Immigration NZ announces large scale Resident Visa Opportunity

On 29 September 2021, INZ announced some good news for New Zealand in general and the migrant community in particular.

No doubt this was a result of the increasing and broad weight of the political pressure they were under to recognise NZ’s future depends on the migrant community.  There are still a few unknowns but …

INZ will Resident Visa applications in two phases from 1 December 2021 for those who

  • have been in NZ on 29 September 2021 and hold an eligible work visa; or,
  • are a critical worker and families who enter NZ in a 6+ month roles until 31 July 2022).

To apply, they must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • lived in NZ for 3 or more years); or,
  • earn above the median wage ($27 per hour or more); or,
  • work in a role on the Long Term Skill Shortage List); or,
  • hold occupational registration and work in the health or education sector); or,
  • work in personal care or other critical health worker roles); or,
  • work in a specified role in the primary industries. (This includes farming and fisheries for example)

You must still be able to meet health and character standards.  INZ have updated requirements and confirmed that English language test would not be required.


The application process is promised to be simplified to deal with applications as quickly as possible and is divided into two phases:

1 December 2021, for 1 March 2022, for
  • people who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work (RfW) application
  • those with dependent children 17 years or older who currently have an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) submitted
  • all other eligible applicants, including any others in the SMC Expression of Interest pool (those who have no dependents or children <17 years old)
  • Eligible Visas: Essential Skills, Work to Residence, and Post Study Work visas
  • Ineligible Visas: visitor, student, working holiday Visa, and Recognised Seasonal Employer (SSE) workers.

What we don’t know

  • Cost of the application (due to be announced at the end of October).  Nor do we know how INZ will treat payments already made for EOI; and,
  • there are requirements and processes that are missing

Next Steps

We would strongly recommend that the first step is to contact us to do a formal Pathway assessment, particularly if you are looking to include dependents, to ensure that you are eligible and meet full criteria, clear on what documents you have and/or need for yourself and your dependents.  You can call us at 09 303 3505 or  email our immigration team here

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