Visa News
May 21, 2024

Straight to Residence or Residence from Work – what’s the difference?

Apply from overseas and skip applying for a work visa, if you're eligible for a Straight to Residence visa.
Straight to Residence or Residence from Work – what’s the difference?

A large number of people have applied for Straight to Residence Visas (STR) since the category opened. This is because they hold job offers in occupations that are on the Green List. Certain occupations on the Green List allow a person (and their family) to apply immediately for residence provided the small print on the list is met and there is a genuine job offer. Some people have applied thinking they were eligible but found out after spending a lot of time and money that they weren't. This is usually because of health or character reasons, or more commonly they did not have the exact qualification or occupation registration that are an exact match to requirements on the Green List.

If you are eligible for STR you can apply from overseas and skip applying for a work visa. It does provide peace of mind that you can land in New Zealand holding the right to remain permanently. That is extra comfort before resigning from jobs, selling assets and taking children out of school. There can be reasons for processing delays such as security clearances, additional health tests or resourcing issues at Immigration NZ. Your adviser can discuss these potential risks with you at the beginning of the STR application which may lead to advice that a work visa first to get started in your job makes more sense. If you already hold a work visa and your qualify for STR don't delay in applying - if the rules change you will miss out. A job promotion may mean you become eligible, if you weren't before, so ask for a residence assessment.

Residence from Work (RFW) is a different journey to becoming a resident. In most cases, you need to work in New Zealand for two years or more before you can apply. A lot can happen in those two years such as a job change, health or character issues or rule changes. If your circumstances change take advice to have peace of mind that when you can apply you will be successful. What is important is that your pay rate keeps up with any upward movements in the median wage. At the time you lodge the residence application, you need to be paid the current median wage which is likely to be quite different to what the median wage was when your work visa was first issued.

Applying for residence is a big deal. Talk to the friendly team at Malcolm Pacific Immigration for a free assessment.

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