Visa News
October 28, 2021

2021 Resident Visa – get ready to apply

Last month we reported the announcement of a new pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. More information has been released.
2021 Resident Visa – get ready to apply
2021 Resident Visa – get ready to apply

Last month we reported the announcement of a new pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. More information has been released and we are keeping right up to date on all the detail related to this new visa as it comes to hand.

The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021.

The online platform to lodge 2021 Resident Visa applications will be the same one used when applying for border exemptions. The difficulty with this platform is that the application has to be fully completed in one session. No saving, logging off and coming back later to complete the application. Applicants will need to have all the required paperwork at their fingertips to avoid hours wasted in front of the screen and the risk is mistakes are made under pressure.

[editors note: after this article was published, Immigration NZ advised they will now use their online visa application system for the 2021 Resident Visa. This is good news because applications can be saved in draft before they are lodged, giving time for a proper review before pressing submit].

The second wave of applicants can apply from 1 March 2022.

What’s new?

As we get closer to the first wave of applications opening more information has come to hand. Here are the latest updates:

  • The application fee is expected to be around $2600 [editors note: after this article was published the application fee was confirmed on Friday, 29/10/2021 as $2,160 including GST and the immigration levy].
  • Anyone who already applied for residence (under either Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work) may receive a partial refund.
  • Those who submitted a Skilled Migrant Expression of Interest will pay a top-up fee (being the difference between the EOI fee already paid and the application fee above).
  • The criteria are applied to applications at the date of lodgement (important for anyone whose circumstances changed after 29/09/2021 (such as new job/employer, a job loss, health or character changes, pay cut etc).
  • Dependant children who have turned 25 may still have an opportunity to be included in their parents' application.
  • Family offshore can be included. Partners and spouses will still need to prove an ongoing relationship with the New Zealand based applicant.
  • There is no age limit or English language requirement.

The cut-off date to apply is 31 July 2022. It makes sense to get all the paperwork ready now in preparation to apply when the application process opens. This is especially true if any documents need to be secured from overseas.

You can read more about the eligibility criteria for the 2021 Resident Visa here.

What if you don’t qualify for this visa?

Not everyone will qualify for the 2021 Resident Visa. It is estimated around 30% of the temporary work visa holders in New Zealand will not qualify.

People holding working holiday visas, partnership work visas, and specific purpose work visas (SPV) are among those not eligible to apply. In our view leaving SPV off the list of eligible work visas is a missed opportunity because many are doctors, dentists, IT specialists, digital animators, CEOs etc who hold these visas and have the skills New Zealand really needs to hold onto. We have written to the Minister of Immigration recommending an urgent review.

In the meantime how can someone qualify for residence if the 2021 Resident Visa is not open to them? The options right now are limited but still worth exploring. Consider the following:

If you have answered Yes to any one of these questions then talk to a licensed immigration adviser to explore alternatives pathways to residence.

The Malcolm Pacific Immigration difference

Our clients enjoy peace of mind and personal service from a team who live by the value “Care is at our Core”. We care that our clients are successful, that we keep them informed every step of the way and that families are reunited.

Backed by a large team we work really hard to get the detail right and that applications are lodged and moving forward as quickly as possible. Not every adviser is the same and not every service offering is the same. Becoming a resident is a big deal and we understand that.

Get in touch with our team – we can help.

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