top of page

Fast-tracked residency visa could let 165,000 migrant workers stay in NZ

Credits to: Newshub 30 September 2021 and related news from RNZ


Excerpts from Immigration NZ announcement as reported by Newshub

Thousands of migrant workers stuck in visa limbo will soon have the chance to apply for fast-tracked residency.

The Government has confirmed it is setting up a one-off resident visa that could see about 165,000 people applying.

The one-off 2021 Resident Visa includes over 5000 health and aged care workers, around 9000 primary industry workers, and more than 800 teachers.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said some construction and manufacturing workers would also be eligible.

The 2021 Resident Visa would be available to most work-related visa holders, including Essential Skills, Work to Residence, and Post Study Work visas and their immediate family members.

The applicant must have been in New Zealand on September 29 2021 and must hold or have applied for (and subsequently be granted) a work visa.

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 entered New Zealand as critical workers for roles six months or longer until July 31, 2022.

Partners and children could be included in the application and Faafoi said the majority of applications would be granted within a year of applications opening.

Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa would be rolled out in two phases.

From December 1, 2021, people who have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work application can apply, as well as those with dependent children 17 years or older who currently have an SMC expression of interest submitted.

From March 1, 2022, all other eligible applicants, including any others in the SMC expression of interest pool, can apply.


If you need further assistance, contact Auckland Catholic Filipino Chaplaincy Migrant Support Services at


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page