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2021 Resident Visa – Limited opportunity!

Here we share some general information about the 2021 Resident Visa opportunity. This does not replace or constitute immigration advice from a licensed immigration adviser.

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2021 Resident Visa Opportunity.

The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand.

Applications opened on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opened on 1 March 2022.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022. Applications will not be accepted after this date.

Who Can Apply?

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 one of the visa eligibility criteria below.

  • Workers in NZ who held an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and on the day they apply for residence; OR

  • Applied for an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and the work visa application is subsequently approved and still hold an eligible work visa on the day they apply for residence.

Applicants must be in New Zealand at the time of applying.

Useful Information

The Malcolm Pacific Immigration team of advisers and experts help take the stress and worry of navigating the complex world of New Zealand Skilled Migrant visas, policies, and immigration.

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:

  • Settled. This means you 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

  • Skilled. This means you were earning at least the median wage ($27 per hour or more) on 29/9/2021 and are still paid at that rate of remuneration (or higher) on the date the residence application is lodged; OR

  • Scarce. This means you were working in a job that appears on the approved scarce occupation lists on 29/9/2021 and are still working in that occupation on the date the application for residence is lodged.

In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa and once family are included in the applications around 165,000 people will hope to become new residents.

Special Pathway For Holders Of Critical Purpose Visitor Visas.

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 and meeting a minimum pay rate) who are granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They need to arrive in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application before the category closes on 31 July 2022.

There are a small class of workers (mainly seasonal workers) who will not qualify.

We recommend you take advice to see if you will qualify.

Will Everyone Holding A Valid Work Visa Qualify?


Only certain types of work visas qualify. To find out if you hold an eligible work visa to qualify for this visa contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration for advice. If you do not qualify our team will assess if there are other pathways to residence.

The Detail Matters.

Health and character requirements will apply to everyone that applies. In some cases a new immigration medical may be required, in others, it may not. NZ police and security checks will be completed by Immigration NZ.

Immigration NZ reserve the right to ask for more information after an application is lodged to verify pay, employment etc.

Close family can be included in the application.

Making sure your 2021 Resident Visa application is properly documented will speed along the process and should result in approval. Avoid mistakes by dealing with experts.

Keep Up To Date.

Our clients enjoy the highest level of service and support in the industry because we have a large team of licensed advisers on hand to guide them through the process. Clear and regular communication ensure our clients know what is happening every step of the way.

Read our latest newsletter with updates on the 2021 Resident Visa here.

What Should You Do Next?

Get in touch today for a free assessment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable licensed immigration advisers. You need to get this right the first time because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!

This Is A Limited Opportunity – Don’t Delay.

Call 0800 800 612 or Contact Us and we will get right back in touch with you.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

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.

Latest News

Our team keep ahead of all the latest immigration developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.


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

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

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

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