New Zealand Immigration will begin accepting registrations for the 2023 Samoan Quota (SQ) and Pacific Access Category (PAC) ballots from 1 August 2023 to 31 August 2023. These programs enable individuals from countries such as Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Fiji to obtain residence in New Zealand.

Every year, there is an annual ballot for both programs. Those who are successful in the ballot will be invited to apply for a resident visa in late October.

Contact us for more information on the criteria for these visa categories.

Ballot Numbers Relocation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s international border was closed, resulting in the suspension of the PAC and SQ Resident Visa schemes for 2020 and 2021. However, any unused ballot places from those years have been reallocated to future years – more places will therefore be available in the next few years.

Samoan Quota

Registration for the SQ ballot opens on August 1, 2023, and closes at 17:00 (NZ Standard Time) on August 31, 2023. The maximum number of SQ visas available is as follows:
– 1,650 Samoan citizens each year until 2025
– 1,100 Samoan citizens each year from 2026 onwards

Pacific Access Category

Registration for the PAC visas ballot category will commence on August 1, 2023, and end at 17:00 (NZ Standard Time) on August 31, 2023.

For the year 2023, a total of 500 visas will be available for Fijian citizens, 150 for Kiribati citizens, 500 for Tongan citizens, and 150 for Tuvaluan citizens.

From 2024 onwards, the maximum number of visas available annually will be as follows:
– 250 for Fijian citizens
– 75 for Kiribati citizens
– 250 for Tongan citizens
– 75 for Tuvaluan citizens

Individuals who receive a successful ballot result and are invited to apply for a PAC or SQ resident visa will be given eight months to submit their application. The processing of these applications will be carried out by INZ’s Pacific offices.

Please reach out to us if you would like to learn more about the process.

Vanessa Sharratt

Licensed Immigration Adviser