Immigration New Zealand has announced a one-off residency pathway to give temporary work visa holders a chance to stay permanently in NZ. The eligibility criteria for the 2021 Resident Visa is designed to focus migrant workers whose primary purpose for being in New Zealand is to work. This provides certainty to the majority of migrant workers and businesses, reflecting the migrants’ critical part in New Zealand’s economy.
Applicants are eligible if they have been in New Zealand on September 29 2021, and they are on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before September 29 2021, that is later granted.
The scarce list includes:
Applications will be open in two phases
• 1 December 2021 for some eligible applicants
• 1 March 2022 for remaining eligible applicants.
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.
Those eligible to apply for phase 1 will receive an email from INZ at the end of October.
From 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply, including those who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.
Here’s the list of visas eligible for the One-Off Resident Visa 2021:
• Post Study Work Visa
• Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
• Essential Skills Work Visa
• Religious Worker Work Visa
• Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
• Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
• Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa
• Trafficking Victim Work Visa
• Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
• Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa
• Victims of Family Violence Work Visa
• South Island Contribution Work Visa
• Work Visa granted under Section 61 (provided the applicant held another eligible visa type within six months before being given a Section 61 visa)
• Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV):
• Critical health workers for longer-term roles (6 months or longer), and
• Other critical workers for long term roles (more than six months).
There will be no English requirement and no age restriction for applicants.
You can check your eligibility here
All applicants must meet health and character requirements for the 2021 Resident Visa. Overseas police certificates will not be required unless requested by an Immigration Officer. Limited medical certificates and chest x-ray certificates may be required for some people.
Application process and timeframes
Applications can be submitted online. All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022. Partners and dependent children, including those currently outside New Zealand, can be included in residence applications. It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 12 months, with most being processed much faster.
More information about fees, requirements and the application process will be published on this page by the end of October.