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Straight to Residence Visa

In the end of July, Immigration New Zealand announced three new residence class visas, with the applications opening on September 5, 2022. In this article we will focus on the first new visa type, Straight to Residence Visa.

Straight to Residence Visa eligibility criteria

To be eligible for Straight to Residence Visa, you must have employment or an offer of employment:

  • from an accredited employer in an occupation on tier 1 of the Green List
  • which meets the specified requirements on the list for the occupation
  • which is full-time (at least 30 hours a week), genuine, permanent, or at least a 12-month fixed term contract. Under certain circumstances independent contractors are also eligible.

Eligibility criteria for contractors

To be eligible under the Straight to Residence pathway as a contractor you must meet these requirements:

  • Your contract or contracts for service total at least 6 months.
  • If your role has a wage threshold as the skill requirement (as set out under tier 1 of the Green List) you will need 10 years’ relevant experience and also meet the higher wage threshold. This is set at 50% more than the wage threshold for applicants with permanent or fixed term employment.

Roles with a wage threshold as the skill requirement include Chief Information Officer, ICT Project Manager, ICT Managers not elsewhere classified, Software Engineer, ICT Security Specialist, and Multimedia Specialist.

Additional general eligibility criteria for all applicants

Make sure that on the date you apply for your residence visa:

  • you are aged 55 or younger
  • you, and if applicable your partner, and dependent children aged 16 or over, meet the English language requirements
  • you and any family in your application meet health and character requirements for residence.

If you hold an Accredited Employer Work Visa or another type of work visa, you (and any family if applicable) still need to meet the health and character requirements for residence. These are different from the requirements for temporary work visas.

At the time you apply you must be working for an accredited employer.


You can apply for Straight to Residence Visa from 5 September 2022. 

You can either come to New Zealand on a work visa now and apply for residence from 5 September 2022, or apply from outside of New Zealand.