New 2021 New Zealand Resident Visa

New 2021 New Zealand Resident Visa

Immigration New Zealand has announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand and some Critical Purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 Sep 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long term visas. Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications, including partners and dependent children who are outside of New Zealand.

The 2021 Residence Visa category will offer a one-off opportunity for these migrants to access a streamlined pathway to residence and “recognises the immense contribution migrants have made to New Zealand during COVID-19 and the uncertainty they’ve faced with closed borders and necessary changes to immigration settings”.

The visa category has a simplified application process to ensure that applications are processed as quickly as possible and Immigration New Zealand expects the majority of applications to be granted within a year of the category opening.

Applications will be open in two phases from 1 December 2021 for some eligible applicants and from 1 March 2022 for remaining eligible applicants. All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022.


Eligibility for the 2021 Residence Visa

Applicants must have met the following criteria on 29 September 2021.

To be eligible applicants must:

have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, and

be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.

They must also meet one of the following three criteria:

have lived in New Zealand for three or more years; or

earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour); or

work in a role on the ‘scarce list’ (including the Long Term Skill Shortage List Scarce List, Personal carers and other critical health workers Scarce List and Requiring occupational registration and in the health or education sector Scarce List


Eligible visas include the following temporary visas:

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa;

Essential Skills Work Visa;

Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa;

Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV) including Critical health workers for longer-term roles (6 months or longer)


Critical Purpose Visitor Visa Holders

Since the closure of New Zealand’s border, our doctors have had to use the Border Exception and Critical Purpose Visitor Visa category to obtain the appropriate permissions to enter New Zealand and start work.

Critical health workers for longer-term roles (6 months +) who arrive in New Zealand on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa and apply for the new 2021 Residence Visa before 31 July 2022 will also be eligible to make an application under the new category.


Application Lodgement

Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that more information about application fees and the application process will be announced by the end of October, but have confirmed that applications will be lodged online and will be opened to applicants in two phases:

Phase One (Opens 1 Dec 2021)

From 1 December 2021, people who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work (RfW) application can apply, as well as those with dependent children 17 years or older who currently have an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) submitted.

Phase Two (opens 1 March 2022)

From 1 March 2022, all other eligible applicants, including any others in the SMC Expression of Interest pool, can apply.

This is excellent news for our doctors and provides a straightforward and streamlined pathway to residence for medical doctors and their families already in New Zealand and those arriving in New Zealand over the next 10 months whilst we await the introduction of Immigration New Zealand’s new Accredited Employer visa pathway.

Our inhouse Licensed Immigration Adviser will be available to guide all our doctors on their visa options and to determine whether you and your family will be eligible for this new visa category, but you can also find full details at the following link:

New 2021 New Zealand Resident Visa

If you wish to discuss any of the above information further, please get in touch on 0131 226 2200 or email

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