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One Off New Zealand Residence Visa Pathway

Residence Visa

After months of speculation, anticipation & waiting, the New Zealand Government finally has some good news for migrants. On 30 September 2021, Immigration Minister of New Zealand Kris Faafoi announced a rare, one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders already in New Zealand.

Those eligible for this new category of visa include some long-term critical purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022. And yes – partners and dependent children can be included as part of the residence application.

Which are the criteria that have to be met?

The requirements that have to be met are:

  • Applicants must have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021.
  • Be on an eligible visa or should have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that is later granted. This criteria is mostly for work visa holders and does not apply to visitors, students, working holiday, or Recognized Seasonal Employment (RSE) visa holders.

Applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

Which are the eligible visas?

Applicants must be on or have applied for and later granted one of the following visas as on 29 September 2021:

Please refer to the INZ website for more information and updates.

Who is not eligible?

Short-term visa holders who are not eligible for this new 2021 Resident visa include visitors, students, working holidaymakers, seasonal workers like those on the Recognized Seasonal Employer Scheme.

Those in the short-term or seasonal roles who are holders of a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa like fishing crew, agricultural & horticulture mobile plant operators, and shearers are not eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa.

What are the basic requirements?

Applicants must meet the health & character requirements. Overseas medical certificates will not be required unless requested by an Immigration Officer. However, limited medical certificates & chest x-rays may be required in some cases. Those applicants who do not meet the criteria will have to look for other visa pathways.

What is the application process?

Applications will open in 2 phases:

  • Phase 1: You can apply from 1 December 2021 onwards if:
    • If you have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) & Residence from Work category before 29 September 2021 or
    • you have submitted a SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) & have included dependent children in it aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021
  • Phase 2: 1 March 2022 onwards the remaining eligible applicants can apply including those who have submitted an EOI for a SMC visa.

The final deadline to submit applications is 31 July 2022.

What would be the processing Time?

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) expects to process the applications within 12 months.

The 2021 Resident Visa is like the light at the end of the tunnel for over 1,65,000 migrants already in New Zealand and who can now plan their future & reunite with families. The new visa will create a residence pathway for over 5,000 health & aged care workers, 9,000 primary industry workers and over 800 teachers.

As the Minister of Immigration has stated, this is a way forward for migrant families disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd, which provides up-to-date immigration information so you can consider opportunities and prepare yourself for the future. To know all the required procedures, contact us at [email protected] or call on +64 09 3790219.

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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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