Changing Your New Zealand Student Visa to a Permanent Residence Status

Foreigners studying in New Zealand using a student visa may find that they want to make New Zealand their home after a few years of staying there.  The application for a permanent residency for New Zealand is possible if you make the jump from a student visa to a work visa and finally to a permanent residency visa.

Are you eligible for changing your New Zealand student visa to a permanent residence status?

You may be eligible for residency visa if you have started in New Zealand in a student visa, was able to obtain a working visa, and have fulfilled all the requirements for a residency visa.  These include being in good health, being no more than 55 years of age, has no criminal background, and has a permanent job in New Zealand.  You also need to have minimum work experience of up to 2 years and a recognized qualification or degree relevant to your work.

Steps in changing your New Zealand student visa to a permanent residence status

Step 1:  Apply for a work visa.

You can apply for a work visa through any of the three avenues:  accredited employers, through scholarships in the arts, culture and sports, and through the long term skill shortage list.  One can secure a work visa If a job offer from employer with supporting documents can be presented.  You need to provide proof that you have a genuine offer of employment by a company in New Zealand.  Make sure that the offer is for full-time employment and the said offer is current in the time of visa application.

It is important that you have a guarantee that your employer is a legitimate employer.  Be safe by running background checks on your New Zealand-based employer.  Also, positions for temporary employment, as a freelancer or on commission are not applicable for a work visa.

Step 2:  Apply for a residency visa.

You can qualify for a residence visa in New Zealand if you have worked in the country on a working visa for two years. Applications for a residency visa are very strict.  Make sure you have no negative  marks in your record, such as previous arrests that occurred during your stay in the country.

Step 3:  Make sure your application is current.

Changes in marital status, address, and employment status must be brought to the attention of the immigration officer handling your case.  Any changes in your application must be brought to the attention of your immigration officer, as any change can affect the outcome of your application.

Step 4:  Attend the Interview

It is during the interview that you will be assessed for your ability to successfully settle down in New Zealand and make a valuable contribution to the country.  After this, you may be granted your residence visa or work visa.  Prepare for the interview the best that you can.  Learn how to speak English if this is a second language.

Step 5:  Know the things that can make you lose your permanent residency status.

Now that you are a permanent resident of New Zealand, you can avoid having your status revoked by being a law-abiding citizen.  Avoid police arrests or any undesirable police record.

New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to work and live in.  If you are a student studying in New Zealand who wants to live here permanently, assess your eligibility and get your application process started now.

Photo Credit : Takuta

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  1. Come up with a checklist for the pros and cons of becoming a permanent resident of New Zealand because once you apply for it, there will be no turning back. Some people often realizes the cons of their actions after everything is done and processed. Ready yourself financially and emotionally for the transition. It won’t be an easy one. List your goals for the next five to ten years and analyze if your objectives coincide with your status. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your friends and family.

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