2021 Resident Visa application process

The 2021 Resident Visa will be open for applications in phases.

CLOSED

The 2021 Resident Visa closed at 23:59 on 31 July 2022. Applications received after this date will not be approved.

The 2021 Resident Visa opened for applications in phases from 1 December 2021.

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

Applications can be submitted online. All applications must be made by 31 July 2022.

Video — 2021 Resident Visa

From 1 December 2021 

You can apply in Phase 1 if:

  • you have already applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories on or before 29 September 2021, or
  • you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category expression of interest (EOI), and have included your dependent child in the EOI aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.

As part of the online application process, Phase 1 applicants must enter their Skilled Migrant Category, Residence from Work application or EOI number before they can proceed with their application. The application number can only be used for one application. 

Apply now for Phase 1

From 21 February 2022 

Note

Processing 2021 Resident Visa applications received under Phase 1 is progressing well and INZ will soon open applications for people who have a Skilled Migrant Category expression of interest (EOI) in the pool, submitted on or before 29 September 2021.

From 21 February 2022 eligible applicants who have a Skilled Migrant Category EOI in the pool, submitted on or before 29 September 2021, are able to apply for their 2021 Resident Visa early. This includes the group of people who had no dependent children included in their EOI, or dependent children aged 16 years or under.

Check if you are eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa

How to apply

If you are in this group, you will be emailed by Immigration New Zealand on the day you can start your early application. The order will be determined by the date that you entered your EOI into the pool. Emails will be sent daily by 6pm, between 21 February 2022 and 1 March 2022.

You will not be able to start your application before the day you get your email and you will get an error message in the application form if you try to apply too early. Up to 1,500 people will be able to apply each day.

You will need to enter your EOI reference number to begin your application. Your reference number will be activated on the day you can start your application. You can apply any time from the day you get your email until applications close on 31 July 2022.

To submit your application:

  • you must have a valid passport, and
  • you must provide an eMedical reference number for a limited medical certificate if you have not provided medicals within the last 36 months.

If you have a Skilled Migrant Category EOI in the pool that was submitted on or before 29 September 2021 and you do not receive an email immediately after 21 February, please do not worry or call the Immigration Contact Centre. You will receive an email when it is your turn.

From 1 March 2022

From 10am, 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply in Phase 2. Applications made in Phase 2 will be held in the system until the end of March, when processing will begin.

Note

If you have a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), Residence from Work application or an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) lodged after 29 September 2021 you can apply for the 2021 Resident Visa from early morning 1 March 2022 using the Phase 1 application form.

You must enter your Skilled Migrant Category, Residence from Work application or Expression of Interest (EOI) number before you can proceed with your application. The application number can only be used for one application.

Apply now

From the end of March, Phase 2 applications will be released in a controlled way for processing in the order of the principal applicant’s current visa expiry date as at the time of their application. Decisions will not necessarily be made based on when the application was released or the principal applicant’s visa expiry date.

The time taken to make a decision depends on a number of factors, including

  • how long each task takes to complete
  • if manual assessments are required
  • if we have to wait for information from an applicant.

Those on a temporary visa close to expiring will generally be released for processing first. If your current visa is due to expire before you apply for a 2021 Resident Visa you must apply for a further temporary visa.

How to apply

Note

Phase 2 applications will be made using the enhanced Immigration Online system. If too many people are using Immigration Online at the same time, those who try to log in will be asked to wait until a space becomes available or to try again later.

If you are applying in Phase 2, you will not need to upload supporting documents when you submit your application. This means you can submit your application even if you are still gathering your supporting documents, including a medical certificate.

You must have a valid passport to submit your application and you will need to provide your passport details and a photo. You will also need to provide a photo and the passport details for any family members included in your application.

Once you have completed the form for the principal applicant, use the ‘add applicant’ feature to add any family members you wish to include in this application. Check that you have included all applicants before you submit and pay for your application.

You will need to pay the cost of your 2021 Resident Visa when you submit your application. You will receive an email confirming your application and payment have been received. The payment receipt will be provided when we start processing your application

We will send you an email when we begin processing your application and let you know what supporting documents we need you to supply. You will be able to upload your documents through your Immigration Online account.

Getting an x-ray or medical examination

If you are worried you have made a mistake in your submission, you will be able to make corrections to this when we start to process your application. Do not withdraw your application or call the Immigration Contact Centre. Wait until you receive an email from us when we begin processing your application. Then you can upload a letter to your Immigration Online account to explain the mistake you would like to correct. This includes if you have forgotten to add a family member to your application.

What if my passport is expired?

If your passport has expired, you are not able to apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa. However, from 4 July, you are able to use the paper application form INZ 1365 for this purpose.

2021 Resident Visa alternative to online application form INZ 1365

When you send your application form to us, you and anyone included in the application will also be required to submit copies of your passports (whether they are expired or current), full birth certificates or other identity documents when you submit your application. You should also provide evidence that you have applied for a renewal of your passport, and/or an explanation of why you are not able to obtain or apply for one before the 2021 Resident Visa closes. Once we have received your application, we will contact you to collect any fees if required to lodge your application.

Important: DO NOT SEND US CREDIT CARD INFORMATION BY EMAIL.

July 31 2022

On Sunday July 31 2022 the 2021 Resident Visa will close and you will no longer be able to apply.

Visa conditions

The visa conditions for the 2021 Resident Visa will be the same as other resident visa holders, including standard travel conditions.

As is standard for resident visa holders, people need to apply for permanent residence to be able to travel in and out of New Zealand with no restrictions or conditions.

Fees and refunds

The total of cost of the 2021 Resident Visa will be $2,160 including GST. This includes a $1,330 application fee and $830 immigration levy.

Immigration New Zealand operates on a cost-recovery basis and the visa application fee paid by the applicant covers the cost of Immigration New Zealand processing the application.

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

If you have already paid for a Skilled Migrant Category application or Expression of Interest, a Resident from Work application the process will be:

  • You will not need to pay the fee upfront when you submit your application.
  • You must pay the application fee once an in-principle decision has been made on your application.
  • You must pay the application fee before the application is completed and the final decision is communicated.
  • A fee is payable whether the application is approved or declined.
  • You will have the option to withdraw your Skilled Migrant Category or Residence from Work application and receive a refund, which can be credited towards the 2021 Resident Visa application fee.
  • Residence from Work applicants and people who have submitted an Expression of Interest must pay the difference between the application fees before the 2021 Resident Visa application is completed.
  • Skilled Migrant Category applicants will be refunded the difference between the two application fees, if they agree to withdraw their onhand Skilled Migrant Category application.
  • Only the fee part of the application cost will be required. If you have already paid a levy with a previous Skilled Migrant Category or Residence from Work application, you will not need to pay the levy again.
  • If you do not choose to withdraw your other skilled residence application, you must pay the full application fee because we need to recover the costs of processing both the 2021 Resident Visa, and the Skilled Migrant Category/Residence from Work application. You will not need to pay another levy.

Dependent children aged 25 and over applying under this category will not need to pay a separate fee or levy.

The process for refunds for those who may be entitled to one is to be decided.

Processing timeframes

It is expected the majority of applications will be processed within 18 months, with most being processed much faster.

2021 Resident Visa processing times

Appeals

If your application for residence is declined you will have the same appeal rights as any residence visa applicant. You will be able to appeal to the independent Immigration and Protection Tribunal. If you are not eligible for the new residence pathway you can explore other visa options if you want to stay in New Zealand permanently.

If you are not eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa you may still be eligible for further temporary work visas.