There was a special pathway you can use to get a resident visa, which would not involve a Skilled Migrant visa application. This special plan is called Work to Residence and Residence from work. It allows you to ‘convert’ your work visa into residence within 24 months if you hold a special visa designed for that. Residence from work is a good workaround for those who would not qualify under a Skilled Migrant Category or cannot score enough points.
There are 3 main streams you can use
- Job offer from an accredited employer – DISCONTINUED from 2021, only existing WTR visa holders may proceed
- Employment in the Long Term Skills shortage list – DISCONTINUED from 2021, only existing WTR visa holders may proceed
- Special talent in Art or Sport
All of these visas are granted for 30 months. Once you’ve been on a Work to Residence visa for over 2 years (and meet all other requirements as below), you can lodge your residence application.
Majority of the work visas have been scraped in 2021-2022 and a new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) has been introduced.
Special talent in Art or Sport
This visa is for people who have exceptional talent in a field of art, sport or culture and are looking for a pathway to residence in New Zealand. You’ll need the support of a New Zealand organisation that’s recognised for its excellence in your field of talent, and a sponsor, to apply. After being actively engaged in your field in New Zealand for 2 years, you may be eligible for residence.
To be granted a visa under the Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) Work Instructions applicants must:
- have exceptional talent in a declared field of art, culture or sport; and
- be supported by a New Zealand organisation of national repute in their declared field; and
- have an acceptable sponsor; and
- be aged 55 years or under; and
- meet the health and character requirements for Residence; and
- meet other basic immigration instructions
Applicants are considered to have an exceptional talent in a declared field of art, culture or sport where the applicant has an international reputation and record of excellence in that declared field, still prominent in that declared field and the applicant’s presence in New Zealand will enhance the quality of New Zealand’s accomplishments and participation in the declared field of art, culture or sport.
Please note that this visa type is truly exceptional and is quite rare.