New 2021 Resident Visa announced

On 30 September 2021, the New Zealand Government announced the 2021 Resident Visa – a new one-off residence visa for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. Some critical purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term visas may also be eligible for this new visa.

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 for the 2021 Resident Visa

Applicants must have met the criteria on 29 September 2021.

To be eligible you must:

You must also meet ONE of the three criteria:

Check if you meet the criteria

Eligible visas

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

Short-term visa holders are not eligible, such as visitors, students, working holiday makers, and seasonal workers like those on the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme or those who enter as short-term critical workers.

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. Overseas police certificates will not be required unless specifically requested. Limited medical certificates and chest x-ray certificates may be required for some people. Immigration New Zealand may request further information as part of the application process.

Critical Purpose visitor holders

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

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

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

If you need to check how much time you have spent in New Zealand, you are able to request your travel movements from Immigration New Zealand.

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:

The Long Term Skill Shortage List

List of jobs requiring occupational registration in health or education

List of 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.

Application process for the 2021 Resident Visa

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:

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.

Applications can be submitted online.

More information about fees and the application process will be available on this page by the end of October.

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.


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