Tuesday, 5th October, 2021

Press Release 5th October


 The 2021 Resident Visa – a one-off, simplified pathway to residence for around 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand.


The recent immigration announcement is a positive sign that addressing skills shortages is being prioritised by Government, and the broad criteria of the new visa caught many by surprise.


 Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi announced the 2021 Resident Visa – a one-off, simplified pathway to residence for around 165,000 migrants currently in New Zealand. This will be available to most work-related visa holders, including Essential Skills, Work to Residence, and Post Study Work visas and their immediate family members.

To be eligible, the principal applicant must have been in New Zealand on 29 September 2021 and must hold or have applied for (and subsequently be granted) one of the eligible work visas. They must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • lived in New Zealand for three or more years, or
  • earn above the median wage ($27 per hour or more), or
  • work in a role on the Long Term Skill Shortage List, or
  • hold occupational registration and work in the health or education sector, or
  • work in personal care or other critical health worker roles, or
  • work in a specified role in the primary industries.


The visa will also be available for those who enter New Zealand as critical workers for roles six months or longer until 31 July 2022 and includes their partners and dependents.


“This news is a very welcome one and will enable many workers to commit to staying in South Canterbury and across  New Zealand and developing a secure path ahead for themselves and their families.  At a time of great uncertainty many businesses have welcomed this announcement.”


“We know from employers that recruitment and skills shortages is one of their biggest challenges and has been for a number of years.  With Covid-19 and the closing of the borders this has exacerbated the issue and there has been even more demand especially in many of our most productive sectors. Although it is difficult to quantify the actual economic benefit, it does address one of the key retention factors for many of our workers”.


Many of these visa holders have lived and worked in South Canterbury and across New Zealand for years and make a strong contribution to our businesses and our communities; this will provide them with certainty to be able to put down roots. This also gives our employers more confidence.