The government has today announced a new Resident Visa Category that could give up to 165,000 migrants a new potential pathway to residency. The following information is taken from the Immigration website and further details about fees and the application process will be available by the end of October 2021:
Some work visa holders currently in New Zealand as well as some critical purpose visitor visa holders may be eligible to apply for residence under the new residence category – the 2021 Resident Visa.
On 30 September 2021, the Government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. Those arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term critical purpose visas (for six months or more) may also be eligible for this new visa. 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.
Applicants must have met the criteria on 29 September 2021.
To be eligible you must:
You must also meet one of the three criteria:
If you meet the criteria for eligibility but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by 29 September 2021, you may be considered eligible.
All applicants must be on an eligible visa. These are:
Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV):
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 by an Immigration Officer. 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.
Individuals who do not meet the criteria will need to look at what other residence pathways or temporary visa options may be available to them.
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.
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
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 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.
It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 12 months, with most being processed much faster.