Path to Permanent Residency in New Zealand: A Guide
PR & Visa

Path to Permanent Residency in New Zealand

Path to Permanent Residency in New Zealand

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The whole process of getting a PR in New Zealand after finishing a degree there is discussed in this article - right from the admit, student visa, work experience and the actual way to apply for the PR process.

Aishwarya Bhatt
Updated on:  15 Mar 2024  | Reviewed By: 
| 18.7K | 4  min read


Why New Zealand?

New Zealand is predominantly an island country, with warm citizens, moderate climate and international living and education standards. Interestingly, New Zealand’s capital, Auckland has been designated as ‘one of the most affordable cities to live in the world’.

From the best culture, living conditions, cuisine, merit education to quality work-life balance, New Zealand ticks all boxes as a destination for advanced education. All these factors, collectively make NZ as one of the most preferred countries for foreign students, especially for the Indian studies who desire to pursue higher education abroad.    

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It is home to major league universities. Some of them are the University of Auckland, the University of Otago and the University of Canterbury. New Zealand offers a myriad of Master’s courses in Information and Technology, Management Studies, Cyber Security and Crime Science, Digital Business, International Trade, etc. 


The Master’s Options in New Zealand

In the current scenario, most often a mere graduate degree fails to garner the attention of many employers. All they wish to use ‘professional’ employees, who are already well aware of their domain of work. For this, students generally prefer to opt for professional Master’s courses. And that too, from foreign destinations such as US, Canada, New Zealand, Germany and Australia. The combination of a professional course from a foreign university promises better employment opportunities and work life. Besides, places such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia that offer Permanent Residency (PR) options; tend to feature at the top of student’s favourite list.


The Master’s Courses in New Zealand

For the same, the destination in focus, New Zealand offers a wide range of Masters Courses. Especially Master’s of Science (MS) courses, spread across two years,. These are advance study programmes. In NZ, a semester session generally starts around February and lasts up to November. Universities offering MS courses are 

  • list items Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier,
  • list items NorthTec, Whangarei, 
  • list items University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 
  • list items Toi Ohmai Institute of Technology, Rotorua, 
  • list items Otago Polytechnic, Auckland, 
  • list items University of Auckland, Auckland


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The Postgraduate Entry Requirements are

  • list items A valid undergraduate degree from a recognized tertiary institution.
  • list items English Skill Test (These are IELTS- 6.5 (no band less than 6.0), TOEFL iBT-90 (least 20 in Writing), PTE Academic Module-58 Omit (least 50 in communicative skills) or the English Cambridge Test- 180 score)

The Process for Filing Application is as follows

You must submit the following documents:

  • list items Graduation Degree
  • list items The statement of purpose
  • list items Financial documents
  • list items Proof of application fee 
  • list items Language skill test report

With these documents, you can check out the online admissions portal of your desired university and then, follow their application procedure to apply for admission.

After the application process is complete, you need to get your Student Visa. 


Student Visa

There are different types of Student ‘Study’ visas. The most popular is the Fee Paying Student Visa. and it is valid for up to four years. It allows you to live by yourself, pay the fee for your courses, enroll with a valid education-provider. 

Another visa, which allows you to work part-time as well is also quite popular. This visa comes under the category of ‘More than 6 Months of Study”. This includes part-time work up to 20 hours permitted in a week. It can be alongside studying or as a full-time job in the holidays, all mentioned on the visa conditions.

However, do note that this Student Visa lasts only for the same duration of time as the postgraduate study. Any stay post this duration requires either another study visa or a work visa or to end the chaos, a Permanent Residency. 

Click here to get more insights on New Zealand Student Visa Process

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New Zealand Permanent Residency

This permanent residency setup allows you to live, study as well as work in New Zealand as a native. You gain access to school education and health care. Others are living options and free entry and exit from the country. 

The PR process is straight-forward requirements and procedure. First of all, the PR is accessible only to those who have had two years or more of a valid Resident’s visa. The basic requirements are simple such as good character, fifty-five years of age or under, a job offer, and relevant work experience.

There are specific categories for PR application:

  1. list items Family Visa in the Family Category
  2. list items Skilled Migrant Category or SMC- This is for all the foreigners, who are keen on migrating and settling in New Zealand. Like the Indian students. Under this category, the SMC visa is valid for 24 months, and coverts to a PR with ease after settling in New Zealand. In fact, you can get your Citizenship five years after you get New Zealand PR status. 
  3. list items Business and Investment Category with Entrepreneurial and Investment-driven visas. Each category has different requirements, duration and application process. 

There are four steps for the PR process are:

  1. list items Expression of Interest or EOI
  2. list items Invitation to Visa or ITV - If you have a score of 140 or more from your work visa, then you are eligible for the Invitation to Visa ITV application, which is on the basis of education, language skill, work experience, and a job offer.
  3. list items Document Submission
  4. list items The Cutoff Draw - The cutoff draw basically assimilates your profiles and allocates points for each area. If you score 100-140 points then you are eligible for the PR in the SMC category.

Thus, the Permanent Residency process in New Zealand is a merit-centrist process. It is an honest and fair point-based scheme. 

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