Cook Islands receives great residency interest

PHOTO: NZ High Commission Rarotonga

Over 200 Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for Permanent Residence have been received by the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI), with 71 online submissions pending.

The applications include those who have submitted in their own right, and spouses of Cook Islanders and Permanent Residents.

Cook Islands Principal immigration officer Kairangi Samuela in a statement said: “We had anticipated this number of EOI’s given the last time Permanent Resident calls were made was over 10 years ago.”

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 was May 19. 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.

According to MFAI, the basic criteria is that persons must meet the term of residency in the Cook Islands (a minimum of five years for New Zealand passport holders and 10 years for all other passport holders), and the completion of the Kia Orana values programme.

Samuela said: “Some flexibility has been availed to those on our Pa Enua as they are unable to access the Kia orana Values programme. 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.”