to be granted with a visa to travel to
New Zealand, and immigration officers must assess whether or not the child meets the requirements for a
residence class visa or a temporary class visa.

d.

A standard prerequisite for a child to travel to New Zealand for adoption purposes is the support of social
welfare agencies, both in New Zealand and in the child's country of origin.

Effective 29/11/2010
F7.5 Citizenship procedure
a.

The Department of Internal Affairs administers the Citizenship Act 1977 and determines whether or not an
adopted child has a claim to New Zealand citizenship.

b.

Adoptive parents who are New Zealand citizens must apply to the appropriate overseas post or to the
Department of Internal Affairs to determine the citizenship of the child.

c.

The process of determining citizenship involves establishing whether or not the adoption meets the
requirements under section 17 of the Adoption Act 1955, and the process can be both complex and lengthy.

F7.5.1 Immigration requirements for adopted children


a.

Children adopted overseas or in New Zealand must meet immigration requirements unless, and until, their New
Zealand citizenship is established.

b.

Evidence of New Zealand citizenship should be supplied to INZ if a child on a temporary visa in New Zealand is
granted citizenship.

Effective 29/11/2010
F7.10 Pre-adoption information
a.

Under the Adoptions Act 1955, social workers approve prospective parents and report to the Family Court,
which rules on individual adoptions.

b.

Generally, the authorities in the child's country of origin must give permission for it to leave, and the adoption
must conform with the law of that country.

c.

INZ offices should advise prospective adoptive parents to consult the New Zealand Child, Youth and Family
(CYF), and to contact the equivalent welfare agency in the child's country.

d.

CYF will arrange for a home study and liaise with the appropriate inter-country adoption agency for a child
study, after which CYF will advise INZ of the results.

e.

CYF may also ask overseas posts to investigate the circumstances of the child.

Effective 29/11/2010

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Residence

Skilled Migrant Category


IN THIS SECTION
SM1 Objective ...................................................................... 26-1
SM2 Overview of Skilled Migrant Category ................................. 27-1
SM3 Expression of Interest and Invitation to Apply instructions ..... 28-1
SM4 Summary of requirements................................................ 29-1
SM5 English Language Requirements ........................................ 30-1
SM6 Summary of points for employability and capacity building factors
.................................................................................. 31-1
SM7 Skilled employment ........................................................ 32-1
SM8 Bonus points: employment in an identified future growth area or
area of absolute skills shortage ........................................ 33-1
SM9 Bonus points: employment outside the Auckland region ........ 34-1
SM10 Bonus points: partner's skilled employment in New Zealand . 35-1
SM11 Work experience ........................................................... 36-1
SM12 Bonus points: work experience in New Zealand .................. 37-1
SM13 Bonus points: work experience in an identified future growth area
or an area of absolute skills shortage ................................ 38-1
SM14 Recognised qualifications ............................................... 39-1
SM15 Bonus points: New Zealand qualifications .......................... 40-1
SM16 Bonus points: qualifications in an identified future growth area or
an area of absolute skills shortage .................................... 41-1
SM17 Bonus points: partner's recognised qualifications ................ 42-1
SM18 Age ............................................................................ 43-1
SM19 Requirements for occupational registration ........................ 44-1
SM20 Bonus points: close family in New Zealand ........................ 45-1
SM21 Settlement and Contribution Requirements ....................... 46-1

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Residence

SM1 Objective
a.

The objective of the Skilled Migrant Category is to provide for the grant of a resident visa to people who
demonstrate that they:
have skills to fill identified needs and opportunities in New Zealand; and

are able to transfer those skills to New Zealand and link with local needs and opportunities; and

are able to demonstrate an ability to contribute to New Zealand both economically and socially; and

are able to demonstrate an ability to successfully settle in New Zealand.

b.

In meeting this objective the Skilled Migrant Category will maximise and accelerate the contribution of
immigration to New Zealand's:
capacity building, sustainable growth and innovation;

global connectedness; and

thriving and inclusive communities

through focusing on a range of source regions to achieve a balanced programme and linking global talent with local
opportunities.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM2 Overview of Skilled Migrant Category


See previous instructions:
SM2 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

A person who is interested in applying for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category must complete an
Expression of Interest (EOI) form in the prescribed manner.

b.

EOIs which meet prerequisites for health, character, English language and age, and have a point score of 100
or more points are entered into the Pool of EOIs.

c.

Points for employability and capacity building factors are claimed by a person expressing interest in accordance
with the requirements set out in the Skilled Migrant Category.

d.

EOIs in the Skilled Migrant Category Pool are selected from that Pool periodically on the Government's behalf
by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

e.

Selections from the Pool are made in the following manner:


i.

EOIs that have total points of 140 or more are selected automatically from the Pool;

ii.

EOIs that have total points of 100 or more but less than 140, and include points for offers of skilled
employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand, are selected (according to their points
ranking) in sufficient numbers to meet the requirements of the Skilled/Business Stream of the New
Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) at the time of that selection (subject to any adjustment to the
number or distribution of places in the NZRP determined by the Government).

f.

If, following the selection process set out at (e) above, further places are available in the Skilled/Business
Stream of the NZRP at the time of that selection (subject to any adjustment to the number or distribution of
places in the NZRP determined by the Government), additional EOIs may be selected from the Pool on the basis
of criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration, having regard to the objectives of the Skilled
Migrant Category. Those criteria are specified at SM3.15.1.

g.

A selected EOI may result in an invitation to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category being
granted, subject to an assessment of the credibility of the information provided in the EOI and whether the EOI
indicates the presence of any health or character issues that may adversely affect the ability of the person
expressing interest to be granted a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

h.

Whether, in any particular case, an EOI has been selected from the Pool, it may not result in an invitation to
apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

i.

Only a person invited to apply may apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

j.

If a person is invited to apply, information provided in the EOI, and any further evidence, information and
submissions provided by the applicant (including information concerning ability or potential to successfully
settle in and contribute to New Zealand), will form the basis for determination of a subsequent application for
a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

k.

Applications for a resident visa, resulting from an invitation to apply, must include:

l.

i.

information and evidence to support the claims made in the EOI; and

ii.

information concerning any relevant fact (including any material change in circumstances that occurs
after the EOI was selected) if that fact or change in circumstances may affect the decision on the
application. Such a relevant fact or change in circumstances may relate to the principal applicant or
another person included in the application, and may relate to any matter relevant to Skilled Migrant
Category.

Applications will be assessed against instructions set out in sections SM4 to SM21 of the Skilled Migrant
Category.

m. Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category will be assessed against:

n.

i.

health, character and English language requirements; and

ii.

employability and capacity building requirements; and

iii.

any criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration which was the basis for selection from
the Pool (see SM3.15.1); and

iv.

settlement and contribution requirements.

Assessment against settlement and contribution requirements (see SM21) will take into consideration the
application as a whole including information gained at interview, if an interview is conducted. The assessment
concerning settlement and contribution may result in:
i.

the grant of a resident visa; or

ii.

deferral of the decision on the resident visa application and the grant of a work visa to enable a
principal applicant to obtain an offer of ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand; or

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iii.
o.

Residence

decline of the resident visa application.

If a decision is deferred on the resident visa application and the principal applicant becomes established in
ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand, the application for a resident visa will be approved.

Effective 17/11/2014

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SM3 Expression of Interest and Invitation to


Apply instructions
SM3.1 Expressing interest in being invited to apply under the Skilled Migrant Category
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 92, 158
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, reg 9
a.

People notify their interest in being invited to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category
through submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the INZ in the prescribed manner. The prescribed
manner for completing and submitting an EOI is that the person expressing interest submits to an immigration
officer:
i.

the completed EOI form; and

ii.

the appropriate fee (if any).

Note: The completed form can be submitted electronically or in paper form.


b.

c.

Through completion of an EOI a person:


i.

provides information regarding their identity, health and character; and

ii.

provides information about their English language ability in accordance with the requirements for
English language ability set out at SM5 of these instructions; and

iii.

claims points for employability and capacity building requirements in accordance with the
employability and capacity building requirements set out at SM7 to SM19 of the Skilled Migrant
Category.

It is the responsibility of the person submitting the EOI to ensure that it is correct in all material respects.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM3.5 Implications of providing false or misleading information
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 93
a.

The Immigration Act 2009 provides that:


i.

the provision of false or misleading information as part of an EOI or associated submission; or

ii.

the withholding of relevant, potentially prejudicial information from an EOI or associated submission;
or

iii.

failure to advise an immigration officer of any fact or material change in circumstances that occurs
after an EOI is notified that may affect a decision to invite the person to apply for a resident visa or to
grant a resident visa;

is sufficient grounds for the decline of an application for a resident visa and for the holder of a resident visa granted
under the Skilled Migrant Category to become liable for deportation.
b.

Information relating to a claim made in an EOI that is factually inaccurate and is relevant to the issuing of an
invitation to apply or the assessment of a resident visa application, will be considered misleading unless the
principal applicant can demonstrate that there is a reasonable basis for making that claim.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM3.10 Submission of Expressions of Interest to the Pool
See previous instructions SM3.10 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, reg 9
Expressions of Interest (EOIs) submitted in the prescribed manner may be entered into a Pool of Expressions of Interest
(the Pool) if the person expressing interest:
a.

has confirmed that health and character requirements for entry to the Pool have been met because none of the
people included in their EOI are people who:
i.

are described in sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 (see A5.20); or

ii.

would not be granted a medical waiver (see A4.60).

b.

has confirmed that they meet the minimum standard of English (see SM5); and

c.

has claimed a minimum of 100 points for employability and capacity building factors (see SM7 to SM19); and

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Residence

d.

has claimed points for either recognised qualifications (see SM14) or work experience (see SM11); and

e.

is aged 55 years or younger.

Effective 30/07/2012
SM3.15 Selection of Expressions of Interest
See previous instructions:
SM3.15 Effective 01/08/2014
SM3.15 Effective 01/02/2014
SM3.15 Effective 18/08/2013
SM3.15 Effective 30/07/2012
SM3.15 Effective 25/07/2011
SM3.15 Effective 01/02/2011
SM3.15 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

As Expressions of Interest (EOI) are entered into the Pool they will be ranked on the basis of total points
claimed for employability and capacity building factors in accordance with the Skilled Migrant Category. The
ranking of EOIs relative to each other will change as EOIs enter, or are withdrawn from, the Pool.

b.

EOIs in the Skilled Migrant Category Pool are selected from that Pool periodically on the Government's behalf
by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

c.

Selections from the Pool are made in the following manner:

d.

i.

EOIs that have total points of 140 or more are selected automatically from the Pool;

ii.

EOIs that have total points of 100 or more but less than 140, and include points for the principal
applicant's offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand, are selected
(according to their points ranking) in sufficient numbers to meet the requirements of the
Skilled/Business Stream of the New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) at the time of that
selection (subject to any adjustment to the number or distribution of places in the NZRP determined
by the Government)

If, following the selection process set out at (c) above, further places are available in the Skilled/Business
Stream of the NZRP at the time of that selection (subject to any adjustment to the number or distribution of
places in the NZRP determined by the Government), additional EOIs may be selected from the Pool on the basis
of criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration, having regard to the objectives of the Skilled
Migrant Category. Those criteria are specified at SM3.15.1.

SM3.15.1 Additional selection criteria


a.

The following additional selection criteria apply for the purposes of SM3.15(d), for selections from the Pool
occurring until 31 July 2015 inclusive.

b.

EOIs will be selected by applying the criteria in the order in which they appear in (i) (iv), to the extent
necessary to satisfy any exercise of the discretion under SM3.15 (d):
i.

EOIs that include 15 points for work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage (in descending
order of their points total);

ii.

EOIs that include 10 points for work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage (in descending
order of their points total);

iii.

EOIs that include 10 points for a qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage (in descending
order of their points total);

iv.

the points total of EOIs not meeting any of the criteria in (i) (iii) (in descending order).

Effective 01/02/2015
SM3.20 Currency of an Expression of Interest
a.

An EOI is current for a period of six months from the date of initial submission to the Pool unless no Pool
selection of Expressions of Interest has occurred within that six-month period. Where this is the case, the
Expression of Interest is current until such time as a selection from the Pool of Expressions of Interest has
occurred.

b.

An EOI that is no longer current will be withdrawn from the Pool.

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c.

Residence

An EOI will also be withdrawn from the pool if it is rejected after selection because it does not meet
prerequisites for entry to the Pool and as a result no invitation to apply has been issued.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM3.25 Invitation to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category
a.

People whose Expressions of Interest (EOIs) have been selected from the Pool may be issued with an invitation
to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category if:
i.

the information provided does not indicate the presence of any health or character issues which may
adversely affect their ability to be granted a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category; and

ii.

an immigration officer considers that the person's claims in regard to points for employability and
capacity building factors, English language ability, and any criteria set from time to time by the
Minister of Immigration (see SM3.15.1) which were the basis for selection from the Pool are credible.

b.

An immigration officer may seek further evidence, information and submissions from a person whose EOI has
been selected from the Pool, for the purpose of determining whether their claims are credible and whether
there are any health or character issues which may adversely affect their ability to be granted a resident visa
under the Skilled Migrant Category.

c.

Whether, in any particular case, an EOI has been selected from the Pool, it may not result in an invitation to
apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Note: An immigration officer's decision to invite a person to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category
(based on information evidence and submissions provided prior to application) does not guarantee:
~ the points claimed by the applicant; or
~ a positive assessment against health, character or English language requirements;
in any subsequent application for a resident visa.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM4 Summary of requirements


SM4.1 Ability to apply
A person may only apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category if:
a.

they have been issued with an invitation to apply under the Skilled Migrant Category; and

b.

they apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category within four months of the date of the letter in
which that invitation is made; and

c.

that invitation has not been revoked.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM4.5 Approval of applications under the Skilled Migrant Category
a.

b.

c.

Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category are assessed against:
i.

health, character and English language requirements; and

ii.

employability and capacity building requirements; and

iii.

settlement and contribution requirements.

An application under the Skilled Migrant Category will be approved if:


i.

the principal applicant and family members included in the application meet health and character, and
English language requirements where required; and

ii.

the principal applicant qualifies for the points for employability and capacity building factors on the
basis of which their Expression of Interest was selected from the Pool; or

iii.

the principal applicant meets the criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration on the
basis of which their Expression of Interest was selected from the Pool (see SM3.15.1); and

iv.

the principal applicant is less than 56 years of age; and

v.

the principal applicant is assessed as having the ability to successfully settle in and contribute to New
Zealand; and

vi.

all necessary verification of the application has been completed.

Despite SM4.5(b)(ii) and (iii) above, if a principal applicant does not qualify for the points for employability and
capacity building factors on the basis of which their Expression of Interest was selected from the Pool, or meet
the criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration on the basis of which their Expression of
Interest was selected from the Pool (see SM3.15.1), an immigration officer may, on a case by case basis,
determine that the application may nevertheless be approved, where:
i.

the principal applicant has satisfied the immigration officer that there was a reasonable basis for
making the claim for points in the Expression of Interest and that in making that claim there was no
fraud or intent to deceive; and

ii.

the points for which the principal applicant qualifies for employability and capacity building factors on
the basis of which a subsequent selection was made, within the period of currency of their Expression
of Interest; or

iii.

the principal applicant meets the criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration on the
basis of which a subsequent selection was made (see SM3.15.1), within the period of currency of their
Expression of Interest.

Note: Where SM4.5 (c) applies, officers may defer a decision on the application until such time as an Expression of
Interest's currency (had it remained in the SMC Pool) expires.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM4.10 Health, character and English language requirements
a.

Applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category must meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

b.

Applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category must meet a minimum standard of English or, where instructions
allow pre-purchase ESOL tuition.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM4.15 Employability and capacity building requirements (SM7 to SM20)
a.

Employability and capacity building factors are assessed using a points system.

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b.

Residence

An application for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category will be declined if a principal applicant does
not:
i.

qualify for the points for employability and capacity building factors; or

ii.

meet the criteria set from time to time by the Minister of Immigration (see SM3.15.1),

on the basis of which their Expression of Interest was selected from the Pool, unless SM4.5(c) applies.
c.

An application for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category will be declined if the principal applicant
does not qualify for points for either work experience (see SM11) or qualifications (see SM14).

Effective 29/11/2010
SM4.20 Settlement and contribution requirements (SM21)
See previous instructions SM4.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants are assessed to determine whether they have a demonstrated ability or have the ability to
realise their potential, to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand.

b.

Principal applicants who:


i.

qualify for 50 points for an offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand
for less than 12 months; or

ii.

qualify for 60 points for current skilled employment in New Zealand for twelve months or more; or

iii.

have undertaken full time study for at least two years in New Zealand that has resulted in the award
of a Doctorate or Masters degree;

have demonstrated the ability to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand.
c.

Principal applicants who do not have points for any of these factors will be further assessed.

d.

If, as a result of this further assessment, a principal applicant, despite not meeting the requirements of (b)
above, is assessed as having a high potential to readily obtain skilled employment in New Zealand, they will be
assessed as having demonstrated the ability to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand. Their
application for a resident visa may be approved subject to meeting any other relevant requirements.

e.

If, as a result of the further assessment, a principal applicant is assessed as having demonstrated they can
realise their potential to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand, a decision on the resident visa
application will be deferred and the principal applicant will be eligible for the grant of a work visa for the purpose
of obtaining an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand that is ongoing. Principal applicants who obtain an
offer of skilled employment during the deferral period will have their application for a resident visa approved.

f.

If, as a result of the further assessment, a principal applicant has not demonstrated they can realise their
potential to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand, their application for a resident visa will be
declined.

Effective 30/07/2011
SM4.25 Migrant levy
Principal applicants approved-in-principle under the Skilled Migrant Category must deposit a Migrant Levy (see R5.90)
when:
a.

their application is approved-in-principle, unless:

b.

the Levy has been paid prior to the principal applicant being granted a work visa for the purpose of obtaining
an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM4.30 Resident visa subject to conditions
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 49, 50
SM4.30.1 Resident visas may be subject to conditions
a.

A resident visa may be granted under the Skilled Migrant Category to a principal applicant (and any
accompanying partner and dependent children) subject to conditions imposed under section 49(1) of the
Immigration Act.

b.

Resident visas will be granted subject to conditions where SM4.30.10 and/or SM4.30.15 below apply.

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Residence

SM4.30.5 Compliance with conditions


When an applicant under this category satisfies an immigration officer that the conditions on their resident visa under
section 49(1) have been complied with, those conditions will be cancelled and the officer will advise the applicant
accordingly in writing.
SM4.30.10 Offer of skilled employment or skilled employment for less than 3 months
Where a resident visa is granted under the Skilled Migrant Category on the basis that the principal applicant qualifies for
points for an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand or current skilled employment in New Zealand for less than three
months (see SM7), the visa holder is subject to the following conditions:
a.

b.

In the case of the principal applicant who:


i.

has an offer of skilled employment - that they take up that offer of skilled employment within three
months of their first entry to New Zealand as a resident (if the visa was granted offshore), or the grant
of their resident visa (if the visa was granted in New Zealand), and they remain in that employment
(or another position of employment that meets the requirements for offers of skilled employment
including requirements for bonus points if the offer of employment qualified for bonus points
under SM8 or SM9), for a period of at least three months; or

ii.

has current skilled employment in New Zealand for less than three months - that they remain in that
employment (or another position of employment that meets the requirements for current skilled
employment including requirements for bonus points if the employment qualified for bonus points
under SM8 or SM9), for a period of at least three months; and

iii.

that they inform the nearest branch of INZ of their residential address and any changes of residential
address while they are subject to those requirements; and

iv.

that they submit evidence to an immigration officer that, within five years of their first entry to New
Zealand as a resident (if the visa was granted offshore), or the grant of their resident visa (if the visa
was granted in New Zealand), the conditions set out above have been met.

In the case of any accompanying partner and dependent child - that the principal applicant comply with the
conditions to which they are subject.

SM4.30.15 Where occupational registration subject only to interview by Medical or Dental Council
Where a resident visa application is approved on the basis that the principal applicant is eligible for occupational
registration under SM19.15(b)(ii) subject only to a satisfactory personal interview with a representative of the Medical or
Dental Council on arrival in New Zealand, the visa holder is subject to the following conditions:
a.

b.

In the case of the principal applicant i.

that, within one month of their first entry to New Zealand as a resident (if the visa was granted
offshore), or the grant of their resident visa (if the visa was granted in New Zealand), the applicant
obtains full or provisional occupational registration in New Zealand; and

ii.

that, within five years of the grant of their first entry to New Zealand as a resident (if the visa was
granted offshore), or the grant of their resident visa (if the visa was granted in New Zealand), the
applicant submits evidence to an immigration officer that requirement (i) above has been met.

In the case of any accompanying partner and dependent child - that the principal applicant comply with the
conditions to which they are subject.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM4.35 Compliance with conditions
When the principal applicant has satisfied an immigration officer that they have met any conditions under section 49(1)
in full, the immigration officer will cancel the conditions on their resident visa and the resident visa of any accompanying
family members.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM4.40 Non-compliance with conditions
If a principal applicant has not satisfied an immigration officer that any of the conditions imposed under section 49(1) of
the Act have been complied with, the resident visa holder and their accompanying partner or dependent child will become
liable for deportation.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM5 English Language Requirements


SM5.1 Aim and intent
a.

Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category are required to meet a minimum standard of English to
enable successful settlement and skilled employment in New Zealand.

b.

Non-principal applicants (partners and dependent children aged 16 and older who are included in Skilled
Migrant Category applications) are required to meet a minimum standard of English or to pre-purchase ESOL
training, to enable successful settlement in New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM5.5 Minimum standard of English language for principal applicants
See previous instructions SM5.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Applications under the Skilled Migrant Category must be declined if the principal applicant has not met the
minimum standard of English.

b.

Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category meet the minimum standard of English if they provide
a Test Report Form (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from the International
English Language Testing System (IELTS), showing they achieved an overall band score of at least 6.5 in the
IELTS General or Academic Module.

c.

Notwithstanding (b) above, an immigration officer may, on a case by case basis, consider the following as
evidence of the principal applicant meeting the minimum standard of English if:
i.

d.

they provide evidence that their recognised qualification(s):

was gained as a result of a course or courses of study in which English was the only medium of instruction;
and

(if that qualification was gained in New Zealand) the qualification had a minimum completion time of at
least two years and is at least a bachelor degree or it is a post-graduate qualification and the applicant has
an undergraduate qualification that qualifies for points; or
ii.

they have current skilled employment in New Zealand for a period of at least 12 months that qualifies
for points (see SM7); or

iii.

they provide other evidence which satisfies an immigration officer that, taking account of that
evidence and all the circumstances of the application, they are a competent user of English. These
circumstances may include but are not limited to:

the country in which the applicant currently resides;

the country(ies) in which the applicant has previously resided;

the duration of residence in each country;

whether the applicant speaks any language other than English;

whether members of the applicant's family speak English;

whether members of the applicant's family speak any language other than English;

the nature of the applicant's current or previous employment (if any) and whether that is or was likely to
require skill in English language;

the nature of the applicant's qualifications (if any) and whether the obtaining of those qualifications was
likely to require skill in the English language.

In any case, an immigration officer may require an applicant to provide an IELTS certificate in terms of
paragraph (b). In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether the principal applicant*
meets the minimum standard of English.

Note: Full consideration must be given to all evidence of English language ability provided before a decision to request an
IELTS certificate under SM5.5 (d) is made. If an IELTS certificate is requested the reason(s) behind the decision must be
clearly documented and conveyed to the applicant.

Effective 25/07/2011
SM5.10 English language requirements for non-principal applicants
a.

Unless SM5.15 applies, partners and dependent children aged 16 and older, who are included in Skilled Migrant
Category applications, must:
i.

show that they meet a minimum standard of English to enable successful settlement in New Zealand;
or

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b.

c.

Residence

ii.

pre-purchase ESOL training; or

iii.

provide other evidence which satisfies a visa or immigration officer that, taking account of that
evidence and all the circumstances of the application, they are a competent user of English (see SM5.5
(c)(iii)).

Non-principal applicants meet the minimum standard of English if:


i.

they provide a Test Report Form (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from
IELTS, showing they achieved an overall band score of at least 5 in the IELTS General or Academic
Module; or

ii.

(if they are the partner of a principal applicant), they have current skilled employment in New Zealand
for a period of at least 12 months that qualifies for points (see SM10); or

iii.

they provide evidence of one of the following:

completion of all primary education and at least 3 years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of
New Zealand Forms 3 to 5 or years 9 to 11) at schools using English as the language of instruction;

completion of at least 5 years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to
7 or years 9 to 13) at schools using English as the language of instruction;

completion of a course of at least 3 years duration leading to the award of a tertiary qualification at
institutions using English as the language of instruction;

that the applicant holds General Certificate of Education (GCE) "A" Levels from Britain or Singapore with a
minimum C pass (the passes must specifically include the subjects English Language or Literature, or Use
of English);

that the applicant holds International Baccalaureate full Diploma in English Medium;

that the applicant holds Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English minimum C pass;

that the applicant holds Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations (HKALE) including a minimum C pass in
Use of English;

that the applicant holds STPM 920 (Malaysia) A or B pass in English Literature;

that the applicant holds University of Cambridge in collaboration with University of Malaya, General
Certificate of English (GCE) "A" levels with a minimum C pass. The passes must specifically include the
subjects English or General Paper;

that the applicant holds South African Matriculation Certificate, including a minimum D pass in English
(Higher Grade);

that the applicant holds South African Senior Certificate, including a minimum D pass in English (Higher
Grade), endorsed with the words 'matriculation exempt';

that the applicant holds a New Zealand Tertiary Entrance Qualification gained on completing the seventh
form.

In any case, an immigration officer may require an applicant to provide an IELTS certificate in terms of
paragraph (b)(i). In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether the applicant meets the
minimum standard of English.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM5.15 English language requirements for partners where...
SM5.15 English language requirements for partners where bonus points are claimed for the partner's skilled
employment or recognised qualifications
A partner's skilled employment in New Zealand (see SM10) or recognised qualifications (see SM17), only qualify for points
if the partner meets the English language requirements for principal applicants (see SM5.5).

Effective 29/11/2010
SM5.20 Pre-purchase of ESOL tuition
See previous instructions:
SM5.20 Effective 07/11/2011
SM5.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Instead of meeting the minimum standard of English, non-principal applicants may pre-purchase ESOL tuition.
ESOL tuition must be pre-purchased from TEC (Tertiary Education Commission) by paying the required charge
to INZ (who collect this charge on behalf of TEC).

b.

Applicants must pay any ESOL charge due, sign the ESOL Agreement and return it to INZ within the time
specified by INZ before a resident visa is granted.

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SM5.20.1 TEC to arrange ESOL tuition


a.

The applicant is entitled to tuition to the value of the ESOL entitlement component of the ESOL tuition charge.
This does not include the INZ and TEC administration costs.

b.

TEC advises the applicant of the list of suitable ESOL tuition providers in New Zealand, from which the applicant
may nominate one of their own choice.

c.

TEC will manage the contract between the ESOL tuition provider and the applicant.

d.

The applicant must advise TEC of their New Zealand address.

SM5.20.5 Applicant's agreement with TEC


a.

Each applicant who pre-purchases ESOL tuition must sign an Agreement with TEC by which they agree, among
other things, that they understand the rules for taking up ESOL tuition in New Zealand and the refund
provisions.

b.

The content of the Agreement is determined by INZ and TEC.

c.

Included with the Agreement is a Schedule that sets out the personal details of the applicant and the amount
of tuition to be purchased.

SM5.20.10 Completion of Agreement


a.

When an application for a resident visa is approved in principle, applicants will be given 2 copies of the
Agreement to complete for each person in the application undertaking the English language training.

b.

After completion of the Agreement, one copy is retained by the applicant, and the other copy is returned to INZ
processing office with the tuition fee(s).

c.

If the Agreement is not signed and returned to INZ within the time specified by INZ, the resident visa
application must be declined.

d.

The INZ copy of the Agreement should be sent to the TEC.

SM5.20.15 The amount of ESOL tuition to be pre-purchased by non-principal applicants


a.

The amount of ESOL tuition to be pre-purchased is determined by the applicant's average IELTS score across
all four bands (as shown in their "Overall Band" score in the IELTS Test Report Form) according to the following
table.
Overall Band score

Charge to be paid

ESOL entitlement

4.5 or more but less than 5

NZ$1,735

NZ$1,531.82

4 or more, but less than 4.5

NZ$3,420

NZ$3,063.64

3.5 or more, but less than 4

NZ$5,110

NZ$4,600.00

Less than 3.5

NZ$6,795

NZ$6,131.82

b.

The charge includes the applicant's ESOL tuition entitlement, as well as the INZ and TEC administration costs.

c.

If an applicant has not submitted IELTS results when requested, the maximum charge of NZ$6,795 applies.

SM5.20.20 Failure to pre-purchase ESOL tuition


Any ESOL tuition charge due must be paid before the grant of a resident visa. If it is not paid to the INZ within the specified
time, the resident visa application must be declined.
SM5.20.25 Limited period to use ESOL tuition
a.

If ESOL tuition is purchased, the applicant must complete the tuition within 5 years from the date of payment.

b.

ESOL tuition will not be available without further payment, nor will refunds be given, to applicants who do not
take up ESOL tuition within the time limits specified in paragraph (a).

SM5.20.27 Extension of period to complete ESOL tuition


Applicants who have pre-purchased ESOL tuition:
a.

in New Zealand on or after 31 March 2005 and prior to 31 March 2008; or

b.

outside New Zealand on or after 31 September 2004 and prior to 31 March 2008

will have up to 5 years from the date of payment to complete the tuition.

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SM5.20.30 Refunds of ESOL tuition money


a.

If ESOL tuition money is paid but the principal applicant and partner and dependent children do not take up
residence, a refund may be granted upon request to INZ. The request must be made in writing.

b.

Requests for refunds must be declined if they are made more than six months after the expiry of the travel
conditions allowing travel to New Zealand.

c.

Immigration officers considering requests for refunds must be satisfied that the principal applicant and partner
and dependent children included in the application:

d.

i.

have not entered New Zealand as residents; and

ii.

do not hold resident visas with current travel conditions.

The person who paid the fee will be refunded only the ESOL entitlement. INZ and TEC administration costs will
not be refunded.

Effective 26/11/2012

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SM6 Summary of points for employability and


capacity building factors
See previous instructions SM6 Effective 29/11/2010
Employability and Capacity Building

Factors

Points

Criteria

Current skilled employment in NZ for 12 months or more

60

SM7

Offer of skilled employment in New Zealand or current skilled


employment in New Zealand for less than 12 months

50

SM7

An identified future growth area

10

SM8

An area of absolute skills shortage

10

SM8

Region outside Auckland

10

SM9

Partner employment or offer of employment

20

SM10

2 years

10

SM11

4 years

15

6 years

20

8 years

25

10 years

30

Skilled employment:

Bonus points for employment or offer of employment in:

Work experience:

Additional bonus points if work experience in New Zealand:

SM12

1 year

2 years

10

3 years or more

15
SM13

Additional bonus points for work experience in an identified future growth


area:
2 to 5 years

10

6 years or more

15

Additional bonus points for work experience in an area of absolute skills


shortage:
2 to 5 years

10

6 years or more

15

Qualifications:
Recognised level 4-6 qualification (e.g. trade qualification, diploma)

40

SM14

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Recognised level 7 or 8 qualification (e.g bachelors degree, bachelors


degree with Honours)

50

Recognised level 9 or 10 post-graduate qualification (Masters degree,


Doctorate)

60

Bonus points for:


2 years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised
bachelor degree (level 7) New Zealand qualification

10

SM15

1 year of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised


post-graduate New Zealand qualification

10

SM15

2 years of full-time study in New Zealand completing a recognised


post-graduate New Zealand qualification

15

SM15

Qualification in an identified future growth area

10

SM16

Qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage

10

SM16

Partner qualifications
recognised level 4-6 qualification

10

SM17

20

SM17

10

SM20

20-29

30

SM18

30-39

25

40-44

20

45-49

10

50-55

recognised level 7 + qualification


Close family support in New Zealand
Age (20 to 55 yrs):

Effective 25/07/2011

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SM7 Skilled employment


SM7.1 Aim and intent
a.

The aim of providing points for skilled employment is:


i.

to facilitate access by New Zealand employers and industry to global skills and knowledge; and

ii.

to recognise that people who have skilled employment in New Zealand are well positioned to meet
New Zealand's needs and opportunities and more quickly achieve positive settlement outcomes.

Note: The aim of providing points for skilled employment is not met by a person undertaking employment in their own
business rather than for a third party. People wishing to obtain residence by establishing and operating their own business
in New Zealand should apply under the Business categories.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM7.5 Points for skilled employment
a.

A principal applicant's current skilled employment in New Zealand for a period of at least twelve months
qualifies for sixty points.

b.

A principal applicant's:
i.

offer of skilled employment in New Zealand; or

ii.

current skilled employment in New Zealand for a period of less than twelve months,

qualifies for fifty points.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM7.10 Skilled Employment
See previous instructions
SM7.10 Effective 07/11/2011
SM7.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

Skilled employment is employment that requires specialist, technical or management expertise obtained
through:
i.

the completion of recognised relevant qualifications; or

ii.

recognised relevant work experience (see SM7.10.15 below); or

iii.

the completion of recognised relevant qualifications and work experience.

Assessment of whether an occupation is skilled for the purposes of the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is
primarily based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) which
associates skill levels with each occupation.

Note: The ANZSCO is available at www.immigration.govt.nz/ANZSCO


SM7.10.1 Assessment of whether employment is skilled
An offer of employment or current employment in New Zealand will be assessed as skilled if it meets the requirements of
(a), (b) or (c) below.
a.

The occupation is included in part A of the List of Skilled Occupations held at Appendix 6 and the principal
applicant can demonstrate that their offer of employment or current employment substantially matches the
description for that occupation (including core tasks) as set out in the ANZSCO and:
i.

the applicant holds a relevant recognised qualification which is at, or above, the qualification level on
the NZQF (see SM14.5) that corresponds to the indicative skill level described for that occupation in
the ANZSCO; or

ii.

the applicant has the relevant recognised work experience that the ANZSCO indicates may substitute
the required qualification; or

iii.

the employment is in an occupation included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List and the applicant
meets the relevant requirements specified in column three of the Long Term Skill Shortage List for
that occupation; or

iv.

the employment is in an occupation that requires New Zealand registration by law to be undertaken
and is included at SM19.5 and the applicant holds evidence of full or provisional registration in that
occupation in New Zealand.

v.

notwithstanding (a) (ii), applicants with Skill Level One Occupations can substitute the required
qualification with five years of relevant work experience.

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b.

c.

d.

Residence

The occupation is included in part B of the List of Skilled Occupations held at Appendix 6 and the principal
applicant can demonstrate that their offer of employment or current employment substantially matches the
description for that occupation (including core tasks) as set out in the ANZSCO and:
i.

the applicant holds a relevant recognised qualification which is at, or above, level four on the NZQF
(see SM14.5) (a qualification at level four on the NZQF must be a National Certificate or a New
Zealand Certificate); or

ii.

has the relevant recognised work experience that the ANZSCO indicates may substitute the required
qualification; or

iii.

the employment is in an occupation included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List and the applicant
meets the relevant requirements specified in column three of the Long Term Skill Shortage List for
that occupation.

The occupation is included in part C of the List of Skilled Occupations held at Appendix 6 and the principal
applicant can demonstrate that their offer of employment or current employment substantially matches the
description for that occupation (including core tasks) as set out in the ANZSCO and has either:
i.

at least three years of relevant recognised work experience and a relevant recognised qualification
which is at, or above, level four on the NZQF (see SM14.5) (a qualification at level four on the NZQF
must be a National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate); or

ii.

at least three years of relevant recognised work experience and that current employment or the
position in which the employment is offered, has an annual base salary of at least NZ$45,000.Note:
For the avoidance of doubt, the annual base salary excludes employment related allowances (for
example overtime, tool or uniform allowances, medical insurance, accommodation) and must be
calculated on the basis of 40 hours' work per week.

Where a principal applicant's offer of employment or current employment in New Zealand does not meet the
requirements of (a), (b), or (c) above they may nevertheless qualify for points for skilled employment if:
i.

their employment in the occupation will enhance the quality of New Zealand's accomplishments and
participation in that occupational area because the principal applicant has an international reputation
and record of excellence in that field; and

ii.

the required expertise for the occupation has been gained through relevant recognised qualifications
or work experience.

SM7.10.3 Occupations awarded points for skilled employment as an exception


A principal applicant's offer of employment or current employment in New Zealand also qualifies for skilled employment
points if:
a.

it is in an occupation included in the list of occupations held at Appendix 7 (Occupations Treated as Exceptions);
and

b.

the principal applicant can demonstrate that their offer of employment or current employment substantially
matches the description for that occupation (including core tasks) as set out in the ANZSCO and has either:
i.

a relevant qualification which is at, or above, the qualification level on the New Zealand Qualification
Framework (see SM14.5) that corresponds to the indicative skill level described for that occupation in
the ANZSCO; or

ii.

the relevant work experience that the ANZSCO indicates may substitute the required qualification.

SM7.10.5 Relevance of qualification(s) to employment


Qualifications are relevant to employment if:
a.

the major subject area of the principal applicant's recognised qualification is directly applicable to the
employment; and/or

b.

an immigration officer is satisfied that the qualification was a key factor in the employer's decision to employ
the principal applicant in that position.

Note: For the purposes of this provision, 'qualifications' must meet the requirements for recognition set out in SM14.5
(except where SM7.10.3 applies) but are not required to be the same qualification(s) that qualifies for points under the
Qualifications part of these instructions (see SM14).
SM7.10.10 Relevance of work experience to employment
Work experience is relevant to employment if the employer considers, and an immigration officer is satisfied that:
a.

the work experience is directly applicable to the employment; and/or

b.

the offer of employment could not reasonably have been made or the employment could not reasonably have
been undertaken if the applicant did not have that work experience.

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SM7.10.15 Recognised work experience


a.

Work experience will be recognised if an immigration officer is satisfied that the principal applicant's work
experience has been lawfully obtained.

b.

Work experience will not be recognised if it was gained while in a country where the principal applicant was
either an unlawful resident or required authority to undertake employment, but did not have such authority.

Effective 14/05/2013
SM7.15 Additional requirements for skilled employment
See previous instructions:
SM7.15 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Skilled employment only qualifies for points if the employment is:


i.

full time (employment is full-time if it amounts to, on average, at least 30 hours per week); and

ii.

genuine; and

iii.

for a position that is paid by salary or wages or in terms of a contract for service (payment by
commission and/or retainer are not acceptable), and

iv.

accompanied by evidence of full or provisional registration, or evidence of eligibility for registration by


the New Zealand Medical or Dental Council subject only to an interview with the relevant registration
authority on arrival, if full or provisional registration is required by law to undertake the employment
(see SM19.20); and

Note: For medical practitioners, registration within a 'special purpose scope of practice' is not full or provisional
registration for the purpose of a resident visa application or a work to residence application.
v.

the employment was not offered as a result of payment made by the applicant (or their agent) to the
employer
(or their agent) in exchange for securing that offer of employment. Such practices are
contrary to the principles
of the Wages Protection Act 1983, as well as to immigration instructions.

Note: To determine whether an offer of employment is skilled, an immigration officer may consider whether the
remuneration offered for the position is comparable to the market rate for New Zealand workers in that occupation.
b.

Employment must be ongoing and sustainable. Ongoing and sustainable employment is:
i.

an offer of employment or current employment, with a single employer, that is permanent or


indefinite, and of which the employer is in a position to meet the terms specified; or

ii.

an offer of employment or current employment with a single employer, for a stated term of at least 12
months; or

iii.

employment on a contract basis where the applicant:

has a consistent history of contract work, and

has a current contract for services, and

INZ is satisfied that such contract work is likely to be sustained.

Note: When assessing whether employment is sustainable, officers may consider, but are not limited to, such
factors as the residence status of the employer, the period for which the employing organisation has been
established as a going concern, and the financial sustainability of the employing organisation.
Where an offer of employment or current employment is for a stated term of at least 12 months, the stated term
must be valid both at the time the application is lodged and when the application is decided, in particular:
~ if the applicant has current employment, he or she must be in that employment, or
~ if the applicant has an offer of employment, the offer must continue to be valid.
c.

For the purposes of SM7.15(b)(ii), INZ must be satisfied that the employer:
i.

has genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that the employment is for a stated
term; and

ii.

has advised the employee of when or how their employment will end and the reasons for their
employment ending; and

iii.

is in a position to meet the terms specified.

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d.

Residence

Genuine reasons for the purposes of SM7.15(c)(i) do not include reasons:


i.

that exclude or limit the rights of a person under employment law; or

ii.

to determine the suitability of a person for permanent or indefinite employment.

Note: In order meet employment law, employment agreements that are for a stated term must specify in writing
the way in which the employment will end and the reasons for ending the employment.
e.

In the case of independent midwife practitioners a letter of authority to claim under the Maternity Notice
pursuant to Section 88 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 as well as evidence of
admission to the New Zealand Register of Midwives will satisfy the requirements of SM7.5(b), SM7.15(a)(i),(ii)
and (iii), SM7.15(b), and can be used to satisfy the requirements of SM4.30.10(a)(i).

Effective 25/08/2014

SM7.20 Requirements for employers


a.

All employers wishing to employ non-New Zealand citizens or residents must comply with all relevant
employment and immigration law in force in New Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment
and immigration law includes, but is not limited to:
i.

paying employees no less than the appropriate minimum wage rate or other contracted industry
standard; and

ii.

meeting holiday and special leave requirements or other minimum statutory criteria, e.g. occupational
safety and health obligations; and

iii.

only employing people who have authority to work in New Zealand.

b.

To qualify for points, skilled employment must be with an employer who has good workplace practices,
including a history of compliance with all immigration and employment laws such as the Immigration Act, the
Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, the Minimum Wage Act, the Health and Safety in
Employment Act, the Employment Relations Act and the Holidays Act.

c.

Current employment or an offer of employment does not qualify for points if it is not compliant with all relevant
immigration and employment laws in force in New Zealand or if INZ considers that the employment of the
applicant creates unacceptable risks to the integrity of New Zealand's immigration or employment laws,
policies or instructions.

Note: To determine whether an offer of employment creates an unacceptable risk to the integrity of New Zealand's
immigration and employment laws, policies or instructions an immigration officer may consider whether the
remuneration offered for the position is comparable to the market rate for New Zealand workers in that occupation.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM8 Bonus points: employment in an identified


future growth area or area of absolute skills
shortage
SM8.1 Aims and intent
The aim of providing bonus points for skilled employment in an identified future growth area or an area of absolute skills
shortage is to recognise that New Zealand's short and longer term economic development can be facilitated by those
migrants with skills that will contribute to New Zealand's economic growth.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM8.5 Points for employment in an identified future growth area or area of absolute skills
shortage
An offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand in an identified future growth area or an
area of absolute skills shortage qualifies for 10 points.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM8.10 Employment in an identified future growth area
a.

As future growth areas are identified they will be listed in this provision. For the purposes of these instructions,
currently identified future growth areas are as follows:
Biotechnology

Information Communications Technology

Creative industries (Advertising, Software & Computing Services, Publishing, TV and Radio, Film and Video,
Architecture, Design, Designer Fashion, Music and Performing Arts, Visual Arts).

b.

Skilled employment in one of the identified future growth areas set out above will only qualify for points if the
principal applicant provides confirmation from their employer, and an immigration officer is satisfied, that their
current employment or offer of employment is in one of those identified future growth areas.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM8.20 Employment in an area of absolute skills shortage
a.

b.

A principal applicant is assessed as having employment in an area of absolute skills shortage if:
i.

they are employed in an occupation included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (refer Appendix 4)
or that was on the Long Term Skill Shortage List at the time their Expression of Interest was selected;
and

ii.

the current employment or offer of employment meets the specifications for that occupation; and

iii.

they are suitably qualified by training and/or experience to undertake the employment or offer of
employment (including any specific requirements set out on the Long Term Skill Shortage List or that
were listed on the date their Expression of Interest was selected).

Skilled employment in an area of absolute skills shortage only qualifies for points if a principal applicant
provides evidence that their employment or offer of employment meets the requirements of (a) above.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM9 Bonus points: employment outside the


Auckland region
SM9.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing bonus points for employment outside the Auckland region is to enhance the ability of other regions
to utilise immigration to support regional economic development.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM9.5 Bonus points for employment outside the Auckland region
See previous instructions SM9.5 Effective 29/11/2010
Current skilled employment or an offer of skilled employment outside the Auckland region qualifies for ten points.

Effective 04/04/2011
SM9.10 Definition: Employment outside the Auckland region
See previous instructions SM9.10 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 s 2
Employment is outside the Auckland region if the principal applicant's entire or principal place of work (as defined in
section 2 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992) is not within the territories covered by the Auckland Council.
Note: The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 defines a 'place of work' as meaning a place (whether or not within
or forming part of a building, structure, or vehicle) where any person is to work, for the time being works, or customarily
works, for gain or reward; and, in relation to an employee, includes a place, or part of a place, (not being domestic
accommodation provided for the employee):
~ Where the employee comes or may come to eat, rest or get first aid or pay; or
~ Where the employee comes or may come as part of the employee's duties to report in or out, get instructions, or deliver
goods or vehicles; or
~ Through which the employee may or must pass to reach a place of work.

Effective 04/04/2011
SM9.15 Evidence
If requested by an immigration officer, principal applicants must provide evidence that their place of work is entirely or
principally outside the Auckland region.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM10 Bonus points: partner's skilled


employment in New Zealand
SM10.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing bonus points for a partner's skilled employment is to recognise such employment as an indicator of
the likely contribution of the whole migrating family.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM10.5 Points for partner's skilled employment in New Zealand
A partner's offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand qualifies for 20 points.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM10.10 Award of points
A partner's offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand only qualifies for points under this
provision if:
a.

the partner's offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment meets the requirements for 'skilled
employment' as set out in SM7; and

b.

the principal applicant's partner is included in the application; and

c.

the partner meets the English language requirements for principal applicants (see SM5.15); and

d.

an immigration officer is satisfied that the principal applicant and their partner have been living together for 12
months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see F2.10.1) and otherwise meets criteria for
Partnership Category (see F2.15).

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM11 Work experience


SM11.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing points for work experience is to recognise the importance of skills and experience gained through
previous employment that:

are readily transferable;

will enable migrants to obtain skilled employment in New Zealand; and

will enhance migrants' ability to contribute to New Zealand economically and socially.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM11.5 Points for recognised work experience
Recognised work experience qualifies for points as set out below:
2 years

10 points

4 years

15 points

6 years

20 points

8 years

25 points

10 years

30 points

Points are calculated on the basis of every two complete years of work experience up to a maximum of ten years.
Example: Three years of recognised work experience qualifies for ten points.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM11.10 Requirements for recognition
Work experience is recognised and qualifies for points if it meets the requirements set out at (a) and (b) below:
a.

b.

An immigration officer must be satisfied that work experience is:


i.

relevant to the principal applicant's current skilled employment in New Zealand or offer of skilled
employment in New Zealand (see SM7); or

ii.

relevant to the principal applicant's recognised qualification (see SM14); or

iii.

skilled, because it required, or enabled the principal applicant to gain specialist, technical or
management skills and experience relevant to an occupation that is included in the lists of occupations
held at Appendix 6 or Appendix 7.

Work experience must also have been gained in a labour market that is comparable to the New Zealand labour
market unless:
i.

the work experience meets the requirements set out at SM13.20 for work experience in an area of
absolute skills shortage; or

ii.

the principal applicant has current skilled employment in New Zealand or an offer of skilled
employment in New Zealand (see SM7).

SM11.10.1 Definition: Comparable labour market


a.

Work experience is assessed as being in a comparable labour market if it was undertaken in one of the following
countries by:
i.

a citizen or permanent resident of that country; or

ii.

a person who had the lawful authority to work in that country.


Australia

Malaysia

Austria

New Zealand

Belgium-Luxembourg

Netherlands

Canada

Norway

Cyprus

Philippines

Denmark

Portugal

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Finland

Republic of South Korea

France

Singapore

Germany

South Africa

Greece

Spain

Iceland

Sweden

Ireland

Switzerland

Israel

United Kingdom

Italy

United States

Japan
b.

Work experience undertaken in a country not listed at (a) above will be assessed as being in a comparable
labour market only if it was undertaken for a multinational commercial entity (including a wholly or majority
owned subsidiary of such an entity that bears the same core name as the parent company) domiciled in one of
the countries listed in (a) above.

SM11.10.5 Relevance of work experience to qualifications


Work experience is relevant to a principal applicant's recognised qualification if an immigration officer is satisfied that the
qualification was:
a.

an important factor in the principal applicant being able to obtain work or continue or advance in the position
or field of work in which they have experience; or

b.

an important factor in a career path that has advanced progressively from the principal applicant's
pre-qualification work experience.

SM11.10.10 Relevance of work experience to an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand


Work experience is relevant to a principal applicant's offer of skilled employment in New Zealand if an employer considers,
and an immigration officer is satisfied that:
a.

the work experience is directly applicable to the employment offered; and/or

b.

the offer of employment could not reasonably have been made if the principal applicant did not have that work
experience.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM11.15 Additional requirements for recognition of work experience
a.

Work experience only qualifies for points if an immigration officer is satisfied that the principal applicant's work
experience is lawfully obtained.

b.

Work experience will not be recognised if it was gained while in a country where the principal applicant was
either an unlawful resident or required authority to undertake employment, but did not have such authority.

SM 11.15.1 Part-time work


a.

Calculation of levels of work experience must be for complete weeks based on a 30-hour week.

b.

Credit is given for 30-hour weeks only, even though a principal applicant has worked more than 30 hours in any
week.

Example: Fifty-two 60-hour weeks are equal to one years work experience.
c.

Credit for part-time work experience may be given on a proportional basis.

Example: Four years work experience for 15 hours per week is equal to 2 years work experience for a 30-hour
week, and therefore qualifies for 10 points.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM11.20 Evidence
Principal applicants must provide evidence and information that satisfies an immigration officer that their work experience
meets the requirements for recognition.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM12 Bonus points: work experience in New


Zealand
SM12.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing bonus points for work experience in New Zealand is to recognise that such experience enhances:

understanding of the New Zealand labour market;

ability to gain skilled employment; and

ability to achieve positive settlement outcomes

Effective 29/11/2010
SM12.5 Points for recognised work experience in New Zealand
Recognised work experience in New Zealand qualifies for points as follows:
1 year

5 points

2 years

10 points

3 years or more

15 points

Note: The requirements for recognised work experience are set out in SM11.10 and SM11.15.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM13 Bonus points: work experience in an


identified future growth area or an area of
absolute skills shortage
SM13.1 Aim and intent
The intent of providing bonus points for work experience in an identified future growth area or an area of absolute skills
shortage is to ensure that those skilled migrants who can contribute significantly to the identified growth areas in New
Zealand are given some recognition for that potential specific contribution.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM13.5 Points for recognised work experience in an identified future growth area or area of
absolute skills shortage
Recognised work experience in an identified future growth area or an area of absolute skills shortage qualifies for points
as follows:
2-5 years

10 points

6 years or more

15 points

Note: To qualify for bonus points, work experience must meet the requirements as set out at SM11.10.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM13.10 Work experience in an identified future growth area
Recognised work experience in an identified future growth area qualifies for points if:
a.

the principal applicant has points for current skilled employment or an offer of skilled employment in an
identified future growth area (see SM8.10); and

b.

the experience is relevant to that employment (see SM7.10.10).

SM13.10.1 Evidence
Recognised work experience in an identified future growth area only qualifies for bonus points if the principal applicant
provides evidence that satisfies an immigration officer that their work experience meets the requirements of SM13.10
above.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM13.20 Work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage
See previous instructions SM13.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

Recognised work experience is assessed as being in an area of absolute skills shortage if:
i.

it was undertaken in an occupation included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (refer Appendix 4)
or that was on the Long Term Skill Shortage List at the time the principal applicants Expression of
Interest was selected; and

ii.

it meets the specifications for that occupation; and

iii.

the principal applicant is suitably qualified by training and/or experience to undertake that work
(including any specific requirements set out in column 3 of the Long Term Skill Shortage List or that
were listed on the date their Expression of Interest was selected).

Where the Long Term Skill Shortage List specifies that occupational registration is required for a listed
occupation, the principal applicant must demonstrate that they:
i.

held occupational registration while undertaking the work experience, if occupational registration was
required in the country in which the work occurred; and

ii.

hold current full or provisional New Zealand occupational registration, or meets the requirements
of SM19.15.b.ii if registration is required from the New Zealand Medical or Dental Council.

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SM13.20.1 Evidence
Recognised work experience in an area of absolute skills shortage only qualifies for points if the principal applicant
provides evidence that satisfies an immigration officer that their work experience meets the requirements of SM13.20
above.

Effective: 07/11/2011

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SM14 Recognised qualifications


SM14.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing points for qualifications is to recognise the importance of qualifications as an indicator of ability to
obtain skilled employment in New Zealand and to increase New Zealand's capability.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM14.5 Recognition of qualifications
See previous instructions SM14.5 Effective 29/11/2010
Subject to SM14.10.5 and SM14.10.10, a recognised qualification is a qualification that an immigration officer is satisfied
occupies a level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) which qualifies it for points by reference to:
a.

the level that the qualification(s) occupies on the NZQF as assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications
Authority (NZQA); or

b.

the level that the qualification(s) occupies on the NZQF as set out in the List of Qualifications Recognised as an
Exception (see Appendix 8); or

c.

the level that the qualification(s) occupies on the NZQF as set out in the List of Qualifications Exempt from
Assessment (see Appendix 3); or

d.

the level that the qualification(s) occupies on the NZQF having regard to the full or provisional registration of
the principal applicant by a New Zealand organisation authorised by law to give occupational registration, if
that registration involves an assessment that the principal applicant's overseas qualification(s) is comparable
with a New Zealand qualification that is included in the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment.

Note:
~ For medical practitioners, registration within a 'special purpose scope of practice' is not full or provisional registration
for the purpose of a resident visa application or a work to residence application.
~ For teachers, 'provisional' registration includes both 'provisional' and 'subject to confirmation' registration.
~ The NZQF is available at www.nzqf.govt.nz.

Effective 04/04/2011
SM14.10 Points for recognised qualifications
See previous instructions:
SM14.10 Effective 25/07/2011
SM14.10 Effective 04/04/2011
SM14.10 Effective 29/11/2010
Qualifications are recognised and qualify for points as follows:
a.

Qualifications assessed as occupying levels nine and ten on the NZQF qualify for 60 points.

b.

Qualifications assessed as occupying levels seven, or eight on the NZQF qualify for 50 points.

c.

Qualifications assessed as occupying level five or six on the NZQF qualify for 40 points.

d.

Qualifications assessed as occupying level four on the NZQF qualify for 40 points by inclusion in the List of
Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (see Appendix 3) if they meet the requirements specified in that list.

e.

Qualifications assessed as occupying level four on the NZQF qualify for 40 points if they are assessed by the
NZQA and are:
i.

relevant to an occupation listed at part B or part C of the List of Skilled Occupations (see Appendix 6);
and

ii.

not included on the list of Excluded Qualifications (see SM14.10.5).

f.

Qualifications assessed as occupying level three on the NZQF that are included on the List of Qualifications
Recognised as an Exception (see SM14.10.10), and meet the requirements specified in that list, qualify for 40
points.

g.

Points are provided for:


i.

one qualification only; or

ii.

two or more qualifications assessed in combination.

Note: Points for recognised qualifications are not cumulative. A principal applicant may qualify for only 40, 50, or 60
points. For example, if an applicant has two level nine qualifications on the NZQF they may still only qualify for 60 points.
Note: A qualification will not be recognised if gained while in a country where the principal applicant was either an
unlawful resident or required authority to study, but did not have such authority.

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SM14.10.1 New Zealand qualifications


Despite SM14.10, SM14.10.5 and SM14.10.10, a New Zealand qualification at levels three, four, five or six on the NZQF
qualifies for 50 points if:
a.

it would have met the requirements for the award of points under the Skilled Migrant Category that was in
effect on 24 July 2011; and

b.

the principal applicant completed the qualification before 25 July 2011 or the principal applicant had
commenced a course of study, resulting in the qualification for which they are claiming points, on 24 July 2011.

SM14.10.5 Excluded qualifications


The qualifications listed below are excluded from recognition under the Skilled Migrant Category and do not qualify for
points. This list may be amended by the deletion or addition of qualifications from time to time, as approved by the
Minister of Immigration.

Level four qualifications that are not a National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate (or compared to a
National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate by the NZQA).

Any English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualification.

Note: Immigration officers must ensure that the qualification is a National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate (Level
4) or comparable to a National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate (Level 4) and may refer to the following for
confirmation:
~ the www.nzqf.govt.nz website,
~ written confirmation provided by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to the Tertiary Education Provider
confirming the qualification is a National Certificate,
~ a NZQA International Qualification Assessment (IQA); or
~ a NZQA Qualifications Assessment Report (QAR).
SM14.10.10 Qualifications recognised as an exception
a.

The qualifications included in the list held at Appendix 8 are recognised for the award of points as an exception
under the Skilled Migrant Category.

b.

Qualifications in this list, awarded by an institution included in this list, do not require assessment by the New
Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Effective: 07/11/2011
SM14.20 Evidence
See previous instructions SM14.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category must submit their qualifications and provide a NZQA
assessment (Pre Assessment Result (PAR), International Qualification Assessment (IQA) or Qualifications
Assessment Report (QAR) (see SM14.35)) unless:
i.

their qualification(s) is included in the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment; or

ii.

their qualification(s) is included in the List of Qualifications Recognised as an Exception; or

iii.

they have been awarded full or provisional registration by a New Zealand organisation authorised by
law to give occupational registration, and registration involves an assessment that their overseas
qualification(s) is comparable with a New Zealand qualification that is included in the List of
Qualifications Exempt from Assessment.

Note: From 27 June 2008 the Qualifications Assessment Report (QAR) has been renamed 'International
Qualification Assessment' (IQA). Both IQAs and QARs are acceptable as evidence to determine whether a
qualification will qualify for points.
b.

If an NZQA assessment is required for an overseas qualification, a PAR is suitable for lodgement of an
application under the Skilled Migrant Category, but a QAR or IQA will be required to determine whether a
qualification (or group of qualifications) will qualify for points.

c.

Applicants with New Zealand qualifications should provide evidence of the level of that qualification by
submitting a 'Qualification Overview' report with their qualification. This report can be obtained from the New
Zealand Qualifications Authority website (www.nzqf.govt.nz).

d.

In the case of a New Zealand qualification that is not included on the NZQF, a letter from the NZQA will be
required to determine whether the qualification will qualify for points.

e.

In order for a qualification to qualify for points on the basis of full or provisional registration, the certificate of
registration, or evidence of eligibility for registration subject only to an interview with a representative of the
New Zealand Medical or Dental Council on arrival must also be provided (see SM19.15).

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Note: For medical practitioners, registration within a 'special purpose scope of practice' is not full or provisional
registration for the purpose of a resident visa application or a work to residence class application.
f.

If a principal applicant is claiming points for a qualification on the basis of their occupational registration, the
qualification(s) qualifies for the points identified for the comparable New Zealand qualification in the List of
Qualifications Exempt from Assessment.

g.

Despite the fact that the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment or the List of Qualifications Recognised
as an Exception provides that a specified qualification qualifies for certain points, an applicant or an
immigration officer (by requesting the applicant to do so) may seek a IQA or QAR of any particular qualification.
Where this occurs, the most recent NZQA assessment will prevail.

Effective 07/11/2011
SM14.30 NZQA involvement in the assessment of qualifications
a.

If a NZQA assessment of qualification(s) is sought, the NZQA determines the level that the qualification(s)
occupy on the NZQF, however, the points for which a particular qualification or group of qualifications qualifies
is determined by INZ alone.

b.

Despite the fact that the NZQA may undertake its own verification of qualifications that are submitted to it for
assessment, INZ alone determines whether an applicant genuinely holds the qualification(s) which may qualify
for points.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM14.35 NZQA Pre-Assessment Results (PARs),...
SM14.35 NZQA Pre-Assessment Results (PARs), International Qualification Assessments (IQAs) and
Qualifications Assessment Reports (QARs)
a.

The NZQA will provide Pre-Assessment Results (PARs), and International Qualification Assessments (IQAs)
(formerly a Qualifications Assessment Report (QAR)).

b.

A Pre-Assessment Result is a report that compares an applicant's nominated qualification to a Level on the New
Zealand Qualifications Framework. It is made on the understanding that:

c.

i.

a pre-assessment result is based solely on unverified information provided by the applicant on the
application form; and

ii.

no documentation is sighted; and

iii.

only one overseas qualification is compared; and

iv.

when an application for a resident visa is made, a full assessment (a IQA or QAR) will be required to
determine whether a qualification (or group of qualifications) will qualify for points.

An International Qualification Assessment (IQA) (formerly a Qualifications Assessment Report (QAR)).


i.

assesses an overseas qualification (or group of qualifications) by stating the learning outcomes of the
closest New Zealand equivalent qualification; and

ii.

states the New Zealand Qualifications Framework of New Zealand Quality Assured Qualifications level
of that equivalent qualifications; and

iii.

refers to any verification of the applicant's qualifications undertaken by the NZQA.

Note: From 27 June 2008 the Qualifications Assessment Report (QAR) has been renamed 'International
Qualification Assessment' (IQA). Both IQAs and QARs are acceptable as evidence to determine whether a
qualification will qualify for points.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM15 Bonus points: New Zealand qualifications


SM15.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing bonus points for time spent studying in New Zealand towards a recognised qualification and for
obtaining recognised New Zealand qualifications is to acknowledge:

that time spent studying in New Zealand and completing recognised qualifications in New Zealand enhances
settlement outcomes; and

that recognised qualifications gained in New Zealand will be recognised by, and are relevant to the needs of,
New Zealand employers.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM15.5 Bonus points for New Zealand qualifications
See previous instructions:
SM15.5 Effective 26/03/2012
SM15.5 Effective 07/11/2011
SM15.5 Effective 25/07/2011
SM15.5 Effective 07/02/2011
SM15.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

A recognised New Zealand bachelor degree (level seven on the NZQF) (see SM14.5) requiring a minimum of
two years of full-time study in New Zealand qualifies for 10 points, providing the full-time study was over four
semesters during a period of at least 16 months.

b.

A recognised post-graduate New Zealand qualification requiring a minimum of one year of full-time study in
New Zealand (levels eight, nine, or 10 on the NZQF) (see SM14.5) qualifies for 10 points.

c.

A recognised post-graduate New Zealand qualification requiring a minimum of two years of full-time study in
New Zealand (level nine or ten on the NZQF) (see SM14.5) qualifies for 15 points.

d.

Qualifications gained with New Zealand Aid Programme funding will not qualify for bonus points.

e.

If (a), (b), and (c) above do not apply, the principal applicant may be eligible for New Zealand qualification
bonus points under SM15.5.1 if they:
i.

gained the qualification before 25 July 2011; or

ii.

had commenced a programme of study towards a recognised New Zealand qualification on 24 July
2011.

SM15.5.1 Bonus points for New Zealand qualifications commenced in or completed before 25 July 2011
a.

Two years of full-time study in New Zealand towards a recognised New Zealand qualification qualifies for five
points, providing the full-time study was over four semesters during a period of at least 16 months.

b.

A recognised basic New Zealand qualification from level four up to and including level eight on the NZQF
qualifies for five points.

SM15.5.5 Definition of 'full-time study' for the purpose of the Skilled Migrant Category
Study undertaken in New Zealand is defined as full-time where:
a.

an undergraduate student at a tertiary education institution was enrolled in at least three papers per semester;
or

b.

a post-graduate student at a tertiary education institution was enrolled in either a programme of study:

c.

i.

that resulted in at least 100 credits per calendar year; or

ii.

with a workload of at least 20 hours per week; or

a student at a private training establishment was enrolled in:


i.

a programme of study that requires attendance for a minimum of 20 hours per week; or

ii.

at least three papers, or equivalent, per semester if the programme of study is at Level 7 or above on
the New Zealand Qualification Framework.

Effective 02/12/2013

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SM16 Bonus points: qualifications in an


identified future growth area or an area of
absolute skills shortage
SM16.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing bonus points for qualifications in an identified future growth area or an area of absolute skills
shortage is to recognise that New Zealand's short and longer term economic development can be facilitated by those with
skills in demand in New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM16.5 Bonus points for recognised qualification
See previous instructions:
SM16.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Recognised qualifications in an identified future growth area or an area of absolute skills shortage as specified
in the Long Term Skill Shortage List (see Appendix 4) qualify for 10 points.

b.

Where the Long Term Skill Shortage List specifies criteria for bonus points other than a qualification (e.g.
registration or number of years of work experience), the principal applicant must satisfy those criteria in order
to qualify for the bonus points.

Effective 24/03/2014
SM16.10 Qualifications in an identified future growth area
A recognised qualification(s) in an identified future growth area will only qualify for points if:
a.

the principal applicant has points for current skilled employment or an offer of skilled employment in an
identified future growth area (see SM8.10); and

b.

the qualification is relevant to that employment (see SM16.10.1).

SM16.10.1 Relevance of qualification(s) to skilled employment in an identified future growth area


A recognised qualification is relevant to skilled employment in an area of identified future growth if an immigration officer
is satisfied that:
a.

the major subject area of the recognised qualification is directly applicable to skilled employment in an
identified future growth area that qualifies for points (see SM8.10); and

b.

the skilled employment is in an occupation for which that qualification is a core requirement.

SM16.10.5 Evidence
Recognised qualifications in an identified future growth area only qualify for points if the principal applicant provides
evidence that satisfies an immigration officer that the qualification(s) meets the requirements of SM16.10 and SM16.10.1
above.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM16.20 Qualifications in an area of absolute skills shortage
a.

If a principal applicant does not have skilled employment in New Zealand in an area of absolute skills shortage
(see SM8.20), they will be assessed as being qualified in an area of absolute skills shortage if they meet the
specifications in Column 4 of the Long Term Skill Shortage List (see Appendix 4) or that was listed on the date
their Expression of Interest was selected.

b.

If a principal applicant does have skilled employment in New Zealand in an area of absolute skills shortage (see
SM8.20) their recognised qualification will be assessed as being in an area of absolute skills shortage if the
specialist, technical or managerial expertise required for that employment was obtained through the
completion of that qualification.

c.

Recognised qualifications in an area of absolute skills shortage only qualify for points if any occupational
registration requirements relating to those qualifications are met (see SM19.15).

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SM16.20.1 Evidence
If (b) above applies, recognised qualifications in an area of absolute skills shortage will only qualify for points if the
principal applicant provides evidence that they obtained the specialist, technical or managerial expertise required for their
employment in an area of absolute skills shortage through completion of the recognised qualification.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM16.25 Removal of an occupation from the Long Term Skill Shortage List
If an occupation is removed from the Long Term Skill Shortage List, Expressions of Interest that have been selected
before the removal, which include points for meeting the requirements under SM16.20, will be assessed in the subsequent
SMC application for a resident visa as if the occupation was not removed.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM17 Bonus points: partner's recognised


qualifications
SM17.1 Aim and intent
See previous instructions SM17.1 Effective 29/11/2011
The aim of providing bonus points for a partner's recognised qualification(s) is to recognise such qualifications as an
indicator of the likely contribution of the whole migrating family.

Effective 25/07/2011
SM17.5 Bonus points for a partner's recognised qualifications
See previous instructions:
SM17.5 Effective 30/07/2011
SM17.5 Effective 25/07/2011
a.

Recognised qualifications (see SM14.5) held by the partner of a principal applicant qualify for the following
points:
Level on the New Zealand Qualification Framework

Points

three must be on the List of Qualifications Recognised as an


Exception (SM14.10.10)

10

four - must be recognised in SM14.10 (d) or (e)


five, or six
seven to 10
b.

c.

20

A partner's recognised qualification only qualifies for points under this provision if:
i.

the partner is included in the application; and

ii.

the partner meets the English language requirements for principal applicants (see SM5.5); and

iii.

an immigration officer is satisfied that the principal applicant and their partner have been living
together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see F2.10.1) and
otherwise meets Partnership instructions (see F2.15).

Despite (a), if a partner of a principal applicant holds a recognised New Zealand qualification at levels three,
four, five, and six on the NZQF, they will be eligible for 20 points if:
i.

the qualification would have met the requirements for the award of points under the Skilled Migrant
Category that was in effect on 24 July 2011; and

ii.

the qualification was completed before 25 July 2011 or they had commenced a course of study,
resulting in the qualification for which they are claiming points, on 24 July 2011.

Effective 07/11/2011

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SM18 Age
SM18.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing points for age is to recognise the ability of younger people to make a long term contribution to New
Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM18.5 Points
a.

b.

A principal applicant's age qualifies for points as follows:


Age

Points

20-29

30

30-39

25

40-44

20

45-49

10

50-55

Principal applicants aged 56 and over must be declined under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM18.10 Evidence
Evidence of age may include but is not limited to original or certified copies of:

a birth certificate

a passport or other travel document

an identity card (from countries which require an identity card and where birth details must be confirmed
before one is issued).

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM19 Requirements for occupational


registration
SM19.1 Aim and intent
The aim of requiring occupational registration is to ensure that applicants seeking employment in New Zealand in
occupations for which registration is required by law have the ability to undertake that employment.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM19.5 Occupations requiring registration
See previous instructions SM19.5 Effective 29/11/2010
In New Zealand registration is required by law in order to undertake employment as one of the following:
Architect

Immigration adviser

Barrister

Line mechanic

Barrister and solicitor

Medical laboratory scientist/technologist

Cable jointer

Medical laboratory technician

Chiropractor

Medical practitioner

Clinical dental technician

Medical radiation technologist

Clinical dental therapist

Nurses and midwives

Dental hygienist

Occupational therapist

Dental technician

Optometrist

Dental therapist

Osteopath

Dentist

Pharmacist

Dietitian

Physiotherapist

Dispensing optician

Plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer

Electrician

Podiatrist

Electrical appliance serviceperson

Psychologist

Electrical engineer

Real estate agent

Electrical inspector

Cadastral (land title) surveyor

Electrical installer

Teacher

Electrical service technician

Veterinarian

Financial adviser
Note: Electrician - where a current 'Employer License' is held, an electrician working for that employer does not require
individual occupational registration

Effective: 02/12/2013
SM19.10 Effect of occupational registration on eligibility for points
The requirement for occupational registration to undertake the occupations listed above in New Zealand can affect
eligibility for points for qualifications and offers of employment.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM19.15 Effect on points for qualifications
a.

This section applies to principal applicants whose recognised qualification is required for employment in one of
the occupations listed in SM19.5.

b.

Such qualifications only qualify for points if the principal applicant:


i.

holds evidence of full or provisional registration in that occupation in New Zealand, if full or provisional
registration is required by New Zealand law to undertake that employment; or

ii.

has an offer of skilled employment (see SM7) in that occupation and holds evidence from the New
Zealand Medical or Dental Council that they are eligible for full or provisional registration subject only
to attending a personal interview with a Council representative within one month of their arrival in
New Zealand; or

Note: For medical practitioners, registration within a 'special purpose scope of practice' is not full or provisional
registration for the purpose of a residence class visa application or a work to residence application.

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iii.

has current skilled employment or an offer of skilled employment (see SM7) in an occupation that
does not require registration; or

iv.

has post-qualification work experience in an occupation for which registration is not required in New
Zealand, and were employed in that occupation for the same or a greater period of time than in an
occupation for which registration is required by law in New Zealand.

Note: For teachers, 'provisional' registration includes both 'provisional' and 'subject to confirmation' registration.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM19.20 Effect on points for skilled employment
If a principal applicant's qualifications are affected by registration requirements, the principal applicant's current skilled
employment or offer of skilled employment in New Zealand will only qualify for points if the principal applicant:
a.

holds evidence of full or provisional registration in that occupation in New Zealand, if registration is required by
New Zealand law to undertake that employment; or

b.

has an offer of skilled employment (see SM7) in that occupation and holds evidence from the New Zealand
Medical or Dental Council that they are eligible for full or provisional registration subject only to attending a
personal interview with a Council representative in New Zealand; or

Note: For medical practitioners, registration within a 'special purpose scope of practice' is not full or provisional
registration for the purpose of a residence class visa application or a work to residence application.
c.

has current skilled employment, or an offer of skilled employment (see SM7), in New Zealand in an occupation
that does not require registration.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM20 Bonus points: close family in New Zealand


SM20.1 Aim and intent
The aim of providing bonus points for close family in New Zealand is to recognise that the presence of close family
enhances prospects for employability and settlement.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM20.5 Close family in New Zealand
a.

b.

A principal applicant qualifies for 10 points for a close family member in New Zealand if that close family
member:
i.

is the adult sibling or adult child, or parent, of a principal applicant, or of the principal applicant's
partner included in the application; and

ii.

is in New Zealand; and

iii.

is a New Zealand or Australian citizen or the holder, or is considered to be the holder, of a residence
class visa that is not subject to conditions under sections 49 or 50 of the Immigration Act 2009.

In all cases, an immigration officer must be satisfied that New Zealand is the primary place of established
residence of the close family member at the time the application under the Skilled Migrant Category is made.

Note: A principal applicant will only qualify for points for a close family member of their partner included in their
application, if an immigration officer is satisfied that the principal applicant and their partner have been living
together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see F2.10.1) and otherwise meets
Partnership instructions (see F2.15).

Effective 29/11/2010
SM20.10 Definition of 'adult sibling' and 'adult child'
a.

For the purposes of these instructions, 'adult sibling' and 'adult child' mean a sibling or child aged 18 years or
older.

b.

Siblings and children aged 18 to 24 must only be considered 'adult siblings' or 'adult children' if they can satisfy
an immigration officer that they are not dependent. (See F5.1(a))

Effective 29/11/2010
SM20.15 Evidence of relationship to close family member
To obtain points for having a close family member in New Zealand, a principal applicant must provide:
a.

birth certificates, which establish the relationship of the close family member in New Zealand to the principal
applicant or their partner included in the application; or

b.

evidence of adoption (see R3) which establishes the relationship of the close family member in New Zealand to
the principal applicant or their partner included in the application.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM20.20 Evidence that New Zealand is the primary place of established residence
Where required by an immigration officer, applicants must provide evidence that New Zealand is the close family
member's primary place of established residence. Evidence may include but is not limited to an original or certified copy
of one of the following:

correspondence addressed to the close family member

employment records

records of benefit payments from the Ministry of Social Development

banking records

rates demands

Inland Revenue Department records

mortgage documents

tenancy and utility supply agreements

documents showing that the close family member's household effects have been moved to New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010

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SM21 Settlement and Contribution


Requirements
SM21.1 Aim and intent
a.

To be granted residence under the Skilled Migrant Category, applicants must demonstrate that they have the
ability to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand.

b.

The aim of assessing ability to settle and contribute is to ensure that the Skilled Migrant Category maximises
the contribution that migrants make to New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
SM21.5 Assessment of ability to settle and contribute
See previous instructions SM21.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants who:


i.

qualify for 50 points for an offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand
for less than 12 months; or

ii.

qualify for 60 points for current skilled employment in New Zealand for twelve months or more; or

iii.

have undertaken full time study for at least two years in New Zealand that has resulted in the award
of a Doctorate or Masters degree

have demonstrated the ability to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand.
b.

Principal applicants who do not have points for any of these factors will be further assessed to determine
whether they can otherwise demonstrate an ability to successfully settle and contribute or can realise their
potential to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand.

Effective 25/07/2011
SM21.10 Assessment of whether a principal applicant can realise their potential to successfully
settle and contribute
See previous instructions:
SM21.10 Effective 25/07/2011
SM21.10 Effective 04/04/2011
SM21.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

c.

Assessment of whether a principal applicant can otherwise demonstrate an ability or can realise their potential
to settle in and contribute to New Zealand will be based on:
i.

information obtained during a structured interview with the principal applicant and if required, other
family members included in the application; and

ii.

all other information contained in the application for a resident visa; and

iii.

any further verification of the application (including information provided at interview).

That assessment will include consideration of the following factors:


i.

skilled employment prospects;

ii.

familiarity with New Zealand and preparedness for settlement of the principal applicant and, where
relevant, the partner and dependent children included in the application; and

iii.

linkages and support in New Zealand, through networks and family

Skilled employment prospects are the primary consideration for the Immigration Officer when determining
whether to grant residence, a SMC job search visa, or decline the application as set out in (d), (g), and (h)
below.

Note: Principal applicants who do not intend to take up full-time employment may not be considered to have good
employment prospects (e.g. those who intend to undertake full-time study).
If the principal applicant is in New Zealand and holds, or in the last 24 months, has held a work visa granted under
the WD Study to work instructions then they are not eligible for a work visa under the SMC Job Search Instructions
(WR5 (b)).
d.

If an immigration officer assesses that a principal applicant has not demonstrated the ability to successfully
settle and contribute but can realise their potential to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand the

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principal applicant will be eligible for the grant of a SMC job search work visa (subject to the requirements of
WR5 being met) to enable them to realise their potential by obtaining an offer of skilled employment (see SM7)
in New Zealand.
e.

Principal applicants who are in New Zealand and are granted SMC job search work visas under these
instructions will have the decision on their SMC application deferred for a period of nine months.

f.

Principal applicants who are not in New Zealand and are granted SMC job search work visas under these
instructions will have the decision on their SMC application deferred for a period of 12 months to enable travel
to New Zealand and a stay in New Zealand of nine months (refer to WR5.5).

g.

Where, following the further assessment, a principal applicant, despite not meeting the requirements of
SM21.5(a), is assessed as having a high potential to readily obtain skilled employment in New Zealand, they
will be assessed as having demonstrated the ability to successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand.
Where this occurs, subject to meeting other relevant requirements, the principal applicant and their family
members included in the application, may be granted resident visas.

h.

If an immigration officer determines, as a result of the further assessment, that a principal applicant does not
have a high potential to readily obtain skilled employment in New Zealand they will be assessed as not having
demonstrated that they can realise their potential to settle in and contribute to New Zealand. Where this
occurs, their application for a resident visa in New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant Category will be declined.

i.

If (d) above applies, but a SMC job search work visa is not granted, the application for a resident visa will be
declined.

Effective 26/03/2012
SM21.15 Grant of a resident visa following deferral
See previous instructions:
SM12.15 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

Where an immigration officer is satisfied that a principal applicant has obtained an offer of skilled employment
in New Zealand, during the deferral period, the principal applicant will be assessed as having demonstrated an
ability to settle in and contribute to New Zealand and will have their application for a resident visa under the
Skilled Migrant Category approved; and
i.

a resident visa subject to the conditions set out at SM4.30, will be granted if the principal applicant has
been working in that skilled employment for less than three months; or

ii.

a resident visa not subject to conditions will be granted if the principal applicant has been working in
their skilled employment for three months or more.

If, on the expiry of the deferral period (see SM21.10(c)), a principal applicant has not provided evidence that
satisfies an immigration officer that they have obtained an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand, the
principal applicant will be assessed as not having demonstrated that they can realise their potential to
successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand and the application for a resident visa under the Skilled
Migrant Category will be declined.

Effective 25/08/2014

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After the grant of a resident visa


IN THIS SECTION
RV1 Generic provisions for applications made after the grant of a resident
visa ............................................................................. 47-1
RV2 Resident visa holders applying for a permanent resident visa . 48-1
RV3 Variation of travel conditions on resident visas ..................... 49-1
RV4 Grant of a second or subsequent resident visa ..................... 50-1

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RV1 Generic provisions for applications made


after the grant of a resident visa
RV1.1 Objectives
The objectives of this chapter are:
a.

to protect the interests of New Zealand citizens and other people living permanently in New Zealand; and

b.

to encourage those granted a resident visa to show a commitment to New Zealand; and

c.

to assist the government in border control.

Effective 29/11/2010
RV1.5 Overview
See previous instructions RV1.5 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 63(2), 73
a.

A residence class visa holder in New Zealand is entitled to stay in New Zealand indefinitely (RA1.1), however a
resident visa holder who leaves New Zealand may only travel to and be granted entry permission as a resident
if the conditions of his or her visa allow (these are referred to as travel conditions).

b.

A resident visa expires if:

c.

d.

i.

the holder leaves New Zealand and the visa has no valid travel conditions; or

ii.

the travel conditions expire while the visa holder is outside New Zealand.

This chapter sets out:


i.

the manner in which a resident visa holder may apply for a permanent resident visa (RV2);

ii.

the manner in which resident visa holders may apply to vary the travel conditions endorsed on their
resident visas (RV3);

iii.

the manner in which a second or subsequent resident visa can be applied for by a former resident visa
holder whose resident visa has expired as set out in (b) above (RV4).

A resident visa holder or former resident visa holder must have been in New Zealand as a resident (R5.66.5(b))
to be granted a residence class visa or a variation of travel conditions under these instructions.

RV1.5.1 Visas and permits issued or granted under the Immigration Act 1987
See also Immigration Act 2009 s 415, Schedule 5
a.

Where the instructions in this chapter refer to holders of a resident visa, this also includes holders of residence
visas and residence permits issued or granted under the Immigration Act 1987.

b.

Where the instructions in this chapter refer to an applicants time spent in New Zealand as a resident, this is
also considered to include time spent in New Zealand as a holder of a residence permit or exempt from the need
to hold a residence permit under the Immigration Act 1987.

c.

Where the instructions in this chapter refer to conditions imposed under section 49(1) or 50 of the Immigration
Act 2009, this is considered to include requirements imposed under section 18A of the Immigration Act 1987.

Effective 07/11/2011
RV1.10 Lodging an application
See previous instructions RV1.10 Effective 29/11/2010
RV1.10.1 Where to lodge an application
Applications under this chapter may be lodged at an INZ office, or an authorised New Zealand Visa Application Centre and
certain MFAT posts. Receiving Offices can be found on the INZ website.
RV1.10.5 How an application must be lodged
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, reg 5
a.

Applications must be lodged in the prescribed manner.

b.

The prescribed manner is the manner that meets the mandatory requirements set out in the Immigration (Visa,
Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010.

c.

Applications that are not lodged in the prescribed manner will not be considered to be made.

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Residence

While under no obligation to do so, INZ may, at its discretion, hold applications that are not lodged in the
prescribed manner for a period of time until any outstanding requirements are met (see R2.50).

RV1.10.10 Mandatory requirements for lodging an application for a variation of travel conditions,
permanent resident visa or second or subsequent resident visa
See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010, reg 6
An application for a variation of travel conditions, a permanent residence visa or a second or subsequent resident visa
made outside of an immigration control area must be:
a.

made an approved form; and

b.

completed in English; and

c.

signed by the applicant (unless the applicant is less than 18 years old, in which case it must be signed by a
parent or guardian of the applicant); and

d.

given to an immigration officer, together with:

e.

i.

evidence of the applicants current or previous resident visa or visas; and

ii.

the applicant's passport or certificate of identity, or if that is unavailable, his or her original full birth
certificate (or certified copy) or other identity document (or certified copy); and

iii.

two passport sized photos of the applicants head and shoulders; and

iv.

the information and evidence required by the relevant immigration instructions to demonstrate that
the applicant fits the category or categories of under which the application is being made; and

v.

any other information, evidence, or submissions that the applicant considers shows that he or she is
eligible to be granted a new residence class visa or variation of travel conditions in terms of the
immigration instructions; and

vi.

the appropriate fee (if any).

Before determining the application, an immigration officer may require the applicant to produce any
photographs, documents and information that the officer thinks necessary or require the applicant to be
interviewed by an immigration officer, to help in determining whether the applicant meets the requirements to
be granted a variation of travel conditions or a new residence class visa.

Note: The passports of all persons included in the application must be submitted with the application.

Effective 02/12/2013
RV1.15 Evidence
See previous instructions RV1.15 Effective 29/11/2010
RV1.15.1 Evidence that the applicant is deemed to hold, or to have held, a resident visa
Evidence that the applicant is deemed to hold or have held a resident visa is:
a.

a resident visa in a current or expired passport or certificate identity; or

b.

a residence permit granted under the Immigration Act 1987 in a current or expired passport or certificate of
identity; or

c.

INZ records of a resident visa or residence permit; or

d.

in the case of a person who arrived in New Zealand lawfully to take a permanent residence at any time before
2 April 1974, other than under a permit granted under the Immigration Act 1964 or any corresponding earlier
Act, a stamp or a label in a passport or certificate of identity showing a date of arrival in New Zealand prior to
2 April 1974, and documents showing continued residence since 2 April 1974, which may include but are not
limited to:
rates demands

driver's licences

receipted power bills

income tax returns

school records

employment references

any other evidence requested by INZ.

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RV1.15.5 Evidence of periods spent in New Zealand as a resident


Evidence of the periods spent in New Zealand as a resident is:
a.

a stamp or label in current or previous passports; and/or

b.

INZ records of periods the applicant has been in New Zealand while holding a residence permit or a resident
visa.

Note: Periods during which a person has been in New Zealand as a resident are calculated inclusive of both arrival and
departure dates.
RV1.15.10 Evidence of tax resident status
a.

Under these instructions, 'tax resident status' means tax residence status in New Zealand, as confirmed by New
Zealand Inland Revenue (IR).

b.

Applicants under these instructions cannot be New Zealand tax residents if the application of a double tax
agreement means they are tax residents of another country.

c.

Evidence of tax residence status includes:

d.

i.

a statement from the IR for the period in which the applicant has been assessed as having tax
residence status; or

ii.

Confirmation of Tax Resident Status form completed and endorsed by IR.

If the applicant is considered to have tax residence status under a double tax agreement, the applicant must
provide supporting evidence from IR. A list of countries which have double tax agreements with New Zealand
can be found at www.ird.govt.nz.

Effective 26/11/2012
RV1.20 Determining the eligibility of non-principal applicants
See previous instructions:
RV1.20 Effective 07/11/2011
RV1.20 Effective 29/11/2010
RV1.20 Effective 15/12/2010
a.

b.

c.

d.

e.

For the purpose of making an application under this chapter,


i.

'principal applicant' means the principal applicant of the original resident visa application; and

ii.

'non-principal applicants' means the non-principal applicants included in the original resident visa
application.

The only requirement for the grant of a permanent resident visa to a non-principal applicant is that the principal
applicant must hold a permanent resident visa, unless:
i.

the non-principal applicant is excluded by the provisions of RV2.1; or

ii.

the provisions requiring a secondary applicant to be assessed independently of the principal applicant
apply (RV1.20.1 to RV1.20.20); or

iii.

the non-principal applicant has never been in New Zealand as a resident (as required by RV1.5(d)).

A non-principal applicant must be granted a variation of travel conditions to allow travel until the same date as
the principal applicants resident visa unless:
i.

the non-principal applicant is excluded by the provisions of RV3.1(d); or

ii.

the provisions requiring a secondary applicant to be assessed independently of the principal applicant
apply (RV1.20.1 to RV1.20.20); or

iii.

the non-principal applicant has never been in New Zealand as a resident (as required by RV1.5(d)).

A non-principal applicant will be granted a second or subsequent resident visa based on the eligibility of the
principal applicant for a variation of travel conditions, second or subsequent resident visa or permanent
resident visa, unless
i.

the non-principal applicant is excluded by the provisions of RV4.1; or

ii.

specific instructions in RV1.20.1 to RV1.20.20 apply; or

iii.

the non-principal applicant has never been in New Zealand as a resident (as required by RV1.5(d)).

If a non-principal applicant makes an application for further travel conditions or a permanent resident visa and
the principal applicant:
i.

does not lodge an application; or

ii.

is declined a variation of travel conditions or a permanent resident visa; or

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iii.

does not hold a permanent resident visa or a resident visa with valid travel conditions,

iv.

then, unless the instructions in RV1.20.1 to RV1.20.20 apply, the application will only be considered
under the provisions of RV3.1.1 or RV3.10.

RV1.20.1 Non-principal applicants who are partners


a.

b.

The partner of the principal applicant is eligible to be considered in their own right for variation of travel
conditions or a new residence class visa if the following events occur:
i.

the partner and the principal applicant become divorced or separated; or

ii.

the partner is granted a non-molestation or protection order against the principal applicant; or

iii.

the principal applicant is convicted of an offence against the partner or a dependent child;

iv.

the principal applicant dies; or

v.

the principal applicant has obtained New Zealand citizenship.

Evidence of the circumstances in which the partner of a principal applicant may apply for an a variation of travel
conditions or a new residence class visa in their own right may include but is not limited to original or certified
copies of the following:
the final decree of divorce or a dissolution order from the principal applicant; or

a non-molestation or protection order against the principal applicant; or

evidence that the principal applicant has been convicted of an offence against the person of the partner or of a
dependent child; or

evidence of separation; or

the death certificate of the principal applicant.

RV1.20.5 Non-principal applicants who were dependent children in the original residence application
a.

The eligibility of a dependent child included in the original residence application for a permanent resident visa,
a variation of travel conditions or a second or subsequent visa will be assessed in the same way regardless of
whether that child is still dependent at the time of application.

b.

In the case of the dissolution of a partnership as described in RV1.20.1(b) above, a childs eligibility will be
assessed on the basis of:
i.

whichever parent has legal right of custody if they are under 16 (see R2.1.45); or

ii.

whichever parent they are living with if they are 16 or over; or

iii.

the principal applicant, if they are 16 or over and are not living with either parent.

c.

If the principal applicant dies or obtains New Zealand citizenship, children must be assessed on the basis of the
eligibility of the non-principal applicant partner included in the original residence application.

d.

The child can be assessed in their own right if the provisions of (b) or (c) above require that a child be assessed
on the basis of the non-principal applicant partner included in the application, and this is not possible because:

e.

i.

a non-principal applicant partner was not included in the application; or

ii.

the non-principal applicant partner has died; or

iii.

the non-principal applicant partner has obtained New Zealand citizenship.

Children who wish to have their application under these instructions assessed based on the eligibility of a
person other than the principal applicant must provide evidence that their circumstances meet the criteria set
out in (b) to (d) above (for example, evidence of custody).

RV1.20.20 Transitional provisions


Non-principal applicants who are considered to hold resident visas because they:
a.

were granted residence permits before 30 October 1995 or in reliance on residence visas issued before 30
October 1995; or

b.

arrived in New Zealand lawfully to live permanently in New Zealand at any time before 2 April 1974 and were
considered to hold a residence permit under the Immigration Act 1987;

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may be granted a permanent resident visa or variation of travel conditions if they meet the criteria set out in the
instructions in this chapter regardless of the status of the principal applicant.

Effective 26/11/2012
RV1.25 Declining an application from former residence class visa holders
See previous instructions:
RV1.25 Effective 24/03/2014
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 10, 155, 146, 156, 158, 161, 162, 169, 437, Immigration Act 1987 s 93
Applications from a person who no longer holds a resident visa, but who is eligible for consideration for a permanent
resident visa under RV2.5, or a second or subsequent resident visa under RV4.5, will normally be declined if:
a.

an immigration officer determines that the persons resident visa was:


i.

granted as a result of administrative error; or

ii.

held under a false identity; or

iii.

procured through fraud, forgery, false or misleading representation, or concealment of relevant


information (together, "deception"), whether or not the person committed the deception; or

b.

an immigration officer determines that the person held a resident visa granted on the basis of a visa procured
through deception, whether or not the person committed the deception; or

c.

new information becomes available within five years of when the person first held a resident visa, and an
immigration officer determines that the information:

d.

i.

relates to the persons character; and

ii.

was relevant at the time the visa was granted; and

iii.

means that the person would not have been granted the visa; or

while holding a resident visa or following its expiry, the person is convicted (whether in New Zealand or not):
i.

of an offence for which the court has the power to impose imprisonment for a term of three months or
more, if that offence is committed:

at any time when the person was unlawfully in New Zealand; or

at any time the person was the holder of a temporary entry class visa; or

not later than 2 years after the person first held a residence class visa; or
ii.

of an offence for which the court has the power to impose imprisonment for a term of two years or
more, if the offence was committed not later than five years after the person first held a residence
class visa; or

iii.

of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years or more (or for an indeterminate
period capable of running for five years or more), if the offence was committed not later than 10 years
after the person first held a residence class visa; or

e.

they have been served a deportation liability notice but have not been deported within the meaning of section
10 of the Immigration Act 2009; or

f.

the persons resident visa was granted on the basis of being recognised as a refugee or protected person, and
that recognition was cancelled under section 146 of the Immigration Act 2009.

Note: An immigration officer should contact the Resolutions Team in INZs Government Relations Unit prior to declining
an application for a permanent resident visa or second or subsequent resident visa based on the above provisions, to seek
advice and to update the Resolutions Team on any current or potential deportation case.
Section RV1.25 (d) does not apply to persons who were prohibited from being deported under section 93 of the
Immigration Act 1987.
RV1.25.1 Action
a.

An immigration officer must not automatically decline an application on any ground listed in RV1.25, unless
RV1.25(a)(ii) or (e) applies.
i.

An immigration officer must consider the surrounding circumstances of the application to decide
whether or not they are compelling enough to justify the grant of a residence class visa under RV2 or
RV4. The circumstances include but are not limited to the following factors, as appropriate:

ii.

the seriousness of any offence (generally indicated by the term of imprisonment or size of the fine)
and whether there is more than one offence;

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iii.

the significance of any false, misleading or forged information provided, or information withheld, and
whether the person is able to supply a reasonable and credible explanation or other evidence
indicating that there was no intent to deceive INZ;

iv.

how long ago the relevant event occurred;

v.

whether the person has any immediate family lawfully and permanently in New Zealand;

vi.

whether the person has some strong emotional or physical tie to New Zealand; or

vii. whether the person's potential contribution to New Zealand would be significant.
b.

c.

An immigration officer must make a decision only after they have considered all relevant factors, including:
i.

any advice from the National Office of INZ; and

ii.

fairness and natural justice requirements (see A1).

An immigration officer must record:


i.

their consideration of the surrounding circumstances, (see (b) above), noting all factors taken into
account; and

ii.

the reasons for their decision to approve or decline the application.

Effective 25/08/2014

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RV2 Resident visa holders applying for a


permanent resident visa
RV2.1 Who is not eligible for a permanent resident visa?
See previous instructions:
RV2.1 Effective 30/07/2012
RV2.1 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 15, 16, 17, 169, 174
a.

People who are not eligible for a visa because they are subject to sections 15 and 16 of the Immigration Act
2009 (see A5.20) are not eligible for a permanent resident visa unless a special direction has been given, but
may apply for a variation of their travel conditions under the provisions of RV3 Variation of travel conditions on
resident visas.

b.

People who would otherwise be prohibited for entry or for grant of a visa to New Zealand because they are
subject to restrictions or a ban (see RA9 and R5.100) if it were not for their New Zealand resident status are not
eligible for a permanent resident visa and may only be granted a 14-day variation to their travel conditions
under RV3.10.

c.

People who hold a resident visa but are liable for deportation (whether or not that liability has been suspended)
may not apply for a permanent resident visa, though they may be granted one at the absolute discretion of the
Minister or an immigration officer (see D2.30.5).

d.

People who no longer hold a resident visa, but who are eligible for consideration for a permanent resident visa
under RV2.5.(a)(ii), would not normally be eligible for a permanent resident visa if any of the criteria in RV1.25
apply.

Note: An immigration officer should contact the Resolutions Team in INZs Government Relations Unit if they need
guidance on whether an applicant for a permanent resident visa is liable for deportation.

Effective 24/03/2014
RV2.5 How do resident visa holders or former holders qualify for a permanent resident visa?
See previous instructions:
RV2.5 Effective 29/11/2010
Upon application principal applicants, except for those to whom RV2.10 applies, will be granted a permanent resident visa
if:
a.

they either:
i.

hold a resident visa, and have held that resident visa continuously for at least 24 months at the time
of application; or

ii.

have held a resident visa in the three months before the application is made, and had held that
resident visa continuously for at least 24 months before it expired; and

b.

their first day in New Zealand as a resident (R5.66.1(b)) was at least 24 months before the application is made;
and

c.

they can demonstrate a commitment to New Zealand by meeting the requirements set out in any one of the five
subsections below (RV2.5.1 to RV2.5.20); and

d.

they have met any conditions imposed under section 49(1),of the Immigration Act; and

e.

they meet character requirements for residence (see A5).

Note: Principal applicants who have been granted residence under an investor category listed in RV2.10(a) will be
assessed under RV2.10 rather than RV2.5.
RV2.5.1 Significant period of time spent in New Zealand
A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if they 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 the date their
application for a permanent resident visa was made (ie, in each of the two 12-month portions, a period or periods that
amount to 184 days or more).
RV2.5.5 Tax residence status in New Zealand
A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if:

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a.

they have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of 41 days or more in each of the two 12-month portions
of the 24 months immediately preceding the date the application for a permanent resident visa was made (ie,
in each of the two 12-month portions, a period or periods that amount to 41 days or more); and

b.

they are assessed as having tax residence status (RV1.15.10) for the 24 months preceding their application.

RV2.5.10 Investment in New Zealand


a.

b.

A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if:


i.

he or she was approved a resident visa under the Business Investor Category, and has met any
conditions imposed (see BI to 26/11/2007) under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (except
travel conditions); or

ii.

he or she has been approved a resident visa other than under the Business Investor Category, and has
maintained an investment in New Zealand of N.Z.$1,000,000 or more that complies with the rules for
investment funds set out in RV2.5.10(b) below for a period of 24 months or more after the date the
resident visa was granted.

Principal applicants applying for a permanent resident visa under RV2.5.10 (a)(ii) must meet the following rules
for investment funds:
i.

investment funds must originally have been transferred to New Zealand through the trading bank
system, or have been earned or acquired lawfully in New Zealand; and

ii.

investment funds must be invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency; and under normal
circumstances, be capable of providing a commercial return; and

iii.

apart from the interest earned from the investment, investment funds must not be used for their own
personal use, for instance investment in assets such as a personal residence, car, boat or similar; and

iv.

investment funds must not be used as collateral for any loan during the 2 year investment period,
unless the money loaned remains within New Zealand and in New Zealand dollars only; and

v.

if the investment funds are moved from one investment to another during the two year period each
investment must also meet the rules for investment funds.

Note: Investments in New Zealand with international exposure are acceptable only for the proportion of the investment
that is retained in New Zealand.
For example, an investment in a unit trust with sole international exposure would completely fail to meet the above
requirement that an investment be "invested in New Zealand".
RV2.5.15 Establishment of a business in New Zealand
a.

A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if they have been approved a resident
visa under any category, and have successfully established a business in New Zealand that has been trading
successfully and benefiting New Zealand in some way for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date
the application for a permanent resident visa was made.

b.

Principal applicants applying for a permanent resident visa under these instructions will be considered to have
successfully established a business in New Zealand if:

c.

i.

they have established or purchased, a business operating in New Zealand; or

ii.

they have invested in a business in New Zealand by purchasing 25% or more of the shareholding of an
established business.

For the purposes of these instructions evidence that a business is trading successfully and benefiting New
Zealand in some way is production of a set of the latest accounts relating to that business certified by a New
Zealand chartered accountant and which confirm that in their view the business is a going concern.

RV2.5.20 Base established in New Zealand


a.

A principal applicant has demonstrated a commitment to New Zealand if they have established a base in New
Zealand. A principal applicant is considered to have established a base in New Zealand if:
i.

each and every member of their immediate family who was included in their application for a resident
visa has resided in New Zealand for at least 184 days in the two year period immediately preceding the
date the application for the permanent resident visa was made; and

ii.

they have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of at least 41 days in the 12 months
immediately preceding the date the application for the permanent resident visa was made; and either

they own and maintain a family home in New Zealand; or

they have been engaged in full time continuous genuine employment in New Zealand immediately
preceding the date the application for the permanent resident visa was made.

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b.

c.

d.

Residence

For the purpose of these instructions applicants are considered to own and maintain a family home in New
Zealand if:
i.

they have purchased a residential property in New Zealand within 12 months of their first day in New
Zealand as a resident and still own that property either solely or jointly with members of their
immediate family who were included in the application for a resident visa; and

ii.

they and/or members of their immediate family who were included in the application for a resident
visa occupy that property.

Evidence of owning and maintaining a home in New Zealand includes but is not limited to items in the name of
the applicant and/or members of their immediate family who were included in the application for a resident visa
such as:
o

mortgage documents or title deeds to the residential property

rates demands

home and contents insurance cover

invoices for telephone, electricity, gas, or water

documents showing that household effects have been moved to New Zealand

For the purpose of these instructions, applicants are considered to have been engaged in full time continuous
employment in New Zealand if they can produce evidence of genuine full time paid employment in New Zealand
for a period or periods amounting to at least 9 months in the 24 months immediately preceding the date the
application for the permanent resident visa was made. Employment involving payment by commission and/or
retainer is not acceptable. Self-employment is acceptable if they can produce evidence of genuine lawful active
involvement in the management and operating of a business in New Zealand which the principal applicant has
established, purchased, or has a shareholding in.

Effective 24/03/2014
RV2.10 Permanent resident visas for holders of resident visas with investment conditions
imposed under section 49(1)
See previous instructions:
RV2.10 Effective 08/04/2013
RV2.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Principal applicants who have been granted a resident visa under


i.

the Active Investor Migrant policy; or

ii.

the Migrant Investment Categories; or

iii.

the Parent Retirement Category

will be granted a permanent resident visa if the requirements of RV2.10 (b) below have been met.
b.

At the time of application, principal applicants must:


i.

hold or be deemed to hold a resident visa; and

ii.

have held, or have been deemed to hold, a resident visa for at least 24 months; and

iii.

have met conditions previously imposed under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009; and

iv.

meet character requirements for residence (see A5).

Effective 24/03/2014
RV2.15 Permanent resident visas for residents who have renounced New Zealand citizenship
A person who holds a resident visa as a result of renouncing their New Zealand citizenship (RA4.10) may apply for and be
granted a permanent resident visa without meeting the criteria set out in RV2.5.

Effective 29/11/2010
RV2.20 Declining applications for permanent resident visas
If a permanent resident visa application is declined, the applicant may be assessed under the instructions for a variation
of travel conditions (RV3) or a second or subsequent resident visa (RV4). If the applicant is eligible for a variation of travel
conditions or a second or subsequent resident visa, an immigration officer may grant the appropriate variation of travel
conditions or second or subsequent resident visa in place of a permanent resident visa with the applicants permission.

Effective 29/11/2010

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RV3 Variation of travel conditions on resident


visas
RV3.1 Applications for variations of travel conditions
See previous instructions: RV3.1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

The duration of travel conditions on a resident visa can be varied allowing for multiple journey travel to New
Zealand within the following specified time periods:
i.

12 months; or

ii.

14 days; or

iii.

24 months.

Travel conditions can only be varied if the resident visa is valid. A resident visa is valid when:
i.

the holder is in New Zealand; or

ii.

the holder is outside New Zealand and the current travel conditions have not expired.

c.

Holders of resident visas who are in New Zealand must be granted a variation of travel conditions for a duration
of at least 14 days.

d.

People who would otherwise be prohibited from entry or for the grant of a visa to New Zealand because they are
subject to restrictions or a ban (see RA9 and R5.100) if it were not for their New Zealand resident status, may
only be granted a variation of travel conditions under RV3.10 (14-day variation of travel conditions).

RV3.1.1 Declining an application for a variation of travel conditions


a.

An application for a variation of travel conditions by a resident visa holder in New Zealand cannot be declined.

b.

An application for a variation of travel conditions made outside New Zealand must be declined, where the
applicant:

c.

i.

does not meet any requirements of RV3.5 to RV3.20 or

ii.

would be otherwise prohibited from entry or for grant of a visa to New Zealand because they are
subject to restrictions or a ban (see RA9 and R5.100).

Applications for variations of travel conditions made outside New Zealand by applicants who have failed to meet
any conditions imposed under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009, must be declined whether or not they
are otherwise eligible for a variation of travel conditions.

RV3.1.5 Requests for reconsideration


a.

An applicant may seek to have the decision to decline an application for a variation of travel conditions
reconsidered, if it was declined because:
i.

the immigration officer was not satisfied with the evidence produced; or

ii.

the application did not meet the requirements set out in instructions.

b.

Another officer with a grading the same as or higher than the officer who made the original decision will review
the decision.

c.

The review process involves checking that the immigration instructions and procedures were correctly applied
when the application was processed.

Effective 26/03/2012
RV3.5 12-month variation of travel conditions
Principal applicants may be granted with travel conditions current for 12 months if:
a.

they meet the requirements set out in either RV3.5.1 or RV3.5.5 below; and

b.

their first day in New Zealand as a resident (see R5.66.5(b)) was at least 12 months before the current
application for a variation of travel conditions was made; and

c.

they continue to meet any conditions previously imposed under section 49(1) or section 50 of the Immigration
Act 2009;

unless RV3.1(d) applies.

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RV3.5.1 Time spent in New Zealand


To meet the requirements regarding time spent in New Zealand, the principal applicant 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 in the 24 months immediately
preceding the date the application for a variation of travel conditions was made (ie, in at least one of the two 12-month
portions, a period or periods that amount to 184 days or more).
RV3.5.5 Tax residence status and limited time spent in New Zealand
To meet the requirements regarding tax residence status and limited time spent in New Zealand, the principal applicant
must:
a.

have been in New Zealand as a resident for a total of 41 days or more in at least one of the two 12-month
portions of the 24 months immediately preceding the date the application for a variation of travel conditions
was made (ie, in at least one of the two 12-month portions, a period or periods that amount to 41 days or
more); and

b.

be assessed as having tax residence status for 12 months in the 2 years before their application.

Effective 29/11/2010
RV3.10 14-day variation of travel conditions
a.

b.

Applicants must be granted a variation of travel conditions current for 14 days if they are in New Zealand as a
resident and they:
i.

do not meet the requirements for a permanent resident visa; and

ii.

do not meet the requirements for a variation of travel conditions for a longer duration.

Applicants who would otherwise be prohibited from entry or for grant of a visa to New Zealand because they are
subject to restrictions or a ban (see RA9 and R5.100) may only be granted variation of travel conditions for 14
days and only if they are in New Zealand.

Effective 29/11/2010
RV3.15 Variation of travel conditions for principal applicants with investment conditions under
Section 49(1)
See also Immigration Act 2009, ss 49, 50
Principal applicants who have been granted a resident visa under
a.

the Active Investor Migrant policy; or

b.

the Migrant Investment categories; or

c.

the Parent Retirement Category;

may be granted a variation of travel conditions for 24 months if their first day in New Zealand as a resident
(see R5.66.5(b)) was at least 24 months before the current application for a variation of travel conditions was made, and
they continue to meet any conditions imposed under section 49(1) and/or section 50 of the Immigration Act 2009
unless RV3.1(d) applies.

Effective 29/11/2010
RV3.20 Special provisions
RV3.20.1 Australian citizens and residents
a.

Persons who hold a resident visa (or are deemed to hold a resident visa) because they are holders of current
Australian permanent residence visas, current Australian resident return visas or Australian citizenship may be
granted a variation of travel conditions for 24 months from the date their current resident visa was granted.

b.

Australian citizens or residents who:


i.

have held, or are deemed to have held, a resident visa for over 24 months; or

ii.

have been previously granted a variation of travel conditions under this provision;

may apply for variations of travel conditions under the provisions of RV3.5 or RV3.10 or for a permanent resident
visa (RV2).
RV3.20.5 Partners of New Zealand citizens who do not qualify for a permanent resident visa
a.

Unless RV3.1 (d) applies, partners of New Zealand citizens who do not qualify for a permanent resident visa
(see RV2), may be granted a further variation of travel conditions for a 24 month period, provided the New
Zealand partner supports the application in writing and:

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i.

the applicants resident visa was obtained on the basis of their partnership with the same New Zealand
citizen and the partnership is ongoing; or

ii.

an immigration officer is satisfied that the applicant has been living with the New Zealand citizen in a
genuine and stable relationship for at least one year at the time of application.

b.

Dependent children of the partner of a New Zealand citizen, who were included in that partner's residence class
visa application, may be granted with a variation of travel conditions for a period of 24 months, equivalent to
that of the partners travel conditions.

c.

An immigration officer may ask for any additional evidence that the relationship is ongoing, genuine and stable,
including that obtained by interview.

RV3.20.10 Resident visa holders seconded overseas as part of their New Zealand employment
a.

Unless RV3.1 (d) applies, resident visa holders seconded overseas as part of their New Zealand employment,
who do not qualify for permanent resident visas, may be granted a variation of travel conditions for a further
24-month period provided that their New Zealand employer confirms in writing that they require the applicant
to remain overseas and still consider the applicant to be a New Zealand resident.

b.

Written confirmation from a New Zealand employer must state the terms and duration of the secondment and
confirm the applicant is still considered a New Zealand resident.

c.

Further travel conditions under this provision may be granted every two years, for up to a total of 8 years stay
outside New Zealand.

d.

Partners and children may be granted further travel conditions for a period equivalent to that of the principal
applicant provided the immigration officer is satisfied that the relationship between them and the principal
applicant is genuine and ongoing.

Effective 29/11/2010

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RV4 Grant of a second or subsequent resident


visa
RV4.1 Who is not eligible for a second or subsequent resident visa?
See previous instructions:
RV4.1 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 15, 16, 17
People are not eligible for a second or subsequent resident visa if:
a.

they are not eligible for a visa under section 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009, unless a special direction has
been given (see A5.20); or

b.

they are prohibited for entry or for grant of a visa to New Zealand because they are subject to restrictions or a
ban (see RA9 and R5.100); or

c.

any of the criteria in RV1.25 apply.

Effective 24/03/2014
RV4.5 Who may apply for a second or subsequent resident visa?
A person may apply for a second or subsequent resident visa if they have held, or been deemed to hold, a resident visa
that has expired because the holder either:
a.

left New Zealand after the expiry of the travel conditions; or

b.

are outside of New Zealand when the travel conditions expired.

Effective 29/11/2010
RV4.10 Determining an application for a second or subsequent resident visa
See previous instructions:
RV4.10 Effective 07/11/2011
RV4.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

An applicant for a second or subsequent resident visa may be granted a second or subsequent resident visa if:
i.

the principal applicant would have met the criteria to be granted a variation of travel conditions
under RV3.5, RV3.10 or RV3.15 had they applied for it on the date the current applicants resident visa
expired and those travel conditions would still be valid on the date the application for a second or
subsequent resident visa was made; or

ii.

the principal applicant would have met the criteria to be granted a permanent resident visa had they
applied for it on the date the current applicants resident visa expired and that date was less than 24
months before the date the application for a second or subsequent resident visa is made; or

iii.

the principal applicant meets the criteria for one of the special provisions for a second or subsequent
resident visa (RV4.20).

b.

A non-principal applicant may be assessed independently of the principal applicant if the instructions of
RV1.20.1 to RV1.20.20 apply.

c.

Applicants for second or subsequent residence visas must meet character requirements for residence (see A5).

Effective 24/03/2014
RV4.15 Conditions imposed on a second or subsequent resident visa
See previous instructions RV4.15 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Any conditions (except travel conditions) imposed under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 on the
expired visa must be replicated on any second or subsequent resident visa granted. Any such conditions must
be valid until the same date as on the applicants previous resident visa.

b.

Multiple entry travel conditions granted on second or subsequent resident visa must be valid for the longest of:
i.

the date the variation of travel conditions would have been valid to, had the principal applicant applied
for one on the date the current applicants resident visa expired; or

ii.

24 months from the date the current applicants resident visa expired if the principal applicant was
eligible for a permanent resident visa on that day; or

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Residence

the duration specified by special provisions for the grant of a second or subsequent resident visa set
out at RV4.20.

Effective 07/11/2011
RV4.20 Special provisions for the grant of a second or subsequent resident visa
RV4.20.1 Partners of New Zealand citizens
a.

Partners of New Zealand citizens may be granted a second or subsequent resident visa with 24 months of
multiple entry travel conditions, provided the New Zealand partner supports the application in writing and:
i.

the applicants resident visa was obtained on the basis of their partnership with the same New Zealand
citizen and the partnership is ongoing; or

ii.

an immigration officer is satisfied that the applicant has been living with the New Zealand citizen in a
genuine and stable relationship for at least one year at the time of application.

b.

Dependent children of the partner of a New Zealand citizen, who were included in that partner's residence class
visa application, may be granted a second or subsequent resident visa with 24 months of travel conditions,
equivalent to the partners second or subsequent resident visa.

c.

An immigration officer may ask for any additional evidence that the relationship is ongoing, genuine, and
stable, including that obtained by interview.

RV4.20.5 Former resident visa holders seconded overseas as part of their New Zealand employment
a.

A former resident visa holder seconded overseas as part of their New Zealand employment may be granted a
second or subsequent resident visa if:
i.

the principal applicant would have met the criteria to be granted a variation of travel conditions
under RV3.20.10 had they applied for it on the date their resident visa expired and;

ii.

the principal applicant met the criteria under RV3.20.10 at the time the application for a second or
subsequent resident visa was made; and

iii.

the date the principal applicants resident visa expired was less than 24 months before the date the
application for the second or subsequent resident visa was made.

b.

The multiple entry travel conditions on second or subsequent resident visas granted under these instructions
must be valid until 24 months from the date the resident visa expired.

c.

Partners and children may be granted a second or subsequent resident visa with travel conditions for a period
equivalent to that of the principal applicant provided the immigration officer is satisfied that the relationship
between them and the principal applicant is genuine and ongoing.

Effective 29/11/2010

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Residence from Work Category


IN THIS SECTION
RW1 Objective ...................................................................... 51-1
RW2 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the
Talent (Accredited Employers) work instructions ................. 52-1
RW3 Residence instructions for holders of.................................. 53-1
RW4 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the
long term skill shortage list work instructions ..................... 53-2
RW5 English language requirements.... ..................................... 54-1
RW6 Migrant Levy ................................................................. 55-1
RW7 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under
religious worker instructions ............................................ 56-1

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RW1 Objective
See previous instructions RW1 Effective 07/11/2011
The objective of the Residence from Work Category is to enable the grant of residence class visas to people whose talents
are needed by New Zealand employers, people with exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport, people working in
areas of identified absolute occupational shortage in New Zealand and religious workers.
Note: Where these instructions refer to holding a visa, this includes holding a permit granted under the Immigration Act
1987.

Effective 07/11/2011

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RW2 Residence instructions for holders of work


visas granted under the Talent (Accredited
Employers) work instructions
See previous instructions RW2 Effective 29/11/2010
Holders of visas granted under the Talent (Accredited Employers) work instructions may be granted a residence class visa
where:
a.

they have held a work visa granted under the Talent (Accredited Employers) work instructions for a period of
at least 24 months; and

b.

during the currency of that visa they have been employed in New Zealand throughout a period of 24 months:

c.

i.

by any accredited employer; or

ii.

by an employer(s) who is not an accredited employer, provided that during the period of that
employment the conditions of the applicant's visa were varied to allow them to work for that
employer(s) (see WR1.5(c) (ii)); and

they have employment in New Zealand with a minimum base salary of:
i.

NZ$50,000 per annum if the associated work to Residence visa application (WR1) was made on or
after 30 July 2007 but before 28 July 2008; or

ii.

NZ$55,000 per annum if the associated work to Residence visa application (WR1) was made on or
after 28 July 2008 ; and

d.

they hold full or provisional registration, if full or provisional registration is required to practice in the
occupation in which they are employed; and

e.

they meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

Note:
~ Applicants under these instructions must be in New Zealand at the time they lodge their application for a residence class
visa.
~ For the avoidance of doubt, the minimum base salary excludes employment-related allowances (for example overtime,
tool or uniform allowances, medical insurance, accommodation).
~ Where an employee is to work more than 40 hours per week, the minimum base salary must be calculated on the basis
of 40 hours work per week.

Effective 30/07/2011
RW2.1 Eligibility for a permanent resident visa
A permanent resident visa may be granted to an applicant under Talent (Accredited Employers) work instructions who:
a.

meets all the requirements to be granted a residence class visa; and

b.

at the time of their application for a residence class visa, has employment in New Zealand with a minimum base
salary of NZ$90,000.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW2.5 Requirements for employment
See previous instructions:
RW2.5 Effective 25/08/2014
RW2.5 Effective 29/11/2010
Employment must be:
a.

in New Zealand; and

b.

full-time (that is it amounts to, on average, at least 30 hours per week); and

c.

ongoing, that is:


i.

an offer of employment or current employment, with a single employer, that is permanent or


indefinite, and of which the employer is in a position to meet the terms specified; or

ii.

an offer of employment or current employment with a single employer, for a stated term of at least 12
months; and

d.

genuine; and

e.

compliant with all relevant employment law in force in New Zealand.

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Note: Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment law includes but is not limited to:
~ a written employment agreement that contains the necessary statutory specified terms and conditions;
~ meeting holiday and special leave requirements and other minimum statutory criteria;
~ meeting occupational safety and health obligations.
Where an offer of employment or current employment is for a stated term of at least 12 months, the stated term must be
valid both at the time the application is lodged and when the application is decided, in particular:
~ if the applicant has current employment, he or she must be in that employment, or
~ if the applicant has an offer of employment, the offer must continue to be valid.
RW2.5.1 Requirements for employment for a stated term
a.

b.

For the purposes of RW2.5(c)(ii), INZ must be satisfied that the employer:
i.

has genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that the employment is for a stated
term; and

ii.

has advised the employee of when or how their employment will end and the reasons for their
employment ending; and

iii.

is in a position to meet the terms specified.

Genuine reasons for the purposes of RW2.5.1(a)(i) do not include reasons:


i.

that exclude or limit the rights of a person under employment law; or

ii.

to determine the suitability of a person for permanent or indefinite employment.

Note: In order meet employment law, employment agreements that are for a stated term must specify in writing the way
in which the employment will end and the reasons for ending the employment.

Effective 17/11/2014
RW2.10 Evidential requirements
Applications for a residence class visa under the residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the Talent
(Accredited Employers) work instructions must include:
a.

Evidence that during the currency of their visa granted under the Talent (Accredited Employers) work
instructions, the applicant has been employed in New Zealand by any accredited employer throughout a period
of at least 24 months; and

b.

Evidence of employment that meets the requirements set out at RW2.5; and

c.

Evidence that the applicant holds full or provisional registration, if full or provisional registration is required to
practice in the occupation in which they have employment.

Effective 29/11/2010

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RW3 Residence instructions for holders of...


RW3 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports)
work instructions
Holders of visas granted under the Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) work instructions may be granted a resident
where:

visa

a.

they have held a work visa granted under the Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) work instructions for a period
of at least 24 months; and

b.

during the currency of that visa they have been actively engaged in their declared field of art, culture or sport
throughout a period of 24 months in New Zealand; and

c.

they are still prominent in that field of art, culture or sport; and

d.

their continued presence in New Zealand will enhance the quality of New Zealand's accomplishments and
participation in that field of art, culture or sport; and

e.

they are supported by a

f.

they have an acceptable sponsor (see R4.5); and

g.

they meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5); and

h.

they have not, at any time since the grant of their visa under the Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) work
instructions, applied for, or been granted welfare assistance under the Social Security Act 1964. (For the
purpose of these instructions, any welfare assistance applied for by, or granted to, a partner or child of the
holder of a work visa granted under these instructions is welfare assistance applied for or granted to the
holder.)

New Zealand organisation of national repute in their declared field; and

Note: Applicants under these instructions must be in New Zealand at the time they lodge their application for a resident
visa.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW3.1 Definition of 'New Zealand organisation of national repute'
A 'New Zealand organisation of national repute' is:
a.

a New Zealand organisation that has a nationally recognised record of excellence in a field of art, culture or
sport; or

b.

a New Zealand organisation that has a nationally recognised record of excellence in fostering exceptional talent
in a field of art, culture or sport.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW3.5 Support by a New Zealand organisation of national repute and sponsorship by an
acceptable sponsor
a.

Applicants must provide evidence of support by a New Zealand organisation of national repute in their
declared field of art, culture or sport and evidence of sponsorship by an acceptable sponsor by providing a
completed Talent (arts, culture and sports) Sponsorship Form (INZ 1091) with their application for a resident
visa.

b.

Completion of the form includes:


i.

a statement of support for the resident visa application from an organisation of national repute in the
applicant's declared field of art, culture or sport; and

ii.

the reasons for which the organisation considers that the applicant's presence in New Zealand will
continue to enhance the quality of New Zealand's accomplishments and participation in the declared
field of art, culture or sport; and

iii.

a written undertaking of sponsorship from a natural person, organisation, or government agency


which is an acceptable sponsor to confirm they will meet the costs specified at R4.10 if those costs are
incurred in the 24 months after the grant of the resident visa.

Note: The sponsor is not required to be the organisation that is supporting the application.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW3.10 Evidential requirements
Applications for a residence class visa under the Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the Talent
(Arts, Culture and Sports) work instructions must include:

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a.

Evidence that during the currency of their visa granted under the Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) work
instructions, the applicant has been active in their declared field of art, culture or sport throughout a period of
24 months in New Zealand; and

b.

Evidence that the applicant is still prominent in that field of art, culture or sport; and

c.

A completed Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) Sponsorship Form (INZ 1091) from an organisation of national
repute that includes a written undertaking from an acceptable sponsor as set out in R4.10.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW4 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the long term skill shortage
list work instructions
See previous instructions RW4 Effective 29/11/2010
Holders of visas granted under the long term skill shortage list work instructions may be granted a resident visa where:
a.

they have held a work visa granted under the long term skill shortage list work instructions for a period of at
least 24 months; and

b.

they have employment with a minimum base salary of NZ$45,000 per annum that is either:
i.

in an occupation that was on the Long Term Skill Shortage List when they were granted a work visa
under the long term skill shortage list work instructions; or

ii.

in an occupation that is on the long term skill shortage list at the time their application for a resident
visa is made; and

c.

they are aged 55 years or under; and

d.

they hold full or provisional registration, if full or provisional registration is required to practice in the
occupation in which they are employed in New Zealand; and

e.

they meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

Notes:
~ Applicants under these instructions must be in New Zealand at the time they lodge their application for a resident visa.
~ For the avoidance of doubt, the minimum base salary excludes employment related allowances (for example overtime,
tool or uniform allowances, medical insurance, accommodation) and must be calculated on the basis of 40 hours work per
week.

Effective 26/11/2012
RW4.1 Requirements for employment
See previous instructions:
RW4.1 Effective 25/08/2014
RW4.1 Effective 29/11/2010
Employment must be:
a.

in New Zealand; and

b.

full-time, (that is it amounts to, on average, at least 30 hours per week); and

c.

ongoing, that is:


i.

an offer of employment or current employment, with a single employer, that is permanent or


indefinite, and of which the employer is in a position to meet the terms specified; or

ii.

an offer of employment or current employment with a single employer, for a stated term of at least 12
months; and

d.

genuine; and

e.

compliant with all relevant employment law in force in New Zealand.

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Note: Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment law includes but is not limited to:
~ a written employment agreement that contains the necessary statutory specified terms and conditions
~ meeting holiday and special leave requirements and other minimum statutory criteria
~ meeting occupational safety and health obligations.
Where an offer of employment or current employment is for a stated term of at least 12 months, the stated term
must be valid both at the time the application is lodged and when the application is decided, in particular:
~ if the applicant has current employment, he or she must be in that employment, or
~ if the applicant has an offer of employment, the offer must continue to be valid.
RW4.1.5 Requirements for employment for a stated term
a.

b.

For the purposes of RW4.1(c) (ii), INZ must be satisfied that the employer:
i.

has genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that the employment of the
employee is for a stated term; and

ii.

has advised the employee of when or how their employment will end and the reasons for their
employment ending; and

iii.

is in a position to meet the terms specified.

Genuine reasons for the purposes of RW4.1.5(a)(i) do not include reasons:


i.

that exclude or limit the rights of a person under employment law; or

ii.

to determine the suitability of a person for permanent or indefinite employment.

Note: In order meet employment law, employment agreements that are for a stated term must specify in writing the
way in which the employment will end and the reasons for ending the employment.

Effective 17/11/2014
RW4.5 Evidential requirements
Applications for residence class visas under the Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under the long
term skill shortage list work instructions must include:
a.

Evidence that the applicant has been employed in New Zealand for a period of at least 24 months in an
occupation that was listed on the long term skill shortage list at the time their visa was granted under the long
term skill shortage list work instructions; and

b.

Evidence of employment that meets the requirements set out at RW4 (b) and RW4.1; and

c.

Evidence that the applicant holds full or provisional registration, if full or provisional registration is required to
practice in the occupation in which they have employment.

Effective 29/11/2010

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RW5 English language requirements....


See previous instructions RW5 Effective 29/11/2010
RW5 English language requirements under the Residence from Work Category
a.

b.

To be granted a resident visa, partners and dependent children aged 16 and older, who are included in any
Residence from Work Category application, must either:
i.

show that they meet a minimum standard of English to ensure their English language ability is
sufficient to assist them to successfully settle in New Zealand (see RW5.1); or

ii.

pre-purchase ESOL training.

In addition, principal applicants under Religious Worker instructions must show that they meet a minimum
standard of English to ensure their English language ability is sufficient to assist them to successfully settle in
New Zealand (see RW5.1).

Effective 07/11/2011
RW5.1 Minimum standard of English
See previous instructions RW5.1 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

Principal applicants under Religious Worker residence instructions and partners and dependent children aged
16 and older under all Residence from Work categories meet the minimum standard of English if:
i.

they provide a Test Report Form (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from
the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), showing they achieved an "Overall Band"
score of 5 or higher in the IELTS General or Academic Module; or

ii.

they provide evidence that they have an English-speaking background (see RW5.5) which is accepted
by an immigration officer as meeting the minimum standard of English; or

iii.

they provide other evidence which satisfies an immigration officer that, taking account of that
evidence and all the circumstances of the application, the person meets the minimum standard of
English. These circumstances may include but are not limited to:

the country in which the applicant currently resides;

the country(ies) in which the applicant has previously resided;

the duration of residence in each country;

whether the applicant speaks any language other than English;

whether members of the applicant's family speak English;

whether members of the applicant's family speak any language other than English;

the nature of the applicant's current or previous employment (if any) and whether that is or was likely to
require skill in English language;

the nature of the applicant's qualifications (if any) and whether the obtaining of those qualifications was
likely to require skill in English language.

In any case under (a) (ii) or (iii), an immigration officer may require an applicant to provide an IELTS certificate
in terms of paragraph (a)(i). In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether the
applicant meets the minimum standard of English.

Note:
~ Full consideration must be given to all evidence of English language ability provided before a decision to request an
IELTS certificate under RW5.1(b) is made. If an IELTS certificate is requested, the reason(s) behind the decision must be
clearly documented and conveyed to the applicant.
~ IELTS is an international organisation that provides an assessment of ability in English. Its General and Academic
Modules provide band totals (test results) showing overall ability as well as performance in listening, reading, writing and
speaking.

Effective 07/11/2011
RW5.5 Evidence of an English-speaking background
Evidence of an English-speaking background is original or certified copies of documents showing:

completion of all primary education and at least 3 years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New
Zealand Forms 3 to 5 or years 9 to 11) at schools using English as the language of instruction; or

completion of at least 5 years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or
years 9 to 13) at schools using English as the language of instruction; or

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completion of a course of at least 3 years' duration leading to the award of a tertiary qualification at institutions
using English as the language of instruction; or

that the applicant holds General Certificate of Education (GCE) 'A' Levels from Britain or Singapore with a
minimum C pass (the passes must specifically include the subjects English Language or Literature, or Use of
English); or

that the applicant holds International Baccalaureate full Diploma in English Medium; or

that the applicant holds Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English minimum C pass; or

that the applicant holds Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations (HKALE) including a minimum C pass in Use
of English; or

that the applicant holds STPM 920 (Malaysia) A or B pass in English Literature; or

that the applicant holds University of Cambridge in collaboration with University of Malaya, General Certificate
of English (GCE) "A" levels with a minimum C pass. The passes must specifically include the subjects English or
General Paper.

that the applicant holds South African Matriculation Certificate, including a minimum D pass in English (Higher
Grade); or

that the applicant holds South African Senior Certificate, including a minimum D pass in English (Higher
Grade), endorsed with the words 'matriculation exempt'; or

that the applicant holds a New Zealand Tertiary Entrance Qualification gained on completing the seventh form.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW5.10 Employment in New Zealand as English-speaking background
a.

b.

An applicant is also considered to have an English-speaking background if:


i.

they have been lawfully employed full-time in an occupation in New Zealand for a minimum of 12
months; and

ii.

English was the language of employment

"Employment' in the context of English language requirements policy does not include self-employment.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW5.15 Evidence of employment in New Zealand
a.

b.

Evidence of full-time employment in New Zealand for a minimum of 12 months is original or certified copies of:
i.

references from employers on company letterhead, which state the occupation and dates of
employment and the contact phone number and address of the employer; or

ii.

an employment agreement with confirmation from the employer that the applicant is still employed.

Evidence that English was the language of employment is a written statement from the employer that English
was the primary language used in that employment.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW5.20 INZ to collect charge on behalf of TEC
a.

If they do not meet the minimum standard of English, applicants who are eligible to pre-purchase ESOL tuition
must pre-purchase ESOL tuition from TEC (Tertiary Education Commission) by paying the required charge to
INZ (who collect this charge on behalf of TEC).

b.

Before a residence class visa is granted, applicants must pay any ESOL tuition charge due.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW5.25 TEC to arrange ESOL tuition
a.

The applicant is entitled to tuition to the value of the ESOL entitlement component of the ESOL tuition charge.
This does not include INZ and TEC administration costs.

b.

TEC advises the applicant of the list of suitable ESOL tuition providers in New Zealand, from which the applicant
may nominate one of their own choice.

c.

TEC will manage the contract between the ESOL tuition provider and the applicant.

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d.

Residence

The applicant must advise TEC of their New Zealand address.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW5.30 Applicant's Agreement with TEC
a.

Each applicant who pre-purchases ESOL tuition must sign an Agreement by which they agree, among other
things, that they understand the rules for taking up ESOL tuition in New Zealand and the refund provisions.

b.

The content of the Agreement is determined by INZ and TEC.

c.

Included with the Agreement is a Schedule that sets out the personal details of the applicant and the amount
of tuition to be purchased.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW5.35 Completion of agreement
See previous instructions RW5.35 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

When an application for a residence class visa is approved in principle, applicants will be given two copies of the
Agreement to complete for each person in the application undertaking the English language training.

b.

After completion of the Agreement, one copy is retained by the applicant, and the other copy is returned to INZ
processing office with the tuition fee(s).

c.

If the Agreement is not signed and returned to INZ within the time specified by INZ, the residence class visa
application must be declined.

d.

The INZ copy of the Agreement should be sent to the TEC.

Effective 07/11/2011
RW5.40 The amount of ESOL tuition to be pre-purchased
See previous instructions RW5.40 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

The amount of ESOL tuition to be pre-purchased is determined by the applicant's average IELTS score across
all four bands (as shown in their "Overall Band" score in the IELTS Test Report Form) according to the following
table.
Overall Band score

Charge to be paid

ESOL entitlement

4.5 or more but less than 5

NZ$1,735

NZ$1,531.82

4 or more, but less than 4.5

NZ$3,420

NZ$3,063.64

3.5 or more, but less than 4

NZ$5,110

NZ$4,600.00

Less than 3.5

NZ$6,795

NZ$6,131.82

b.

The charge includes the applicant's ESOL tuition entitlement, as well as INZ and TEC administration costs.

c.

If an applicant has not submitted IELTS results when requested, the maximum charge of NZ$6,795 applies.

Effective 26/11/2012
RW5.45 Failure to pre-purchase ESOL tuition
Any ESOL tuition charge due must be paid before a residence class visa is granted; and if it is not paid to INZ within the
specified time, the residence class visa application must be declined.

Effective 29/11/2010
RW5.50 Limited period to use ESOL tuition
See previous instructions:
RW5.50 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

If ESOL tuition is purchased, the applicant must complete the tuition within five years from the date of
payment.

b.

ESOL tuition will not be available without further payment, nor will refunds be given, to applicants who do not
take up ESOL tuition within the time limit specified in (a).

Effective 17/11/2014
RW5.55 Refunds of ESOL tuition money
a.

If ESOL tuition money is paid but the principal applicant and partner and dependent children included in the
application do not take up residence, a refund may be granted upon request to INZ. The request must be made
in writing.

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b.

Requests for refunds must be declined if they are made more than six months after the expiry of the travel
conditions allowing travel to New Zealand.

c.

Immigration officers considering requests for refunds must be satisfied that the principal applicant and partner
and dependent children included in the application:

d.

i.

have not taken up residence; and

ii.

do not hold current residence class visas.

The person who paid the fee will be repaid only the ESOL entitlement. The INZ and TEC administration costs will
not be refunded.

Effective 29/11/2010

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RW6 Migrant Levy


Applicants approved under the Residence from Work Category are required to pay a Migrant Levy (see R5.90).

Effective 29/11/2010

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RW7 Residence instructions for holders of work


visas granted under religious worker
instructions
Objective
The objective of Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under Religious Worker instructions is to:
a.

provide New Zealand communities with the opportunity to practise, maintain and advance their religious
beliefs; and

b.

maintain the integrity of the immigration system through clear guidelines for applicants to enter New Zealand
and undertake genuine religious work.

Effective 07/11/2011
RW7.5 Residence instructions for holders of work visas granted under Religious Worker
instructions
Holders of visas granted under Religious Worker instructions (or Ministers of religion, missionaries, and members of
religious orders instructions, or Specific purpose or event work instructions at WS2(g) before 5 November 2011) may be
granted a resident visa where they:
a.

have held a work visa for a period of at least three years, and met the conditions of that visa granted under:
i.

Religious Worker instructions;

ii.

Ministers of religion, missionaries, and members of religious orders instructions (before 5 November
2011); or

iii.

Specific purpose or event work instructions (at WS2(g) before 5 November 2011); and

b.

have an acceptable sponsor (see RW7.10); and

c.

have a genuine offer of work from their sponsor that is:


i.

for religious work (see RW7.5.1); and

ii.

in New Zealand; and

iii.

ongoing (permanent, indefinite, or for a stated term of at least five years); and

d.

are aged 55 years or under; and

e.

meet the minimum English language requirements (see RW5.1); and

f.

have at least five years of religious training and/or religious work experience; and

g.

meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5); and

h.

have not, at any time since the grant of their work visa under the Religious Worker instructions, applied for, or
been granted welfare assistance under the Social Security Act 1964. (For the purpose of these instructions, any
welfare assistance applied for by, or granted to, a partner or child of the holder of a work visa granted under
these instructions is welfare assistance applied for or granted to the holder.)

Note: Applicants under these instructions must be in New Zealand at the time they lodge their application for a resident
visa.
RW7.5.1 Definition of religious work
a.

b.

Religious work must substantially be a primary role including one or more of the following:
i.

teaching or guidance in religious scripture or philosophy;

ii.

leading religious practice, worship or prayer;

iii.

conducting religious initiations, ordination or ritual;

iv.

ministering or pastoral care;

v.

roles of religious leadership in relation to any of the above.

Applicants are considered to be undertaking religious work where INZ is satisfied that the work the applicant is
being sponsored to undertake directly serves the religious objectives of the sponsoring organisation.

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Note: Supporting roles for the sponsoring organisation, including cooking or cleaning may be secondary roles a
religious worker may undertake.
purposes of a visa.
c.

Secondary roles, however, will not in themselves qualify as religious work for the

Religious study is not considered religious work for the purposes of these instructions.

Religious work may include:


i.

employment for a position that is paid a salary or wages; or

ii.

work for a position that is paid a stipend; or

iii.

work for a position that does not receive direct financial return to the worker, or

iv.

work for a position that is paid through any alternative arrangement to RW7.5.1 (c) (i) - (iii).

d.

Where a religious worker is employed by the sponsoring organisation (RW7.5.1(c) (i)), the sponsoring
organisation must supply an employment agreement for the duration of the sponsorship obligations.

e.

Where a religious worker is not employed by the sponsoring organisation (RW7.5.1(c) (ii) - (iv)), the
sponsoring organisation must provide a description of the work that includes the primary role(s), and any
secondary role(s) the religious worker will be expected to undertake.

Effective 07/11/2011
RW7.10 Sponsorship by an acceptable sponsor
a.

Applicants must provide evidence of sponsorship by an acceptable sponsor by providing a


completed Sponsorship Form for Religious Workers (INZ 1190) with their application for a resident visa.

b.

Completion of the form must include:


i.

evidence that:

the sponsoring organisation is a charity registered with the Charities Commission with a primary purpose
of advancing religion; and

work to be undertaken by the applicant meets the requirements at RW7.5(c);


ii.

a statement from the sponsoring organisation establishing the reasons why that the organisation
considers that work by the applicant will continue to serve their religious objectives; and

iii.

a declaration of sponsorship from the organisation, to confirm they will meet the undertakings
specified at R4.10 for a period of five years after the grant of the resident visa; and

iv.

information to demonstrate that the sponsoring organisation has a long term need for a religious
worker (this may include, but is not limited to a statement demonstrating a shortage of New
Zealanders or resident visa holders suitable and available for the religious work, or information
pertaining to the growth of the religious organisation or their followers).

RW7.10.1 Requirements for sponsoring organisations


a.

b.

Sponsoring organisations under these instructions must have a history of compliance with the relevant
employment and immigration law in force in New Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment
and immigration law includes, but is not limited to:
i.

paying employees no less than the appropriate minimum wage rate or other contracted industry
standard; and

ii.

meeting holiday and special leave requirements or other minimum statutory criteria, e.g. occupational
safety and health obligations; and

iii.

only employing people who have authority to work in New Zealand.

Evidence or confirmation of compliance with relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law may
include but is not limited to:
i.

an employment agreement with the applicant which demonstrates compliance (if the applicant is
employed); and

ii.

a recognised history with the Department of Labour of past compliance.

c.

Immigration officers may also request other evidence or confirmation of the employer's past and future
compliance with employment and immigration law.

d.

Immigration officers may require employers to provide evidence that the rate of pay and/or conditions of work
offered to the applicant is not less than that for New Zealand workers undertaking similar work for the
sponsoring organisation.

e.

INZ will decline an application for a Religious Worker resident visa where it considers that granting the visa
would undermine the integrity, credibility or reputation of the New Zealand immigration or employment
relations systems.

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Note: To determine whether an employment agreement creates an unacceptable risk to the integrity of New
Zealand's immigration and employment laws or instructions, an immigration officer may consider whether the rate
of pay and/or conditions of the work are comparable to that for New Zealand workers undertaking similar work for
the sponsoring organisation.

Effective 07/11/2011
RW7.15 Evidential requirements
See previous instructions RW7.15 Effective 07/11/2011
Applications under these instructions must include evidence:
a.

that the applicant has been undertaking religious work in New Zealand for a period of at least three years; and

b.

of work that meets the requirements set out at RW7.5.1; and

c.

of sponsorship by an acceptable sponsor (see RW7.10); and

d.

of at least five years of religious training and/or religious work experience relevant to the religious work the
applicant is being sponsored to undertake, that may include, but is not limited to:
i.

testimonials;

ii.

certificates of ordination;

iii.

curriculum vitae;

iv.

documentation demonstrating relevant work experience; or

v.

a verified copy of an awarding certificate for a relevant qualification.

Effective 30/07/2012
RW7.20 Conditions and currency of Religious Worker visas
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 49, 55
a.

Resident visas granted under these instructions will be subject to the condition that the applicant must
undertake religious work for the sponsoring organisation only. This condition will apply for five years from the
visa holders first day as a resident in New Zealand, except where RW7.20 (d) applies.

b.

A resident visa granted under the Religious Worker instructions is subject to the condition that the sponsor of
the visa holder meets their obligations as set out in R4.10 for five years from the visa holders first day as a
resident in New Zealand.

c.

The multiple entry travel conditions on a resident visa granted under the Religious Work instructions must be
valid for five years from the visa holders first day as a resident in New Zealand.

d.

Despite (a) above, the holder of that visa may request that the conditions on their resident visa be varied to
allow them to work for another registered charity of the same religious affiliation whose purpose is advancing
religion.

Note: The sponsoring organisation can be changed, for example, where the sponsoring organisation stated on the
visa is deregistered as a charitable organisation under Section 31 of the Charities Act 2005.
e.

Where RW7.20 (d) applies, the applicant must provide supporting documentation to confirm that:
i.

the new sponsoring organisation is an acceptable sponsor; and

ii.

the visa holder will undertake religious work for the new sponsor.

Effective 07/11/2011

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Special Categories
IN THIS SECTION
S1 Special Categories for certain nationalities ............................ 57-1
S2 Special directions Instructions ............................................. 58-1
S3 Refugee and Protection Category ......................................... 59-1
S4 Special residence Categories............................................... 60-1

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S1 Special Categories for certain nationalities


S1.1 Pitcairn Islanders
a.

Pitcairn Islanders are considered for a resident visa under a special category because New Zealand recognises
that there are few employment opportunities on Pitcairn Island.

b.

Pitcairn Islanders must be approved for a resident visa if they:


i.

apply in the prescribed manner (see R2.35 - R2.45), and

ii.

meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5), and

iii.

have an offer of employment in New Zealand that meets the requirements of SM7.15.

Effective 29/11/2010
S1.10 Samoan Quota Scheme
See previous instructions:
S1.10 Effective 01/04/2014
S1.10 Effective 01/07/2013
S1.10 Effective 01/04/2013
S1.10 Effective 01/07/2012
S1.10 Effective 26/03/2012
S1.10 Effective 30/04/2011
S1.10 Effective 04/04/2011
S1.10 Effective 29/11/2010
S1.10.1 Objective
The Samoan Quota Scheme allows up to 1,100 Samoan citizens to be granted a resident visa each year. The total number
of Samoan citizens approved under this category includes principal applicants, their partners and dependent children.
S1.10.5 Criteria for a resident visa
a.

To qualify for a resident visa under the Samoan Quota Scheme, the principal applicant must:
i.

be a Samoan citizen (having been born in Samoa or born overseas to a Samoan citizen who was born
in Samoa); and

ii.

be either in Samoa or lawfully in New Zealand at the time their application for a resident visa is made;
and

iii.

have their registration drawn from the Samoan Quota Scheme pool; and

iv.

lodge their application for a resident visa under the Samoan Quota Scheme within eight months of
written advice from INZ that their registration has been drawn from the Samoan Quota Scheme pool;
and

v.

have been aged between 18 and 45 (inclusive) at the registration closing date; and

vi.

have an acceptable offer of employment, or have a partner included in the application who has an
acceptable offer of employment (see S1.10.30 below); and

vii. (if they have dependent children) meet the minimum income requirement (see S1.10.35 below); and
viii. meet a minimum level of English language ability (see S1.10.45 below); and
ix.

meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

b.

Partners and dependent children of the principal applicant who are included in the resident visa application
must also meet health and character requirements for a resident visa (see A4 and A5).

c.

An immigration officer may extend the eight month timeframe referred to in paragraph (a)(iv) if the officer
believes the special circumstances of the applicant justify such an extension.

d.

An Assistant General Manager, Visa Services may extend the eight month timeframe referred to in paragraph
(a)(iv) in relation to a class of applicants if the Assistant General Manager believes the special circumstances of
the class of applicants justify such an extension.

S1.10.10 Registration process for principal registrants


a.

Principal registrants may register for entry into the Samoan Quota pool within a set registration period. The
dates of the registration period will be announced each year prior to the registration opening.

b.

Principal registrants must be aged between 18 and 45 (inclusive) at the registration closing date for their
registration to be accepted into the ballot.

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c.

Registrations must be made on the Registration Form for Samoan Quota Scheme, available on the INZ website
(www.immigration.govt.nz/forms) or from offices of INZ.

d.

Registrations must be submitted during the registration period to the appropriate receiving office specified on
the Registration Form for Samoan Quota Scheme.

e.

Registrations will be accepted for entry into the ballot only if they are fully completed, signed by the principal
registrant, and accompanied by any documents or evidence specified as required by the registration form.

f.

Any registrants who have previously overstayed in New Zealand, but have departed voluntarily, and do not
have a removal order or period of prohibition on entry in force in respect of them, can register under the
Samoan Quota Scheme.

g.

Any registrants included in a registration must either:


i.

be in New Zealand lawfully at the time the registration is made; or

ii.

be offshore at the time the registration is made.

S1.10.10.1 Definition of 'principal registrant'


The principal registrant is the person who is declared to be the principal registrant on the registration application form and
who intends to be the principal applicant of any resulting resident visa application.
S1.10.15 Inclusion in registration of immediate family members of the principal registrant
a.

Where the principal registrant has a partner and/or dependent children all of those people must be included in
the registration.

b.

If a registration is successful in the pool draw, only a partner and/or dependent children included in the
registration may be included in the resulting application for a resident visa under the Samoan Quota Scheme.
This limitation applies despite R2.1 concerning the inclusion of family members in an application.

c.

Any partner and/or dependent children who were eligible for inclusion in the registration but were not included
must not subsequently be granted a residence class visa under the Partnership or Dependent Child Categories.

d.

Despite (b) and (c) above, a partner or dependent child who was included in the registration but not in the
resulting application for a resident visa may be granted a residence class visa as a principal applicant under the
Partnership or Dependent Child Categories.

e.

Notwithstanding (b) above, in the event an applicant includes any partner and/or dependent child in their
application who was not included in their registration, officers should allow the principal applicant an
opportunity to explain the non-declaration in accordance with R5.15 before applying the limitation referred to
in (b).

f.

Where a person is not eligible to be included at the time of registration but is eligible at the time of the
application for a resident visa (e.g. in the case of a newborn child), they may be included in the resident visa
application provided R2.1 is met.

S1.10.20 Number of registrations that may be lodged


Registrants must lodge (or be included in) only one registration within the registration period. If a registration is lodged
that includes registrants who are already included in a registration accepted by INZ, the subsequent registration(s) will
not be accepted.
S1.10.25 Selection process following closure of registration
a.

As soon as practicable following the closure of the registration period, INZ will conduct an electronic draw.

b.

Registrations will be randomly drawn from the pool until the appropriate number of potential applicants to fill
the number of available places within the annual period has been drawn.

c.

Principal registrants whose registrations have been drawn from the pool will be notified by INZ in the month
following the draw that their registration has been successful, and will be invited to lodge an application for a
resident visa under the Samoan Quota Scheme at the appropriate receiving office of INZ not more than eight
months after the date of that advice.

S1.10.30 Acceptable offers of employment


a.

Acceptable offers of employment may be in either a skilled or unskilled occupation but must be for on-going and
sustainable employment. On-going and sustainable employment is:
i.

an offer of employment or current employment with a single employer which is permanent, or


indefinite, and of which the employer is in a position to meet the terms specified; or

ii.

an offer of employment or current employment, with a single employer for a stated term of at least 12
months.

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Note: When assessing whether employment is sustainable, officers may consider, but are not limited to, such
factors as the residence status of the employer, the period for which the employing organisation has been
established as a going concern, and the financial sustainability of the employing organisation.
Where an offer of employment or current employment is for a stated term of at least 12 months, the stated term
must be valid both at the time the application is lodged and when the application is decided, in particular:
~ if the applicant has current employment, he or she must be in that employment, or
~ if the applicant has an offer of employment, the offer must continue to be valid.
b.

c.

d.

e.

Acceptable offers of employment must also be:


i.

for full-time employment (employment is full-time if it amounts to, on average, at least 30 hours per
week) unless S1.10.35.1 (c) applies; and

ii.

current at the time of assessing the application and at the time of grant of the visa; and

iii.

genuine; and

iv.

for a position that is paid by salary or wages (ie, positions of self-employment, payment by
commission and/or retainer are not acceptable); and

v.

accompanied by evidence of professional or technical registration if this is required by law to take up


the offer; and

vi.

compliant with all relevant employment law in force in New Zealand.

An acceptable offer of employment must be from an employer who complies with all relevant employment and
immigration law in force in New Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment and immigration
law will be assessed on the basis of past and current behaviour, and includes, but is not limited to:
i.

paying employees no less than the applicable minimum wage rate; and

ii.

meeting holiday and leave entitlements and other minimum statutory requirements; and

iii.

meeting occupational safety and health obligations; and

iv.

only employing people who are entitled to work in New Zealand.

For the purposes of S1.10.30(a) (ii), INZ must be satisfied that the employer:
i.

has genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that the employment is for a stated
term; and

ii.

has advised the employee of when or how their employment will end and the reasons for their
employment ending; and

iii.

is in a position to meet the terms specified.

Genuine reasons for the purposes of SM7.15(c)(i) do not include reasons:


i.

that exclude or limit the rights of a person under employment law; or

ii.

to determine the suitability of a person for permanent or indefinite employment.

Note: In order meet employment law, employment agreements that are for a stated term must specify in writing the
way in which the employment will end and the reasons for ending the employment.
f.

If the principal applicant has dependent children, the offer of employment must also meet the minimum income
requirement set out at S1.10.35 below.

S1.10.35 Minimum income requirement


a.

Principal applicants with dependent children must show that they will meet the minimum income requirement
if they come to New Zealand, which is intended to ensure they can support themselves and their dependent
children.

b.

The gross minimum income requirement is NZ$31,943.60. This is based on the Unemployment Benefit
(married and civil union rate) plus the maximum Accommodation Supplement (as set by the New Zealand
Government).

c.

The minimum income requirement must be derived from an acceptable offer of employment - see S1.10.30.

S1.10.35.1 Ability to include partner's income as part of the minimum income requirement

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a.

If both the principal applicant and their partner included in their application have an acceptable offer of
employment in New Zealand, both of their wages or salaries may be taken into account when determining if the
minimum income requirement is met.

b.

In such cases the partner's employment and income will only be taken into account if, at the time the
application is assessed, an immigration officer is satisfied the principal applicant and partner have been living
together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see R2.1.15.1(b)
and R2.1.15.5(a)(i)).

c.

Where the employment (and income) of both the principal applicant and their partner is used to meet the
minimum income requirement, both offers of employment must meet all the requirements in S1.10.30 except
that only one has to meet the requirement that the offer be for full-time employment.

S1.10.40 Evidence of employment offer


a.

b.

Evidence of an offer of employment is original or certified copies of the following documents:


i.

a written offer of employment; and

ii.

a detailed job description; and

iii.

an employment agreement entered into by the employer and the principal applicant, stating:

the terms of employment; and

the hours of work; and

the period during which employment may begin.

Additional evidence may include, but is not limited to:


i.

any information requested by INZ; and

ii.

the results of any verification undertaken by INZ; and

iii.

information from the employer or recruitment agency.

S1.10.45 Minimum English language requirement


The interviewing immigration officer determines whether principal applicants meet the minimum English language
requirement by assessing whether they are able to:
a.

read English; and

b.

understand and respond to questions in English; and

c.

maintain an English language conversation about themselves, their family or their background.

S1.10.50 Determining applications


a.

b.

The immigration officer must sight the original job offer and verify that it is genuine and current by checking:
i.

directly with the employer; or

ii.

through the nearest office of INZ to the employer in New Zealand; or

iii.

by some other appropriate arrangement.

The immigration officer must then assess the applicant's English language ability against the criteria at
S1.10.45 above.

S1.10.55 Grant of visas


a.

If an application for a resident visa under the Samoan Quota Scheme is approved and the applicant is in New
Zealand lawfully, a resident visa will be granted.

b.

If an application for a resident visa under the Samoan Quota Scheme is approved and the applicant is in Samoa,
the principal applicant will be granted with a resident visa with travel conditions allowing first entry within three
months, while the partner and dependent children will be granted resident visas with travel conditions allowing
first entry within 12 months.

Effective 25/08/2014
S1.11 Residual Quota Places Category
a.

If the annual quota of places available under the Samoan Quota Scheme is not filled by applicants drawn from
the ballot, INZ will, for the purpose of filling remaining places, call for resident visa applications within a
specified period from persons who:
i.

are Samoan citizens (having been born in Samoa or born overseas to a Samoan citizen who was born
in Samoa); and

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ii.

are in New Zealand at the time applications are called for under this category; and

iii.

are lawfully in New Zealand at the time their application for a resident visa is made; and

iv.

are aged between 18 and 45 inclusive; and

v.

have an acceptable offer of employment or have a partner, included in the application, who has an
acceptable offer of employment (see S1.10.30); and

vi.

meet the minimum income requirement (see S1.10.35) if they have dependants; and

vii. meet a minimum level of English language ability (see S1.10.45); and
viii. meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).
b.

Partners and dependent children accepted under the Quota must meet health and character requirements (see
A4 and A5).

c.

Applications will only be accepted if sent to the designated receiving office in New Zealand on the
form Application for Residence in New Zealand (INZ 1000)

d.

Applications that are lodged in the prescribed manner (that meet all mandatory lodgement requirements) will
be processed in the order in which they are received.

e.

Applicants who meet the criteria specified in (a) to (c) above will be granted a resident visa.

f.

All applications received that have not been decided at the time that all the remaining places from the annual
quota have been filled will be treated as lapsed.

Effective 29/11/2010
S1.40 Pacific Access Category
See previous instructions:
S1.40 Effective 01/04/2014
S1.40 Effective 01/07/2013
S1.40 Effective 01/04/2013
S1.40 Effective 01/07/2012
S1.40 Effective 26/03/2012
S1.40 Effective 30/04/2011
S1.40 Effective 04/04/2011
S1.40 Effective 29/11/2010
S1.40.1 Objective
The Pacific Access Category allows up to 250 citizens of Tonga, 75 citizens of Tuvalu, and 75 citizens of Kiribati to be
granted residence class visas in New Zealand each year. The total number of individuals approved under each category
includes principal applicants, their partners and dependent children.
S1.40.5 Criteria for a resident visa
a.

To qualify for a resident visa under the Pacific Access Category, the principal applicant must:
i.

be a citizen of Tonga, Tuvalu, or Kiribati; and

ii.

have their Pacific Access Category registration drawn from the relevant Tonga, Tuvalu, or Kiribati pool
of the Pacific Access Category; and

iii.

lodge their application for a resident visa under the Pacific Access Category within eight months of
written advice from INZ that their registration has been drawn from the relevant Tonga, Tuvalu, or
Kiribati pool of the Pacific Access Category; and

iv.

have been aged between 18 and 45 (inclusive) at the registration closing date; and

v.

have an acceptable offer of employment or have a partner, included in the application, who has an
acceptable offer of employment (see S1.40.30 below); and

vi.

(if they have dependent children) meet the minimum income requirement set out at S1.40.35 below;
and

vii. meet a minimum level of English language ability (see S1.40.45 below); and
viii. meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).
b.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Tonga must be:


i.

either in Tonga or lawfully in New Zealand at the time their application under the Pacific Access
Category is made; and

ii.

must have been born in Tonga or born overseas to a Tongan citizen who was born in Tonga.

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c.

d.

Residence

Principal applicants who are citizens of Kiribati must be:


i.

either in Kiribati or Fiji or lawfully in New Zealand at the time their application under the Pacific Access
Category is made; and

ii.

must have been born in Kiribati or born overseas to a Kiribati citizen who was born in Kiribati.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Tuvalu must be:


i.

either in Tuvalu or Fiji or lawfully in New Zealand at the time their application under the Pacific Access
Category is made; and

ii.

must have been born in Tuvalu or born overseas to a Tuvaluan citizen who was born in Tuvalu.

e.

Partners and dependent children included in applications under the Pacific Access Category must also meet
health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

f.

An immigration officer may extend the eight-month timeframe referred to in paragraph (a)(iii) if the officer
believes the special circumstances of the applicant justify such an extension.

g.

An Assistant General Manager, Visa Services may extend the eight-month timeframe referred to in paragraph
(a)(iii) in relation to a class of applicants if the Assistant General Manager believes the special circumstances of
the class of applicants justify such an extension.

S1.40.10 Registration process for principal registrants


a.

Principal registrants may register for entry into the relevant Tonga, Tuvalu, or Kiribati pool of the Pacific Access
Category within a set registration period. The dates of the registration period will be announced each year prior
to the registration opening.

b.

Principal registrants must be aged between 18 and 45 (inclusive) at the registration closing date for their
registration to be accepted into the ballot.

c.

Registrations must be made on the Registration Form for Pacific Access Category, available on the INZ website
(www.immigration.govt.nz) or from offices of INZ.

d.

Registrations must be submitted during the registration period to the appropriate receiving office specified on
the Registration Form for Pacific Access Category.

e.

Registrations will be accepted for entry into the ballot only if they are fully completed, signed by the principal
registrant, and accompanied by any documents or evidence as required by the registration form.

f.

A fee is payable for registration. Payment must be made in a manner specified on the Registration Form for
Pacific Access Category.

g.

Any registrants who have previously overstayed in New Zealand, but have departed voluntarily, and do not
have a removal or deportation order in force in respect of them, can register under the Pacific Access Category.

h.

Any registrants included in a registration must either:


i.

be in New Zealand lawfully at the time the registration is made; or

ii.

be offshore at the time the registration is made.

S1.40.10.1 Definition of 'principal registrant'


The principal registrant is the person who is declared to be the principal registrant on the registration application form and
who intends to be the principal applicant of any resulting residence class visa application.
S1.40.15 Inclusion in registration of immediate family members of the principal registrant
a.

Where the principal registrant has a partner and/or dependent children all of those people must be included in
the registration.

b.

If a registration is successful in the pool draw, only a partner and/or dependent children included in the
registration may be included in the resulting application for a resident visa under the Pacific Access Category.
This limitation applies despite R2.1 concerning the inclusion of family members in an application.

c.

Any partner and/or dependent children who were eligible for inclusion in the registration but were not included
must not subsequently be granted a residence class visa under the Partnership or Dependent Child Categories.

d.

Despite (b) and (c) above, a partner or dependent child who was included in the registration but not in the
resulting application for a resident visa may be granted a residence class visa as a principal applicant under the
Partnership or Dependent Child Categories.

e.

Notwithstanding (b) above, in the event an applicant includes any partner and/or dependent child in their
application who was not included in their registration, officers should allow the principal applicant an
opportunity to explain the non-declaration in accordance with R5.15 before applying the limitation referred to
in (b).

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f.

Residence

Where a person is not eligible to be included at the time of registration but is eligible at the time of the
application for a resident visa (e.g. in the case of a newborn child), they may be included in the resident visa
application provided R2.1 is met.

S1.40.20 Number of registrations that may be lodged


Registrants must lodge (or be included in) only one registration within the registration period. If a registration is lodged
that includes registrants who are already included in a registration accepted by INZ, the subsequent registration(s) will
not be accepted.
S1.40.25 Selection process following closure of registration
a.

INZ will conduct an electronic draw as soon as practicable after the closure of the registration period.

b.

Registrations will be randomly drawn from the pool of registrations, until the appropriate number of potential
registrants to meet the various quotas of available places within the annual period has been drawn.

c.

Principal registrants whose registrations have been drawn from the various pools will be notified by INZ in the
month following the draw that their registration has been successful and that they must lodge a full application
under the Pacific Access Category to the appropriate receiving office of INZ not more than eight months after
the date of that advice.

d.

Principal registrants who are unsuccessful in the registration process within a particular registration period are
able to re-register within subsequent registration periods at a reduced fee.

S1.40.30 Acceptable offers of employment


a.

Acceptable offers of employment may be in either a skilled or unskilled occupation but must be for on-going and
sustainable employment. On-going and sustainable employment is:
i.

an offer of employment or current employment with a single employer which is permanent, or


indefinite, and of which the employer is in a position to meet the terms specified; or

ii.

an offer of employment or current employment, with a single employer for a stated term of at least 12
months.

Note: When assessing whether employment is sustainable, officers may consider, but are not limited to, such
factors as the residence status of the employer, the period for which the employing organisation has been
established as a going concern, and the financial sustainability of the employing organisation.
Where an offer of employment or current employment is for a stated term of at least 12 months, the stated term
must be valid both at the time the application is lodged and when the application is decided, in particular:
~ if the applicant has current employment, he or she must be in that employment, or
~ if the applicant has an offer of employment, the offer must continue to be valid.
b.

c.

d.

Acceptable offers of employment must also be:


i.

for full-time employment (employment is full-time if it amounts to, on average, at least 30 hours per
week) unless S1.40.35.1 (c) applies; and

ii.

current at the time of assessing the application and at the time of grant the visa; and

iii.

genuine; and

iv.

for a position that is paid by salary or wages (ie, positions of self-employment, payment by
commission and/or retainer are not acceptable); and

v.

accompanied by evidence of professional or technical registration if this is required by law to take up


the offer; and

vi.

compliant with all relevant employment law in force in New Zealand.

An acceptable offer of employment must be from an employer who complies with all relevant employment and
immigration law in force in New Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment and immigration
law will be assessed on the basis of past and current behaviour, and includes, but is not limited to:
i.

paying employees no less than the applicable minimum wage rate; and

ii.

meeting holiday and leave entitlements and other minimum statutory requirements; and

iii.

meeting occupational safety and health obligations; and

iv.

only employing people who are entitled to work in New Zealand.

For the purposes of S1.40.30(a)(ii), INZ must be satisfied that the employer:

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e.

Residence

i.

has genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for specifying that the employment is for a stated
term; and

ii.

has advised the employee of when or how their employment will end and the reasons for their
employment ending; and

iii.

is in a position to meet the terms specified.

Genuine reasons for the purposes of SM7.15(c)(i) do not include reasons:


i.

that exclude or limit the rights of a person under employment law; or

ii.

to determine the suitability of a person for permanent or indefinite employment.

Note: In order meet employment law, employment agreements that are for a stated term must specify in writing the
way in which the employment will end and the reasons for ending the employment.
f.

If the principal applicant has dependent children, the offer of employment must also meet the minimum income
requirement set out at S1.40.35 below.

S1.40.35 Minimum income requirement


a.

Principal applicants with dependent children must show that they will meet the minimum income requirement
if they come to New Zealand, which is intended to ensure they can support themselves and their dependent
children.

b.

The gross minimum income requirement is NZ$31,943.60. This is based on the Unemployment Benefit
(married and civil union rate) plus the maximum Accommodation Supplement (as set by the New Zealand
Government).

c.

The minimum income requirement must be derived from the acceptable offer of employment - see S1.40.30.

S1.40.35.1 Ability to include the partner's income as part of the minimum income requirement
a.

If both the principal applicant and their partner included in their application have an acceptable offer of
employment in New Zealand, both of their wages or salaries may be taken into account when determining if the
minimum income requirement is met.

b.

In such cases the partner's employment and income will only be taken into account if, at the time the
application is assessed, an immigration officer is satisfied the principal applicant and partner have been living
together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see R2.1.15.1(b)
and R2.1.15.5(a)(i)).

c.

Where the employment (and income) of both the principal applicant and their partner is used to meet the
minimum income requirement, both offers of employment must meet all the requirements in S1.40.30, except
that only one has to meet the requirement that the offer be for full-time employment.

S1.40.40 Evidence of employment offer


a.

b.

Evidence of an offer of employment is original or certified copies of the following documents:


i.

a written offer of employment; and

ii.

a detailed job description; and

iii.

a letter from the employer stating whether or not any occupational registration is required by law for
the principal applicant to take up the position; and

iv.

an employment agreement entered into by the employer and the principal applicant, stating:

the terms of employment; and

the hours of work; and

the period during which employment may begin.

Additional evidence may include, but is not limited to:


(v) any information requested by INZ; and

(vi)

the results of any verification undertaken by INZ; and

(vii)

information from the employer or recruitment agency.

S1.40.45 Minimum English language requirement


Immigration officers determine whether principal applicants meet the minimum English language requirement by
assessing whether they are able to:
a.

read English; and

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b.

understand and respond to questions in English; and

c.

maintain an English language conversation about themselves, their family or their background.

S1.40.50 Determining applications


a.

b.

Immigration officers must sight the original job offer and verify that it is genuine and current by checking:
i.

directly with the employer; or

ii.

through the nearest office of INZ to the employer in New Zealand; or

iii.

by some other appropriate arrangement.

Immigration officers must assess the applicant's English language ability against the criteria at S1.40.45
above.

S1.40.55 Grant of visas


a.

If an application for a resident visa under the Pacific Access Category is approved and the applicant is in New
Zealand lawfully, a resident visa will be granted.

b.

If an application for a resident visa under the Pacific Access Category is approved and the applicant is in Tonga,
Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Fiji, the principal applicant will be granted a resident visa with travel conditions allowing first
entry within three months, while the partner and dependent children will be granted resident visas with travel
conditions allowing first entry within 12 months.

Effective 25/08/2014
S1.41 Residual PAC Places Category
a.

If the annual quota of places available for each country under the Pacific Access Category is not filled by
applicants drawn from the ballots, INZ will, for the purpose of filling remaining places, call for resident visa
applications within a specified period from persons who:
i.

are citizens of the countries that have unfilled places; and

ii.

are in New Zealand at the time applications are called for under this category; and

iii.

are lawfully in New Zealand at the time their application for a resident visa is made; and

iv.

have an acceptable offer of employment or have a partner, included in the application, who has an
acceptable offer of employment (see S1.40.30); and

v.

are aged between 18 and 45 inclusive; and

vi.

meet the minimum income requirement (see S1.40.35) if they have dependants; and

vii. meet a minimum level of English language ability (see S1.40.45); and
viii. meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).
b.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Tonga must have been born in Tonga or born overseas to a Tongan
citizen who was born in Tonga.

c.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Kiribati must have been born in Kiribati or born overseas to a Kiribati
citizen who was born in Kiribati.

d.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Tuvalu must have been born in Tuvalu or born overseas to a Tuvaluan
citizen who was born in Tuvalu.

e.

Partners and dependent children included in applications under the Pacific Access Category must meet health
and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

f.

Applications will only be accepted if sent to the designated receiving office in New Zealand on the
form Application for Residence in New Zealand (INZ 1000).

g.

Applications that are lodged in the prescribed manner (that meet all mandatory lodgement requirements) will
be processed in the order in which they are received.

h.

Applicants who meet the criteria specified in (a) to (f) above will be granted a resident visa.

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i.

Residence

All applications received that have not been decided at the time that all the remaining places from the annual
quota have been filled will be treated as lapsed.

Effective 29/11/2010
S1.45 Special Samoan Quota Places Category
S1.45.1 Objective
This category allows for the grant of a resident visa to citizens of Samoa who made an application for a resident visa under
the Residual Quota Places Category and that application had not been decided as at 7 December 2008.
S1.45.5 Criteria for a resident visa
a.

To qualify for a resident visa under the Special Samoan Quota Places Category, the principal applicant must:
i.

be a Samoan citizen (having been born in Samoa or born overseas to a Samoan citizen who was born
in Samoa); and

ii.

have made an application for a resident visa under the Residual Quota Places Category before 28
November 2005 which was not decided as at 7 December 2008; and

iii.

have withdrawn that undecided application after 7 December 2008; and

iv.

have an acceptable offer of employment or have a partner, included in the application, who has an
acceptable offer of employment (see S1.45.10 below); and

v.

meet the minimum income requirement (see S1.45.15 below) if they have dependants; and

vi.

meet a minimum level of English language ability (see S1.45.20 below); and

vii. meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).


b.

Partners and dependent children accepted under this category must meet health and character requirements
(see A4 and A5).

c.

Applications will only be accepted on the Application for Special Samoan Quota Places form and should be sent
to the designated receiving office in New Zealand.

d.

Applications that are made in the prescribed manner (that meet all mandatory lodgement requirements) will be
processed in the order in which they are received.

e.

Applications must have been made before or on 31 March 2009.

S1.45.10 Acceptable offers of employment


a.

Acceptable offers of employment may be in either a skilled or unskilled occupation but must be for ongoing and
sustainable employment. Ongoing and sustainable employment is employment with a single employer:
i.

in a job which is permanent, or indefinite, and for which the employer is in a position to meet the terms
specified; or

ii.

for a stated term of at least twelve months with an option for the employee of further terms, and for
which the employer is in a position to meet the terms specified.

Note: When assessing whether employment is sustainable, officers may consider, but are not limited to, such
factors as the residence status of the employer, the period for which the employing organisation has been
established as a going concern, and the financial sustainability of the employing organisation.
b.

Acceptable offers of employment must also be:


i.

for full-time employment (employment is full-time if it amounts to, on average, at least 30 hours per
week); and

ii.

current at the time of assessing the application and at the time of the grant of the visa; and

iii.

genuine; and

iv.

for a position that is paid by salary or wages (ie, positions of self-employment, payment by
commission and/or retainer are not acceptable); and

v.

accompanied by evidence of professional or technical registration if this is required by law to take up


the offer; and

vi.

compliant with all relevant employment law in force in New Zealand.

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Note: Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment law includes but is not limited to:
~ a written employment agreement that contains the necessary statutory specified terms and conditions
~ paying employees no less than the appropriate adult or youth minimum wage
~ meeting holiday and special leave requirements and other minimum statutory criteria
~ meeting occupational safety and health obligations.
c.

If the principal applicant has dependent children, the offer of employment must also meet the minimum income
requirement set out at S1.45.15 below.

S1.45.15 Minimum income requirement


a.

Principal applicants with dependent children must show that they will meet the minimum income requirement
if they come to New Zealand, which is intended to ensure they can support themselves and any dependants.

b.

The gross minimum income requirement for the purposes of this category is $25,585.

c.

The salary or wages specified in the acceptable offer of employment (see S1.45.10) must be equal to or more
than the gross minimum income requirement.

d.

However, if the principal applicant does not have a job offer or if their income does not meet (b) above, their
partner's acceptable job offer may be taken into account when determining if the minimum income
requirement is met. An immigration officer must be satisfied (at the time the application is assessed) that the
principal applicant and partner have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine
and stable - see R2.1.15.1(b) and R2.1.15.5(a)(i). The offers of employment must meet all the requirements
in S1.45.10, except that only one has to meet the requirement that the offer be for full-time employment.

S1.45.20 Minimum English language requirement


a.

Immigration officers determine whether principal applicants meet the minimum English language requirement
by assessing whether they are able to:
i.

read English; and

ii.

understand and respond to questions in English; and

iii.

maintain an English language conversation about themselves, their family or their background.

Effective 29/11/2010
S1.50 Special PAC Places Category
S1.50.1 Objective
This category allows for the grant of a resident visa to citizens of Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati or Fiji who made an application
for a resident visa under the Residual PAC Places Category and that application had not been decided as at 7 December
2008.
S1.50.5 Criteria for a resident visa
a.

To qualify for a resident visa under the Special PAC Places Category, the principal applicant must:
i.

be a citizen of Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati or Fiji;

ii.

have made an application for a resident visa under the Residual PAC Places Instructions before 28
November 2005 which was not decided as at 7 December 2008; and

iii.

have withdrawn that undecided application after 7 December 2008; and

iv.

have an acceptable offer of employment or have a partner, included in the application, who has an
acceptable offer of employment (see S1.50.10 below); and

v.

meet the minimum income requirement (see S1.50.15) if they have dependants; and

vi.

meet a minimum level of English language ability (see S1.50.20); and

vii. meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).


b.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Tonga must have been born in Tonga or born overseas to a Tongan
citizen who was born in Tonga.

c.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Kiribati must have been born in Kiribati or born overseas to a Kiribati
citizen who was born in Kiribati.

d.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Tuvalu must have been born in Tuvalu or born overseas to a Tuvaluan
citizen who was born in Tuvalu.

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e.

Principal applicants who are citizens of Fiji must have been born in Fiji or born overseas to a Fijian citizen who
was born in Fiji.

f.

Partners and dependent children accepted under this category must meet health and character requirements
(see A4 and A5).

g.

Applications will only be accepted on the Application for Special PAC Places Instructions form and should be
sent to the designated receiving office in New Zealand.

h.

Applications that are made in the prescribed manner (that meet all mandatory lodgement requirements) will be
processed in the order in which they are received.

i.

Applications must be made before or on 31 March 2009.

S1.50.10 Acceptable offers of employment


a.

Acceptable offers of employment may be in either a skilled or unskilled occupation but must be for ongoing and
sustainable employment. Ongoing and sustainable employment is employment with a single employer:
i.

in a job which is permanent, or indefinite, and for which the employer is in a position to meet the terms
specified; or

ii.

for a stated term of at least twelve months with an option for the employee of further terms, and for
which the employer is in a position to meet the terms specified.

Note: When assessing whether employment is sustainable, officers may consider, but are not limited to, such
factors as the residence status of the employer, the period for which the employing organisation has been
established as a going concern, and the financial sustainability of the employing organisation.
b.

Acceptable offers of employment must also be:


i.

for full-time employment (employment is full-time if it amounts to, on average, at least 30 hours per
week); and

ii.

current at the time of assessing the application and at the time of the grant of the visa; and

iii.

genuine; and

iv.

for a position that is paid by salary or wages (ie, positions of self-employment, payment by
commission and/or retainer are not acceptable); and

v.

accompanied by evidence of professional or technical registration if this is required by law to take up


the offer; and

vi.

compliant with all relevant employment law in force in New Zealand.

Note: Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment law includes but is not limited to:
~ a written employment agreement that contains the necessary statutory specified terms and conditions
~ paying employees no less than the appropriate adult or youth minimum wage
~ meeting holiday and special leave requirements and other minimum statutory criteria
~ meeting occupational safety and health obligations.
c.

If the principal applicant has dependent children, the offer of employment must also meet the minimum income
requirement set out at S1.50.15 below.

S1.50.15 Minimum income requirement


a.

Principal applicants with dependent children must show that they will meet the minimum income requirement
if they come to New Zealand, which is intended to ensure they can support themselves and any dependants.

b.

The gross minimum income requirement for the purposes of this category is $25,585.

c.

The salary or wages specified in the acceptable offer of employment (see S1.50.10) must be equal to or more
than the gross minimum income requirement.

d.

However, if the principal applicant does not have a job offer or if their income does not meet (b) above, their
partner's acceptable job offer may be taken into account when determining if the minimum income
requirement is met. An immigration officer must be satisfied (at the time the application is assessed) that the
principal applicant and partner have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine
and stable - see R2.1.15.1(b) and R2.1.15.5(a)(i). The offers of employment must meet all the requirements
in S1.50.10, except that only one has to meet the requirement that the offer be for full-time employment.

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S1.50.20 Minimum English language requirement


a.

Immigration officers determine whether principal applicants meet the minimum English language requirement
by assessing whether they are able to:
i.

read English; and

ii.

understand and respond to questions in English; and

iii.

maintain an English language conversation about themselves, their family or their background.

Effective 29/11/2010

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S2 Special directions Instructions


S2.1 Requests for special directions
See also Immigration Act 2009 ss 17, 378
See also Immigration Regulation 2010 reg 34
a.

In the context of special directions instructions, requests for special directions are limited to people described
by sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 (see A5.20 (b)) who are not eligible for a residence class visa.

b.

If there are sufficient grounds to consider granting a residence class visa to a person not eligible for a visa (see
A5.25), the processing officer may invite the applicant to request a special direction (RA7) authorising the
grant of a residence class visa.

c.

An invitation may be made only in cases involving exceptional circumstances, usually of a humanitarian nature,
where, but for sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009, the person concerned is otherwise eligible for the
grant of a residence class visa under residence instructions.

d.

Despite paragraph (b), if INZ receives a request without having made an invitation, it may consider that
request.

e.

Neither the Minister of Immigration nor INZ is obliged to consider any request for a special direction.

Effective 29/11/2010
S2.5 Procedure
See previous instructions S2.5 Effective 29/11/2013
a.

Applicants must make the request in writing and must include the reasons why they consider they should be
granted a special direction.

Note: The request is not in itself an application for a visa. If an application for a residence class visa has not been
made and the request for a special direction is granted, a formal application must follow.
b.

Applicants overseas who request a special direction should make their request to the nearest INZ office or an
authorised New Zealand Visa Application Centre or accredited MFAT post in their country of residence.

c.

Applicants within New Zealand should make requests to an INZ office.

d.

If the request is granted, applicants should be advised that a special direction will be made (and if necessary,
a temporary visa granted under section 61 to allow the residence class visa application to be made) once they
pay the fee for a special direction.

e.

Applications for a residence class visa may then be processed in the usual way, once the appropriate application
fee for the visa has been paid.

f.

If a request is refused, neither the Minister of Immigration nor INZ is obliged to give reasons for any decision
other than the fact that under section 11(c) of the Immigration Act 2009 he or she is not obliged to give reasons
for refusing to make a special direction; and section 23 of the Official Information Act 1982 (concerning access
for reasons for decisions) and section 27 of the Immigration Act 2009 do not apply.

Effective 02/12/2013
S2.10 Requests from prohibited people
Requests for special directions in relation to people prohibited under sections 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 from
being granted a residence class visa, are decided at various levels, depending on their category under sections 15 or 16.
S2.10.1 Requests from prohibited people
a.

Unless the Minister of Immigration has previously declined a request for a special direction, the request should
be referred to an officer with Schedule 1-2 delegations for a decision to approve or decline.

b.

If the Minister previously declined a special direction request, the request should be referred to the Resolutions
Branch, which will then forward it to the Minister for decision.

S2.10.5 People prohibited under section 15(1)(c)(d)(e) or (f)


a.

The request should be referred to the Resolutions Branch along with supporting comment and a
recommendation from the processing officer.

b.

The Resolutions Branch will then forward the request to the Minister of Immigration for decision.

S2.10.10 People prohibited under section 15(1)(a) or section 16


a.

An officer with Schedule 1-2 delegations may make a decision to decline the request.

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b.

Possible approvals should be referred to the Resolutions Branch, along with supporting comment.

c.

The Resolutions Branch will then forward the request to the Minister of Immigration for decision.

S2.10.15 People prohibited under section 15(1)(b)


a.

An officer with Schedule 1-2 delegations may make a decision to decline or approve the request.

b.

Any approval of a request for a special direction authorising the grant of a residence class visa requires the
person making the request to be otherwise eligible for the grant of residence class visa under residence
instructions.

Effective 29/11/2010

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S3 Refugee and Protection Category


S3.1 Objective
New Zealand's refugee and protection instructions:
a.

reflects the Government's commitment to fulfilling its international humanitarian obligations; and

b.

contributes to the global community's efforts to assist refugees and protected people.

Effective 29/11/2010
S3.5 Categories of refugees and protected persons
See previous instructions S3.5 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

New Zealand provides assistance to two categories of refugee:


i.

Mandated refugees (people determined to be refugees by the United Nations High Commission for
Refugees (UNHCR) before arrival in New Zealand); and

ii.

Convention refugees (people given refugee status by the New Zealand Government under the 1951
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of
Refugees (see C2.5)).

b.

The Government sets the number of places available for mandated refugees under the Refugee Quota
(currently 750 persons per year).

c.

New Zealand also provides assistance to people recognised as a protected person in New Zealand in accordance
with certain obligations under the 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment or the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Effective 26/03/2012
S3.10 Permanent resident visas for refugees and protected persons
See previous instructions:
S3.10 Effective 26/03/2012
S3.10 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Mandated refugees who meet the requirements at S3.22 may be granted permanent resident visas.

b.

Immigration officers may, at their discretion, grant permanent resident visas to "Convention" refugees and
protected persons (see C5.15.1), except if they are members of a mass arrival group and not unaccompanied
minors at the time of arrival (see C8.20).

c.

All refugee claimants who are recognised as having refugee status may apply for a permanent resident visa on
the basis of that recognition, except if (g) below applies.

d.

Protection claimants who are recognised as having protection status may apply for a permanent resident visa
on the basis of that recognition, unless they are a person to whom S3.10(g) applies or, in determining any
refugee or protection claim they made, one or more of the following applied:
i.

they were excluded from being granted refugee status by Article 1F of the Refugee Convention;

ii.

they have had a refugee claim or subsequent refugee claim not accepted for consideration on the basis
of sections 134(3) or 140(1)(b) of the Immigration Act 2009;

iii.

a refugee and protection officer has determined there are serious reasons for considering a protected
person has committed an act as outlined in section 137(2) of the Immigration Act 2009;

e.

Protected persons to whom S3.10(d)(i), (ii), and/or (iii) apply will have their immigration status determined by
the Minister of Immigration.

f.

Applicants eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa may include dependants in the application in
accordance with residence instructions (see R2).

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g.

Residence

Despite (c) above, Convention refugee and protection claimants who arrived in New Zealand as members of
a mass arrival group (see C8.5), and were not unaccompanied minors at the time of arrival as described at
C8.5.5, may only apply for a residence class visa if they meet the requirements specified at C8.20.

Effective 29/07/2013
S3.15 Requirements for making an application for grant of a permanent resident visa (refugee
or protection status)
See previous instructions:
S3.15 Effective 26/03/2012
S3.15 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

Applications for a permanent resident visa that are based on the recognition of New Zealand refugee or
protection status must be made in the prescribed manner (see R2.40). The application must include a copy of
the letter confirming the grant of refugee or protection status.

b.

Applications may be made at any New Zealand branch of INZ.

c.

Appropriately delegated immigration officers may waive by special direction:


i.

the application fee for the principal applicant and any partner and/or dependent child(ren) recorded in
the refugee or protection status application; and

ii.

the requirement to submit an overseas police clearance certificate from the country or countries in
relation to which a well-founded fear or basis for conferring New Zealands protection has been
established (see C2.5.1); and/or

iii.

any other mandatory requirement for lodgement except the requirement to complete and submit
a Residence Application (INZ1000) form together with two passport photographs of, and a Limited
Medical Certificate (INZ 1201) and a Chest X-ray Certificate (INZ 1096) for, each person included in
the application.

d.

If a birth certificate for any person included in the application is unavailable, a statutory declaration confirming
full name, date and place of birth and full names of both parents must be submitted.

e.

If documents relating to the custody of any child under the age of 16 included in the application are unavailable,
a statutory declaration confirming the legal custody of children must be submitted.

f.

The principal applicant and partner included in the application, must supply evidence to show the nature and
duration of their partnership, and that it is a genuine and stable partnership (see F2.20). A statutory
declaration confirming the duration and nature of the partnership must be submitted if such evidence would be
unduly difficult to obtain because:
i.

conditions in the relevant country are such that the country's governmental infrastructure is no longer
functioning; and/or

ii.

there are circumstances beyond the control of the applicants which prevent them obtaining the
required evidence.

g.

If overseas police clearances are unavailable for any person aged 17 and older included in the application, a
statutory declaration must be provided stating whether the applicant has been convicted, or found guilty of, or
charged with, any offences against the law in the country or countries for which police clearance certificates are
unavailable.

h.

INZ will apply for New Zealand Police clearance certificates for the principal applicant and any dependants aged
17 years and over included in the application who have been in New Zealand for more than 12 months at the
date the application is made.

Effective 30/07/2012
S3.17 Requirements for making an application for grant of a permanent resident visa
(mandated refugee)
See previous instructions S3.17 Effective 26/03/2012
a.

A person who has been recognised as a mandated refugee under S3.5(a)(i)) by the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and put forward for consideration to be resettled in New Zealand under
the refugee quota residence programme, may be selected to apply for a permanent resident visa.

b.

Candidate refers to each person put forward for consideration for the Refugee Quota Programme by the
UNHCR. Once selected, candidates can then apply for residence.

c.

Applications from mandated refugees must be made in the prescribed manner (see R2.40), submitted at an
interview with an immigration officer or delegated individual, and be processed and decided by the Refugee
Quota Branch (RQB).

d.

RQB immigration officers may waive by special direction any mandatory requirement for lodgement including
the application fee, except the requirements to complete and submit:

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i.

one Residence Application for Mandated Refugees form;

ii.

two passport photographs of each person included in the application; and

iii.

separate medical certificates for each person included in the application, as specified in A4.74.1.

e.

If an original or certified copy of a birth certificate or identity card for any person included in the application is
unavailable, a declaration confirming full name, date and place of birth and full names of both parents must be
submitted.

f.

If documents relating to the custody of any child under the age of 16 included in the application are unavailable,
a declaration confirming the legal custody of children must be submitted and/or a UNHCR Best Interest
Determination (BID). Where the child is an unaccompanied minor or separated child, a UNHCR BID must be
submitted.

g.

The principal applicant and partner included in the application must supply evidence to show the nature and
duration of their partnership, and that it is a genuine and stable partnership (see F2.20). A declaration
confirming the duration and nature of the partnership must be submitted if such evidence would be unduly
difficult to obtain because:
i.

conditions in the relevant country are such that the country's governmental infrastructure is no longer
functioning; and/or

ii.

there are circumstances beyond the control of the applicants which prevent them obtaining the
required evidence.

h.

Applicants who have been selected to be part of the refugee quota programme are exempt from the
requirement to have an acceptable standard of health (see A4.10), except where the provisions at A4.74 apply.

i.

The principal applicant and any dependants, aged 17 and over, included in the application, must provide a
police clearance certificate, less than 6 months old at the time the refugee determination is made for each
country in which they have lived for 12 months or more during the past 10 years except where:

j.

i.

the certificate is required from the applicants home country, where they have a well-founded fear of
approaching the authorities; or

ii.

the authorities of any such country do not generally provide police certificates; or

iii.

the immigration officer deems it unsafe for the applicant to approach the authorities of that country.

If overseas police clearances are unavailable for any person aged 17 and older, included in the application, a
declaration must be provided stating whether they have been convicted, or found guilty of, or charged with,
any offences against the law in the country or countries for which police clearance certificates are unavailable.

Effective 01/07/2013
S3.20 Requirements for grant of a permanent resident visa (refugee or protection status)
See previous instructions:
S3.20 Effective 30/07/2012
S3.20 Effective 26/03/2012
S3.20 Effective 29/11/2010
a.

b.

To be granted a permanent resident visa, principal applicants must satisfy immigration officers that:
i.

refugee or protection status has been recognised; and

ii.

they have established their identity and that of any partner and/or dependent child(ren); and

iii.

the relationship between the principal applicant and any partner and/or dependent child(ren) included
meets residence criteria (see R2.1.15 and R3); and

iv.

they meet the health and character requirements in A4 and A5, or are waived from these
requirements by an appropriately delegated immigration officer, who has applied the instructions set
out at A4.60 and A5.25.1, has waived them (see also C5.15.5); and

v.

they are not able to be deported from New Zealand because of the limitation on deportation arising
from section 164 of the Immigration Act 2009 (see also C5.15.5); and

vi.

they were not members of a mass arrival group, unless they were unaccompanied minors when they
arrived (see C8.5.5).

Refugees or protected persons who have held limited visas at any time are not eligible to apply for a permanent
resident visa. They can only be granted a permanent resident visa under section 61 of the Immigration Act
2009 upon the expiry of their limited visa.

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c.

Residence

Refugees and protected persons (excluding unaccompanied minors described at C8.5.5) who were members of
a mass arrival group must meet the requirements specified at C8.20 to be granted a permanent resident visa.

Effective 29/07/2013
S3.22 Requirements for grant of a permanent resident visa (mandated refugee)
See previous instructions S3.22 Effective 26/03/2012
To be granted a permanent resident visa, principal applicants must have met the requirements for submitting a Residence
Application for Mandated Refugees (S3.17) and must satisfy an immigration officer that:
a.

their identity and that of anyone included in their application has been established;

b.

they are a mandated refugee, recognised as such by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) and their refugee claim is credible;

c.

all applicants included in the application have been interviewed by an immigration officer or an appropriately
delegated individual;

d.

the relationship between the principal applicant and any partner and/or dependent child(ren) included meets
residence criteria (see R2.1.15 and R3);

e.

the applicant(s) meet the character requirements at A5, or are waived from these requirements by an
appropriately delegated immigration officer;

f.

all applicants included in the application meet the health requirements specified at A4.74; and

g.

there are no significant barriers to the ability of any of the applicants to settle into New Zealand.

S3.22.1 Status of applicants granted a permanent resident visa under the mandated refugee category
All applicants granted a permanent resident visa under this category are to be treated as principal applicants for the
purpose of any future requests to sponsor family members under any applicable categories.

Effective 01/07/2013
S3.25 Temporary entry class visas
a.

Applicants for residence class visas who have current temporary entry class visas should ensure that their visas
remain current while the application for a residence class visa is being processed (see E8.10).

b.

Immigration officers may grant further temporary entry class visas to all persons included in the residence
class visa application for the time needed to complete processing of the application.

c.

If the temporary entry class visa of the principal applicant or any dependant included in the application has
expired, then it may be appropriate to consider granting a visa under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009
(see E8.1).

Effective 29/11/2010
S3.30 Deportation orders
If any person included in the application has a removal or deportation order in force, an appropriately designated
immigration officer must, if appropriate, cancel the removal or deportation order before a permanent resident visa is
granted.

Effective 29/11/2010
S3.35 Entry of overseas dependants of approved refugee or protection status claimants
a.

Once residence has been approved in principle for people included in the refugee or protected persons
application, permanent resident visas may be granted to them.

b.

Temporary entry class visas may be granted to such dependants before the principal applicant's resident visa
application is finalised, if circumstances in the overseas country warrant it.

Effective 29/11/2010
S3.40 Liability for deportation on cancellation of refugee or protection status
See previous instructions S3.40 Effective 29/11/2010
See also Immigration Act 2009 s162
A holder of a residence class visa granted as a result of refugee or protection status may be liable for deportation if a
person suffers loss of refugee or protection status under C6.

Effective 04/04/2011

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S4 Special residence Categories


S4.5 Residence Category for victims of domestic violence
See previous instructions S4.5 Effective 29/11/2010
S4.5.1 Objective
The objectives of the residence category for victims of domestic violence is to:
a.

b.

enable partners of New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders to remain in New Zealand where they:
i.

intended to seek residence class visas on the basis of their relationship which has ended because of
domestic violence to either the non-resident partner or their dependent child; and

ii.

cannot return home because of the impacts of stigma, or because they would have no means of
independent financial support from employment or other means; and

recognise New Zealand's international obligations, particularly to:


i.

end discrimination against women in all matters related to marriage and family relations (Article 16 of
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women); and

ii.

protect children from mental and physical violence (Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child);

S4.5.2 Who is eligible for a resident visa for victims of domestic violence
People in New Zealand who:
a.

are, or have been, in a partnership (see F2.5b) with a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder; and

b.

had intended to seek a residence class visa in New Zealand on the basis of that relationship; and

c.

that partnership has ended due to domestic violence by the New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder
or by someone with whom the applicant is living with in a domestic relationship; and

d.

are unable to return to their home country because:

e.

i.

would have no means of independent financial support from employment or other means, and have no
ability to gain financial support from other sources; or

ii.

would be at risk of abuse or exclusion from their community because of stigma; and

meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5);

may be granted a resident visa.


Note: For the purpose of these instructions, 'domestic relationship' has the meaning set out in s4 of the Domestic
Violence Act 1995.
S4.5.5 Evidence of domestic violence
Evidence of domestic violence means:
a.

a final Protection Order against the New Zealand citizen or resident partner, or someone with whom the
applicant is living in a domestic relationship, under the Domestic Violence Act 1995; or

b.

a relevant New Zealand conviction of the New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder partner, or
someone with whom the applicant is living in a domestic relationship, of a domestic violence offence against the
principal applicant or a dependent child of the principal applicant; or

c.

a complaint of domestic violence against the principal applicant or a dependent child investigated by the New
Zealand Police where the New Zealand Police are satisfied that domestic violence has occurred; or

d.

a statutory declaration from the applicant stating that domestic violence has occurred and two statutory
declarations completed by persons competent to make statutory declarations that domestic violence has
occurred (see S4.5.6 below).

Note: For the purpose of these instructions, 'domestic violence' has the meaning set out in s.3 of the Domestic Violence
Act 1995.
S4.5.6 Persons competent to make a statutory declaration that domestic violence has occurred
a.

Statutory declarations from the following persons stating that they are satisfied that domestic violence has
occurred are acceptable as evidence of domestic violence:
i.

social workers who are:

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registered with the Social Workers Registration Board; or

full members of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers; or

employed under the State Sector Act 1988;

Residence

ii.

doctors registered with the New Zealand Medical Council;

iii.

nurses registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand;

iv.

psychologists registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board;

v.

counsellors who are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors; and

vi.

experienced staff members of Child Youth and Family approved women's refuges who have been
nominated by:

the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges

Shakti Community Council.

b.

In order to meet the requirements of S4.5.6 d above, an applicant must supply a statutory declaration from
people acting in their professional capacity from two of the groups listed above. The two people must be
unrelated professionally (for example, they cannot be a doctor and a nurse from the same practice).

c.

Immigration officers may verify that statutory declarations provided as evidence of domestic violence have
been made by the appropriate person by contacting the professional bodies listed above.

S4.5.10 Evidence that the principal applicant has been in a partnership with a New Zealand citizen or
residence class visa holder
Evidence that the principal applicant has been in a partnership with a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder
may include, but is not limited to, original or certified copies of:

an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate

correspondence (including postmarked envelopes) addressed to both principal applicant* and the New Zealand
citizen or residence class visa holder;

evidence of communication between the couple;

photographs of the couple together;

documents indicating public recognition of the relationship;

evidence of any specific arrangements and/or engagement ceremonies which have been carried out;

communication between the parents of the couple and/or a person acting as a go-between or matchmaker;

other documents indicating public recognition of the arrangement and/or engagement ceremony;

confirmation from independent sources that such arrangements and/or engagement ceremonies are in
accordance with the cultural custom of the parties concerned;

a joint mortgage, tenancy agreement or rent book;

birth certificates of their children;

proof of joint assets;

proof of shared income; and

proof of shared bank accounts.

S4.5.12 Evidence of living in a domestic relationship with the perpetrator of domestic violence
Evidence that the principal applicant has been living in a domestic relationship with the perpetrator of domestic violence
includes:
a.

confirmation from the New Zealand Police that they are satisfied the domestic violence was perpetrated by
someone living at the same address;

b.

a statutory declaration by the applicant that the perpetrator of domestic violence lived at the same address as
the applicant and was a member of applicant's partner's family;

c.

a statutory declaration by one of the professionals listed at S4.5.2 stating that the person lived at the same
address as the applicant;

d.

any other documentary evidence that the person lived at the same address as the applicant.

Note: For the purpose of these instructions, 'domestic relationship' has the meaning set out in s.4 of the Domestic
Violence Act 1995.

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S4.5.15 Evidence of inability to return to the home country


a.

b.

Principal applicants must provide evidence, in the form of documents and/or information provided at an
interview with an immigration officer, that if they returned to their home country they:
i.

would have no means of independent financial support from employment or other means, and have no
ability to gain financial support from other sources; or

ii.

would be at risk of abuse or exclusion from their community because of stigma.

INZ may refer to any relevant information when determining the ability to return to their home country.

S4.5.20 Making an application


a.

b.

Applications must be made in the prescribed manner (see R2.40); but an appropriately delegated immigration
officer may waive:
i.

the application fee; and

ii.

police certificates, if these are not available from a particular country.

Where police certificates are not available, the applicant must make and provide a separate statutory
declaration in both English and their own language. The statutory declaration must:
i.

detail the applicant's attempts to obtain a police certificate; and

ii.

state whether the applicant and any accompanying family members have been convicted; or found
guilty of, or charged with offences against the law of that country, or have not been charged with any
offences against the law of that country; and

iii.

be corroborated by other information confirming the applicant's character.

S4.5.25 Determination of applications


a.

Applications will be determined by immigration officers who have received specialist training on this category.

b.

Applications under this category will be given priority processing.

Effective 07/11/2011
S4.10 Refugee Family Support Category
See previous instructions:
S4.10 Effective 08/04/2013
S4.10 Effective 30/07/2012
S4.10 Effective 26/03/2012
S4.10 Effective 29/11/2010
S4.10.1 Objective
The objective of the International/Humanitarian Stream is to enable New Zealand to meet its international and
humanitarian obligations.
The objective of the Refugee Family Support Category (RFSC) is to facilitate the successful resettlement of refugees and
protected people resident in New Zealand by providing them with an opportunity to sponsor family members who do not
qualify for residence under any other category of residence instructions.
Note: The RFSC replaces the Refugee Family Quota.
S4.10.5 Number of places available under RFSC
a.

The number of places available for sponsored persons under RFSC (including any family members included in
their registration) is set at 300 per year.

b.

For the purposes of these instructions, a year consists of the 12-month period from 1 July to 30 June.

S4.10.10 How do people qualify for residence under the RFSC?


a.

A principal applicant and their partner and dependent children qualify for residence under the RFSC if their
sponsors registration is selected from the RFSC queues under tier one (see S4.10.30) or tier two (see
S4.10.40);and
i.

they are not eligible for a residence class visa in New Zealand under any other category of
Government residence instructions; and

ii.

they meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5); and

iii.

their application is made within 12 months of Immigration New Zealand's (INZ) advice to their
sponsor that the sponsor's registration has been selected from the RFSC tier one or tier two queue.

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b.

Residence

In each case, their sponsor must meet 'eligible sponsor' requirements set out at S4.10.15; and
i.

the requirements for tier one sponsors (see S4.10.20(e)); or

ii.

the requirements for tier two sponsors (see S4.10.20(g)).

c.

Despite A4.20(a), R2.40(d)(vi) and R2.40(d)(vii), an applicant is not required to provide a Medical Certificate
or Chest X-ray Certificate for the purposes of lodging an application under the RFSC.

d.

In order to determine whether the applicant(s) meets health requirements at A4, the applicant(s) must submit
the following when requested by an immigration officer:

e.

i.

a completed General Medical Certificate (INZ 1007); and

ii.

a completed Chest X-ray Certificate (INZ 1096) (except for pregnant women and children under the
age of 11).

Unless A4.20(d) applies, the General Medical Certificate (INZ 1007) and Chest X-Ray Certificate (INZ
1096) must have been issued less than three months before the date they are received by an immigration
officer.

S4.10.15 Eligible sponsors under RFSC


See also Immigration Act 2009, s 48
a.

b.

For the purpose of RFSC, an 'eligible sponsor' is a New Zealand citizen or resident who:
i.

was granted a residence class visa in New Zealand on the basis of their status as a refugee or
protected person; and

ii.

has not sponsored any other principal applicant who has obtained a resident visa in New Zealand
under RFSC (or Refugee Family Quota); and

iii.

is in New Zealand; and

iv.

is aged 18 years or over; and

v.

be an acceptable sponsor as set out at R4.5, except for the requirements at R4.5(d)(ii) and (iii).

Sponsors aged 18 to 24 must be able to satisfy an immigration officer that they are able to meet the
undertakings given in the sponsorship form.

S4.10.20 Two tier registration system for sponsors


a.

Registrations from tier one sponsors (see (e) below) will be given first access to available places under RFSC by
entry into the tier one queue.

b.

Registrations will be selected from the tier one queue in order of their entry to that queue until the annual
number of places available under RFSC is met.

c.

If the places available annually under RFSC are not filled by people included in tier one registrations selected
from the queue, registrations required to fill the remaining places will be selected from the tier two queue.

d.

If the places available annually under RFSC are not filled by people included in tier one registrations and the
registrations in the tier two queue are insufficient to fill the remaining quota of places, INZ will call for tier two
sponsors to submit registrations (see S4.10.20(g) and S4.10.35 below).

e.

A tier one sponsor is an 'eligible sponsor' who:


i.

is a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a current residence class visa; and

ii.

wants to sponsor their parent, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, adult sibling or
adult child, and that person's partner and/or dependent children for a resident visa under RFSC; and

iii.

has no other 'family member' who is eligible for residence in New Zealand under any other category of
residence instructions; and either

iv.

has no 'immediate family' living lawfully and permanently in New Zealand; or

v.

is the 'sole carer' (see S4.10.55.15) of a dependent relative or dependent relatives in New Zealand
and the sponsor has no other immediate family living lawfully and permanently in New Zealand apart
from the dependent relative who is under care.

f.

For the purpose of S4.10.20(e)(v), the dependent relative who requires on-going care must have no
immediate family in New Zealand other than the sponsor.

g.

A tier two sponsor is an 'eligible sponsor' who:


i.

has 'immediate family' in New Zealand; and

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h.

Residence

ii.

wants to sponsor their parent, adult sibling, adult child, or grandparent (if that grandparent is the
sponsor's legal guardian, see S4.10.55.20), and that person's partner and dependent children for
residence under RFSC; and

iii.

has no other 'family member' who is eligible for residence in New Zealand under any other category of
residence instructions; and

iv.

is a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a current residence class visa; and

v.

has been a New Zealand citizen and/or the holder of a residence class visa for at least three years
immediately preceding the date the Registration Form for RFSC sponsor is lodged; and

vi.

in each of the three 12-month portions within that three-year period, has spent a total of 184 days or
more in New Zealand.

For the purposes of S4.10.20(e), (f), and (g), to be an eligible sponsor under tier one or two of RFSC, a sponsor
must meet the particular requirements that were in force at the time their registration was selected from the
queue.

Note: For the purposes of these instructions 'immediate family' means a sponsor's partner, parent, or child (excluding
any dependent child in terms of R2.1.30). For the purposes of these instructions, 'family member' means a sponsor's
partner, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or adult sibling.
S4.10.25 Registration process for tier one sponsors
a.

Eligible sponsors who meet the requirements for tier one sponsors set out at S4.10.20(e) above may register
with INZ to sponsor their parent, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, adult sibling or adult
child, and that person's partner and/or dependent children for residence under the RFSC tier one queue.

b.

Registrations must be made on the registration form for the appropriate RFSC tier.

c.

Registrations must be submitted by mail to the address specified on the applicable registration form.

d.

A fee is payable for registration.

e.

Subject to the provisions of S4.10.50, registrations from sponsors who meet the tier one sponsorship
requirements set out at S4.10.20(e) above may be entered into the RFSC tier one queue if the form is fully
completed, signed by the sponsor, and accompanied by any documents or evidence as required by the
registration form.

S4.10.30 Selection process for tier one sponsors


a.

Registrations will be selected from the tier one queue in chronological order from the date that the registration
was entered into the tier one queue until the appropriate number of potential applicants to meet the number of
available places within the annual period has been met.

b.

If the number of potential applicants included in registrations in the tier one queue exceeds the number of
available places within the annual period, INZ will delay the selection of further registrations until places
become available in the next annual period.

c.

Tier one sponsors with registrations entered into the tier one queue must notify INZ of any change in their
circumstances.

d.

Sponsors whose registrations have been selected from the tier one queue and appear to meet the relevant
registration requirements will be notified by INZ that their registration has been successful. Sponsors must
advise the potential applicants whom they are sponsoring to lodge a full application under RFSC to the
appropriate receiving office of INZ. Such applications must be made within 12 months after the date of the INZ
notification to the sponsor. Any applications received outside that time limit will not be accepted.

S4.10.35 Registration process for tier two sponsors


a.

Eligible sponsors who meet the requirements for tier two sponsors set out at S4.10.20(g) above may register
with INZ within a set registration period to sponsor their parent, adult sibling or adult child, or grandparent (if
that grandparent is the sponsor's legal guardian, see S4.10.55.20), and that person's partner and dependent
children for residence under RFSC tier two queue.

b.

INZ will announce that tier two will open for registration prior to its opening, if and when places are available
for tier two potential applicants (places will be available if the number of potential applicants included in
registrations in the tier one queue is less than the number of available places within the annual period).
Registrations will then open for a set period as determined by INZ.

c.

Registrations must be made on the appropriate registration form for the tier under which the registration is
made.

d.

Registrations must be submitted during the registration period by mail to the address specified on the
appropriate Registration Form for RFSC

e.

A fee is payable for registration.

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f.

Residence

Subject to the provisions of S4.10.50, registrations that are received by INZ before the end of the registration
period from sponsors who meet the tier two sponsorship requirements set out at S4.10.20(g) above may be
entered into RFSC tier two queue, if the form is fully completed, signed by the sponsor, and accompanied by
any documents or evidence as required by the registration form.

S4.10.40 Selection process for tier two sponsors


a.

Registrations will be selected from the tier two queue in chronological order from the date the registration was
entered into the queue, until the appropriate number of potential applicants to meet the number of available
places in the annual period has been met.

b.

If the number of potential applicants included in registrations in the tier one queue exceeds the number of
available places within the annual period, INZ will delay the selection of further registrations from tier two until
places become available.

c.

Sponsors with registrations entered into the tier two queue must notify INZ of any change in their
circumstances.

d.

Sponsors whose registrations have been selected from the tier two queue and appear to meet the relevant
requirements will be notified by INZ that their registration has been successful. Sponsors must advise the
potential applicants whom they are sponsoring to lodge a full application under RFSC the appropriate receiving
office of INZ. Such applications must be made within 12 months after the date of the INZ notification to the
sponsor. Any applications received outside that time limit will not be accepted.

S4.10.45 Inclusion in registration of immediate family members of the sponsored principal applicant
a.

Where the sponsored person has a partner and/or dependent children, all of those people must be included in
the registration made by the sponsor.

b.

Despite R2.1 concerning the inclusion of family members in an application, an application under RFSC can only
include the partner and/or dependent children included in the preceding sponsor registration.

c.

Any partner and/or dependent children who were eligible for inclusion in the registration but were not included
must not subsequently be granted a residence class visa under the Partnership or Dependent Child categories.

d.

Despite (b) and (c) above, a partner or dependent child who was included in the registration but not in the
resulting application for a resident visa may be granted a residence class visa as a principal applicant under the
Partnership or Dependent Child categories.

e.

Notwithstanding (b) above, in the event an applicant includes any partner and/or dependent child in their
application who was not included in their registration, officers should allow the principal applicant an
opportunity to explain the non-declaration in accordance with R5.15 before applying the limitation referred to
in (b).

f.

Where a person is not eligible to be included at the time of registration but is eligible at the time of the
application for a resident visa (e.g. in the case of a newborn child), they may be included in the resident visa
application provided R2.1 is met.

S4.10.50 Number of registrations that may be submitted


a.

Sponsors must have only one registration in the tier one or two queues at any time. Each registration must be
in respect of one potential principal applicant and that person's partner and/or dependent children. If a single
sponsor lodges more than one registration, the second and subsequent registrations will not be accepted.

b.

A registration under RFSC will not be accepted if:

c.

i.

any of the potential applicants included in that registration have a current application for a residence
class visa lodged with INZ under any other category of residence instructions; or

ii.

any of the potential applicants included in that registration are eligible for a residence class visa in New
Zealand under any other category of residence instructions (see S4.10.10(a)(i)).

A registration under RFSC will not be accepted if, at the time the registration is lodged, any of the potential
applicants included in the registration are unlawfully in New Zealand or subject to section 150 of the
Immigration Act 2009 (concerning refugee or protection status claimants).

Notes:
~ Potential applicants in New Zealand should also be aware that they must be lawfully in New Zealand and not subject to
section 150 of the Immigration Act 2009 in order to lodge an application under RFSC.
~ Where a registration is not accepted for any of the reasons set out in this provision, the registration fee will be returned
to the sponsor.
S4.10.55 Definitions
S4.10.55.1 Definition of 'refugee'

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Residence

For the purpose of RFSC, 'refugee' means a person who was granted a residence class visa in New Zealand under
residence instructions by virtue of being either:
a.

a mandated or quota refugee (people determined to be refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR)) before arrival in New Zealand; or

b.

a Convention refugee (people recognised as refugees by the New Zealand Government under the 1951
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (see
C2.5 and C5.15)).

S4.10.55.5 Definition of protected person


For the purpose of RFSC, protected person means a person who was granted a residence class visa in New Zealand under
residence instructions by virtue of being recognised as having protection status in accordance with New Zealands
obligations under the:
a.

1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; or

b.

1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

S4.10.55.10 Definition of 'adult child'


In the context of a resident visa application under RFSC, 'adult child' means a child of 18 or older, unless they are
dependent (see R2.1.30).
S4.10.55.15 Definition of 'sole carer' for tier one sponsorship purposes
a.

For tier one sponsorship purposes, a sponsor will be considered to be the sole carer of a dependent relative or
relatives in New Zealand if they have the primary responsibility for the day-to-day care of a dependent relative
or relatives in New Zealand, on an ongoing basis.

Note: A dependent relative can be a sponsor's partner, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew,
niece or adult sibling.
b.

Evidence that a sponsor is the sole carer includes but is not limited to:
i.

evidence of Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) payments made to the sponsor (where the
sponsor is considered by ACC to be a provider of home help to a sick or injured relative or relatives);
and/or

ii.

evidence from a District Health Board, General Practitioner or other Health agency which specifies the
sponsor as a carer of a dependent relative or relatives; and/or

iii.

evidence from Work and Income that the dependent relative or relatives are on an invalid's benefit;
and/or

iv.

evidence that the dependent relative or relatives are totally or substantially reliant on the sponsor for
financial support whether living with them or not (where the dependent relative(s) are 17 or younger).

S4.10.55.20 Definition of 'grandparent' as a legal guardian for tier two sponsorship purposes
For tier two sponsorship purposes, a sponsor's grandparent will be considered as the sponsor's legal guardian if:
a.

both the sponsor's parents died before the sponsor attained the age of 20 years; and

b.

the grandparent had custody of the sponsor and the right to control the sponsor's upbringing, before the
sponsor attained the age of 20 years.

S4.10.60 Evidence
The items listed in S4.10.60.1 to S4.10.60.15 below are examples of relevant evidence. Other documents may also be
relevant.
S4.10.60.1 Evidence of identity of applicant(s)
a.

For the purposes of the registration process, INZ may accept the statutory declaration made by the sponsor on
the RFSC registration form submitted by the sponsor that the details they have provided of the person(s) being
sponsored is true and correct as being sufficient evidence of identity.

b.

Other evidence of identity may also be sought by INZ during the registration process.

S4.10.60.5 Evidence of immigration status of sponsors


a.

When lodging a registration under RFSC, sponsors must provide evidence of their immigration status as
follows:

b.

Evidence that sponsors are New Zealand citizens may include but is not limited to original or certified copies of:
i.

a valid New Zealand passport; or

ii.

a Certificate of New Zealand Citizenship; or

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iii.
c.

Residence

a recent official statement of citizenship from the Department of Internal Affairs.

Evidence that sponsors are New Zealand residence class visa holders may include but is not limited to original
or certified copies of a current New Zealand residence class visa, or evidence they are considered to hold a
residence class visa in their passport or travel document.

S4.10.60.10 Evidence of time spent in New Zealand as a citizen and/or holder of a residence class visa
a.

When determining the amount of time spent in New Zealand, INZ may refer to INZ records of sponsors' entry
to and exit from New Zealand.

b.

Other evidence of time spent in New Zealand may also be provided by a sponsor or sought by INZ.

c.

When lodging a registration under RFSC tier two queue, sponsors may be required to provide current and
previous passports as evidence of time spent in New Zealand as a citizen and/or holder of a residence class
visa.

Note: Periods during which a person is in New Zealand are calculated inclusive of both arrival and departure dates.
S4.10.60.15 Evidence of relationship to sponsor
a.

When lodging their application for a resident visa under RFSC, principal applicants must provide all available
evidence of their relationship to their sponsor.

b.

Evidence of parent's, grandparent's, grandchildren's, nephews', nieces', aunts', uncles', siblings' or adult
children's, relationship to their sponsor includes but is not limited to original or certified copies of:
birth certificates establishing the relationship of the sponsor to the principal applicant; or

household registration documents, if these establish the relationship of the sponsor to the principal applicant;
or

evidence of adoption (see R3), which establishes the relationship of the sponsor to the principal applicant; or

documents issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and/or other internationally
recognised agencies if these establish the relationship of the sponsor to the principal applicant; or

other evidence establishing the relationship of the sponsor to the principal applicant.

c.

If satisfied that evidence necessary to establish an applicant's relationship to their sponsor is not available or
would be unduly difficult to obtain, immigration officers may:
i.

specify another type of evidence to be submitted, such as a statutory declaration; and/or

ii.

interview the principal applicant, those included in the application, or other parties involved in the
application to verify identity and/or the relationship claimed by the applicant(s); and/or

iii.

have the requirements waived by an appropriately delegated immigration officer if, due to the
circumstances of the applicant(s), this is considered appropriate.

S4.10.65 Verification of family details


Immigration officers may refer to former applications lodged by applicants, family members of applicants or sponsors, in
order to verify declarations made by applicants about their family details (such as the number of family members, the
whereabouts of family members, or an applicant's or partner's marital status).
S4.10.70 Undertakings of sponsors
a.

A sponsor must undertake to ensure that adequate accommodation for their relatives is available upon arrival
in New Zealand and continues to be available during the first 24 months of their relatives residence in New
Zealand.

b.

An immigration officer must be satisfied that the sponsor will be able to fulfil their undertakings provided under
(a). A sponsor may demonstrate this by providing a completed Questionnaire for Refugee Family Support
Category sponsor undertakings, outlining a credible accommodation plan.

c.

The application may be declined if an immigration officer is not satisfied a sponsor has the ability to meet their
undertaking obligations set out at S4.10.70(a) above.

Effective 29/07/2013
S4.15 Residence Category for victims of people trafficking
S4.15.1 Objective
The objectives of the residence category for victims of people trafficking are to:
a.

enable victims of people trafficking to remain in New Zealand where they cannot return home because they will
be endangered, at risk of being re-victimised or at risk of suffering significant social stigma and financial
hardship as a result of being trafficked; and

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b.

Residence

recognise New Zealand's international obligations, particularly to:


i.

offer protection and assistance to victims of people trafficking who are likely to be suffering the effects
of trauma and abuse; and

ii.

enable trafficking offenders to be prosecuted.

S4.15.5 Who is eligible for a resident visa for victims of people trafficking
a.

b.

Applicants in New Zealand may be granted a resident visa, if they:


i.

hold a special temporary visa for victims of people trafficking (see WI16, U10.5 and V3.135); and

ii.

have certification from the New Zealand Police (the Police) that they are believed to be a victim of
people trafficking; and

iii.

have certification from the Police that they have not obstructed the police investigation of their
trafficking case during the validity of their special temporary visa; and

iv.

are unable to return to their home country (see S4.15.10 below); and

v.

meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).

Despite (a) above, child applicants are exempt from providing a certification from the Police that they have not
obstructed the police investigation.

Note:
- A child victim of people trafficking is a person who was under the age of 18 at the time they were identified as a victim
of people trafficking.
- A child victim may be in New Zealand unaccompanied, or may be a victim of people trafficking together with their
parent(s).
S4.15.10 Evidence of inability to return to the home country
a.

Applicants must provide evidence, in the form of documents or information provided at an interview with an
immigration officer, that if they returned to their home country they would be:
i.

endangered; or

ii.

at risk of being re-victimised; or

iii.

at risk of suffering significant social stigma and financial hardship

as a consequence of being trafficked.


b.

INZ may refer to any relevant information when determining an applicants ability to return to their home
country.

S4.15.15 Making an application


a.

b.

Applications must be made in the prescribed manner (see R2.40) but an appropriately delegated immigration
officer may waive:
i.

the application fee; and

ii.

the requirement to provide police certificates, if these are not available from a particular country.

Where police certificates are not available, the applicant must make and provide a separate statutory
declaration, in line with instructions at A5.10.1.

S4.15.20 Determination of applications


a.

Applications will be determined by immigration officers who have received specialist training on this category.

b.

Applications under this category will be given priority processing.

c.

Determination of an application by a child applicant should be based on best interest of the child
considerations. Establishing the best interest of the child will be done on a case-by-case basis, with advice
from Child Youth and Family.

Effective 25/07/2011
S4.20 Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category
See previous instructions S4.20 Effective 26/03/2012
S4.20.1 Objective
The objective of the Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category, which is part of the Refugee Quota residence
programme, is to:

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Residence

a.

enable New Zealand to meet its international and humanitarian obligations;

b.

maintain the principle of family unity; and

c.

facilitate the successful resettlement of mandated refugees resident in New Zealand by providing them with an
opportunity to sponsor immediate family members.

Note: The places available under this category are incorporated into the quota places available for the family reunification
subcategory of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) mandated refugee residence category;
however applicants do not themselves have to be mandated refugees.
S4.20.5 Who is eligible for residence under the Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category?
a.

An applicant may qualify for residence under the Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category if:
i.

they have an acceptable sponsor (see S4.20.10);

ii.

they were declared as an immediate family member (see S4.20.15) in the sponsors original
Residence Application for Mandated Refugees form, and they can provide satisfactory evidence of the
relationship;

iii.

they meet the character requirements at A5;

iv.

they meet the health requirements specified at A4.74; and

v.

they have satisfied an immigration officer that:

the circumstances and reasons for the separation from, and re-establishment of contact with, their
sponsor are plausible and credible; and

reunification will have a positive settlement effect on the sponsor; and

they have the potential for successful settlement.

b.

Applicants are exempt from the requirement to have an acceptable standard of health (see A4.10), except for
the health requirements specified at A4.74.

c.

If the applicant is a dependent child aged 18-24, evidence must be submitted to show dependence on the
sponsor (see R2.1.30).

S4.20.10 Who is an acceptable sponsor under the Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category?
a.

An acceptable sponsor is a New Zealand citizen or resident who:


i.

was granted a residence class visa as a mandated refugee (see S3.22); and

ii.

is living in New Zealand; and

iii.

is an immediate family member of the sponsor (see S4.20.15); and

iv.

has attended an interview with a Refugee Quota Branch immigration officer and been deemed to be an
acceptable sponsor.

Note: A person granted permanent resident visa under this category is not able to be a sponsor under this category as
they are not a mandated refugee.
a.

If the sponsor is a child aged 18 and under sponsoring a parent, the immigration officer must be satisfied that
it is in the best interests of the child to grant a permanent residence visa to the parent(s).

b.

The immigration officer must be satisfied that the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant is
credible and genuine. If the sponsor did not declare the applicant in their own residence application then R5.15
must be followed.

S4.20.10.1 Undertakings and responsibilities of sponsors


A sponsor under this category is exempt from meeting the sponsorship undertakings requirement at R4.10.
S4.20.15 Who is an immediate family member under the Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category?
For the purposes of the Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category, an immediate family member is defined as a
partner, dependent child(ren), and parents where the sponsor is a dependent child.
S4.20.20 Requirements for making an application for the grant of a permanent resident visa
a.

Applications for a permanent resident visa under the Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category must be
made in the prescribed manner (see R2.40).

b.

Applications can only be made to the Refugee Quota Branch, and only after the applicants sponsor has been
deemed acceptable (see S4.20.10).

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c.

Residence

Appropriately delegated immigration officers may waive by special direction:


i.

the application fee for the applicant(s);

ii.

the requirement to submit an overseas police clearance certificate from any country where the
sponsor has a well-founded fear of persecution; and

iii.

any other mandatory requirement for lodgement except the requirement to complete and submit a
residence application form together with two passport photographs of, and medical and X-ray
certificates for, each person included in the application.

d.

If a birth certificate for any person included in the application is unavailable, a statutory declaration confirming
the full name, date and place of birth and full names of both parents must be submitted.

e.

If documents relating to the custody of any child aged 16 and under included in the application are unavailable,
a statutory declaration confirming the legal custody of the child must be submitted.

f.

The principal applicant and partner included in the application must supply evidence to show the nature and
duration of their partnership, and that it is a genuine and stable partnership (see F2.20). A statutory
declaration confirming the duration and nature of the partnership must be submitted if such evidence would be
unduly difficult to obtain because:

g.

i.

conditions in the relevant country are such that the country's governmental infrastructure is no longer
functioning; and/or

ii.

there are circumstances beyond the control of the applicants which prevent them obtaining the
required evidence.

If overseas police clearances are unavailable for any person aged 17 and older included in the application, a
statutory declaration must be provided stating whether the applicant has been convicted, or found guilty of, or
charged with, any offences against the law in the country or countries for which police clearance certificates are
unavailable.

Effective 01/07/2013

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