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The 2021 Resident Visa is a new, one-off residence category that was suddenly and unexpectedly announced on 30 September 2021. If you are a work visa holder in New Zealand or a critical purpose visitor visa holder, you may be eligible for residence under the new 2021 Resident Visa.

Applications will occur in two phases, with phase one beginning from 1 December 2021 for:

  • people who have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories on or before 29 September 2021, or

  • people who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included a dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.

Applications open from 1 March 2022 for remaining eligible applicants under the settled, skilled or scarce streams (phase two).

All applications must be submitted by 31 July 2022 at the latest. No further applications for the 2021 Resident Visa will be accepted after that date.


To be eligible under the phase two group of applicants, you must:

  • have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021 and be in New Zealand when you apply, and

  • be on an eligible visa both on 29 September 2021, or have an application submitted for an eligible visa on 29 September 2021 that was later granted, and also be on an eligible visa when you apply.

List of eligible visas:

  • Post Study Work Visa\

  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

  • Essential Skills Work Visa

  • Religious Worker Work Visa

  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa

  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa

  • Trafficking Victim Work Visa

  • Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa

  • Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Work Visa

  • Victims of Family Violence Work Visa

  • South Island Contribution Work Visa

  • Work Visa granted under Section 61 of the Immigration Act (provided the applicant held any of the visas above within 6 months before being granted a Section 61 visa)

  • Some Critical Purpose Visitor Visas (CPVV)

You must also meet ONE of the following three criteria:

  1. 'SETTLED' - you have lived in New Zealand for the past three or more years, with at least 821 days spent in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021.

  2. 'SKILLED' - you were earning at or above the median wage ($27 per hour) on 29 September 2021.

  3. 'SCARCE' - you work in a role on a scarce list, e.g., the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

Partners and children can be included in the application, even if they are not in New Zealand when the application is made. However, in order for partners to be granted residence, they must be able to prove that they have lived together with the principal applicant for at least 12 months in total.

Dependent children who were included in a Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work application, or a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, as at 29 September 2021 and who are now aged 25 years or older will be eligible for a 2021 Resident Visa if their parent is approved a 2021 Resident Visa and they continue to meet dependent child requirements apart from age. The dependent child must apply for a 2021 Resident Visa in their own right - they cannot be included in the parents’ application. An ‘aged out’ dependent child does not have to be in New Zealand to be eligible to apply.

Please contact us to confirm your eligibility and discuss how and when to apply.



Need guidance? Professional Immigration Services offers obligation-free initial assessments to help clients better understand their situation and prospects. Whether you've received a concern letter from Immigration New Zealand or just need help planning your future, we will facilitate your needs and help get you to where you need to be.


Based in Christchurch city, Professional Immigration Services provides high quality, reliable advice in relation to New Zealand visa applications and other immigration-related matters. Equipped with in-depth industry knowledge and experience, Evelyn Dyer is a Licensed Immigration Adviser who has special expertise in a range of complex immigration issues. She is renowned for her caring attitude towards clients, fast response times and high level of personalised service. If you're looking for an immigration adviser who takes the time to listen to you and understand your whole situation, Evelyn is the adviser for you.


Unlike other areas of law, the immigration industry in New Zealand is fast-moving and dynamic. Sometimes, policy changes are introduced quite literally overnight, so we are constantly updating our knowledge and clarifying grey areas with Immigration New Zealand's management team. If you're interested in keeping up to date with New Zealand immigration law and policy changes, keep an eye on our Blog page for the latest in immigration news, tips and articles.