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2021 Resident Visa stuck in limbo? Here’s what you need to know

20 March 2023

As at end of February 2023, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had decided 78% of all 2021 RV applications received. The remaining 22% were still waiting.... a wait so long that you have to wonder if these applications were stuck in limbo.

Indeed, some 2021 RV applications are still at “Gathering Information” and “Under Assessment” stages for what seems an inordinate time. Now, thanks to NZAMI (New Zealand Association For Migration And Investment Inc), serious concerns around these have been raised with INZ. INZ has provided us with the following information (provided via NZAMI):

For applications at "Gathering Information" stage

A review of files at the ‘Preparing Application’ and ‘Gathering Information’ stages of 2021 RV has been undertaken to ensure that all applications will be progressing as expected. INZ has confirmed that files remaining at either of these stages are due to clients yet to respond to INZ requests – such as requests for partnership evidence, better quality face images, and medical tests – or pending third party security checks. If your client has submitted their medical reports and the application is at "Gathering Information" stage, then they will be awaiting third party security checks to be completed before progressing to "Under Assessment" stage. Please continue to wait for these to be completed. Status boxes are being reviewed and will be updated as appropriate.

It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 18 months from when INZ opened this policy (i.e. December 2021).

For applications at "Under Assessment" stage

There are no set processing timeframes for individual applications. 2021 Resident Visas are allocated on a first-in, first-out basis, based on the date that the file has reached the "Under Assessment" stage, not the date when an application was lodged. The exceptions are those files marked as priority, which will be allocated immediately once the file is at the "Under Assessment" stage.

Customers will not be able to escalate any applications that are showing this status unless they meet previously communicated criteria for prioritisation, such as outlined in this article or outlined as per the employment visa escalations process (EVE process).

The length of time since the visa application was submitted is not an appropriate reason for escalation in itself. Only applications at "Under Assessment" stage can be escalated through EVE and such escalations should not be sent multiple times or directly to branch staff as this takes up time and resource and could impact on the overall service INZ is able to offer.

If prioritisation applies to your application, this will only be able to be actioned once the application reaches "Under Assessment" stage due to key checks such as identity checks needing to be completed before the application reaches under assessment and these cannot be influenced.

If you have questions or concerns that cannot be answered on INZ’s website or other publicly available information, you can call the Immigration Contact Centre or your advisers.


Did you know? After being granted a 2021 Resident Visa, you can bring your partner over through a Visitor Visa or bring your parents/grandparents over through a Parent/Grandparent Visitor Visa. Talk to us to learn how we can help!

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