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2021 Resident Visa Category: Application process and latest information

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Last Month Immigration New Zealand announced a one-off Resident Visa category guaranteeing a permanent stay for over 165,000 migrant workers. More than 10 work visa categories were eligible for this 2021 Resident Visa. 

On Friday, 29th October 2021 Immigration New Zealand updated information on the eligibility criteria and the application process with further details on the fees, processing timeframe and visa conditions. 

Application Process 

The new 2021 Resident visa will be open for applications in two phases, with the first group of people able to apply from 1st December 2021 and the second group from 1st March 2022. All applications are expected to be submitted online to Immigration New Zealand by 31 July 2022

  • December 2021 Group

If you have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories on or before 29 September 2021, or have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, and have included your dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021, you are eligible to submit an application in December 2021. 

All these phase one applicants should include their Skilled Migrant Category, Residence from Work application or Expression of Interest number in their applications and that number can only be used for one application. Applicants who are eligible to apply in December must have received an email from Immigration New Zealand by the end of October with further details. 

  • March 2022 Group 

All other eligible applicants including others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest can apply for the 2021 Resident Visa from 1st March 2022. 

Fees and Refunds 

The total cost of the 2021 Resident Visa will be $2160 including the 1330 application fee and $830 immigration levy. 

If you have already submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest or Residence from Work application, provided you withdraw your previous application or EOI, you will only have to pay the difference between what you have already paid and the cost of the 2021 Resident Visa. If you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category application, you will be refunded the difference if you withdraw your previous application.

For further information on fees and refunds head to


Processing Timeframe

The majority of the applications of this one-off Resident visa category is expected to be processed within 12 months with most of the applications processed much faster. 

Visa Conditions

2021 Resident Visa will have the same visa conditions that are applicable for other Resident Visa holders including standard travel conditions. When eligible these 2021 Resident Visa holders will also have to apply for Permanent Residence in order to be able to travel to and out of New Zealand with no restrictions or conditions. 

For further information head to the Immigration New Zealand Website

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