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What to consider before applying for the 2021 Resident Visa.

Friday 4 February 2022

What to consider before applying for the 2021 Resident Visa.

Before you apply for the 2021 Resident Visa (2021 Residence), you should consider the expiry date of your current temporary visa (Current). If your 2021 Residence application fails, then there are limited options for you to remain in New Zealand lawfully. If your Current visa is likely to expire before a decision is made in relation to the 2021 Residence application, then we recommend applying for a new temporary visa before your Current visa expires.

On 2021 Interim visa alone.

If you apply for the 2021 Residence visa without applying for an application for a new temporary visa, then Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will likely grant you a 2021 Interim visa. The 2021 Interim visa will commence on the expiry of your Current visa. INZ has provided 12 months as guidance in relation to the processing period for the 2021 Residence application.

If a decision has not been made after 12 months, the 2021 Interim visa will expire based on current Immigration policy. If your 2021 Residence application is declined within the 12 months of your 2021 Interim visa’s start date, then the 2021 Interim visa will expire 2 months after the date of the decline. You cannot apply for any other visa while on an interim visa. You must leave NZ at that point.

A new Temporary Visa as plan B.

By applying for a new temporary visa before your Current visa expires, you will have a second application to fall back if your 2021 Residence application fails. In that case, INZ will likely grant you a general interim (General Interim) visa.

That General interim visa will expire once you are granted your new temporary visa.

If your application for a new temporary visa fails while you are on a General Interim visa, then it is likely you will be granted a 2021 Interim visa while your 2021 Residence application is being processed. Please be aware the grant of an Interim visa is a matter of discretion by Immigration NZ.

Flexible Employment Arrangement.

If you are expecting a change to your current employment arrangement (for example promotion, change of employer or change of region) then applying for a new temporary work visa will also allow for more flexible employment options. The conditions of your interim visa will mirror the conditions of your Current visa. If your Current visa is a specific purpose work visa, you cannot change your employment arrangement while you are on an interim visa.

However, once you are granted a new temporary work visa, you may apply for a Variation of Condition or a new work visa if there are any changes to your employment arrangement.

In comparison, if you do not have a new temporary visa while awaiting your 2021 Resident Visa i.e. you just rely on the 2021 interim visa, then there is little room for any employment changes. As the 2021 Resident visa can take 12 months to be determined, that is a long time to have no flexibility.

 

This article is for general use only. Advice should be sought for specific circumstances. Please consult Teresa Chan at Teresa Chan Law Limited, Level 3, Westpac Building, 106 George Street, Dunedin 9016, ph. 477 1069, or email teresa@tchanlaw.co.nz

KEYWORDS: Immigration, 2021 Resident visa, 2021 Interim visa, Specific Purpose Work visa, General Interim visa, Employment.
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