New 2021 Resident visa policy and application fee announced by Immigration NZ

Immigration New Zealand has finally published the details and criteria for One-off 2021 Resident Visa as well as the visa application fee.


First phase

The first phase of applications for the 2021 Resident Visa opens on 1 December 2021.

Those who had, on or before 29 September 2021, submitted an expression of interest (EOI) for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Visa which also included a dependent child over the age of 17 may apply for the 2021 Resident Visa in this first phase, as can those with pending residence applications under the Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work (RfW) categories.

Second Phase

The second phase of application for the 2021 Resident Visa opens on 1 March 2022 for all others eligible, including Critical Purpose Visa holders who do not qualify to apply in the first phase.

First phase applicant requirements


To be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa, first phase applicants will need to meet criteria on two dates:

  • 29 September 2021, which is the day before the announcement of the 2021 Resident Visa, and
  • the date they submit their application.

Principal applicants can meet the skilled criteria on one date and the scarce criteria on another and still be eligible.

Principal applicants must have been in New Zealand or Australia on 29 September 2021, or subsequently granted an eligible Critical Purpose visa. Those in Australia must have left New Zealand between 6 April 2021 and 23 July 2021 (inclusive). All applicants must be in New Zealand to apply.

Settled criteria

To be eligible under the settled criteria, applicants are required to have first arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018 and spent at least 75% of the three years (821 days) after that date here.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will use travel records to determine whether an applicant is settled. No further evidence will be needed from applicants to determine whether they meet settle criteria.

Skilled criteria

To be eligible under the skilled criteria, applicants must normally be paid at least  NZD$27 per hour for an average of at least 30 hours per week on 29 September 2021 and the date they apply. Those temporarily affected by COVID-19-related disruption to business activity must be able to show they were previously paid that rate.

Evidential requirements:

  • an employment agreement or a letter from their employer confirming the pay and hours, and
  • a full bank statement or an Inland Revenue summary of income or payslips.
  • Applicants paid less than $27 per hour may be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa if their occupation is considered scarce.

Scarce criteria

To be eligible under the scarce criteria, an applicant must normally have been employed for an average of at least 30 hours per week in a role on a list of scarce occupations on 29 September 2021 and the date they apply. Those temporarily affected by COVID-19-related disruption to business activity must previously have been working for an average of at least 30 hours per week.


To approve a 2021 Resident Visa for a partner, INZ must be satisfied that the couple have lived together in a genuine and stable relationship for 12 months or more during their relationship.

INZ will consider the relationship history of couples separated by COVID-19 border restrictions or other factors when assessing applications for partners.

A partner will not be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa if they have not met or lived with the principal applicant.

Health requirements

A limited medical certificate will be required if:

  • a medical certificate has not been provided within the last 36 months, or
  • there have been subsequent changes to an applicant’s health, or
  • an applicant’s standard of health was previously deemed to have not met requirements 

Character requirements

Applicants are not required to get overseas police certificates unless there are specific concerns.

INZ will request a New Zealand Police check on the applicant’s behalf.

Critical workers

Some critical workers coming to New Zealand for a longer-term (6+ months) role do not need to meet settled, skilled or scarce criteria if they held a Critical Purpose Visa 29 September 2021 or were granted one after that date.


To be eligible, those granted a Critical Purpose  Visa to obtain occupational registration as a nurse in New Zealand must:

  • pass their Competence Assessment Programme and secure occupational registration, or
  • have transitioned to an eligible work visa before or on 29 September 2021 and meet either settled, skilled or scarce requirements.

Application fee

The total cost of the 2021 Resident Visa is NZD$2,160 including GST which will be payable only once Immigration NZ will make a decision on your application.

Need Assistance?

Contact us by email on or Call/ Whatsapp 022 399 4114 to discuss your eligibility and assistance with your application.


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