Return to all

2021 Resident Visa - Advanced Level FAQs Part 1

15 December 2021

After a very rocky start, Phase 1 of the one-off 2021 Resident Visa is finally in motion. However many applicants still have questions. The visa’s instructions do not directly address some of these, nor does the Immigration New Zealand (INZ website) provide clarity. However, INZ has liaised with the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment Inc. (NZAMI) to answer these more complex Frequently Asked Questions, which we can share with you now.


Within the first week of Phase 1 opening, INZ received 9,418 applications which included 21,594 people. So far only 20 applications have been approved.

Why are some peoples' 2021 Resident Visas being approved so quickly under Phase 1?

Approval speed depends on many factors such as the criteria you apply under (Settled will be faster than Skilled or Scarce), whether you are single or not (as partnership documents can sometimes require a more in-depth assessment), if there are medical or character issues (including previous visa declines) and importantly, how long it takes for INZ has to complete your NZ police check - which is something outside of your and INZ’s control.

Will INZ be extending PPI and RFI allowed response times over the Christmas/New Year period for Phase 1 applicants?

Yes, this is INZ’s standard practice over the Christmas period.

For the purpose of calculating refunds, are Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) "fees" considered to be the Invitation to Apply (ITA) fees alone or the Expression of Interest fee ($530) plus the ITA fees (made up of $1,880 processing + $830 immigration levy)?

For those with SMC applications in process: Only your SMC application fee will be refunded, not the EOI fee. The levy paid for the SMC application will be used for your 2021 RV.

Note: Applicants with an EOI submitted (no on hand SMC application) will be eligible for a refund of your EOI fee only if you choose to withdraw your EOI.

Can I apply for a 2021 Resident Visa and obtain a subsequent Work to Residence visa despite not having a Residence from Work application under process with INZ?

No, in order to obtain a subsequent Work to Residence application, you must have lodged a residence from work application.

Do I need to include my partner and dependent children in my 2021RV application?

If they hold or have applied for a temporary visa based on their relationship with you then yes it is mandatory to include them on your application.

If my SMC or RFW application is close to a decision and I submit a 2021RV application, will my SMC/RFW application be put on hold? Or will both visa assessments continue simultaneously?

Skilled residence applications will continue to be processed, however greater resources will be dedicated to the 2021RV. 

If you apply for residence under the 2021RV category and your SMC/RFW is allocated simultaneously, INZ will ask you to confirm which visa you want processed first, noting that the 2021RV is much faster and simpler.

If INZ has already allocated your SMC/RFW and a PPI, then INZ will invite you to either respond to the PPI or inform INZ that you wish to put your SMC/RFW application on hold as you plan to apply for/have applied for 2021RV.


Requirements - Health

If I was assessed as 'ASH with conditions' (for example requiring further tests) in a previous medical that was provided to INZ within the last 36 months, do I need to supply a new limited medical certificate?

No, a new medical is not required if medicals were provided within the last 36 months and you were assessed as having an ‘acceptable standard of health’ (ASH), including ‘ASH with conditions’. A limited medical may be required if there have been changes to your health. If you do require a limited medical, you should make it clear to the panel physician that you are applying under the 2021 Resident Visa category.

Requirements - General

Do I need to meet 21RV requirements the entire time my application is being assessed?

No. You only have to meet the eligibility requirements at two points in time:

1.       29 September 2021 and

2.       At the time of submitting 2021 Resident Visa

Requirements - Skilled

If I am paid less than $27 per hour but I work a lot of overtime, can INZ look at my total salary when determining if I am paid at or above the median wage rather than my hourly rate?

No. You need to actually be paid at least $27.00 per hour for every hour worked.

If I held an interim visa on 29 September 2021, would I be eligible for 2021RV?

Yes, but it depends on which visa you had applied for (that led you to get an interim visa). If you held an interim visa on 29 September 2021 because you had applied for an eligible visa, then you will qualify for the 2021RV if your subsequent application is/was successful.

Do jobs on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) need to meet the specific requirements of this list?


Requirements - Scarce

My occupation is a combination of two jobs that are listed on the Scarce list. How will  INZ determine if my job is eligible for Scarce criteria?

Where INZ holds information about an applicant’s job, that information will be considered. If your occupation has not previously been assessed or evidence has not previously been provided, you will be required to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that your employment is genuine. This includes being in a role which reasonably corresponds with an occupation stated on the scarce list.

Will the market rate be considered for scarce occupations for the purposes of determining whether the employment is genuine?

There is no salary requirement, however employment must be genuine and appropriate salary could be an important factor in assessing the genuineness of the role.

Do I need to be suitably qualified as per ANZSCO if applying under the Scarce criteria?


Can I meet the Skilled criteria on 29th September and then later qualify by meeting the Scarce criteria (due to changing jobs)?

Yes. You do not have to meet the same criteria on both 29 September 2021 and the date you apply. you can mix and match Skilled and Scarce – but mus hold an eligible visa type. Learn more about this here.

Click Here for 2021 Resident Visa Support

Related posts:

Relevant News

2021 Resident Visa - Application Process Details 12 November 2021

2021 Resident Visa - Application Process Details

Read more
3 Options for Those Who Missed Out on the 2021 Resident Visa 21 October 2021

3 Options for Those Who Missed Out on the 2021 Resident Visa

Read more
2021 Resident Visa - Fees, Health and Character Updates 29 October 2021

2021 Resident Visa - Fees, Health and Character Updates

Read more
New 2021 Resident Visa - Eligibility & Requirements 29 September 2021

New 2021 Resident Visa - Eligibility & Requirements

Read more