Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Resident visa round opens

The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa has opened.

“This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister of Immigration, Kris Faafoi said.

It’s estimated up to 15,000 migrants who have lived in New Zealand for the last three years or who work in skilled or scarce jobs, and were in New Zealand on 29 September 2021, will be able to apply in this first round.

To be eligible for this first phase a person must also have already submitted either a:

  • Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) application; or
  • Residence from Work application; or
  • SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) which includes dependent children who were 17 years or older as at 29 September 2021.

“The Government has created this new one-off residence pathway recognising the immense contribution migrants have made to New Zealand during COVID-19 and appreciating the uncertainty they have faced with border restrictions,” Mr Faafoi said.

“We are expecting high demand in the first few weeks, with lots of people wanting to submit their application early, but we ask people to be patient.

“We recognise that some of these individuals have been waiting for residence for a long time and are eager to get their applications in quickly, but they have plenty of time to apply.”

Applications for both Phase One and Phase Two will be open until 31 July 2022.

“The Government has been working hard to make sure the new 2021 Resident Visa application process is simple, streamlined and easy for individuals, and Immigration New Zealand is committed to processing the vast majority of these applications within 12 months, with some much sooner,” Minister Faafoi said.

It’s estimated that around another 150,000 migrants could be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa in Phase Two which opens for applications from 1 March 2022.

More information about the 2021 Resident Visa is available here:, including: 

  • an eligibility checker here:,
  • a “How to Apply” video here:, outlining the application process,
  • and an Application checklist here:

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