This article was originally published on September 30, 2021, and was updated on March 3, 2022, to reflect new information.
March 3, 2022 Update: The government of New Zealand will open Phase 2 of the applications for the 2021 Resident Visa on March 1, 2022. Applications will be submitted through the Immigration Online system. Applications will be held in the system until the end of March 2022. At the end of March 2022, all applications submitted via the Immigration Online system will be released for processing in the order of the principal applicant’s current visa expiration date
Applicants who submit their applications via the Immigration Online system will not be required to submit a medical certificate. However, the medical certificate will need to be submitted once processing begins at the end of March 2022.
The government of New Zealand introduced the 2021 Resident Visa in September 2021 for foreign nationals whose immigration applications had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa beginning March 1, 2022, through the Immigration Online system. Under this system, applications will not begin processing until the end of March 2022.
Original Post From September 30, 2021:
- 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.
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.
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