THE 2021 RESIDENT VISA: NEW PATHWAY FOR MIGRANTS TO OBTAIN NZ RESIDENCE

October 5, 2021

The Government has announced a new one-off pathway to residence. This will give certainty of New Zealand residence to most migrants who are in New Zealand holding work visas. Partners and dependent children, including those currently outside New Zealand can be also included in this resident visa application.

Can I Apply For The 2021 Resident Visa?

To be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa, applicants must be in New Zealand on 29 September 2021 and must hold (or have applied for) an eligible work visa such as Essential Skills, Work to Residence, Post-study work visa. Holders of critical purpose visitor visas for roles of 6 months are also eligible to apply.

All applicants must also meet at least ONE of the three criteria on 29 September 2021:

  • Have lived in New Zealand for three or more years

  • Earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour)

  • Work in a role on a scarce list


A role on a “scarce role” list includes:

  • Roles on the current Long Term Skills Shortage List

  • Roles in the health and education sector which require occupational registration

  • Personal carers and other critical health workers

  • A wide variety of primary sector roles


The Application Process

The 2021 Resident Visa will be open for applications in two phases. The first group of migrant workers can apply from 1 December 2021, if they have done at least ONE of the following:

  • Already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant category before 29 September 2021

  • Submitted an Expression of Interest application under the Skilled Migrant Category and have included a dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021

  • Applied for residence under the Residence from Work category before 29 September 2021


All other eligible applicants can apply from 1 March 2022.


Applicants for the 2021 resident visa must meet the heath and character requirements. However, overseas police certificates will not be required unless specifically requested by an Immigration Officer. Medical certificates and chest x-ray certificates may be required for some people. Immigration New Zealand may request further information as part of the application process.

All applications for the 2021 resident visa must be made by 31 July 2022. To find out if you can qualify for the 2021 resident visa, or for assistance applying for residence, please contact BK Immigration Law NZ. We have helped many migrants obtain New Zealand residence in past, and will do everything we can to help you.