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New Zealand Immigration Information

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Below is a glossary of terms found in information on immigration to New Zealand.

Acceptable investment
For the purposes of the Investor category, an acceptable investment is an investment which:
  • Is held by the New Zealand Government; or
  • Has been approved in accordance with the policy by a business immigration specialist.
Accredited employer
An accredited employer is a New Zealand employer who has had an application for accreditation to employ persons under New Zealand Work Policy approved by the NZIS.
Adult child
'Adult child' means a child of 17 or older, unless they are dependent.
Bona fide applicant
A bona fide applicant for temporary entry is a person who:
  • Genuinely intends a temporary stay in New Zealand for a lawful purpose; and
  • In the opinion of the immigration or visa officer is not likely:
  • To remain in New Zealand unlawfully;
  • To breach conditions of any permit granted; or
  • To be unable to leave or be removed from New Zealand.
Business plan
A business plan is a plan to establish a specific business in New Zealand, which contains information as set out in the business plan form, and is supported by appropriate documentation.
Business experience
Business experience means a minimum of 5 years of either:
  • Owning a lawful business enterprise; or
  • Management experience in a lawful business enterprise.
Centre of gravity
The 'centre of gravity' of your family is in New Zealand if:
  • The principal applicant has no dependent children and the number of their adult children lawfully and permanently in New Zealand is equal to or greater than those lawfully and permanently in any other single country; or
  • The principal applicant has dependent children and the number of their adult children lawfully and permanently in New Zealand is equal to or greater than those lawfully and permanently in any other single country. The number of dependent children must be equal to or fewer than the number of adult children in New Zealand.
Custody of dependent children
If you have custody of a child who is under 16 years of age and you are separated or divorced from the other parent, you need to provide evidence in the New Zealand visa application that you have the legal right to remove that child from their home country.
Customary adoptions
Children who have been informally adopted at an early age by members of their extended family according to custom are regarded as members of the host family into which they were adopted and will not be approved for residence as part of your family.
De facto partner
A person who is living in a genuine and stable relationship with their partner, and that relationship has existed for a period of at least 12 months.
Dependent children
You can include your children and your partner's children in your application if they are single and aged 16 or younger or are single, aged 17-24 years and have no children of their own. They must be either totally or substantially reliant on you or your partner for financial support, whether or not they are living with you or your partner.
English for Speakers of Other Languages.
Genuine and stable partnership
A partnership is genuine and stable if a visa or immigration officer is satisfied that it:
  • Is genuine, because it has been entered into with the intention of being maintained on a long-term and exclusive basis; AND
  • Is stable, because it is likely to endure.
Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA)
Visa Bureau's New Zealand Casework Department Manager is registered with the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA). The Immigration Advisers Authority is responsible for the regulation of the immigration advice industry.

Read More About the IAA Read More About IAA

International English Language Testing System.
Lawful business enterprise
A lawful business enterprise is an organisation that:
  • Operates lawfully in a commercial environment with the goal of returning a profit; and
  • Is not set up primarily for passive or speculative purposes.
Management experience
Management experience means experience in the planning, organisation and control of the activities of a business.
New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI)
A non-profit association of lawyers, accountants, businesses and immigration professionals specialising in migration to New Zealand.

 Read More abou the NZAMI Read More About NZAMI.

New Zealand resident
A New Zealand resident means a person who:
  • Holds a current New Zealand residence permit or current New Zealand returning resident's visa; OR
  • Holds a valid Australian passport.
Non-principal applicants
Non-principal applicants are any other people who are included in the application, such as a partner and/or children.
Owning a business
Owning a business means owning at least 25% of a business.
You must have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship for at least 12 months and meet other minimum requirements for your partnership to be recognised.
A permit is an endorsement by an immigration officer in a passport, or a certificate of identity which confirms that the holder:
  • Is a person who requires a permit to be in New Zealand; AND
  • May lawfully remain in New Zealand while the permit is current.
Where the provision is made for the grant of permits by electronic means, any permit granted by that means will be electronically entered and retained in the records of the department of Labour.
Permits granted by electronic means must specify the following information:
  • The name of the permit holder;
  • The passport number of the permit holder, or where the holder is accepted without a passport, the holder's date of birth (if known);
  • The date on which the permit is granted;
  • Either the date on which the permit will expire, or the period for which it is granted; and
  • Such other matters including conditions, as may apply in respect to the permit.
Principal applicant
The principal applicant is the person who will be primarily assessed against the policy criteria.
Residence permit
When you arrive in New Zealand with either a residence visa or a current returning resident's visa, you will be granted a residence permit. This allows you to remain in New Zealand indefinitely, but expires when you leave New Zealand. You will need a returning resident's visa to re-enter New Zealand.
Returning resident's visa
Once you have taken up residence in New Zealand, you need a current returning resident's visa to re-enter the country after any overseas travel. A current returning resident's visa entitles you to be granted a new residence permit on your return.
Residence visa
A residence visa is issued outside New Zealand and allows you to enter New Zealand once. It is generally valid for 12 months from the date of issue and cannot be renewed or extended. This means that if you don't travel to New Zealand within this time, your residence visa will expire and you may need to apply for residence again.
Self-employment is lawful active involvement in the management and operating of a business in New Zealand which the principle applicant has established or purchased, or in which the principle applicant has made a substantial investment.
A person who is legally married in a genuine and stable marriage.
Substantial investment
Substantial investment means the purchase of 25% or more of the shareholding of the business.

A visa is an endorsement by a visa officer in a passport or certificate of identity, or in the case of an electronically issued visa, an entry made and retained in the records of the Department of Labour, that indicates that the visa officer, at the time of issuing the visa, knows of no reason why the holder of the passport or certificate of identity should not be granted the relevant permit.

A visa merely entitles a person to travel to New Zealand and is not, nor does it have the effect of, a permit; nor does it entitle the holder to a permit as of right.

A temporary visa authorises the granting of a temporary permit until a specified date or for a specified time, provided that an application has been made and any conditions stipulated in the visa have been met.