Visa News

When will residence categories reopen?

Anyone waiting to apply for residence as a Skilled Migrant or bring parents to New Zealand will be frustrated by ongoing delays. We report on what residence categories are still open and what the future may look like. Applications for residence can still be lodged under the following categories.

07/03/20221 min read
When will residence categories reopen?

Anyone waiting to apply for residence as a Skilled Migrant or bring parents to New Zealand will be frustrated by ongoing delays. We report on what residence categories are still open and what the future may look like.


Applications for residence can still be lodged under the following categories:

  • Partner of NZ citizen or resident
  • Parent Retirement
  • Dependent Child
  • Investor
  • Business (Entrepreneur, Employees of Relocating Business or Global Impact Visa)

When applying from offshore under any of the above categories expect delays due to limited resources at Immigration NZ and a priority on processing the 2021 Resident Visa applications.


The government still yet to make decisions on:

  • Skilled Migrant (points system). Currently under review and the category is expected to reopen in July/August 2022. We expect the threshold to qualify will be higher than pre-March 2020.
  • Work to Residence – a new pathway to residence for people who are paid 200% or more of the median wage (today this is NZD $54 an hour or NZD $112,320 a year but subject to annual review).
  • Parent (not to be confused with Parent Retirement). Not likely to see any movement before other residence categories are finalised and announced. However, a special temporary visa for parents outside of New Zealand can be lodged from October 2022.
  • Pacific policies – remain paused.
  • New Residence categoies to open or others set to change? Watch this space.

More information on all the residence categories can be found here.

As the government rolls out decisions we will keep you updated through this newsletter.

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Update

The Green List

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.

Read more here.

16 May 22
Update

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21