Residency status or type - general definition
A general definition for residency status or type.
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Changes to residency requirements
Students who are not New Zealand citizens, refugees or protected persons (or have not been sponsored into New Zealand by a family member who was recognised as a refugee or a protected person) will now need to have been entitled to reside indefinitely in New Zealand, and been living in New Zealand, for three years before they will qualify for a Student Allowance or Loan.
Australian citizens are subject to these residency requirements.
This change applies to new Student Allowance and Loan applications for study that starts on or after 1 January 2014.
New Zealand Citizen
New Zealand citizens are those who meet one of these three criteria:
- were born in New Zealand, or
- have been granted citizenship in an official ceremony, or
- are of New Zealand descent with confirmation from the Department of Internal Affairs.
Cook Island, Niue and Tokelau students
People born in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau are automatically New Zealand citizens by birth. Generally, they will travel to New Zealand on a New Zealand passport. Islands that fall into these groups are:
Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Manuae, Mauke, Mitiaro, Nassau, Palmerston Island, Penrhyn Island, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Suwarrow, Takutea.
Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu
Other residents of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau will need to provide a proof of residence document and meet the two years residence in New Zealand requirement.
A permanent resident is someone who is entitled to reside in New Zealand indefinitely and holds a residence class visa under the Immigration Act 2009 (including residence permits granted under the Immigration Act 1987).
To be eligible for Student Allowance and Student Loan, a permanent resident must have legally lived in New Zealand for at least two years, held a residence class visa for at least two years and be ordinarily resident in New Zealand.
Ordinarily resident means someone who is normally and lawfully in New Zealand and intends to stay here, that is, they consider New Zealand to be their home.
There are two categories of refugee status:
- Refugees who are in New Zealand under the Refugee Quota system (or mandate refugees) are automatically eligible for assistance from the time their refugee status is approved. These refugees are automatically entitled to reside indefinitely in New Zealand from the date of that approval. Therefore they can become eligible for assistance from that date.
- Convention Refugees are people who have applied for refugee status under other criteria. They can apply before arriving in New Zealand, upon arrival, or after arrival. Once they are approved refugee status they have to apply for a Resident Visa to become entitlement to reside indefinitely in New Zealand. They can then become eligible for assistance from the approval date of the Resident Visa or Residence Permit (issued under the Immigration Act 1987).
Refugees do not need to meet the two year requirement for Student Allowances and Student Loans.
Anyone who was sponsored into New Zealand by a family member who had refugee status at the time of the students entry into New Zealand, does not need to meet the two year stand-down requirement for Student Allowances and Student Loans.
A Protected Person is a person recognised by staff of Immigration New Zealand under sections 130 & 131 of the Immigration Act 2009 as being a Protected Person.
In general terms, a Protected Person is someone who:
- Under the Convention Against Torture, there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture if deported from New Zealand or;
- Under the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to arbitrary deprivation of life or cruel treatment if deported from New Zealand.
From 1 January 2012, anyone who was sponsored into New Zealand by a family member who at the time of the students entry into New Zealand had Protected Person status, does not need to meet the two year stand-down requirement for Student Allowances and Student Loans.
Australian citizens are exempt from having to hold a permit in order to reside in New Zealand.
For the Student Allowance and Student Loan an Australian citizen must still be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and have resided in New Zealand for at least two years, and meet all other eligibility criteria.
If you are an Australian citizen please choose "Permanent resident" status.
United Kingdom citizens
United Kingdom citizens who arrived in New Zealand before 4 April 1974 are automatically entitled to permanent resident status. They are therefore not required to provide evidence of their permanent resident status in New Zealand, and are not required to have resided in New Zealand for a two year period. All other UK citizens must meet New Zealand citizenship or residency criteria.