Key Points 

  • New one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in the country  
  • Some critical purpose visa holders arriving in the country over the next nine months may also be eligible  


On Sept. 30, 2021, New Zealand's government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in the country. Some Critical Purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between Sept. 30, 2021 and July 31, 2022 on long-term visas may also be eligible for this new visa. Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications. Applications for some eligible applicants will open in two phases from Dec. 1, 2021, and from March 1, 2022, for remaining eligible applicants.

To be eligible, applicants must:  

  • Have been in New Zealand on Sept. 29, 2021; and  
  • Be on an eligible visa or have applied for an eligible visa on or before Sept. 29, 2021, that is later granted  

One of the following three criteria must also be met: 

  • Have lived in New Zealand for three or more years, or 
  • Earn at or above the median wage ($27 per hour), or 
  • Work in a role on a scarce list

If foreign nationals meet the criteria for eligibility but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by September 29, 2021, they may be considered eligible. Click here to find a list of visa types that are eligible and for additional information concerning eligibility. 

What are the Changes? 

Some work visa holders currently in New Zealand as well as some Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders may be eligible to apply for residence under the new residence category – the 2021 Resident Visa. 

Looking Ahead

All applications must be submitted by July 31, 2022. The government expects the majority of applications to be processed within 12 months. Continue to check New Zealand's government page for future updates and Envoy's website for further information.  

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.