Ukrainian national colours
File photo: Participants write on a banner in the Ukrainian national colours during Ukraine's Independence Day celebrations at Zamkowy Square in Warsaw, Poland on August 24, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Wellington: New Zealand on Saturday announced a new pathway to residency for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Permanent residency will be available to people who travel to New Zealand on the temporary Special Ukraine Visa before March 15 next year, Immigration Minister Andrew Little said.

"Many of those who sought safety here in New Zealand would never have anticipated being here long term, but as war continues we have a humanitarian obligation to provide certainty to them.

"We're making it as simple as possible to apply for the residence pathway."

To maximise accessibility, applicants will not need to sit a language test, have access to suitable funds nor require sponsorship.

More than 1,500 Special Ukraine Visas have so far been granted since the special category was set up last year as part of the government's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.