The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new one-off 2021 Resident visa opens today (6am) for eligible migrants.
This new one-off pathway to residency was earlier announced by Minister of Immigration, Kris Faafoi on 30 September.
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.
“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,” Kris Faafoi said.
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 Minister assured a smooth and timely process to process the applications.
“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,” Kris 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.
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 and checklist about the 2021 Resident Visa is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.