2021 Residence Pathway Visa of New Zealand

A simplified pathway to residence for the migrants who are currently in Newzealand.


On 30th September 2021, New Zealand Government has announced a new resident visa that will be available to the migrant families who have been working in New Zealand during COVID-19.



2021 Residence Pathway Visa of New Zealand


This one-off visa can attract and retain the skills that New Zealand employers need to overcome the current workforce shortage.


The timely release of this thoughtful initiative demonstrates the attentiveness of the Government towards the high magnitude migrant issues. New Zealand was on the verge of losing a large number of professionals especially in the health and other important sectors. One of the major reasons for this was the difficulty in moving to residency visas. Recently, as a reply to the letter drafted by NZNO ( New Zealand Nurses Organisation ), A spokesperson for Hon. Minister Faafoi informed that Immigration Department will have a solution for this issue forthwith. In a week the welcoming news of the New Residence Pathway Visa was released.


The 2021 Resident Visa covers most work-related visas, including Essential Skills, Work to Residence, and Post Study Work visas. People will need to hold, or have already applied for, and are subsequently granted, one of the eligible work visas.


The Government anticipates around 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand will be eligible for residence under this new category.


The Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa is planned to open in two phases; on 1 December 2021 and 1 March 2022.


Applicants who already submitted residence visa applications under the Skilled Migrant category and work to residence category on or before 29 September 2021 and the Applicants who submitted Expression of Interest under SMC category, with a dependent child (17 years or above), on or before 29 September 2021 are eligible to apply on the phase 1 which starts on 1 December 2021.


All other eligible applicants who meet the criteria can apply on phase 2 which starts from 1st March 2022, Including any others in the SMC Expression of Interest pool.



Eligibility Criteria:

  • The candidate should have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021 and

  • The candidate should have an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before 29 September 2021 that is later granted.


The applicant must also meet one of the three criteria.


  • The applicant has lived in New Zealand for three or more years. They must have

arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018, and have spent a minimum of 821 days in New Zealand between 29 September 2018 and 29 September 2021 (inclusive). or

  • Earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour), or

  • Work in a role on a scarce list.


Partners and dependent children, including those currently outside New Zealand, can be included in residence visa applications.


The 2021 Resident Visa is released to support and appreciate the tremendous contribution migrants have made to New Zealand during the pandemic time and the difficulty they’ve faced with closed borders and necessary changes to immigration settings. Immigration New Zealand expects the eligible visa holders will include over 5,000 health and aged care workers, around 9,000 primary industry workers, and more than 800 teachers. Some of the 15,000 migrant workers who are in construction and more than 12,000 manufacturing workers will also be eligible for the one-off pathway.


SH MCC

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