The New One-off 2021 Resident Visa
A new one-off residence pathway means a large number of work visa holders will be able to remain in New Zealand permanently.
The 2021 Resident Visa recognizes the immense contribution migrants have made to New Zealand during COVID-19 and the uncertainty they’ve faced with closed borders and necessary changes to immigration settings.
It will also allow employers to retain settled, skilled and scarce migrant workers, reflecting their critical part in New Zealand’s economy.
It will be available to those who have already submitted a resident visa applications under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RfW) category and those who have submitted an SMC Expression of Interest, as well as many other work visa holders who may not have been eligible through the current skilled residence pathways.
Visa Extensions and Conditions during COVID-19
Working holiday visas that are expiring between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 have been extended for a further six months. Visa holders must have been in New Zealand on 14 June 2021 to qualify. The conditions of extended Working Holiday visas have been varied to allow holders to work as part of a Working Holiday Scheme in any employment except permanent employment.
Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visas allow the holders to work in horticulture and viticulture seasonal roles where there are not enough New Zealanders or RSE workers available. Employers should prioritise RSE workers for roles. SSE visas expiring between 30 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 have been extended for six months. Visa holders must have been in New Zealand on 14 June 2021 to qualify. The extended SSE visas now have open work rights allowing them to work in any sector.
If you are a Pacific Regional Seasonal Employer (RSE) worker who came to New Zealand through the border exception you can apply for a new visa and will be able to stay beyond the normal maximum period.
COVID-19 restrictions - employers hiring from overseas
How to bring workers (including 'other critical workers') to New Zealand if you are an employer.
Border exceptions for 'other critical workers'.
Employers and supporting agencies can request to bring workers into New Zealand if they are deemed ‘other critical workers’. Employers are still expected to genuinely seek to fill job vacancies with New Zealanders.
Ship owners, authorised agents and employers of crew can submit a request for foreign crew to travel to New Zealand on approved ships.
Crew must be essential for the operation of the ship to travel to New Zealand. Other types of crew and passengers are not permitted.
“This is just to say thank you very much for assisting us with our visas. All your help is much appreciated. You were always willing to help us no matter what. We couldn't have done this without your help!!!”
The Viljoen family