• THI

The New 2021 Resident Visa

Updated: Oct 10


The Government has announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand and some critical purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term visas.


Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications.


Applications will be open in two phases from 1 December 2021 for some eligible applicants and from 1 March 2022 for remaining eligible applicants.


All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022.


Eligibility


Applicants must have met the criteria on 29 September 2021.


To be eligible you must:

  • have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and

  • be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.

You must also meet ONE of the three criteria:

  • have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, OR

  • earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour), OR

  • work in a role on a scarce list.

Eligible Visas


On 29 September all applicants must have been on (or have applied for and later granted) one of the following visas:

  • Post Study Work Visa

  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

  • Essential Skills Work Visa

  • Religious Worker Work Visa

  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa

  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa

  • Trafficking Victim Work Visa

  • Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa

  • Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa

  • Victims of Family Violence Work Visa

  • South Island Contribution Work Visa

  • Work Visa granted under Section 61 (provided the applicant held another eligible visa type within 6 months before being granted a Section 61 visa)

  • Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV):

  • Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and

  • Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).


Partners and dependent children, including those currently outside New Zealand, can be included in residence applications.


All applicants must meet the heath and character requirements for the 2021 Resident Visa.


Critical Purpose visitor holders


Two groups of Critical Purpose visitor visa holders will be eligible, as long as you arrive in New Zealand and apply before 31 July 2022.

  • Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and

  • Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).


Applicants who have lived in New Zealand for three or more years


To be eligible under this criteria, you must have lived in New Zealand for the past three or more years and

  • have arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018, and

  • have spent a minimum of 821 days in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021 (inclusive).

The time spent in New Zealand does not need to be consecutive. There is no minimum amount within a calendar year.


Applicants earning at or above the median wage


To be eligible under this criteria, you must be paid the median wage of NZD $27 per hour or above on 29 September 2021.


Applicants working in a job on a scarce list


To be eligible under this criteria, on 29 September 2021 you must work in a job that is on a scarce list. These are:


Jobs on the Long Term Skill Shortage List


Jobs requiring occupational registration in the health or education sector


Personal carer and other critical health workers


Specified primary sector jobs


Visa holders outside New Zealand


Visa holders outside New Zealand are not eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa.


Student visa holders


Student visa holders (including PhD and masters students) are not eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa. There are no plans to broaden eligibility criteria. If you hold a student visa you are able to progress through the normal channels towards residency which will be open to you if you meet the requirements.


If you wish to remain in New Zealand after you complete your studies you will need to apply for, and meet the criteria of the temporary or residence visa types available to you.


Application process


The 2021 Resident visa will be open for applications in two phases, with the first group of people able to apply from 1 December 2021.

From 1 December 2021 you can apply if:

  • you have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work categories before 29 September 2021, or

  • you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included your dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.

From 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.


All applications must be made by 31 July 2022.


Those who are eligible to apply from 1 December 2021 will receive an email from Immigration New Zealand by the end of October with further information.


Processing timeframes


It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 12 months, with most being processed much faster.