2021 Resident Visa is a new visa introduced in September 2021 to grant residence to roughly 110,000 applicants in New Zealand (165,000 people including partners and dependent children) holding an eligible visa. It is targetted to those in a limbo due to non processing of residence applications under Skilled Migrant Category and Residence From Work Visa categories, suspension of selections of Expression of Interest from the SMC pool and temporary work visa holders including critical workers.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR 2021 RESIDENT VISA
To qualify for this visa, applicants should:
- be in New Zealand as on 29 September 2021;
- hold an eligible visa on 29 September 2021 as well as on the date they apply;
- meet health and character requirements; and
- meet either of the following 3 criterias
- Settled: lived in New Zealand for at least 821 days in the last 3 years upto 29 September 2021; or
- Skilled: earning median wage of $27 or more per hour; or
- Scarce: working in a job that is on the Scarce List.
To manage the large number of expected applications (roughly 110,000), applications are to be made in 2 phases:
Those meeting the following criteria can apply under Phase 1 anytime between 1 December 2021 to 31 July 2022:
- those who have applied for residence under Skilled Migrant Category on or before 29 September 2021;
- those who have applied for residence under Residence From Work Category on or before 29 September 2021;
- those with Expression Of Interest (EOI) in the SMC pool where a dependent child aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021 is included
HOW TO APPLY UNDER PHASE 1
Applications are to be submitted online and Phase 1 applicants:
- need to upload all documents including the medicals;
- do not have to pay application fees with application;
- upon completion of processing AIP will be issued;
- applicants then confirm if they wish to withdraw their pending applications;
- those withdrawing previous applications need to pay balance fees and if not withdrawing, pay full fees $2,160.
- upon payment of fees, applications will be approved and resident visa issued.
VISAS ISSUED UNDER PHASE 1
Under Phase 1 of 2021 Resident Visa which opened for applications on 1 December 2021, as at 20 February 2022:
- 13,356 applications (32,183 people included) were received; of which
- 6,586 applications (14,108 people included) have been approved and visas issued
All those meeting the eligibility criteria and not qualifying under Phase 1, can submit their 2021 RV applications online under Phase 2. Phase 2 opened for applications on 1 March 2022 and will close on 31 July 2022.
HOW TO APPLY UNDER PHASE 2:
Applications are to be submitted online and Phase 2 applicants:
- need not submit documents nor medical certificates alongwith the application;
- applicants need to pay the application fee of $2,160 with the application;
- applications will be held in the system until end of March 2022 & released for processing in controlled manner;
- those whose temporary visas are close to expiry will be released for processing first.