2021 Resident visa
This once-off Resident Visa is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for migrant workers in New Zealand who would otherwise not have qualified for residence under the existing pathways.
How it works
Migrants need to have been in New Zealand on an eligible visa on 29 September 2021 AND meet one of the following three factors:
Have lived in New Zealand for three 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 and there is no minimum amount for each year.
We can request your travel movements summary from Immigration New Zealand to confirm your eligibility.
Earn at least $27 per hour
To be eligible under this criteria, you must be paid the median wage of NZD $27 per hour or above as off 29 September 2021 AND on the date of application for the 2021 Resident Visa.
Work in a role on the scarce list
You are eligible under this criteria if your role is one of the following:
Critical Purpose Visa holders
If you arrive in New Zealand as a critical health worker or other critical worker for a longer term role you do not need to meet settled, skilled or scarce criteria if you:
- held a visa as a critical health worker or other critical worker on 29 September 2021; or
- were granted a visa as a critical health worker or other critical worker after 29 September 2021.
If you meet the above but move to an eligible work visa before applying for a 2021 Resident Visa, you will not have to meet the settled, skilled or scarce criteria.
Critical Purpose visa holders must arrive in New Zealand and apply for the 2021 Resident Visa before 31 July 2022 to be eligible. You must be in New Zealand to apply.
A Critical Purpose Visa must either be for:
- a critical health worker for a longer term role (6 months or more); or
- another critical worker for a long term role (more than 6 months).
When can you apply?
Phase 1: 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.
Phase 2: from 1 March 2022
All other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.
How long will the application process take?
It is expected the vast majority of these applications will process within 12 months, most being much faster. However, as INZ will be requesting New Zealand police vetting checks for every applicant, approval will take at least a month or two.
Are there any English language requirements?
There are no English language requirements for the principal applicant.
Are there any Age restrictions
There is no age cut-off for this application.
What are the fees for the 2021 residence visa application?
The application fees for the 2021 resident visa application will be $2,160. If you have already submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest or Residence from Work application you will only have to pay the difference between what you have already paid and cost of the 2021 Resident Visa, provided you withdraw your previous application or EOI. If you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category application, you will be refunded the difference if you withdraw your previous application