New Zealand Visa Categories


NZ visa system has 3 categories,  Residence, Temporary Entry and Transit class visas. Residence class has two sub-classes: Resident Visa and Permanent Resident Visa, both visas have indefinite expiry dates. The major difference between a residence visa and a permanent residence visa is the travel conditions. A resident visa comes with any conditions imposed under section 49 of the Immigration Act and two-year travel conditions. If a resident visa holder is out of NZ with expired travel conditions, they may not return to NZ unless they get travel conditions extended. On the other hand, a permanent resident visa allows visa holders to travel in and out of NZ anytime without any travel restrictions. Transit visas allow travellers to transit through NZ. Temporary entry class visa has three sub-classes. The main sub-class temporary visa includes student, work, visitor, special visa, and military visa.

Difference between Temporary Class Visa and Residence Class Visa
There are many significant differences between temporary entry-class visas and residence-class visas. Some of the key differences are:
Cost: Temporary class visas cost less, compared to residence class visas. However, as temporary visas require renewal, it is not a cost-effective option.

Duration: Temporary class visas allow a visa holder to stay in NZ for a relatively short period. i.e., a work visa may be valid for 1 year. Residence class visas are valid for a lifetime, providing stability in life.

Processing Time: Temporary class visas can be processed within a few days; however, residence class visas have a long processing time (processed in months).

Social Benefits: Temporary class visa holders have fewer social benefits, compared to residence class visa holders. Residence class visa holders have the right to vote and can be eligible for pension as well. Children of some temporary visa holders may be eligible to attend school as domestic students.

Visa Conditions: Temporary class visas often have conditions such as duration of stay, employment conditions, short-term study etc, whereas residence class visas usually have fewer conditions for the visa holders.

Health Care: Generally, temporary class visa holders are not entitled to public health services and will need health insurance. However, some temporary class visa holders such as work visa holders may be entitled to subsidised public healthcare. On the other hand, residence-class visa holders are entitled to fully funded public healthcare.

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