A new one-off residence pathway means a large number of work visa holders will be able to remain in New Zealand permanently.
The 2021 Resident Visa 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 new resident visa will also allow employers to retain settled, skilled and scarce migrant workers, reflecting their critical part in New Zealand’s economy.
It will be available to those who have already submitted a resident visa applications under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RfW) category and those who have submitted an SMC Expression of Interest, as well as many other work visa holders who may not have been eligible through the current skilled residence pathways.
Immigration New Zealand expects that around 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand will be eligible for residence under this new category.
The 2021 Resident visa will be open for applications in two phases, with the first group of people able to apply from 1 December 2021.
Immigration New Zealand is committed to ensuring the application and fee process is as easy as possible for the applicants.
The processing of 2021 Resident Visa applications is a priority for Immigration New Zealand over the next 12 months.