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MFAI Media Release: Permanent Residence Expressions of Interest update

18 May 2022

Government of the Cook Islands

Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki - Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration

MFAI Media Release: Permanent Residence Expressions of Interest update

More than 200 Expressions of interest for Cook Islands Permanent Residence has been received by

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) with 71 online submissions pending - these include those who have submitted in their own right and spouses of Cook Islanders and Permanent Residents. “We had anticipated this number of EOI’s given the last time Permanent Resident calls were made was over 10 years ago,” said Kairangi Samuela, Principal Immigration Officer.

There are 140 places available for persons applying in their own right with the spouse of Cook Islanders and Permanent Residents and Child of Permanent Residents category uncapped.

The closing day for Expressions of Interest submissions is 19th May 2022, 4pm following which EOIs that have met the criteria for PR will be invited to apply for PR and those who do not meet criteria will be advised.

The basic criteria is that persons must meet the term of residency in the Cook Islands being a minimum of 5 years for New Zealand passport holders and 10 years for all other passport holders and the completion of the Kia Orana values programme. “Some flexibility has been availed to those on our Pa Enua as they are unable to access the Kia orana Values program. That being said, most residents of the pa enua who have submitted EOIs for PR have been resident in the pa enua for many years, are enmeshed within their pa enua communities and many are conversant in the dialect of the island they are living on”, Samuela said.

Once the EOI process is completed, those who are invited to apply will be required to submit their supporting documents/references from the Aronga mana of their village, evidence of 312 community service hours over the term of their residency from the organizations or people they have been working with and reference from other person whom they are not related to.

Calls for Permanent Residence must be made every 3 years as provided for by the Cook Islands Immigration Act 2021. Further information on Permanent Residence can be found on the MFAI website at or requested by email to or calling 29347


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