Resident Visas

Limited Pathway To Resident Visa 2021

Due to the Covid 19 crisis, the New Zealand government has announced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in the country.

The first phase of applications opened on 1 December 2021, the second wave will begin on 1 March 2022.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022. No applications will be accepted after this day.

Types of Resident Visas

Who is eligible to apply?

People who apply must have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021.

  • People in New Zealand who held an eligible work visa on or before 29 September 2021 and when they apply for residence, or
  • People who applied for an eligible work visa before 29 September 2021 and whose application is subsequently approved.

Partners or dependant children, even those currently outside of New Zealand, can be included in the residence applications.

Eligibility under the settled, skilled or scarce streams

You need to meet one of the following criteria additionally:

  • Settled criteria: You have lived in New Zealand for the past three or more years.
  • Skilled criteria: You earn at or above the median wage of NZD $27 per hour.
  • Scarce criteria: You work in a role on the scarce list.

For the first phase of applications, which opened on 1 December 2021, the following group of people can apply:

  • People who have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories on or before 29 September 2021, or
  • People who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest and included a dependant child aged 17 years or older on or before 29 September 2021.

This group still needs to hold an eligible work visa and meet one of the additional criteria or settled, skilled or scarce, that we mentioned above. Immigration NZ estimated around 16,000 applications in the first phase.

For the second phase of applications, which will open on 1 March 2022, people who hold an eligible work visa and meet one of the additional criteria or settled, skilled or scarce, can apply. Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa, and once their families are included, around 165,000 people will hope to become new residents through this pathway.

Get in touch with us

Use our form here to see if you’re eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa in New Zealand.

Special pathway for Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders

A small number of critical health workers (with jobs that last for six months or longer) or specialist workers (with jobs that last longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also be eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in the country and apply for the visa before 31 July 2022. Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders, such as seasonal workers, won’t qualify for the criteria.

The Pacific Legal team can advise whether you qualify for this special pathway.

Additional requirements

Similarly to other visas, you will need to meet health and character requirements. Immigration NZ will undertake New Zealand police checks, and you might require a new immigration medical in some cases.

Immigration NZ reserve the right to ask for more information after an application is lodged to verify pay, employment etc.

Ensure your 2021 Resident Visa application goes as smoothly as possible. Get in touch with Pacific Legal today to avoid any mistakes and get the right advice for this opportunity! As this is a limited opportunity, contact us as soon as possible!

Get in touch with us

We will ensure you get the best outcome and will help you in any way we can. Contact our team to ask any questions about the process and find out how we can support you!