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RDF Frequently Asked Questions

The processing of my NZ residency visa has been significantly delayed because of COVID-19. Can I still apply?

All applicants that have experienced significant visa delays because of COVID-19 will have until Thursday 15 July to confirm their resident visa status. If the visa has not been approved by then, we will regrettably have to withdraw their application at this stage.

Does the requirement that non-citizen applicants must "have continuously resided in Aotearoa New Zealand for at least three months prior to their application" mean the 3 months immediately prior to the submission date?

No, it means you must have spent at least three months continuously in New Zealand at any point.

What does "deemed to hold" a NZ residency visa mean?

Australian citizens are deemed to hold a NZ residency visa automatically without having to submit an application.

If I am currently on a work to residency visa, am I eligible to apply for the current round?

An opportunity exists to grant an eligibility exemption for applicants on a work to residency visa if the applicant has demonstrated (and the Society is convinced of) a commitment to Aotearoa New Zealand. The type of questions we would ask are: Why are you in Aotearoa? How long have you been in Aotearoa? What is your current visa status? Please send evidence of your commitment to Aotearoa to Rutherford.Discovery@royalsociety.org.nz for approval of your eligibility exemption.

How do you define "primary caregiver" when considering an eligibility extension for children?

The definition of “primary caregiver” that we use is from the website:


If the applicant fulfils this definition, we do not request further evidence to support the carer status, although we reserve the right to request further evidence at a later stage (and may withdraw the application if this cannot be demonstrated).

If the applicant does not directly fulfil the definition above, we are prepared to discuss situations where there is a REAL co-sharing of the roles, e.g. if the male has worked part-time because of caring responsibilities or similar. Under these circumstances, we request to see some kind of evidence demonstrating this. If you feel this applies to you, please fill out the eligibility calculator and send it to Rutherford.Discovery@royalsociety.org.nz with an explanation of and evidence for the co-sharing period.