New 2021 Residence Visa: certainty for thousands of migrant workers

A new, one-off residence visa

Immigration New Zealand have announced a new Residence visa which allows thousands of farm workers to apply for Residence, a vital step in securing their long term future in NZ.

The new 2021 residency visa helps up to 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand, many of whom may not have otherwise qualified for residence.

Eligibility criteria

Waikato dairy farmer and New Zealand Shores Immigration business development manager, Grant Coombes, said “This new Residence visa is great news, not only for farm workers but also farm owners. Keeping our current skilled staff is vital. Prior to this rule change we had seen highly skilled migrant staff leaving New Zealand to Australia and Canada where visa rules were more welcoming. Our farm workers can now plan for a future in New Zealand with their families.”

Allan Crome, licensed immigration adviser and director of New Zealand Shores mentions “The significance of this visa cannot be understated, this provides a golden opportunity for many of migrants to secure their future in NZ.”

The eligibility criteria to be met includes being in New Zealand on 29 September 2021 and holding (or have applied for and subsequently granted) an eligible work visa.

Applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, or
  • earn at or above $27 per hour, or
  • work in a role on a scarce list (which includes farm worker roles)

Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa will be rolled out in two phases: from 1st December 2021 and from 1st March 2022. Partners and dependent children (including those currently outside NZ) can be included. There is also streamlined criteria for police certificates and medicals. Dairy workers yet to enter NZ may still also be eligible if granted a class exception visa and enter NZ over the coming months.

Crome explains “Applications must be submitted by 31st July 2022 so it is suggested to start document preparation early, as this can take months and is vital to get right.”

“It will be a very busy time for INZ receiving applications for the 2021 residence visas combined with the mandatory requirement for employers to become INZ accredited signalled for mid next year.” New Zealand Shores has managed over 11,000 visas within the past 12 years, this is by far the biggest change in immigration history to date and we suggest getting your visa application submitted as soon as practically possible to avoid lengthy processing delays.”

If you are unsure of your eligibility, or would like to discuss your options, New Zealand Shores Immigration Consultants provide a free consultation and assessment of your business needs and staff eligibility for this visa. They can be contacted by email [email protected] or phone 07-9292280