The 2021 Resident Visa is a one-off pathway that will open for some applications from December 2021, and the remainder will be able to apply from March 2022.
To be eligible for this residence visa, the applicant needs to have been in New Zealand on 29th of September 2021, holding a work visa, and either be in an occupation on one of the scarce lists, be paid more than $27 per hour, or have lived in New Zealand for more than three years.
For healthcare workers who are already in the country, they are eligible on the basis of roles such as Medical Practitioner appearing on the scarce list for those needing occupational registration to work in the health or education sector.
While the majority of applicants would have needed to be in New Zealand at the time of the announcement, healthcare workers are being given greater flexibility to still be able to apply even if they don’t arrive until 31st July 2022. Those who are entering the country on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa who have a role of 6 months or longer will be able to submit for a resident visa which Immigration is predicting will be processed in 12 months or less.
A resident visa allows the holder to remain in New Zealand indefinitely, work for any employer, and to be able to purchase property. A resident can apply for New Zealand citizenship once they have held their visa for five years and meet the required amount of time spent in the country.
This morning’s announcements comes off the back of some sustained criticism of Immigration New Zealand for not giving migrants and employers the certainty they need to plan for the future. Since the closure of the New Zealand border in March 2020 there have been many changes to both the temporary and residence visa space which has impacted migrants already here as well as those hoping to return to New Zealand or move in the future. In particular, we have seen lots of publicity around highly skilled healthcare workers who have, without the certainty of a visa allowing them to stay long term made the choice to return to their home country.
This news will provide reassurance to the hospitals and clinics in New Zealand that are desperately in need of medical practitioners.
If you are an overseas doctor who is considering the move to New Zealand, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you to take advantage of this new pathway to residence. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can assist you in securing your ideal role in New Zealand.
This information was provided by Medrecruit's in-house immigration adviser Sarah Robertson
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