Immigration New Zealand has released an ‘introduction’ of the 2021 Resident Visa (2021RV) policy.

Our thoughts

Most of the information that has been released is consistent with the advice we have provided.

We have summarized the key points below:

1. Critical workers who were or are approved critical purpose visas longer than 6 months are eligible to apply for a Phase Two 2021RV. This is as long as the critical worker was not granted a critical purpose visa or variation on the basis of being on the following approved classes of workers:

  • Deepwater/Deep-sea fishing crew
  • Agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operators
  • Shearers
  • Recognised Seasonal Employer

2. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) may request for documentation to ensure applicants meet one of the three criteria (Settled, Skilled or Scarce).

  • For the Settled criteria, INZ will use the same travel movements which we provide as part of our eligibility assessment. It is unlikely if anything further will be required for this criterion.
  • For the Skilled criteria, INZ may request for an employment agreement or letter, and one of either full bank statements showing salary payment, or a summary of income details from Inland Revenue, or payslips.
  • For the Scarce criteria, INZ may request for an employment agreement or letter from employer stating the occupation and hours and evidence of provisional or full registration in an occupation in New Zealand where this is required.
    • INZ have indicated that documentation requests will be made on a discretionary basis. It is important to note that only one of the three criteria needs to be satisfied, for example, if the Settled criteria is satisfied, this will allow INZ to move onto assessments of other parts of the application like health and character.

3. INZ have confirmed that the 2021 RV government filing fee will be $2,160 including GST. Those who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) residence application or Expression of Interest (EOI), or a Residence From Work (RFW) residence application will be able to use their EOI or residence application number to settle government filing fees paid already and the 2021RV government filing fee, when their 2021RV application has been processed in principle. If an applicant has already submitted a SMC residence application, they are likely to be eligible for a partial refund of the difference in fees.

4. Police certificates will not need to be submitted with 2021RV applications unless requested for by INZ post submission. INZ will utilise their own system to request for New Zealand police certificates.

5. If an applicant’s General Medical and Chest X-ray certificates have not expired, a further certificate is unlikely to be required. If an applicant’s General Medical certificate has expired, only a Limited Medical Certificate will be required unless otherwise requested for by INZ. If an applicant’s Chest X-ray has expired, a further Chest X-ray certificate will need to be completed.

6. A standard resident visa will be granted under the 2021RV category. The visa conditions for the 2021RV will be the same as other resident visa holders, including standard travel conditions. Holders of resident visas granted under the 2021RV category will also be able to apply for a permanent resident visa after holding a resident visa for two years and meeting other requirements.

7. Applicants who are able to demonstrate that 2021RV instructions (bar health) have been satisfied will be eligible for a medical waiver (unless they have a condition that a medical waiver cannot be granted for).

8. Dependant children who were included in a EOI or SMC application or RFW application, and who meet dependent child instructions at the time the EOI or residence application was submitted, are eligible to be granted a 2021RV under Dependent Children Aged 25 Years or Older instructions.

9. Holders of a resident visa granted under the 2021RV instructions as a dependent child and who are 25 years or older and are offshore, have been provided a pathway to enter New Zealand as an exception to the border restrictions in effect.

10. Other generic residence and identity requirements will need to be satisfied including partnership requirements if a partner is included in the application.

Our advice

We recommend contacting us if you or your employees have any questions in relation to the 2021RV category. The information set out above is current as of 1 November 2021.