2021 Resident Visa – the New Pathway to Residency
The Government has announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders who currently live in New Zealand. This means that a large number of work visa holders will have the chance to remain in New Zealand permanently.
This new visa recognizes the contribution migrants have made to New Zealand during COVID-19 and the uncertainty they have faced with border restrictions and the current economy.
Partners and dependents can be included as part of an application for this new visa. This includes partners and dependents who are currently outside of New Zealand.
To be eligible for this new visa, 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.
Eligible visas include:
- 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)
You must also meet one of the following criteria:
- have lived in New Zealand for 3 or more years; OR
- earn at or above the median wage (currently $27 per hour); OR
- work in a role on a scarce list.
For your job to be classed as a role on a ‘scarce list’, your job needs to be on the Long Term Skill Shortage List, or is a job requiring occupational registration in the health or education sector, or you are a personal carer or other critical health worker, or your job is a specified primary sector job.
There are further eligibility requirements in certain situations, and you must have met the criteria on 29 September 2021.
You 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, depending on what countries you have travelled to.
Immigration New Zealand may request further information as part of the application process.
Applications will open in two phases in December 2021 and March 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 aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021 in the Expression of Interest.
From 1 March 2022, all other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.
How We Can Help
Applying for a Residence Visa can be complex, and any errors or missing information can lead to your application being delayed or declined.
Contact Tauranga Immigration Lawyers Pawson Law for help with your residence working visa application. We make the process fast and easy, and we make sure that your application looks good—giving you a better chance of a successful residency application.
While resident working visa applications do not open until December this year, it is a good idea to get help and prepare early so that all of the paperwork is ready to go and you are one of the first in line.
Individuals who do not meet the criteria for this specific visa may have other residency pathways or temporary visa options available to them. Contact us for more information.