The 2021 Resident Visa (2021RV) application period has been an exciting one for those who want to live in New Zealand. As per the General Manager of Border and Visa Operations Nicola Hogg, around 65% of 2021 Resident Visa (2021RV) applications have been processed since the category first opened on 1 December 2021.
This means 123,000 individuals from different countries (from 67,760 applications) can now live and stay in NZ as residents and INZ is expecting to continue processing thousands more by June 2023.
The extended processing timeframe – from 12 to 18 months – has made reunification with loved ones difficult and that was why INZ recently announced a change that allowed 2021RV interim visa holders the opportunity to travel overseas. This included up to 3,000 visa holders who could submit requests for the grant of a new visa that allowed them to travel overseas without having their interim visa expire. The response from people eligible for this change has been significant; with over 300 requests submitted since its announcement. Challenges caused by the pandemic have presented many barriers, and this small change makes an incredible difference to those affected.
They also established an escalation process for 2021 Resident Visa applications so that they can prioritize applicants who are currently separated from their offshore partner and/or dependent children. Since its implementation, approximately 3,000 requests have been received in the first 10 days alone.
It is yet another step that the government is taking to ensure citizens are happy and can be reunited with their families.