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New 2021 Resident Visa

Under Construction

11 October 2021

On 30 September 2021, the New Zealand Government announced a new one-off residence visa for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. As a result of this announcement, a large number of work visa holders will be able to remain in New Zealand permanently (Immigration New Zealand estimates that around 165,000 migrants who are currently in New Zealand will be eligible for residence under this new category).

The new resident visa will also allow employers to retain settled, skilled and scarce migrant workers, reflecting their critical part in New Zealand’s economy.

The 2021 resident visa will be open for applications in two phases, with the first group of people able to apply from 1 December 2021, and the rest of the eligible applicants will be able to apply from 1 March 2022. Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications, whether they are in New Zealand or not. All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022.


Applicants must have met the criteria on 29 September 2021.

To be eligible you must:

  • have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and

  • be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.

You must also meet one of the three criteria:

  • have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, or

  • earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour), or

  • work in a role on a scarce list.

Eligible Visas

On 29 September 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 of being granted a Section 61 visa), Some 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).

Applicants who have lived in New Zealand for three or more years

To be eligible under this criteria, you must have lived in New Zealand for the past 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 earning at or above the median wage


  • To be eligible under this criteria, you must be paid the median wage of NZD $27 per hour or above on 29 September 2021.

Applicants working in a job on a scarce list

To be eligible under this criteria, on 29 September 2021 you must work in a job that is on a scarce list. These are:

  • Jobs on the LongTerm Skill Shortage List

  • Jobs requiring occupational registration in the health or education sector

  • Personal carer and other critical health workers

  • Specified primarysector jobs

The new applications can be submitted online. It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 12 months, with most being processed much faster.

More information about the application process and fees will be announced by the end of October, according to INZ.

Our team of immigration specialists at Immigration Advice NZ Limited can help. We strongly recommend to consult a trusted licensed immigration adviser to avoid any surprises.

We have been providing customized solutions to migrants and assisting small, medium and large businesses for almost 15 years. Our organisation runs regular immigration update events for industry and business associations as well as employers across several industries.

If you employ migrant workers who require guidance on the new 2021 resident visa or assistance with any immigration-related matters, please get in touch with Martin Szeko from Immigration Advice NZ limited at or 0272938870 for a free, no-obligation chat or visit our website for more information.

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