Do you want to stay in New Zealand for the long term? Working in New Zealand can offer a great pathway to residence. There are several visa categories to choose from, so which is right for you and how do you apply? Explore how to gain residence from work in NZ with the visa options below.
If you have skills that are in demand in New Zealand, you may be able to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category. The NZ Skilled Migrant Visa invites skilled people from overseas to apply for NZ residence based on current skill shortages in the labour market. Immigration NZ uses a points-based system to assess all Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for this visa. If you meet the desired number of points (based on age, qualifications, and work experience), you may receive an invitation to apply for residence. From there, you will need to meet a range of strict requirements in order to be granted residency by proving the claims you made in the EOI. This category is under review and is expected to reopen around August 2022. For more information about this, we recommend consulting with an experienced immigration adviser in NZ.
If you don’t qualify for the Skilled Migrant Category, several temporary work visas in NZ offer a pathway to residency. All visa applications require you to meet the specified health, character, and language requirements. In most cases, you must have two or three years of NZ work experience under your belt to qualify for residency.
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV NZ) will replace six temporary work visas on 4 July 2022. Under this new visa category, the employer must be accredited and have an approved job check before migrant workers can apply to work for them. Some AEWV holders may be eligible to apply for NZ residence in the future if they are on an approved list of highly skilled occupations or are paid 200% or more of the median wage. These residence pathways are due to open in September 2022.
The Religious Worker Visa offers a pathway to residence for those who have worked in a religious organisation in New Zealand for three years or more. To be granted a Religious Worker Visa, you must have a job offer from a registered religious organisation in New Zealand that has agreed to sponsor you.
The Entrepreneur Work Visa enables people from overseas to buy or set up a business in New Zealand. To apply for this visa, you must provide a detailed business plan and have a minimum capital investment of $100,000. With this visa, you can apply for residency after 6 months or 2 years if you are successful and meet the specified requirements. The 6-month option offers a fast track to residence for stronger applicants who have invested $500,000 or more into their business and employed three New Zealanders in full-time work. Be careful because this visa category has very high decline rates.
If you are already living and working in New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa. This visa offers a limited pathway to residence to eligible work visa holders and some critical purpose visitor visa holders. To find out if your visa is eligible, talk to Malcolm Pacific Immigration today. The deadline for application closes on 31 July 2022, so seek advice now and apply as soon as possible.
Applying for NZ residence can be confusing and complex, but we’re here to help. Get in touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration for reliable visa information and advice. Our knowledgeable team of licensed immigration advisers will provide all the guidance you need to improve your chance of success.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.