The government have just released the policy for three new residence categories which eligible migrants may apply under.
We have outlined, in brief, a summary of the requirements for each of the three subcategories.
All principal applicants must show that:
Dependents children and partners will also need to meet requirements including health, character and English requirements (where applicable). Pre-Purchase of ESOL tuition is available for secondary applicants who do not meet the English test requirements.
All STR, WTR and HP residence applications will be prioritised over other skilled residence applications, including 2021 Resident Visa (2021RV) applications.
Independent contractors can also utilise the STR, WTR and HP pathways if they meet the requirements (here).
STR applications can be submitted from 5 September 2022. Principal applicants will need to show:
WTR applications can be submitted from 29 September 2022.
Principal applicants will need to show:
Applicants who held or applied for a work visa or a critical purpose visitor visa with work conditions before 4 July 2022 and who were working full-time in a Tier 2 Green List occupation may count their work towards the 24 month period. This means that the earliest an application may be submitted under this sub-category will be 1 October 2023.
Note: The 24 months of work required under this category does not have to be consecutive. Where a period of employment does not substantially match a Tier 2 occupation, time worked in a highly paid role can be substituted. Work on any work visa (that is not an AEWV) applied for on or after 4 July 2022 cannot be counted towards meeting the 24 month period.
HP applications can be submitted from 29 September 2022.
In order to qualify, applicants must:
For the period 29 September 2022 to 3 July 2022, 2x the median wage equates to $54 per hour. For the period 4 July 2022 to February 2023, 2x the median wage equates to $55.52 per hour.
Note: Full-time employment from 29 September 2021 which was remunerated at twice the median wage may be count towards the 24 month period, provided the applicant held or had applied for a work or critical purpose visitor visa with conditions before 4 July 2022. This means that the earliest an application may be submitted under this sub-category will be 1 October 2023.
Applying under one of the three residence pathways will require that applicants to provide evidence to show that they meet Green List or employment related requirements.
Examples of evidence that may be required includes:
Band A (NZ): NZD $4290
Band B (Pacific): NZD $4020
Band C (rest of world): NZD $4890
Note: These fees exclude the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of approximately NZ$35 but include GST. It appears that the bands look at where a principal applicant is situated when they submit their residence application.
The new policy is positive news for people who wish to secure residence in New Zealand after September 2022, especially people who missed out on meeting 2021 Resident Visa requirements. The news is not favourable for the significant number of visa holders in New Zealand that have submitted 2021RVs, as it is likely to result in longer processing times.
While Immigration New Zealand have released the core policy for these residence pathways, we envisage that re-calibrations of the policy may be required to ensure that skilled migrants with health issues are not locked out of utilising the WTR residence pathway.
The new STR,WTR and HP residence categories have technical requirements that will need to be carefully navigated to successfully secure residence. If you think you may be eligible to apply under one of these pathways, we recommend contacting one of our experts to discuss.
Please get in touch with the immigration team if you have any questions.