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Holders of a New Zealand Residence Permit who wish to leave New Zealand temporarily, or are temporarily overseas, are required to have a Returning Residence Visa (RRV) if they wish to be able to return to New Zealand and be granted a Residence Permit on their arrival back in New Zealand..
When an applicant is first granted a Residence Permit the applicant is usually also granted an RRV for a period of 2 years. The first RRV is sometimes granted subject to certain terms and conditions. The holder of an RRV must make sure that he or she is in New Zealand when the RRV expires. If the holder's RRV expires when the holder is overseas the holder may not be able to return to New Zealand as a resident. It is therefore critical that an RRV is always renewed before it expires if the holder intends to be overseas when his or her current RRV expires.
An Indefinite Returning Residence Visa (IRRV) can usually be applied for after 2 years. An applicant must meet certain criteria before being granted an IRRV. An IRRV is the highest level of immigration status as it means the holder will always be a New Zealand resident when returning to New Zealand from overseas; no matter how long the holder has been away from New Zealand.