One-off 2021 Resident visa
A streamlined residence pathway for thousands of workers in New Zealand or due to arrive soon
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. Eligible visas
Short-term visa holders are not eligible, such as visitors, students, working holiday makers, and seasonal workers like those on the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme or those who enter as short-term critical workers.
Individuals who do not meet the criteria will need to look at what other residence pathways or temporary visa options may be available to them. If you are offshore, you may still be eligible. Check here.
You must also meet one of the three criteria
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, most being much faster.