Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand.
But all is not as simple as it seems. There are rules and criteria to meet before a visa will be issued. Making sure your application is absolutely right when it lands with Immigration NZ is mission critical to you and your family being approved.
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 estimates this pathway is open to about 110,000 people who are in New Zealand right now and hold certain "eligible work visas". Family can be included and this will take the potential number of people who may be granted residence up to 165,000.
Who can apply?
1. Workers in NZ on 29/09/2021 who have an eligible work visa;
2. Applied for an eligible work visa before 29/9/2021 and that application is eventually approved.
Is that the only requirement to qualify for residence?
No. Workers must also:
Have lived in NZ for 3 years or more (that is arrived in NZ on or before 29/9/2018 and spent a minimum of 821 days in NZ between 29/9/2018 & 29/9/2021); or
Have been earning the median wage ($27 per hour) or above on 29/9/2021; or
Have been working in a job on one of the approved shortage lists.
Will everyone with a work visa qualify?
Only certain types of work visas qualify. To find out if you hold or may qualify for an eligible work visa contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration for advice.
Health and character requirements will apply to everyone included in the application. Close family (partner/spouse and dependent children) can be included in the application whether in NZ or not.
Anyone with a conviction or is under investigation by police or have had a previous visa application declined (whether in NZ or overseas) or have health issues (includes any members of the family) should take professional advice.
Once the application is lodged Immigration NZ reserve the right to ask for more information.
People overseas (except NZ work visa holders stuck in Australia) are not eligible for this visa even if they hold a current or recently expired work visa.
It is critical a proper assessment is carried out right at the outset to avoid any nasty surprises once an application is lodged. Consult a trusted licensed immigration adviser.
There is more detail of the new rules and process rolling out next month. We will keep you posted.
The team at Malcolm Pacific Immigration is on standby and we can help.