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Decoding The New One-Off 2021 Resident Visa Immigration Instructions

New Resident Visa 2021 Immigration Instructions

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has amended the immigration instructions to implement the New 2021 Resident Visa Category by issuing an Amendment Circular dated 29 October 2021.

The instructions cover the eligibility criteria, assessment process, documentary evidence required, fees, and health and character requirements.

The link to the detailed instructions is here.

In this article, we have endeavoured to give you information that we feel is absolutely crucial for you to know for planning the successful lodgement of your New Resident Visa application. Details and the correct interpretation of the immigration instructions can be obtained by contacting us at [email protected]

The submission of applications will open in two phases:

  • Phase 1 will open on 1st December 2022, and
  • Phase 2 will open on 1st March 2022.

Other important timelines are 29th September 2021, when the migrants (other than critical workers planning to arrive and apply before 31st July 2022) on eligible visas had to be in New Zealand and 31st July 2022, when this Resident visa category will close.

Important Eligibility Information


  • The primary applicants must have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
  • have been on an eligible visa, or have an application submitted for an eligible visa on 29 September 2021 that was later granted.
  • Applicants must meet the stipulated requirements of settled, skilled or scarce at the time of application and on 29th September 2021.
  • An applicant that meets the criteria for settled, skilled or scarce must also meet the criteria for holders of an eligible Visa.
  • If you leave New Zealand after submitting your application, your residence visa will not be processed until you re-enter New Zealand. These applications would be put on hold.
  • Applicants must provide sufficient documentary evidence to demonstrate that they meet the claimed Settled, Skilled or Scarce criteria.
  • Dependent children aged 25 years and over may be eligible for a 2021 Resident visa based on eligibility criteria even if they are not in New Zealand.
  • Partners outside New Zealand can also be included in the application provided partnership visa requirements have been met in line with current residence requirements.
  • Respective applicants and their family members must meet the requirements for health and character as specified by INZ.
  • If the applicant arrives in New Zealand on a critical health worker or other critical worker visa for a long-term role after 29 September 2021 and moves to an eligible work visa before applying for the 2021 Resident Visa before 31 July 2022, they will not have to meet the settled, skilled or scarce criteria.
  • An applicant who was in Australia on 29 September 2021 and departed New Zealand for Australia between 6 April 2021 and 23 July 2021 (inclusive) is eligible to apply for this visa.

Documentary Evidence Required


Documentary evidence lies at the heart of any visa application, and its importance cannot be overestimated.

  • Evidence for meeting settled criteria: An immigration officer will use immigration travel records information to determine whether an applicant meets the settled criteria.
  • Evidence for meeting skilled criteria: Applicants’ current remuneration as well as their remuneration on 29 September 2021 will be considered. Evidence provided for remuneration must include an employment agreement or letter from the employer stating the pay and hours. The supporting documents could be full bank statements showing salary payment or a summary of income details from Inland Revenue or payslips. Please note, an immigration officer may request any additional evidence.
  • Evidence of meeting scarce criteria: For an applicant who holds a current work visa that specifies they may only work for a specific employer; immigration officers will consider information provided on the 2021 Resident Visa Application form and information provided with the previous work visa application
  • An applicant whose occupation has not previously been assessed or evidence was not previously provided will be required to provide an employment agreement or letter from the employer stating the occupation and hours and evidence of provisional or full registration in an occupation in New Zealand where this is required.

Please note that an immigration officer may request any additional evidence as necessary to determine if the applicant meets (and/or met) the scarce criteria. For example, evidence may be required to demonstrate an applicant’s current occupation and the occupation they held as on 29 September 2021.

If you have any queries or require assistance regarding the above information, please do not hesitate to contact Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd. at [email protected] or call +64 09 3790219. Our experienced team of Licensed Immigration Advisers will be happy to guide you.

Author Details

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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