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New 2021 Resident Visa - Eligibility & Requirements

30 September 2021

Just this morning, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi introduced a new one-off residence visa pathway that over 165,000 migrants currently in NZ could be eligible for. Those that have already submitted residence applications and those that have not yet - both groups can be eligible for this. However, this is not a permanent category. It has a window of 8 months within which applications can be submitted.

Eligibility for the New Resident Visa

Applicants must:

  • Have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021
  • Must be on or have applied for an eligible visa before 29 September
      • Post Study Work Visa
      • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
      • Essential Skills Work Visa
      • Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) Work Visa
      • Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
      • Critical Purpose Visitor Visa - for longer than/or at least 6 months, but only for “Critical Health Worker” or “Other Critical Workers
      • You can see the full list of eligible visas here
  • Meet at least one of the following criteria:

Note that short-term visa holders such those on 6 months critical purpose visitor visa or student visas, are not eligible for this new resident visa.

Application Process and Timing:

The 2021 resident visa applications can be submitted in 2 phases:

  • Phase 1 begins on 1 December 2021
  • Phase 2 begins on 1 March 2022

All applications must be made by 31 July 2022. 

Phase 1:

1 December 2021 - 28 February 2022

The following people will belong to Phase 1:

  • Submitted a Skilled Migrant Category EOI before its closure in March 2020, received an ITA (Invitation to Apply) and applied for residence before 29 September 2021
  • Submitted a Skilled Migrant Category EOI after March 2020 (did not receive an ITA and hence did not apply for residence), as long as your dependent children aged 17 years or over were included in it
  • Residence from Work categories submitted before 29 September 2021

Phase 2:

1 March 2022 - 31 July 2022

Everyone else eligible for 2021 Resident Visa but not included in Phase 1, can apply under Phase 2. This includes those Skilled Migrant Category applications sitting in the pool. 

Timing & Fees:

More information about the fees and the application process will be available by the end of October. It's an online application unlike SMC and Residence from Work which were paper based and will take about 12 months (or faster) to process. 

For additional information, you can access the Immigration Minister's 30 September press release here.

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