There are four main categories under which you can apply for residence in New Zealand. They are:
- Investor Category
- Entrepreneur Category
- Skilled Migrant Category
- Family Category
This category allows you to be granted with New Zealand residence quickly, if you have sufficient funds to "actively invest" in New Zealand. The investments must be put in "acceptable investments" as defined by Immigration New Zealand, which includes investing in New Zealand companies, government bonds and residential property development.
If you have been running a business successfully in New Zealand while holding an Entrepreneur Work Visa, Long Term Business Visa (under the old policy before it changed in March 2014), or an open work visa for a number of years, and can show to Immigration New Zealand that the business has created a significant benefit for New Zealand, then you may be eligible under this category.
Skilled Migrant Category
Most people will apply under this category. If you have a skilled job in New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for residence under this category. While this category has the biggest annual quota under the immigration instructions, this is probably one of the more difficult categories to be approved under, in terms of the number of requirements that you have to satisfy.
If you are a partner, dependent child, or a parent of a New Zealand resident or citizen, then you may be able to apply for New Zealand residence under this category. Parents in particular are regarded as low priority for Immigration New Zealand, and it could take several years for Immigration New Zealand to process the application.