One-off residency visa November update

Immigration New Zealand is still clarifying the finer details of the new 2021 Resident Visa.

We understand this can be confusing for applicants, so we have tried to document the finer points for applying- to make this process as easy to follow as possible.

This is an evolving space and have received many more questions from our clients that we will continue to seek answers to.

Q and A updates to eligibility criteria for the One-off residency visa

Q – Can an applicant apply for a 2021 Resident Visa and obtain a subsequent work to residence visa despite not having a residence from work application under process with Immigration New Zealand?

A – No, in order to obtain a subsequent work to residence application, the applicant must have lodged a residence from work application.

Q – Can applicant change eligibility criteria when they apply from the one they met on 29 Sept 2021?

A – Yes, so long as their subsequent visa is also an eligible visa type (i.e. also need to hold an eligible visa at the time of lodging the 2021 Resident Visa).

Applicants do not have to meet the same criteria on both 29 September 2021 and the date they apply. They can meet the skilled criteria on 29 September and then meet the scarce criteria at the time they apply, as long as they are still on an eligible visa type.

Q – Does the applicant need to be suitably qualified as per ANZSCO if applying under the scarce criteria?

A – No, there is no requirement to be suitably qualified as per ANZSCO.

Q – Does a secondary applicant not need any English language proof, even if they have never been to New Zealand?

A – There is no English language requirement for principal or secondary applicants.

Q – Do employment agreements (if going under scarce or skilled criteria) need to be minimum 30 hours guaranteed per week?

What if the agreement says full-time but is contractor or casual contract or fixed term?

A – Employment must be full time (employment is full-time if the employment agreement demonstrates that the employment amounts to, on average, 30 hours per week over an agreed pay period).

Employment for self-employed contractors will be acceptable if the applicant can show they:

  1. have a consistent history of contract work; and
  2. have a current contract for services.

The applicant must have been in eligible employment on 29 September 2021 and continue to be in eligible employment on the date they apply to satisfy the skilled or scarce component.

Q – Can anyone on scarce list qualify irrespective of what they earn and what their background is?

A – There is no minimum salary threshold under the scarce criteria. Employment must still be genuine.

Q – Can people change jobs after 29 September 2021 so long as they continue to meet requirements as of 1 December or 1 March. Correct?

A – Yes, so long as they continue to meet the skilled or scarce criteria at the point of making the 2021 Resident Visa application.

If you are worried about your application and would like an expert opinion or review of your case, get in contact with our office and book an appointment to speak to our legal team.

You can read more information about the visa rules and pitfalls here:

Make an Appointment

Make an Appointment

Need immigration advice?

Feel free to call us with your concerns or make an appointment to see how we can work with you.

We have a fluent Mandarin speaker in our team if you need Chinese language assistance.

Case Review

Need a Review of your Case?

If your case is more complex, consider our 60-minute Immigration Clinic. In this one-on-one appointment with immigration lawyer Aaron Martin, you can talk through your specific issues and gain insight on the best approach.

Make an appointment or contact us to see how we can help.