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HomeNewsNew 2021 Resident Visa

New 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. Those arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term critical purpose visas (for six months or more) 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.

Eligibility

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 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 if you are eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa

Eligible visas

All applicants must be on an eligible visa. These are:

  • 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 of 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 holiday makers, 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 heath 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.

Critical Purpose visitor holders

Two groups of Critical Purpose visitor visa holders will be eligible, as long as you arrive in New Zealand and apply before 31 July 2022.

  • Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and
  • Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).

If you are in a short term or seasonal role on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, including fishing crew, agricultural and horticulture mobile plant operators and shearers, you will not be eligible.

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. These are:

Jobs on the Long Term Skill Shortage List

Jobs requiring occupational registration in the health or education sector

Personal carer and other critical health workers

Specified primary sector jobs

Application process

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.

More information about fees and the application process will be available on this page by the end of October.

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.

Processing timeframes

It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 12 months, with most being processed much faster.

This page will be updated regularly with latest processing times and information.

-INZ