NEW ZEALAND RETURNING RESIDENT'S VISA INFORMATION








Returning Resident's Visa

First Time Returning Resident's Visa ("RRV")


As all permits expire once the permit holder leaves New Zealand (including Residence Permits) for a New Zealand Resident to leave and return to New Zealand as a Resident they must have an Returning Resident's Visa. On arrival in New Zealand a RRV allows the person to be issued with a Residence Permit.

The first time RRV will last for 2 years which shall be dated when the Residence Permit was first granted i.e. when the new migrant first lands in New Zealand holding a Residence Visa. If you are a holder of a Residence Visa you must arrive in New Zealand whilst it is still valid. If you do not the RRV will not be valid.

Second Subsequent Returning Residents Visa

1.0 Indefinite

An indefinite RRV ("IRRV") lasts forever i.e. you can leave New Zealand for 20 years and still be able to return to New Zealand as a resident. It is almost the same as having New Zealand citizenship.

You can apply for an IRRV if:
  • You have been a New Zealand tax resident for the last two years ; or
  • You have spent a significant period of time in New Zealand during the last two year (184 days in each of the previous 2 years); or
  • You have invested NZ$1 million in New Zealand for the last two years; or
  • You have successfully run a New Zealand business for the last 12 months; or
  • You have established a 'base' in New Zealand (if you are the Principal Applicant then each member of your family has lived in New Zealand for 184 days in each of the last 2 years and you have had either a family home in New Zealand during the last 12 months or have been genuinely employed in New Zealand immediately prior to applying for your IRRV).
Option one above is now discussed at length.

New Zealand Tax Resident for the Last Two Years:
1.1 In the preceding 2 years have held Residence Permits for an aggregate of 184 days in each year; and
Meet any section 18A conditions;
OR
1.2 In the preceding 2 years have held Residence Permits for an aggregate of 41 days in each year; and
Have Tax Residents status for 24 months in the preceding 2 years; and
Meet any section 18A requirements.
2.0 12 Month Returning Residents Visa

To obtain a 12 month RRV you must meet the following criteria:
2.1 In the preceding 2 years have held Residence Permits for an aggregate of 184 days in one of the two years; and
Meet any section 18A conditions;
OR
2.2 In the preceding 2 years have held Residence Permits for an aggregate of 41 days in one of the two years; and
Have Tax Resident status for at least 12 months in one of the preceding 2 years; and
Meet any section 18A requirements.
3.0 14 Day Returning Residents Visa

If you fail to meet the criteria above then you may be entitled to a 14 day RRV.

RRV - Declined

4.0 Principal Applicants

You will be declined an RRV if you do not hold a Residence Permit.

If you apply for an RRV and are a Principal Applicant outside New Zealand you may be declined if:
4.1 You do not meet the requirement for an IRRV or 12 month RRV; OR
4.2 You have failed to meet any requirements imposed under section 18A; OR
4.3 Do not qualify for a RRV under the Transitional Policy (see below).
Transitional Policy

5.0 Persons First Granted Residency before 30 October 1995

5.1 Applicants who are first granted residence before 30 October 1995 should be granted an RRV valid for an indefinite period if they meet the requirements in paragraphs 1.0.
5.2 Applicants who do not meet these requirements will be assessed in the following manner:
5.2.1 The applicants who were granted Residence Permits or granted Residence Permits before 30 October 1995 or granted Residence Permits in reliance on Residence Visas issued before 30 October 1995 and are lodging an application for their first RRV will be issued with a two year RRV. Applicants may apply under this provision once only.
5.2.2 Applicants who were granted Residence Permits before 30 October 1995 or granted Residence Permits in reliance on Residence Visa issued before 30 October 1995; and are lodging a second or subsequent application for a RRV will be issued with an RRV valid for a period equivalent for which they have had Residence Permits in the 4 years before application. Under this provision all applicants will be considered as Principal Applicants. Applicants may apply under these provisions once only.
5.2.3 Principal Applicants who were granted Residence Permits before 30 October 1995 or granted Residence Permits in reliance on Residence Visas issued before 30 October 1995 on the basis of investment in New Zealand under the Business Investment or General Category (investment) and are lodging an application for their second RRV may upon application be issued an RRV valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issue if they have met Section 18A requirements.

Under this provision Non-Principal applicants will be granted an RRV valid for the same period as that granted to the Principal Applicant. You may apply under this provision once only.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements under these paragraphs should be considered under the provisions of Second and Subsequent RRV 14 days and Declined. Any subsequent applications will be considered under the provisions in Second and Subsequent RRV Indefinite, 12 months, 14 days and Decline.

5.3 An RRV may be transferred to a new passport if the previous passport has expired.


Special Provisions

6.0 Spouses and de facto partners of New Zealand citizens who do not qualify for an IRRV may apply for a 2 year RRV provided:

(a) The New Zealand spouse or partner supports them in writing; and
(b) For spouses of New Zealand citizens a copy of the marriage certificate is provided;
(c) For de facto partners of New Zealand citizens and evidence is provided that the relationship to their New Zealand partner is currently maintained.

6.1 Dependant children of a spouse or partner of a New Zealand citizen who were included in the resident's application of the spouse or partner will be issued with an RRV valid for a period of equivalent to that spouse or partner's RRV.

Tax Residence

1. Introduction


To be entitled to an Indefinite Returning Resident's Visa one must have been in New Zealand for the required length of time and/or be considered a New Zealand Tax Resident.

2. The Basic Test

There are two tests under the Income Tax Act to determine whether you are Tax Resident. You are deemed to be resident if either:

(a) 183 Days*

You are present in New Zealand for more than 183 days altogether in any 12 month period (i.e. you are actually physically in New Zealand for more than half a year); OR

(b) Permanent Place of Abode

You have a "permanent place of abode" in New Zealand.

If you spend most of the year in New Zealand, you should not have a problem proving your tax residence states, if you spend less than half the year here, you will need to show that you have a "permanent place of abode" in New Zealand.

* For immigration purposes the Immigration Service has said 184 days is required.

3. Permanent Place Of Abode

There is no set definition of "permanent place of abode". Things which are taken into account include:
What sort of ties you have with New Zealand, e.g. past and future business and social ties.
How long you have spent in New Zealand.
The attachments and relationships you have and maintain in New Zealand, for example do you own a house, does your family live here and is your business or work here.
Basically, the longer you are in New Zealand and the closer your family and social ties are with New Zealand, the more likely you are to have a "permanent place of abode" here.

4. Evidence Required By The New Zealand Immigration Service

The New Zealand Immigration Service has issued some guidelines as to what will be acceptable evidence of Tax Resident status in New Zealand. To satisfy NZIS you are Tax Resident, you will need to show them one or more of the following:
(a) A tax return and tax assessment for the relevant years; or
(b) A statement from the IRD stating that you are Tax Resident for the relevant period; or
(c) Other evidence which the NZIS deems to be acceptable.
5. New Zealand Tax Resident's Liability For Tax

If you are Tax Resident in New Zealand, then it is important you are aware of what it means from a tax point of view and not just immigration.

(a) World-wide Income

A New Zealand Tax Resident is liable for tax on all their income, whether derived from New Zealand or overseas. This means you have to pay tax in New Zealand on all the income you earn here and all the income you earn overseas as well.

(b) Controlled Foreign Companies

Where you own or have a certain interest in companies overseas, those companies may be deemed to be "controlled foreign companies" for New Zealand tax purposes. That means that part or all of the income earned by the company will be taxable in New Zealand. This is a complicated area and, if you have overseas companies, please see us to get proper advice.

6. Summary

Basically to be Tax Resident in New Zealand you have to have your base here and live here most of the time.

The effect of being Tax Resident needs to be looked at very carefully, particularly if you have overseas interests and investments. The summary we have given is a very brief overview. We would be happy to advise you on how to structure your affairs to try and minimise your tax liability in New Zealand, bearing in mind your liability to pay tax in any overseas country where you hold your interests.



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