2021 Resident Visa application process

The 2021 Resident visa will be open for applications in two phases, with the first group of people able to apply from 1 December 2021.

From 1 December 2021 you can apply 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, and have included your dependent child in the Expression of Interest aged 17 years or older on 29 September 2021.

Apply now for Phase 1

From 1 March 2022 all other eligible applicants can apply, including all others who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest.

All applications must be made by 31 July 2022.

Applications can only be submitted online.

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

Video — 2021 Resident Visa Phase One

2021 Resident Visa application checklist  PDF 630KB

If you are eligible to apply from 1 December 2021 you will receive an email from Immigration New Zealand by the end of October with more information.

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 12 months, with most being processed much faster.

This page will be updated regularly with the latest processing times and information.

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.