Straight to Residence Visa

You may apply for the Straight to Residence Visa if you work for an accredited employer or you have a job offer from one and your role is on Tier 1 of the Green List. This is an indefinite visa and you must be 55 years of age and under.

With a Straight to Residence Visa you can Live, work and study in New Zealand and include your partner and dependent children aged 24 and under in your residence application.

Things to note

  • You must be working for an accredited employer or have a job offer from one.
  • Your role must be on Tier 1 of the Green List.
  • You must meet the requirements set out in the Green List for your role.
  • You must meet the English language requirement for this visa.
  • Older dependent children under 24 in your application must be single, without children of their own, and only supported financially by you.
  • You can either come to New Zealand on a work visa now and apply for the Straight to Residence Visa, or apply from outside New Zealand.
  • You must include in your application English translations of any supporting documents in other languages.

English language

You will need to provide one of these with your application:

  • An acceptable English language test result.
  • Evidence you are a citizen of Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) or the United States of America (USA), and you have spent at least five years working or studying in those countries, or in Australia or New Zealand.
  • Evidence you have a recognised qualification that’s comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor’s degree, which you gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. You must have also studied for at least two years in any of those countries to get that qualification.
  • Evidence you have a recognised qualification that’s comparable to a postgraduate New Zealand qualification, which you gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA. You must have also studied for at least one year in any of those countries to get that qualification.
  • English language test results must be no more than 2 years old.

Age

You must be 55 years or under when you apply for residence.

Green List requirements

The evidence you need to provide depends on your role. Check the requirement for your Tier 1 role using the Green List.

If the Green List requirement is for a New Zealand qualification and yours is from overseas, include an International Qualification Assessment (IQA). You can apply for one through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Apply for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA)

When you are a contractor using contracts as acceptable employment evidence, check if your role has a wage threshold skill requirement. If it does, you need evidence showing:

  • 10 years’ relevant experience
  • you are in the the higher wage threshold.

Your wage threshold is 50% more than applicants with permanent or fixed term employment.

Qualifications

Your qualification must be recognised to qualify for points.

If you claim points for your qualification, you must show it is a recognised qualification. A qualification can be recognised if:

  • It is on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment; or
  • It has been assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA); or
  • It has been assessed by a New Zealand registration authority at the same level as a qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment as part of an application for New Zealand occupational registration; or
  • It is a Washington Accord or Sydney Accord accredited undergraduate degree.

If you need an NZQA assessment, you’ll need to include a PAR or IQA reference number with your Expression of Interest.

Visit the NZQA website for more information about how to:

  • Get international qualifications recognised for immigration
  • Apply for a Pre-assessment Result
  • Apply for an International Qualifications Assessment.

Acceptable employment

Acceptable employment is when:

  • you work for an accredited employer or you have a job offer from one
  • your role is on Tier 1 of the Green List
  • you meet the role’s requirements, such as wage or salary threshold, registration, professional membership, or qualifications
  • your employment is full-time and genuine
  • the role is permanent, or fixed term for at least 12 months, or a contract or contracts for at least 6 months or more.

Evidence

Evidence of acceptable employment are your:

  • employment agreement, fixed term contract or employment offer letter from an accredited employer. It must show your hours, duration of employment, position and remuneration.
  • contract or contracts (without breaks) amounting to 6 months or more.

Partner and dependent children

You can include your partner and any dependent children up to the age of 24 in your application

Your partner and dependent children must meet the requirements for this visa. You must provide evidence:

  • of your relationship with your partner and dependent children
  • they meet the identity, character, health, and English language requirements for this visa
  • If your partner or dependent children have, or applied for, a New Zealand temporary entry visas based on their relationship with you, you must be include them in your residence application

Other General Requirements

There are general application requirements for the Straight to Residence, Work to Residence and Highly Paid Residence Visas. These are that on the date you apply for your residence visa:

  • you are aged 55 or younger
  • you, and if applicable your partner, and dependent children aged 16 or over, meet the English language requirements
  • you and your partner, and dependent children in your application meet health and character requirements for residence.

If you hold an Accredited Employer Work Visa or another type of work visa, you (and any family if applicable) still need to meet the health and character requirements for residence. These are different from the requirements for temporary work visas.

At the time you apply you must be working for an accredited employer.

Accredited employers and AEWV

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