On 30 September 2021, the New Zealand Government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for most work visa holders and a few critical purpose visas. The eligibility criteria for the 2021 Resident Visa are designed to focus on skilled workers who contributed to New Zealand’s economy and were instrumental to keep the country going since the border closures. This Resident Visa provides certainty to the majority of migrant workers and businesses, reflecting the migrants’ critical part in New Zealand’s economy.
This Resident Visa is a one-off visa with a fast-track application process accepted in two phases between 1 December and 31 July 2022. While the first phase will focus on those who already have submitted applications and Expression of Interest (EOI) in the Immigration New Zealand system.
Who is Eligible?
All applicants must:
- have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, AND
- on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that was later granted, AND
- Meet health and character requirements AND
- Meet the requirements for one of the 3 pathways – Settled, Skilled, Scarce
Let’s take a detailed look at the three pathways – Settled, Skilled, Scarce
Applicants must have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, and
- have arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018, and
- have spent a minimum of 821 days in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021 (inclusive).
Applicants must be earning at or above the median wage ($27 per hour) on 29 September 2021.
Applicants must be working in a role on a scarce list on 29 September 2021. These are:
- Jobs on the Long Term Skill Shortage List: The most common occupations in the Long Term Skill Shortage List are Civil engineer, Food technologist, Multimedia specialist, Mechanical engineer, ICT project manager, Physiotherapist, Web developer, Software engineer and more. Get the entire list here.
- Jobs requiring occupational registration in the health or education sector: Few occupations requiring registration in the health or education sectors are Dentist, Dietitian, Midwives, Nurse, Teacher (including Principals and registered Early Childhood Education teachers), etc. Find the entire list here.
- Personal carer and other critical health workers: Occupations under this category include Aged and disabled carers, Physician associates, Special care workers, and more. The complete list is available here.
- Specified primary sector jobs: Few roles in the primary sector include Baker, Chef, Chemist, Forestry worker, Veterinarian, etc. Click here for the full list.
Who is not Eligible?
- Student visa holders (including PhD and masters students)
- Short-term visa holders are not eligible, such as visitors, students, working holidaymakers, and
- Seasonal workers like those on the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme
- Short-term critical workers.
- Short term or seasonal role on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, including fishing crew, agricultural and horticulture mobile plant operators and shearers
- Visa holders outside New Zealand
- Partner Work Visa holders
What if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria?
There are no plans to expand the eligibility requirements. If you do not fulfill the criteria, talk to us to understand if there are other avenues that are open to you. If you are offshore please know the border restrictions for anyone wishing to enter New Zealand from outside the country are gradually relaxing. Stay positive.
More importantly, talk to us! We will get an accurate evaluation of your profile to check your eligibility for this or other residency options. As migrants ourselves, we understand the value of the money and time you have invested in New Zealand and it will be valuable for you to take professional advice.