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Residence is available under a number of different categories. The most common categories that we deal with are Residence from Work, Skilled Migrant Category, Partnership Category, Dependent Child Category, and Family Violence Category.  We can also assist you to apply for permanent residence in New Zealand after you have been a resident for at least 2 years.

For NZ partner residence, please see here: Partnership Category & NZ Partner Visas

For dependent child residence, please see here: Dependent Children

Residence from Work

Residence from Work category is the residence pathway available to Work to Residence visa holders who have worked on their visa for 24 months. After the end of this 24-month period, Work to Residence visa holders can apply for residence directly under Residence from Work category, but must do so before their visa expires.

Skilled Migrant Category

Before the 2021 Resident Visa, Skilled Migrant Category was the most commonly applied for residence category. Skilled Migrant Category ('SMC') has two steps and works on a points-based system.


Step One

In the first step, you claim points for employability and capacity building factors, such as your age, current employment, qualifications and experience. This is done using the online 'Expression of Interest' form.


Step Two

Expressions of Interest ('EOI') in which the applicant has reasonably claimed 160 points or more will be automatically selected from the pool of EOIs and the applicant will be formally invited to apply for residence under this category. This is the second step of the process, requiring a hard copy application to be submitted with documentation proving that the applicant has the points claimed in their EOI.

Skilled Migrant Category is currently suspended until further notice, with no new EOIs being selected at this time. An EOI can still be submitted, but will remain in the pool until selections take place again.

Family Violence Category

Family Violence Category offers victims of domestic violence perpetrated by their New Zealand citizen or resident partner  (or by another person who the victim lives with in a family relationship) the opportunity to obtain residence in situations where they had intended to seek residence on the basis of that relationship, but the partnership has instead ended due to family violence. It requires proof that violence has occurred either towards the non-resident partner or their dependent child, and that the victim either cannot return home due to the impacts of stigma, or because they would have no means of independent financial support from employment or other means.

Although we can also assist you to apply for residence under this category, you may qualify for free or reduced-cost legal assistance through New Zealand's legal aid scheme. While a legal aid lawyer is unlikely to provide the same level of service as an immigration advisor, we strongly encourage applicants to check their eligibility for legal aid first before deciding on a representative. You can start by contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau or your nearest Community Law Centre for advice on your eligibility.

Permanent Residence

Permanent residence is the next step for anyone who has obtained a New Zealand resident visa. This can be applied for 2 years (24 months) after the date that your resident visa was first granted, if you lived in New Zealand for at least 184 days in each 12-month period. There are other ways to demonstrate your commitment to New Zealand, but this is the most common route taken. The key advantage of being a Permanent Resident is that you no longer have travel conditions associated with your resident visa - you are free to travel in and out of New Zealand as a New Zealand citizen would.



Need guidance? Professional Immigration Services offers obligation-free initial assessments to help clients better understand their situation and prospects. Whether you've received a concern letter from Immigration New Zealand or just need help planning your future, we will facilitate your needs and help get you to where you need to be.


Based in Christchurch city, Professional Immigration Services provides high quality, reliable advice in relation to New Zealand visa applications and other immigration-related matters. Equipped with in-depth industry knowledge and experience, Evelyn Dyer is a Licensed Immigration Adviser who has special expertise in a range of complex immigration issues. She is renowned for her caring attitude towards clients, fast response times and high level of personalised service. If you're looking for an immigration adviser who takes the time to listen to you and understand your whole situation, Evelyn is the adviser for you.


Unlike other areas of law, the immigration industry in New Zealand is fast-moving and dynamic. Sometimes, policy changes are introduced quite literally overnight, so we are constantly updating our knowledge and clarifying grey areas with Immigration New Zealand's management team. If you're interested in keeping up to date with New Zealand immigration law and policy changes, keep an eye on our Blog page for the latest in immigration news, tips and articles.