Residency lolly scramble

4 October 2021

The path to gaining New Zealand residency has been plagued by long delays, shifting goalposts and snaking queues. Last week the Government gave temporary work visa holders some much needed certainty and relief by announcing the “2021 Resident Visa”. This is a one-off visa for some temporary work visa holders already in New Zealand, including those in low paid/low skilled roles who might have never otherwise gained New Zealand residency.

To be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa, the individual must have been in New Zealand on an eligible work visa on 29 September 2021, and meet at least one of the criteria below:

  1. Have lived in New Zealand for three or more years; or
  2. Earn $27 per hour or more; or
  3. Work in a role on a ‘scarce list’.

Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa will open in two phases:

  1. From 1 December 2021 – if the applicant had already submitted a Skilled Migrant Category application or a Residence from Work application, OR had submitted an EOI for the Skilled Migrant Category which included their dependent child aged 17 years or older;
  2. From 1 March 2022 – all other applicants.

At this stage, the Government has not released the detailed policy for this visa. This does leave some important questions left unanswered. If you have any questions about how this new visa might apply to your employees please get in touch.


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