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  • Raj Singh

Residence Visa 2021 – Eligibility under the 3-S Criterion

Resident Visa 2021 application fee is $2,160 including GST. To be eligible for the one-off Resident visa 2021, you must be on an eligible work visa and also meet at least one of the following three criteria.

The 3S criteria:

Settled - Lived here for the past three or more years or

Skilled - earn at or above the median wage – NZD$27 an hour or

Scarce - work in an occupation on one of the scarce lists

Principal applicants need to meet the criteria on two dates to be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa:

  • 29 September 2021, and

  • the date you submit your application.

NOTE- All principal applicants must be in New Zealand and the Principal applicants can meet the one criterion on one date and another criteria on other day and still be eligible.


You must have first arrived in New Zealand on or before 29 September 2018.

Legal Associates will request your travel movements on your behalf from INZ.


You must be paid at least $27 per hour for at least 30 hours per week on 29 September 2021 and the date you apply. If your pay/ hours have been temporarily affected by COVID-19, you must provide relevant evident to support your application.


You must have been employed for at least 30 hours per week in a role on a list of scarce occupations on 29 September 2021 and the date you apply. If your hours have been temporarily affected by COVID-19, you must provide relevant evident to support your application.


Opens on 1 December 2021.

Those who had, on or before 29 September 2021, submitted an expression of interest (EOI) for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Visa which also included a dependent child over the age of 17 may apply for the 2021 Resident Visa in this first phase, as can those with pending residence applications under the Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work categories.


Opens on 1 March 2022 for all others eligible, including Critical Purpose Visa holders who do not qualify to apply in the first phase.


Partners and dependent children in New Zealand and overseas can be included in your application as secondary applicants.


Dependent children aged 25 and over that were included in your SMC application on or before 29 September, they cannot be included as a dependent child in your 2021 Resident Visa application.

They have the option to submit their own application as an attached document with your online 2021 Resident Visa application. No additional fee.

They can be granted their own 2021 Resident visa if health and character requirements are met and as their parent, you have been granted a 2021 Resident Visa.

NOTE- Dependent children overseas who are granted a 2021 Resident Visa are exempt from the border restrictions and may travel to New Zealand.


To approve a 2021 Resident Visa for a partner, evidence that the couple has lived together in a genuine and stable relationship for 12 months or more during their relationship.


A limited medical certificate will be required if:

  • a medical certificate has not been provided within the last 36 months, or

  • there have been subsequent changes to an applicant’s health, or

  • an applicant’s standard of health was previously deemed to have not met requirements


Not required to get overseas police certificates for onshore applicants unless requested by INZ.

Legal Associates can request a New Zealand Police check on your behalf.


The total cost of the 2021 Resident Visa is $2,160 including GST.

If you have already submitted a EOI or Residence from Work application you will only have to pay the difference between what you have already paid and cost of the 2021 Resident Visa, provided you withdraw your previous application/ EOI. If you have submitted a Skilled Migrant Category application, you will be refunded the difference if you withdraw your previous application.

All applications for the 2021 Resident Visa must be made by 31 July 2022.


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