Overseas-based doctors who secure employment and arrive in New Zealand prior to 31 July 2022 now have an exciting opportunity to take advantage of this one-time residence offering. Keep reading to understand how you could gain a visa to allow you to live in New Zealand permanently.
Medrecruit’s in-house Immigration Adviser, Sarah Robertson, gives an update on the new resident category
Last month, the Minister for Immigration announced the 2021 Resident Visa which is intended to not only acknowledge the contributions of those that have been in New Zealand through Covid-19, but also to recognise the important role played by healthcare workers both up to this point and going forwards.
This is an exciting development for overseas trained doctors who might be considering the move to New Zealand as it provides an opportunity to be granted a permanent visa within a short timeframe of arriving in the country.
Typically, this sort of visa has been challenging to get, recently taking up to 2 years to process and requiring extensive supporting documentation.
The New Zealand immigration system has two classes of visas; temporary and residence. While a temporary class of visa will typically have more restrictions such as requiring you to work for a specific employer or needing to leave New Zealand by a certain date, a residence visa does not.
A residence visa enables the holder to live in New Zealand permanently, work for any employer, vote, buy property, and access the NZ healthcare system. Crucially for doctors, this enables them to take advantage of the excellent opportunities to locum throughout the country as their visa will not limit them to one employer.
Broadly speaking, any practicing doctor who is already in New Zealand holding a work visa is eligible to apply for this visa when the category opens to applications on 1 March 2022. In addition, any doctor who enters New Zealand prior to 31 July 2022 (and applies prior to this date) on a contract of 6 months or more is eligible to apply for residence. Unlike most other pathways to a residence, there is not an age cap on this application meaning even those over the age of 55 can be granted the visa.
The cost of the 2021 Resident Visa is $2160 and partners and family members who meet requirements can be included in the application. Immigration is anticipating that these applications will be processed within 12 months or less.
As part of our service here at Medrecruit, we organise an Initial Consultation with a Licensed Immigration Adviser/Migration Adviser for you, free of charge, once you have secured a role. During this consult, the adviser will detail for you the current processes to arrive in the country and what visas are available to you once you are here and how you might best achieve a resident visa if that is your goal. You will also find out what visas your family members can apply for as well as what supporting documents (such as police checks and medicals) you might need to provide with your application.
As soon as possible! When making the move, we’ve found that junior doctors require a minimum of 3 months to make the move and senior doctors require around 4-6 months. This is after securing a role and signing a contract. This means that if you are keen to get into New Zealand in enough time to take advantage of this one-off opportunity then the best thing you can do is to work with us now to assist you in securing a role. Speak with one of our International Solutions Specialists today to understand your options for making the move.
This information was provided by Medrecruit's in-house immigration adviser Sarah Robertson
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