What is the new 2021 Resident visa?
This new one-off residence visa is a streamlined pathway for many temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. If you are due to arrive in New Zealand before 31 July 2022 on a critical purpose visas (6 six months minimum), you may also be eligible for this new residence pathway. You can of course include your partner and dependent children. You will need to meet the usual heath and character requirements but in most cases you will not have to provide a new overseas police certificates.
Who is eligible for the 2021 Resident visa?
For onshore applicants, to be eligible you must meet these criteria on 29 September 2021. You must:
have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.
Short-term visa holders are not eligible, such as visitors, students, working holiday makers, and seasonal workers like those on the Recognized Seasonal Employer Scheme or those who enter as short-term critical workers.
You must also meet one of the three criteria
To be eligible under this criteria, you must have lived in New Zealand for the past three or more years and:
have arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018, and
have spent a minimum of 821 days in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021 (inclusive).
The time spent in New Zealand does not need to be consecutive and there is no minimum amount for each year.
We can request your travel movements summary from Immigration New Zealand to confirm your eligibility.
To be eligible under this criteria, you must be paid the median wage of NZD $27 per hour or above as off 29 September 2021.
To be eligible under this criteria, on 29 September 2021 you must work in a job that is on a scarce list.
Offshore applicants: Critical Purpose visa holders
Two groups of Critical Purpose visitor visa holders will be eligible, but you must arrive in New Zealand and apply for the 2021 Resident visa before 31 July 2022.
Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and
Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).
You will not be eligible if you arrive on a short term or seasonal role on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa (unless you meet any of the other criteria, for instance you are a Critical Health Worker).
When does this open?
This new visa will open in two stages, and the cut-off date to submit a residence application is 31 July 2022.
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 in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.
From 1 March 2022
All other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.
How long will it take to process this new resident visa?
It is expected the vast majority of these applications will process within 12 months.
(source: Immigration New Zealand)
Fees and refunds
The total of cost of the 2021 Resident Visa will be $2,160 including GST. This includes a $1,330 application fee and $830 immigration levy.
Immigration New Zealand operates on a cost-recovery basis and the visa application fee paid by the applicant covers the cost of Immigration New Zealand processing the application.
If you have already submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest or Residence from Work application you will only have to pay the difference between what you have already paid and cost of the 2021 Resident Visa, provided you withdraw your previous application or EOI.
If you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category application, you will be refunded the difference if you withdraw your previous application.
If you have already paid for a Skilled Migrant Category application or Expression of Interest, a Resident from Work application the process will be:
You will not need to pay the fee upfront when you submit your application.
You must pay the application fee once an in-principle decision has been made on your application.
You must pay the application fee before the application is completed and the final decision is communicated.
A fee is payable whether the application is approved or declined.
You will have the option to withdraw your Skilled Migrant Category or Residence from Work application and receive a refund, which can be credited towards the 2021 Resident Visa application fee.
Residence from Work applicants and people who have submitted an Expression of Interest must pay the difference between the application fees before the 2021 Resident Visa application is completed.
Skilled Migrant Category applicants will be refunded the difference between the two application fees, if they agree to withdraw their onhand Skilled Migrant Category application.
Only the fee part of the application cost will be required. If you have already paid a levy with a previous Skilled Migrant Category or Residence from Work application, you will not need to pay the levy again.
If you do not choose to withdraw your other skilled residence application, you must pay the full application fee because we need to recover the costs of processing both the 2021 Resident Visa, and the Skilled Migrant Category/Residence from Work application. You will not need to pay another levy.
Dependent children aged 25 and over applying under this category will not need to pay a separate fee or levy.
The process for refunds for those who may be entitled to one is to be decided.
One-Off 2021 Resident Visa
A streamlined residence visa for thousands of workers in New Zealand has been launched