Since the border closure in March 2020, New Zealand Immigration has blocked the ability to apply for New Zealand residency. Due to this increasing difficulty in obtaining residency, many migrant workers have taken the decision to leave the country.
Faced with this increasingly worrying situation, Chris faafoithe New Zealand Minister of Immigration today announced the creation of the “2021 One-Off Resident Visa”. This new route to residence should be able to benefit 165,000 migrant workers, already present in New Zealand. New Zealand Servicespartner for all your projects in New Zealand provides an update on this new pathway to New Zealand residency.
2021 Resident visa: a new route to residence for people already present in New Zealand
The Minister of Immigration, Chris faafoihas just announced the implementation of the “2021 Resident Visa”a single, simplified pathway to residency for around 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand.
“We recognize the uncertainty and hardship that COVID-19 and our closed borders have caused our migrant community. We have carefully worked on this residency option to provide the certainty they need to truly make New Zealand their home. The 2021 Resident Visa will also help us attract and retain the skills our businesses need to help alleviate shortages caused by COVID-19. ” said Kris Faafoi.
What are the eligibility criteria for this residency visa?
To be eligible, the lead applicant must:
- have been in New Zealand on September 29, 2021
- be in New Zealand at the time of the visa application
- hold one of the eligible work visas (see list below)
Applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:
- have lived in New Zealand for three years or more, or
- earn above the median wage ($27 per hour or more), or
- work in a role listed on the Long Term Skills Shortage List, or
- be registered with a professional order and work in the health or education sector, or
- work in care or other essential health worker roles, or
- occupy a specific position in the primary industries
The visa will also be available to those entering New Zealand as essential workers, and their families, for positions of six months or longer until July 31, 2022.
Visa holders can also include their partners and dependents in their application. Applicants will still need to meet health and character requirements as required by the current residency application process.
Eligible work 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
- Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV):
- Critical health workers for longer term roles (6 months or longer), and
- Other critical workers for long-term roles (more than 6 months).
Please note: short-term visa holders are not eligible, such as visitors, students, Working Holiday Visa holders and seasonal workers such as those in the SSE program or “Recognised Seasonal Employer workers”.
From when will it be possible to apply for a Resident Visa?
The requests for “2021 One-Off Resident Visa” will open in two phases, 1 December 2021 and 1 March 2022. New Zealand Immigration will contact eligible visa holders from 1 December until the end of October with further information on the application process .
From December 1, 2021, persons who have submitted an application for residence in the category Skilled migrant Where Residence from Work will be able to apply, as well as those with dependent children aged 17 or over, who have submitted a Expression of Interest (EOI) in the category Skilled migrant.
From March 1, 2022, all other eligible applicants, including all other applicants who have submitted a Expression of Interest in the category Skilled migrant SMCcan apply.
You can check your eligibility on the website from Immigration New Zealand. Note that this tool should be seen as a guide and not a confirmation of eligibility.
If you have any questions about your current situation in New Zealand or your residency application, contact the New Zealand Services team now.