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2021 Resident Visa - FAQs

30 September 2021

Can I apply for this visa if I have not lived in NZ for the past 3 years consecutively?

In order to meet this criteria, the 3 years in NZ do not have to be consecutive.

However "3 years in NZ" is one of the either/or requirements - not a mandatory requirement. If you don’t meet this criteria, you can still be eligible for this visa if you:

  • Earn at or above the median wage ($27/hour), or
  • Work in a role on a scarce list

What if I’ve left NZ for a holiday in the past 3 years?

That’s okay. As long as you have spent a minimum of 821 days in NZ between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021, you are eligible for this new resident visa.

Does this mean SMC EOIs are reopening?

No, the New 2021 Resident Visa is entirely separate from the SMC pathway to residence. However, people who have applied for SMC but are awaiting an outcome can switch to this category if eligible.

So, when are SMC EOIs reopening?

EOIs under the Skilled Migrant visa category will remain closed until the 2021 Resident Visa closes on 31 July 2022.

What if my SMC EOI has been sitting in the pool since March 2020? What do I do?

Applicants who meet the criteria for the 2021 New Resident Visa but who have EOIs sitting in the pool will still be able to apply for this visa - either in Phase 1 or Phase 2 depending on which category they fall into.

Can I include my family in this application - even if they are offshore?

Yes, your family can be included in your application - even if they are offshore.

Is this a paper application?

No, this application can be submitted online.

Can I apply for this 2021 resident visa from offshore?

No, you need to be in NZ in order to apply for this visa.

Are police certificates and/or medical and chest x-ray certificates required for this new 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 NZ may request further information as part of the application process.

Do I need to make $27/hour?

With respect to this requirement - you need to earn at or above $27/hour as of 29 September 2021. However, if you do not meet this requirement, there are other eligibility requirements you might be able to meet instead.

I am currently on a partnership visa - can I apply for this visa?

No, in order to be eligible for this new 2021 Resident Visa you must hold or have applied for one of the eligible work visas.

Can I change jobs and still be eligible for this visa?

Yes, holding a skilled job offer is not a requirement for this visa. 

Do I need a certain number of points to apply for this visa?

No, this is not a points led category.

Do I need to meet English language requirements to apply for this visa?

No, you do not need to meet English language requirements in order to apply for this visa.

Do I need to have a skilled job offer to apply for this visa?

No, a skilled job offer is not a requirement for this resident visa. 

Can I apply for this visa if I have not submitted an SMC EOI but I have a dependent child?

If you meet all other necessary requirements for this visa, then yes, you can apply after 1 March 2022.

What happens if my visa expires after I apply for this new resident visa?

You must hold a valid work visa at all times.

Do I need occupational registration to apply?

Occupational registration is only necessary for this visa if you work in the healthcare or education sectors.

Can I apply for this visa if I have already applied for a different residence visa?

Yes. If you have submitted SMC or RfW before 29 September 2021 and are waiting for an outcome, you can switch to this instead - however, you still need to make an application. If you have not applied for another residence, then you can be eligible in Phase 2.

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