Residence pathway for Afghan evacuees

The Government has agreed to create a special residence category for arrivals from Afghanistan.

There is a new residence category for arrivals from Afghanistan who arrived on temporary visas. This residence category will ensure those who were evacuated have the certainty that they will be able to remain in New Zealand and access services and support. Those who are eligible for the new permanent resident visa include:

  • people approved according to Cabinet resettlement criteria for being at risk of harm for supporting New Zealand agencies
  • people who were granted a temporary visa to depart Afghanistan by the Associate Minister of Immigration before 12 September 2021
  • other people granted a critical purpose visitor visa before 12 September to exit Afghanistan
  • those on other visas who were evacuated to New Zealand before 12 September.

All applicants must:

  • be an Afghan citizen
  • have been in Afghanistan on 15 August 2021
  • be in New Zealand when they submit their application.

Applications must be submitted between 5 October 2021 and 12 December 2022.

Apply by submitting Afghan Emergency Resettlement Category Application for Residence.

INZ 1272 Afghan Emergency Resettlement Category Application for Residence PDF 849KB

The new residence visa will allow successful applicants to stay in New Zealand indefinitely.

Partners and dependents who are not in New Zealand, and who don’t meet the eligibility criteria, may still be able to make a separate application under the partnership and dependent child category. 

For eligible applicants there is no application or levy fee. Applicants who are not eligible will have to pay application fees and levies. The government will cover the cost of chest x-rays for eligible applicants.

Applicants will undergo a streamlined application process to reflect their unique circumstances.

A dedicated team of Immigration Officers will process these applications. Work has already started to ensure these applications will be processed as quickly as possible.

The Government is considering options for any ongoing humanitarian support for people in Afghanistan.