Knowledge base articles

I have been invited to apply for residence. What now?

Congratulations on your invitation!

You now have four months to gather and submit the documentation supporting the points you have claimed in your expression of interest (EOI) and submit a formal residence application. You should have received an application guide with your invitation pack that will assist you in this process.

Application for Residence Guide - Skilled Migrant Category (1105)

Once we have received your application, your immigration officer will process it and will contact you directly if they require further information.

The processing times will vary depending on your particular case and the branch where your residence is being processed. Any decisions will be communicated to you in writing.

The most current information on processing times is available online.

How long it takes to process a visa application

INZ is making changes to how we prioritise some resident visa applications

I won't be able to submit my application within 4 months. What do I do?

Unfortunately, no extensions can be made to the 4 month deadline given to apply for residence as part of the invitation to apply.

You must submit your completed residence visa application within the timeframe given. If you do not do this, you will need to start the EOI process again.

My temporary visa will expire before my residence application is decided. Is this a problem?

You must remain on a valid temporary visa throughout the processing time of your residence application. 

If your temporary entry class visa expires while in New Zealand, the processing of your residence application must be suspended in line with section 169(3) of the Immigration Act 2009.

Section 169(3)

What type of temporary visa should I apply for?

This depends on your personal situation. If you wish to continue working in New Zealand, you should apply for a new work visa. If you wish to study, you should apply for a student visa.

Explore work visa options

Explore student visa options

Applications for Essential Skills work visas where an applicant is awaiting a Skilled Migrant Category decision.

You may be granted a 12-month Essential Skills work visa, without the usual requirement for evidence showing that New Zealand citizens or residents are not available to do the work offered, if:

  • you currently hold a work visa; and
  • you have applied for an Essential Skills work visa to continue working in that role; and
  • you meet all other Essential Skills work visa requirements; and
  • you have a valid Invitation to Apply under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), or have made an application for a SMC resident visa; and
  • your expression of interest (EOI) was selected in part due to points claimed for skilled employment in your current role. 

Essential Skills Work Visa

Under exceptional circumstances, one further Essential Skills work visa valid for 6 months can be granted under this policy.

COVID-19 response: special provision

A special, time-limited extension was made for clients whose invitation to apply was dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 inclusive.

If an invitation to apply was issued on or between these dates, clients could make an application for a Skilled Migrant Category resident visa within ten months of the date of the invitation letter.