New Zealand Introduces a New 2021 Resident Visa

On September 30, 2021, the New Zealand government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. Some critical-purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between September 30, 2021, and July 31, 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.

Key Highlights
  • The eligibility criteria for the 2021 Resident Visa are designed to focus on people whose primary purpose for being in New Zealand is to work.
  • To be eligible, applicants must have been in New Zealand on September 29, 2021, and be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before September 29, 2021, which is later granted.

Applicants 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.

Workers in New Zealand who meet the criteria for eligibility but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by September 29, 2021, maybe considered eligible.

Individuals can check if they are eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa here.

  • Applications will be open in two phases from December 1, 2021, for some eligible applicants, and from March 1, 2022, for remaining eligible applicants.
  • All applications must be submitted by July 31, 2022.