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Key Points

  • New one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in the country
  • Some critical purpose visa holders arriving in the country over the next nine months may also be eligible


On September 30, 2021, New Zealand’s government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in the country. Some Critical Purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term visas may also be eligible for this new visa. Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications. Applications for some eligible applicants will open in two phases from December 1, 2021, and from March 1, 2022, for remaining eligible applicants. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Have been in New Zealand on September 29, 2021
  • Be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before September 29, 2021, which is later granted.

One of the following three criteria must also be met:

  • Have lived in New Zealand for three or more years
  • Earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour)
  • Work in a role on a scarce list

If foreign nationals meet the criteria for eligibility but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by September 29, 2021, they may be considered eligible. Click here to find a list of visa types that are eligible and for additional information concerning eligibility.

What’s Changed?

Some work visa holders currently in New Zealand as well as some Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders may be eligible to apply for residence under the new residence category – the 2021 Resident Visa.

Looking Ahead

All applications must be submitted by July 31, 2022. The government expects most applications to be processed within 12 months. Continue to check New Zealand’s government page for future updates.

Sources: New Zealand Immigration

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