Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has announced that migrants with a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Expression of Interest (EOI) submitted on or before 29 September 2021, will be able to submit a 2021 Resident Visa (2021RV) application in advance of the phase two opening date of 1 March 2022.

INZ is now in a position to open up processing to up to 1,500 applicants per day, based on the below timeline.

Those who wish to submit a 2021RV in advance of phase two must provide medical certificates with their application unless their current medical certificates are still valid. The first group will be eligible to apply from 21 February 2022.


All eligible applicants will receive an email from INZ and will only be able to apply starting from the date set out above.

Payment of the application fee will be required after INZ have made a decision and the visa will not be issued until this has been completed.

If applicants choose to withdraw their SMC EOI, they will only need to pay the difference between the EOI fee and the 2021RV fee.

Our thoughts

This announcement shows that the processing of the 2021RV is proceeding quickly, which is excellent news for eligible visa holders and is promising news for those who have had their EOIs in the pool and unable to be selected for some time now. It is also possible that INZ are anticipating an influx of applications on 1 March 2022 and are opening the flood gates slightly to allow for early processing to improve overall processing of 2021RV’s.

We strongly recommend that eligible migrants prepare their applications (we are happy to help), so that there are no delays in submitting their application.