Categories of Residencie

The New Zealand Immigration Programme

Categories of Residencie

There are three main categories (known as ‘ streams’) of residence within the New Zealand Immigration Programme:

Skilled/Business stream

It includes the following categories:

  • Skilled Migrant;
  • Business – Investor,
  • Entrepreneur and Employee of a Relocating Business;
  • Residence from Work;

Family Sponsored Stream

The objectives of the family sponsored stream are to permit New Zealand citizens or residents to be joined by their spouses, partners, parents, siblings or children, and to allow New Zealand citizens or residents to sponsor family members and help them settle.

The Family stream is therefore available to those who are in a genuine and stable married, de facto or homosexual relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident, or who have immediate family members who are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

The Family stream is divided into four sub-classes, categories or policies: Partnership Policy, Dependent Child Policy, Parent Policy and Sibling /Adult Child Policy. Closely linked to the Family category is the Family Quota, available for relatives of New Zealanders who don’t qualify under any other residence category. Good health and character requirements apply to the Family stream, as they do for all other residence streams.

International/Humanitarian Stream

The purpose of this stream (according to the NZIS website) is to fulfil New Zealand’s obligations ‘as a good international citizen’. Included in this stream are United Nations mandated refugees who are approved under the annual refugee quota and asylum seekers who claim refugee status in New Zealand.

The following categories appear under this stream: Refugee Family Quota Category, Pacific Access Category (covering Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu), Samoan Quota Scheme, Victims of Domestic Violence, and various special policies for specific countries or territories (currently China, the Pitcairn Islands and Sri Lanka).

Further details can be obtained from New Zealand consulates and embassies and from the NZIS, which publishes a useful Guide to Applying for Residence in New Zealand, which can be downloaded from its website ( ).

Further reading

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