New 2021 Resident Visa in New Zealand
Some work visa holders currently in New Zealand as well as some critical purpose visitor visa holders may be eligible to apply for residence under the new residence category – the 2021 Resident Visa.
On 30 September 2021, the Government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. Some critical purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term visas may also be eligible for this new visa. Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications.
Applications will be open in two phases from 1 December 2021 for some eligible applicants and from 1 March 2022 for remaining eligible applicants.
All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022.
Are you eligible?
Applicants must have met the criteria on 29 September 2021.
To be eligible you must:
- have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
- be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.
You must also meet ONE of the three criteria:
- have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, OR
- earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour), OR
- work in a role on a scarce list.
If you meet the criteria for eligibility but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by 29 September 2021, you may be considered eligible.
Check your eligibility here.
What visas are eligible?
On 29 September all applicants must have been on (or have applied for and later granted) one of the following visas:
- Post Study Work Visa
- Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
- Essential Skills Work Visa
- Religious Worker Work Visa
- Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
- Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
- Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa
- Trafficking Victim Work Visa
- Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
- Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa
- Victims of Family Violence Work Visa
- South Island Contribution Work Visa
- Work Visa granted under Section 61 (provided the applicant held another eligible visa type within 6 months before being granted a Section 61 visa)
- Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV):
- Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and
- Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).
Short-term visa holders are not eligible, such as visitors, students, working holidaymakers, and seasonal workers like those on the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme or those who enter as short-term critical workers.
Partners and dependent children, including those currently outside New Zealand, can be included in residence applications.
All applicants must meet the health and character requirements for the 2021 Resident Visa. Overseas police certificates will not be required unless specifically requested by an Immigration Officer. Limited medical certificates and chest x-ray certificates may be required for some people. Immigration New Zealand may request further information as part of the application process.
Individuals who do not meet the criteria will need to look at what other residence pathways or temporary visa options may be available to them.
Applicants who have lived in New Zealand for three or more years
To be eligible under this criteria, you must have lived in New Zealand for the past three or more years and
- have arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018, and
- have spent a minimum of 821 days in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021 (inclusive).
The time spent in New Zealand does not need to be consecutive. There is no minimum amount within a calendar year.
If you need to check how much time you have spent in New Zealand, you are able to request your travel movements from Immigration New Zealand.
Applicants earning at or above the median wage
To be eligible under this criteria, you must be paid the median wage of NZD $27 per hour or above on 29 September 2021.
Applicants working in a job on a scarce list
To be eligible under this criteria, on 29 September 2021 you must work in a job that is on a scarce list. Civil Engineers and Surveyors appear on the Long Term Skills Shortage List, the full list can be found here.
The 2021 Resident visa will be open for applications in two phases, with the first group of people able to apply from 1 December 2021.
From 1 December 2021 you can apply if:
- you have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work categories before 29 September 2021, or
- you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included your dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.
From 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.
All applications must be made by 31 July 2022.
Applications can be submitted online.
Those who are eligible to apply from 1 December 2021 will receive an email from Immigration New Zealand by the end of October with further information.
This information has been sourced from © 2021 IMMIGRATION NEW ZEALAND under the CC-BY 3.0 NZ licence terms, with no changes made to the content.
The major migration update for Australia is accelerating the process of accepting visas, allowing visa holders to travel to Australia and making up lost time due to border closures.
‘Straight to residence,’ ‘Work to residence,’ and ‘Highly Paid’ categories will give migrants a higher chance to work, live, and gain residency in New Zealand.