Please find below helpful definitions to commonly-used terms.

Meaning of a Cook Islander: In the Cook Islands Immigration Act 2021, Cook Islander -

  1. means a person who is part of the Māori race indigenous to the Cook Islands; and
  2. includes a person descended from a person referred to in paragraph (a)
    Cook Islanders may travel to, enter, and stay in the Cook Islands any time

Cook Islanders have continuous rights

  1. Every Cook Islander has continuing rights.
  2. Nothing in this Act (other than subsection (3) and sections 23 (2), 24 (5) and regulations made under section 228) qualifies a Cook Islander's continuing rights, and -
    1. no other provisions of this Act that is inconsitent with their continuing rights applies to a Cook Islander
    2. no Cook Islander is liable under this Act to removal or deportation from the Cook Islands in any circumstances; and
    3. no Cook Islander requires a visa or permit
  3. However, A Cook Islander must comply with -
    1. section 23(1) and 24(5); and
    2. the arrival or departure requirements set out in Part 9

Persons without continuing rights must hold visa to travel to and enter and permit to stay in Cook Islands

  1. A person without continuing rights may -
    1. travel to and enter the Cook Islands only if the person -
      1. is the holder of a visa granted under this Act and the travel is consistent with the condition of the visa; or
      2. is a person exempt from holding a visa or a person to whom a visa waiver applies; and
    2. stay in the Cook Islands only if -
      1. the person is the holder of apermit granted under this Act; or
      2. is a person exempt from holding a permit or a person to whom a permit waiver applies
  2. To avoid doubt, the fact that an application for a visa or a permit or a visa or permit waiver has been made by or for any person who is onshore does not-
    1. make the person's presence in the Cook Islands lawful; or
    2. give the person a right to remain in the Cook Islands while the application is considered;or
    3. give the person a right to apply for or be granted any other visa or permit pending determination of the application; or
    4. inhibit the operation of any removal or deportation procedures under this Act that may apply to the person

Who is a permanent resident
A permanent resident is a person -

  1. is a permanent resident by descent; or
  2. is granted permanent residency under section 42 and, if 18 years or over, has taken the oath required by section 44;or
  3. has been granted permanent residence status by the issue of a certificate by the Minster under section 38 and, if 18 years or over, has taken the oath required by section 44.

More questions? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.