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2021 Resident Visa - New FAQs released by Immigration New Zealand

How will INZ be assessing scarce occupations?

This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for each applicant in line with the immigration instructions. The scarce lists are broad and include a range of skill levels, which will make the assessments simpler in the majority of cases. If an applicant holds a work visa that specifies an employer and occupation, information provided with the previous work visa application will be considered along with the employment agreement or letter from the employer that is provided with the 2021 Resident Visa application. A job description or other evidence may be requested if needed and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If an applicant’s job title is not on the scarce list but they are undertaking duties associated with an occupation on the list, are they still eligible?

This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for each applicant during the application process. The job title doesn’t need to be an exact match (word for word), although INZ does need to be satisfied that the person is employed in one of the occupations on the scarce lists as well as the employment being genuine.

If an applicant qualifies under both the scarce and settled criteria, they should test their eligibility under the settled criteria first.

If someone who previously provided fake documents/certificates had been granted an amnesty for an Essential Skills Work Visa, will they be required to disclose this when applying for 2021 Residence Visa?

All applicants need to meet character requirements. As part of processing the application, an immigration officer may request the applicant to comment on any known incident of false and misleading information even if the applicant has previously been granted a character waiver with respect to that incident.

A character waiver in one application does not ‘carry over’ to the next one. This is because the circumstances of the applicant may have changed.

Is there a limit on how many applications an adviser can submit on one day?

Yes. 15 IGMS applications per day for each Realme account

If an applicant's passport has expired and they can’t apply for a new one because of Covid-19 travel restrictions, will a document waiver be granted?

No. Applicants are required to provide details of a valid passport when they apply. Applicants have until 31 July 2022 to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa.

Do applicants need to upload passports (and/or passport photos) and birth certificates with their application?

Yes. Standard online lodgement requirements apply (passport, medical, head and shoulders photograph etc), with the exception of offshore police certificates. As the application is online, copies of documents do not need to be certified.

How will 'consistent history of contract work' be defined/assessed?

It will be assessed the same way it is currently assessed in the Skilled Migrant Category. SM6.30.10 refers.

Will an immigration officer's previous assessment of an applicant's occupation on ANZSCO impact whether their occupation is considered to be a role on the scarce list?

For an applicant who holds a current work visa that specifies they may only work for a specific employer, immigration officers will consider information provided on the 2021 Resident Visa Application form and information provided with the previous work visa application to determine whether they meet the scarce criteria.

There is no substantial match requirement and immigration officers will be looking at whether the applicant’s role fits the job occupation listed on the scarce list. If there are doubts as to whether a person is working in an occupation on one of the scarce lists, the immigration officer may request further information such as a job description and in some cases may refer to ANZSCO if needed.

If a person is granted a special direction authorising the grant of a visa and entry permission, will they be required to declare in their 2021 Resident Visa application that they have been previously excluded?

A person excluded from any country other than New Zealand must declare this in their application form, even if they have previously declared that exclusion and have been granted a special direction by INZ or the Minister with regard to that exclusion.

Will there be a border exception for offshore partners allowing them to travel to NZ if they are granted a 2021 Resident Visa?

People who have been granted a 2021 Resident Visa can travel to New Zealand, this includes partners and children of the principal applicant who are outside of New Zealand when the visa issued. They will not need a border exception.

If a secondary applicant fails to meet the health requirements, will INZ be able to grant the 2021 Resident Visa to the principal applicant and other secondary applicants?

An applicant cannot remove their partner or dependent child from the application if they hold or have [previously] applied for a visa based on their relationship to the principal applicant, unless the partner ceases to be the principal applicant’s partner or the child ceases to be dependent.

Where a partner or dependent child has been included and they have never held or applied for a visa based on a relationship to the principal applicant, they can be removed at any time up until the point of decision.

Will dependent children aged 17 years or older who were included in an SMC application and now hold an Essential Skills Work Visa be able to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa?

Yes, if they meet the definition of a 'dependent child' contained at immigration instruction R2.1.30. Dependent children aged 21 years and over undertaking employment will need to demonstrate they are totally or substantially reliant on the principal applicant and/or the principal applicant's partner for financial support, whether living with them or not.

Can a partner who was declared but not included in an SMC application be included as a secondary applicant within a phase 1 application?


Will offshore secondary applicants’ original passports need to be submitted to INZ?

Standard processes will apply. INZ will request that offshore applicants send the original passport to the nearest Visa Application Centre.

Will applicants be required to submit partner and dependent child declaration forms?

Partners and dependent children (aged 24 or younger) can be included in the residence application. In addition to completing the application form, the principal applicant will need to upload the INZ 1242 form if they are including their partner and any dependent children aged 18 - 24 years old.

A separate application form is not required unless the dependent child is eligible and is aged 25 or older.

Can part time employees who work more than 30 hours per week meet the skilled or scarce requirements?

To meet the skilled or scarce criteria, employment must be full time. Employment is full time if the employment agreement demonstrates that the employment amounts to, on average, 30 hours per week over an agreed pay period (S6.15.5.c.i). If an employment agreement is only for part time work (but states 30 hours per week), an individual will be eligible.

Once an applicant has submitted their application under the skilled or scarce criteria, can they leave their employment?

Yes, but they must remain lawful. Applicants should continue to comply with their visa conditions.

If an application is declined because the applicant submitted their application in the wrong phase, will they still be required to pay the processing fee?


Can secondary applicants be added after an application has been accepted by INZ?

Yes, a secondary applicant may be added during processing.

Does an applicant need to submit a passport for their new-born baby to be able to submit their application?

Yes, passport details are required for all applicants.

Can an applicant supply a NZ police certificate with their application for faster processing?

INZ will request a NZ police certificate therefore we do not require applicants to provide these.

Will a secondary applicant in a SMC application be eligible to apply under phase one if they left the principal applicant partner due to domestic violence?

Yes, a secondary applicant of an SMC application would be able to apply in their own right, separate to the principal applicant, and they will still need to meet the requirements in their own right. They should call ICC if they experience issues trying to submit an application.

If a partner from overseas is included in the application, does the Principal Applicant still need to provide police certificates from countries they have been, in line with requirements as a supporting partner for residence applications?

Applicants for a 2021 Resident Visa will not be required to provide a police certificate from their country of citizenship or any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last ten years, unless requested by an immigration officer. A New Zealand Police Check is still required, regardless of the duration an applicant has spent in New Zealand, and INZ will request this on the applicant’s behalf.

What is the easiest way to check if I meet the settled criteria (e.g., 821 days spent in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 – 29 September 2021)?

The fastest way to find out the total number of days spent in New Zealand over this period is to phone the Immigration Contact Centre.

If an applicant require a copy of information held by INZ to support their 2021 Resident Visa application, can they make a privacy request for this information?

Yes, but please consider refining your request to avoid potential delays in receiving the information. The Privacy Team within INZ is experiencing a high number of requests for all immigration records held on a singular applicant and this is causing delays.

Why is an applicant asked for employment information if they are applying under the settled criteria?

This information is used for statistical purposes.

Why are some people being asked to provide additional information such as a completed INZ 1200, CV, list of work experience and qualifications?

This information will be requested post-submission and all depends on the individual’s circumstances. INZ will only request information that is absolutely necessary as part of the online form. INZ cannot publicly disclose the triggering criteria which prompts a request for this information.

If an applicant granted a residence visa under the 2021 Resident Visa category, can their on hand Residence from Work application for a permanent residence visa continue to be assessed and approved?

No. After a 2021 Resident Visa has been granted, the applicant will be the holder of a residence visa and therefore no longer qualify under the Residence from Work categories.

By law, individuals cannot hold more than one visa and the new resident visa would override the Work to Residence visa once granted. It is a requirement under the Residence from Work categories to hold a Work to Residence visa up until a decision is made.


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