One off Resident Visa for hospitality workers

Residency visas for hospitality workers in NZ

Migrant workers play an important role in the hospitality industry in New Zealand. The Queenstown tourism economy has relied on migrant workers for decades, and in turn these people have given the Otago district its richly diverse community.

IDESI LEGAL can assist you. The team of immigration lawyers at IDESI LEGAL in Wellington has the training and experience to help with all types of New Zealand residency visa applications. Call us on 04 461 6018.

Migrant hospitality workers make a valuable contribution by bringing their skill to New Zealand in 

  • in cafes, restaurants, takeaway outlets
  • catering businesses
  • pubs, taverns and bars
  • hotels, motels and backpackers.

Migrants can either work in hospitality in New Zealand on a residence class visa or a temporary work visa. 

  • Holders of residence class visas can work and live in New Zealand indefinitely.
  • Holders of temporary work visas can work and live in New Zealand for a set period of time.

Thanks to new residency rules announced by the government in 2001, highly valued hospitality workers in Queenstown on Essential Skills Visas can now put down roots. Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult and Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ruth Stokes are truly delighted about what the one off resident visa for NZ would do that for the district’s migrants. It is hoped these special visas will encourage many migrant hospitality workers in Queenstown, Wanaka, Arrowtown to settle permanently in New Zealand.

Migrant hospitality workers are vital for Queenstown, Arrowtown and Wanaka

The one-off Resident Visa NZ is a simplified pathway to residency and could be life changing for as many as 165,000 migrants to New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand usually processes around 35,000 residency applications a year, so before July 2022, INZ is looking to help as many applicants as would normally be assisted over five years. In fact, since phase 1 of the application process opened on December 1, 2021, more than 12,500 people had become residents under this new policy by mid-February. 

Tourism Industry Aotearoa Tourism chief executive Chris Roberts said about 17,000 workers in the accommodation, food, hospitality and tourism sectors are likely to be eligible for the visa.

The new rules provide a pathway for hospitality workers on different working visas and were in New Zealand on September 29 to gain residency. The visas include the Essential Skills Visa, which many Queenstown based hospitality workers hold, as well as the Skills Shortage Visa, Post Study Work Visa and Accredited Employer Work Visa.

Life in New Zealand for Otago-based migrant hospitality workers

“Seeing those folks who want to stay here, who have begun building a life here, struggle with the stress of uncertainty has been heart-breaking”, said Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult.

The stress many migrant hospitality workers in Queenstown have been under, worrying about their job and living situation, has been extraordinary.

Attaining residency could lessen that stress and it also means that these hard workers can visit friends and family outside New Zealand without having worry about losing a resident visa for being out of the country for too long or for losing a job.

Applying for a one off resident visa NZ

As a hospitality worker, you fulfil a specified primary sector job. If you have been in New Zealand for 821 days or more between September 29, 2018, and September 29, 2021, you are eligible to apply for a one-off resident visa.

Getting a one off resident visa NZ is straight forward, right? 

Not necessarily. Not everyone will qualify. Even though it has been presented that applying will virtually guarantee residency, getting a NZ one off residence visa is not automatic.

Qualifications and restrictions will need to be met and it is vital that your application is prepared correctly. A badly completed application could mean an automatic ‘decline’ by INZ.

We recommend that all migrants who are serious about gaining residency in NZ have qualified legal representation throughout the residency visa application process. Our immigration lawyers can manage all details through the entire process.

How our immigration lawyers can help

If you provide incorrect answers to questions about health, character, or family members, for instance, or you omit to fill in a question, INZ will see that incorrect or missing answer as ‘false and misleading information’. They will decline your application.

At Idesi Legal we have fielded a lot of inquiries from migrants who have applied for residence visa under the 2021 special category. While the process has been easy for some applicants, many have suffered complications resulting in Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) letters being issued. These letters are sent out when Immigration New Zealand questions the health, character or skill level of applicants. If you receive one of these letters, you have the opportunity to respond to INZ’s concerns within 10 working days.

Potentially Prejudicial Letters may on the surface look like simple questions. However, they are often more complex than originally thought and need to be answered comprehensively. Idesi Legal Limited has many years of experience in providing responses to these letters. We have a friendly, highly competent and capable team of lawyers who are specialists in their areas of expertise. 

We can connect right across Otago

If you’re working in Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Te Anau, or Fiordland call us on 04 461 6018. IDESI LEGAL specialises in New Zealand immigration law. Our legal team leverages both years of expertise and the latest technology to deliver the best outcome for our clients. We’re creative at delivering solutions, thinking outside the box. We have the staff, experience and knowledge to help you successfully apply for New Zealand residency.

Even if we can’t meet face to face, we can still connect and help. Our team of Auckland immigration lawyers can connect with you online and work with you using video calls. IDESI LEGAL uses Microsoft Teams, so we can help you with your visa application wherever you are in Otago. We’ll send you a link, you click on it, and we’ll do the rest.

Call us on 04 461 6018 to set up a meeting. We have offices in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington.

What if I don’t qualify for the on off residence visa NZ?

People holding working holiday visas, partnership work visas, and specific purpose work visas (SPV) are among those who are not eligible to apply. Also, if your visa expires at any time between now and when you can lodge your application, and you haven’t had a new eligible visa approved, you no longer qualify for a 2021 Resident Visa.

But don’t panic. Talk to one of our experienced immigration lawyers about exploring alternative pathways to New Zealand residency. IDESI LEGAL has successfully represented people who have had these visa application issues in the past. The Auckland IDESI LEGAL team may still be able to help. 

At IDESI LEGAL we provide help for migrant hospitality workers in New Zealand. If you’re in Queenstown, Wanaka, Te Anau, Arrowtown or Fiordland and need help with applying for a one off resident visa NZ, get in touch.

Call 04 461 6018 for expert visa application support.

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