Fourteen remaining recipients of permanent residency (PR) will be awarded their PR certificates tomorrow during a ceremony to be held at the VIP Lounge of the Rarotonga International Airport.
Tomorrow’s ceremony marks the completion of PR awards for this year with most of the recipients receiving their certificates during the ceremony held in July at the National Auditorium.
During tomorrow's ceremony, each recipient will be invited to receive their certificates as per the Immigration Act 2021 after reciting the Oath of Allegiance to the Cook Islands in the
presence of His Excellency, Sir Tom Marsters, King's Representative.
Each of the recipients had been unable to attend the July ceremony earlier this year, as they’d been temporarily out of the country at the time for medical, work, or family reasons.
The criteria for those applying in their own right and as spouses of Cook Islanders and Permanent Residents included having lived continuously in the Cook Islands for at least five years or more for New Zealand citizens, and ten years or more for all other Nationals.
“We are pleased to be able to deliver this ceremony at the convenience of the King's Representative and congratulate the recipients on receiving their award,” said Principal Immigration Officer, Ms Kairangi Samuela.
Included in tomorrow’s ceremony will be the awarding of two Honorary Permanent Residents nominated by the Minister of Health, the Hon. Rose Toki-Brown.
Honorary permanent residency awards recognise the contributions made by recipients to the Cook Islands and is a special honour that acknowledges that recipients do not live in the Cook Islands and would not qualify under normal PR criteria. As of tomorrow, 36 individuals will have received the Cook Islands Honorary Permanent Resident award, most for their contributions in the health sector.
Of the fourteen recipients of PR that will be awarded tomorrow, nine hold passports for New Zealand, two hold passports for Australia, and one person holds a passport for Germany.
As provided for by the Immigration Act 2021, applications for PR are considered every three years, with the next round of invitations open in 2025. The Immigration Act 2021 provides for a maximum number of 500 holders of PR at any given time, and an unlimited number for spouses of Cook Islanders.