26th May 2022
Government of the Cook Islands
Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki - Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration
MFAI Media Release: Permanent Residence Applications Open
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) is currently reviewing the Expressions of interest (EOI) for Cook Islands Permanent Residence (PR) which closed on Thursday 19th May 2022.
MFAI received over 300 EOIs for either Permanent Residence in Own Right or Spouse of a Cook Islander or Permanent Resident. The EOI submissions are being reviewed in accordance with Cook Islands Immigration Regulations 2022 criteria. With the completion of EOIs assessments, from today, MFAI will be issuing invitations for PR applications to those who’ve met the criteria and notification they’ve not met the criteria to others.
The Immigration Act 2021 provides for 500 places at any one time for PR in their own right with 140 places available during this PR round. The Immigration Regulations provide for a prioritization process should there be more applications received than space available. MFAI received 312 EOIs - 192 in their own right and 120 as a spouse of a Cook Islander or PR and 7 as an eligible child.
Applicants who have been invited to apply for Permanent Residence will be able to submit their applications from 8am Friday 27th May 2022 and 25 working days have been provided for applicants to provide evidence to support their application. PR applications close 4pm Friday 1st July 2022. Some flexibility is being provided to those who meet the continuous term of residence in the Cook Islands (5 years for New Zealand passport holders and 10 years for other passport holders) to provide evidence of their 312 hours community service and Character criteria during the application process. Should this not be received by the closing of the application date, the application will be declined as per the Regulations. Persons who fall into this group should consider their ability to meet the requirements and supporting documentation as part of submitting their applications as fees are non-refundable.
PR applications can be submitted online, with the link provided in the invitation and an application will be attached by email for those whom need to download the form.
Kairangi Samuela, MFAI Principal Immigration Officer, extended her Meitaki Ma'ata to those who submitted their expressions of interest and want to remind the community that calls for permanent residence can be made every 3 years as outlined in the Cook Islands Immigration Act 2021. Those who may not have been invited to apply for PR are encouraged to review the criteria and consider submitting in the next round.