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Permanent Residency in New Zealand

Holding a permanent resident visa in New Zealand gives you a number of rights that the normal citizens of the country have. The following are the similarities in terms of the rights and privileges between a permanent resident and a citizen of New Zealand.

  • Both the classes of residents are allowed to stay in the country for an indefinite duration
  • Both the classes of residents can work either in New Zealand or in New Zealand’s exclusive zone
  • Both the classes of residents can take up any educational course in the country
  • Both the classes of residents are entitled to free or subsidized healthcare at the government funded health service institutes
  • Both the classes of residents are entitled to free of cost education in all the state run and financed primary and secondary schools and are entitled to pay a subsidized fee for the domestic students for enrollment in tertiary institutions as well as the private schools in the country
  • Both the classes of residents are entitled to vote in the elections. However, the permanent residents can only vote after one year of residence in the country
  • Both the classes of residents are entitled to social security benefits including Sole Parent support, Jobseeker support and Supported Living Payment. However, there are certain conditions attached to this clause when it is applied to the Permanent Residents in New Zealand
  • Both the classes of residents are entitled to sponsor a partner, parents or any dependent children in the country

However, despite all these similarities, there are still a number of differences in the rights of resident visa holders and permanent resident visa holders in New Zealand. While a PR visa holder in New Zealand is entitled to file an application for granted entry permission at the border, a resident visa holder is only entitled to file for entry permission. It is only once the entry is granted do any of the rights come into force.

If you are looking to apply for the New Zealand Permanent Residency, here are the conditions you need to fulfill –

  • You should either currently be holding or have held in the last three months a resident visa of New Zealand
  • You should either currently be holding or have held a resident visa of New Zealand continuously for 2 years or more
  • You should have a good character
  • You must fulfill all the conditions required for a resident visa holder
  • You must have met at least one of the five commitments given in the New Zealand criteria.

These 5 commitments are – spending enough time in New Zealand, by becoming a tax resident in New Zealand, by owing a business in New Zealand, by investing in New Zealand and by establishing your own base in New Zealand.

Despite all the rights given to the PR, the government of New Zealand can still deport a PR in case of a gross misconduct or a gross crime committed by the PR.

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