2021 Resident Visa: Phase 2 – processing in order of temporary visa expiry

Immigration New Zealand [“INZ‘] has just released further detail on the rollout of Phase 2 of the 2021 Resident Visa [“21 RV“] starting from 10.00am on 1 March 2022.

In order to control application upload and to create a fair system under Phase 2 there will be no applications assigned for assessment until the end of March.  At the end of March, all the Phase 2 applications lodged in the system will be allocated to Immigration Officers based on the expiry date of the main applicant’s temporary visa at the time of lodging their 21 RV application.  INZ will not allocate applications on a first-in-first-out basis but will be prioritising 21 RV’s based on the expiry date of the visa. For example: an application with a temporary visa expiry on 15 May 2022 will be allocated and processed before an application with a visa expiry on 25 July 2022 – the date these applications were filed is irrelevant!

This is cleared out the stress and anxiety for those applicants’ feeling the need to lodge their applications at the beginning of March. The new system can handle up to 75,000 uploaded applications a week.

For the 01 March cohort, INZ are also streamlining the initial lodgement process.  The only information that will need to be uploaded on lodgement is your passport document (BIO page of passport) and payment of the application fee ($2,160).  Once lodgement is completed, a standard email will be sent out providing guidance on what further documents will be required and will need to be uploaded. The application will not progress further until it is allocated based on the expiry date of the main applicant’s temporary visa.

In our opinion, INZ are created customer records and based on this, they will filter the expiry visa dates for the main applicant. The shell-customer records will then be populated with up-to-date information allowing the Immigration Officer to assess the application “at time of decision” as circumstances change from “at the time of lodgement”.

This new approach may have some good news for those applicants whose temporary visas are expiring in the near future i.e. May/June/July 2022). It may be worth waiting to file your temporary visa extension as there may be a good chance these applications will be processed and the 21 RV residence issued soon after they are allocated in April.

We are hoping that Pase 1.5 – SMC EOI applicants will not be subjected to this selection process, along with the Phase 1 – December cohort. The month of March may give INZ breathing space to complete the Phase 1 and Phase 1.5 applications lodged between 01 December 2022 and 28 February 2022.

NOTE: Applicants who lodge a 21 RV application are eligible for an automatic interim visa once their temporary visa expires [valid for 12 months].  However, you may consider some good reasons in making a further visa application rather than accepting the automatic interim visa.

Feel free to contact us on +64 0274214153.