2021 Residence Visa – Not a done deal

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2021 Residence Visa – Not a done deal

Data released on the 5th of January 2022 shows that approximately 82% of Chinese applicants under the Phase 1 stage have been declined.

Other nationalities have also had a number of declined applications; the notable values being India at a decline rate of 20.83%, the UK at 11.19% and Philippines at 10.26%.

A particularly notable result is Vietnam having a decline rate of 62.50%.

On first glance there appears to be a strange difference based on Nationality – Chinese and Vietnamese applicants have particularly low approval rates compared to other Nationalities which have between 80-90% approval rates.

While puzzling, the disparity in Chinese approval/ decline rates can be explained. Because applicants holding a Chinese Passport are required to provide a National Security Check form which is an extra check, the majority of Chinese applicants are unable to be approved at the time of this report.

A National Security Check is an additional check required by Immigration New Zealand for certain applicants to pass before a Residence Visa can be approved. For more information please refer to the Immigration New Zealand form INZ 1209.

Naturally, the amount of approvals will lag behind the decline rate. This is because a National Security Check is not required to decline an application.

Looking at the actual figures, Indian passport based applications have a decline rate of 20.83% being 90 out of 432 total applications. By comparison, Chinese-passport based applications have only 9 approved out of 50 total applications.

From our experience, there are certainly a lot more than only 50 Chinese applications seeking the 2021 One-Off Resident Visa (Phase 1). Careful consideration of this data shows that the majority of the applications for Chinese passport holders are yet to be finalised.

What is more interesting is that the Immigration Department is indeed declining applications. This tells us that this is not a simple exercise of merely making an application. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are intending to make an application. As the 2021 One Off Resident visa is only open between 01 March 2022 and 31 July 2022, this gives all potential applicants a limited period of 5 months to make an application before the opportunity is gone.