• THI

INZ webinar for Advisers 12/11 - 2021 Resident Visa updated FAQs




What is the volume of applications INZ is expecting in Phase 1?


INZ is expecting about 15,000 applications in Phase 1.


For qualifying under the “Settled” criteria, is it ok if I meet all the requirements but entered New Zealand on a Student Visa?


Yes. It does not matter which visa you have entered New Zealand on. If you meet all the other requirements, you will qualify even if you entered New Zealand on a Student or a Visitor Visa.


To qualify under the “Settled” criteria, is it necessary to have spent 821 days in New Zealand consecutively?


To qualify under the “Settled” criteria, applicants need to have been in New Zealand for at least 75% of their time between 29 Sep 2018 and 29 Sep 2021. This amounts to 821 days in New Zealand. These 821 days do not have to be spent consecutively. There's also no minimum amount of days within a calendar year that should have been spent.


Can I apply even if I was not in NZ on 29 Sep 2021?


The only people who can apply for the 2021 Resident Visa, even if they were not in New Zealand on 29 Sep 2021 are, those who are on a Critical Purpose Visa – as a Critical Health Worker or Other Critical Worker. However, these people must arrive in NZ and apply for the 2021 Resident Visa before 31 July 2022.


How will remuneration be calculated under the “Skilled” criteria?


Remuneration will be calculated the same way as it is calculated now under the Skilled Migrant and the Essential Skills Work Visa categories.


Can self-employed contractors be eligible under the “Skilled” criteria?


Self-employed contractors may be eligible if they've got a consistent history of contract work and have a current contract. The employment must be genuine, and it must be full time and the employment agreement must show that they work an average of 30 hours per week over an agreed pay period.


What about a casual contract?


For a casual contract INZ would be looking at the employment agreement. If there is no mention of hours on it, it is unlikely to meet the requirements. However, INZ may also be looking at other documents such as IRD statements, pay slips or bank statements. An employer could also provide a letter confirming the average hours worked each week.


Can dependent children aged 25 or above apply at the same time as their eligible parent?


Dependent children aged 25 or above who meet all the requirements for being a dependent child except age, can make their application at the same time as their eligible parents.


Where would these applications be lodged and assessed?


These applications would be accepted and lodged by NADO. The three processing offices for the 2021 Resident Visa are Hamilton, Christchurch and Manukau.


Can secondary applicants of an on hand Skilled Migrant Category/Residence from Work application apply under Phase 1 if they are eligible in their own right for the 2021 Resident Visa?


Yes, secondary applicants included in a Skilled Migrant Category/Residence from Work application or a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest may qualify as a Phase 1 applicant, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.


What if I meet the “Skilled” criteria on 29 Sep 2021 and then my circumstances change?

Applicants must meet one of the three criteria on 29 Sep 2021 and at the time that they apply. So, a person can meet the “Skilled” criteria on 29 Sep, but if his circumstances change such that he loses his current job, but finds employment in a “Scarce” role, then he would still be able to qualify as he would be meeting the “Scarce” criteria at the time he applies.


Do Critical Purpose Visa holders also need to meet the “Settled”, “Skilled” or “Scarce” criteria?

The Critical Purpose Visa holders who would qualify for the 2021 Resident Visa are those who have longer term roles, and they must have been granted entry to New Zealand for six months or more as a Critical Health Worker or an Other Critical Worker. They do not need to meet the “Settled”, “Skilled” or “Scarce” criteria, if they held a Critical Health Worker or other Critical Worker Visa on 29 Sep 2021, or they were granted a visa as a Critical Health Worker or Other Critical Worker after 29 Sep 2021. They, however, have to be in New Zealand to apply, and they must apply before 31 July 2022.


Only Critical Purpose Visa holders who have obtained a different type of eligible visa on or before 29 Sep 2021 will need to meet one of the requirements - "Skilled" or "Scarce".

Is it better to apply for Phase 1 and Phase 2 on their launch dates itself?

Immigration New Zealand does not want everybody applying in the first hour of the first day. INZ has further advised that the turnaround time for these applications will be quite quick. The applications for this visa close on 31 July 2022. There is adequate time to apply so no need to rush.


Can I apply for the 2021 resident visa and while it's being assessed depart New Zealand?

If a person chooses to leave New Zealand after they've submitted their application, Immigration New Zealand cannot approve it until the applicant has returned to New Zealand. It's also important that the applicant considers the current border restrictions, which may or may not prevent re-entry to New Zealand, along with the MIQ formalities.

There are many people who are eligible to apply under Phase 1, but have not received an email from INZ. Can they still apply?


Yes, if they are eligible to apply under Phase 1, these people can still apply even if INZ has not sent them an email yet. Many such applicants would be receiving an email soon.


How would National Security Checks (NSC) be provided?


There is no change in this. NSCs are initiated by Immigration New Zealand and they would send the necessary forms for these to such applicants when their application is being assessed.


What if my last visa was approved as ‘ASH’ – acceptable standard of health with conditions and my medicals are within 36 months? Do I still need to provide the Limited Medical Certificate?


If this is the case, and/or any other situation wherein a person’s health has changed, the Limited Medical Certificate may be needed.


Can I include my partner who is currently offshore in my application?


Yes, normal partnership requirements for residence will apply. Applicants must be living in a genuine and stable relationship for 12 months. Where the partner and the applicant are not currently living together, there are existing provisions and instructions where INZ can consider the reasons for separation which could include COVID reasons due to border restrictions. INZ will weigh and balance the evidence of the relationship, how the relationship has been maintained and how long they had lived together prior to the separation. If INZ feels that the relationship is genuine and stable but the living together requirements are not being met, they may defer the decision on the application till the condition is met.

During the processing of my 2021 resident visa application, am I required to apply for a new work visa? Will this affect my eligibility? Applicants need to be on a valid temporary visa in order for INZ to process and decide your resident application. This means that applicants need to ensure that they have got a temporary visa for an extended period of time. However, there is no requirement for them to hold an eligible visa during the assessment of their 2021 Resident Visa.