Immigration Update: New 2021 Resident Visa

30th September 2021

To address the current backlog of visa applications awaiting processing and the lack of residency options for skilled migrants, Immigration New Zealand has created a new one-off residence visa. 

It is expected that the requirements for this visa will be simplified and streamlined, with most applications to be processed within 12 months. 

This pathway will be open for a limited time and will be rolled out in two phases.


Application process 

Phase 1 - 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. 

Phase 2 – From 1 March 2022

  • All other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a skilled migrant category expression of interest.

This visa will close to new applications on 31 July 2022.


Eligibility Criteria

  • You must have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and
  • You must be on an eligible visa (see below) or have applied for an eligible visa before 29 September 2021 that is later granted, and
  • You must meet one of the three criteria: 

    1. Have lived in New Zealand for over 3 years, or
    2. You earn at least $27 per hour, or
    3. You work in a role on a scarce list. 


Eligible visas 

On 29 September 2021, all applicants must have been on (or have applied for and later granted) one of the following visas:


  • Post Study Work Visa
  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Religious Worker Work Visa
  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa
  • Trafficking Victim Work Visa
  • Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
  • Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa
  • Victims of Family Violence Work
  • Visa South Island Contribution Work Visa
  • Work Visa granted under Section 61 (provided the applicant held another eligible visa type within 6 months before being granted a Section 61 visa)
  • Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV):
  1. Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and
  2. Other critical workers for long term roles (more than 6 months).


Immigration New Zealand has advised that further information regarding fees and the application process will be available by the end of October.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for this visa, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 


Sarah Caulton, Senior Associate