2021 Interim Visa

If your current visa expires within the next 7 days while you are waiting for your 2021 Resident Visa to be processed, Immigration New Zealand will grant you a 2021 Interim Visa so you can stay in New Zealand.

The 2021 Interim Visa comes into effect the day after your current visa expires

You do not need to apply. If you have a work or visitor visa, the 2021 Interim Visa will let you stay in New Zealand with your current visa conditions.

If you have a student visa, you will get open student visa conditions, allowing you to study any programme at any educational institute at any location.

Know your options

Once you have received a 2021 Interim Visa you cannot apply for other visas. If you think your 2021 Residence Visa might be declined or you might withdraw, you may want to apply for a further temporary visa instead, so you can remain in New Zealand on a temporary visa.

The 2021 Interim Visa is valid for 12 months unless your 2021 Resident Visa application is declined or withdrawn within this 12 month period. In this case, the interim visa will expire two months from the date of the decision to decline or withdraw.

interim resident visa for New Zealand

When you may want to apply for a further temporary visa

If your current visa is about to expire, you may want to apply for a further temporary visa, as opposed to a 2021 Interim Visa, if:

  • the temporary visa’s conditions are more suitable for you — for example, you may want to move from work to study
  • your 2021 Resident Visa application is declined or you withdraw. In this case, you will still have a valid, temporary visa and can apply for further visas.
You must apply for a further temporary visa before your current visa expires.

While the 2021 Interim Visa appears to be beneficial, you do need to be careful as it also presents some major pitfalls you should be aware of. See the top 3 pitfalls here.

Have you applied for both a temporary visa and a 2021 Resident Visa?

If you have applied for both visas and your current visa expires, you will receive an interim visa based on your temporary visa application.

If you want an interim visa based on your temporary visa application, you should apply for a further temporary visa at least 7 days before your current visa expires, otherwise you may get a 2021 Interim Visa instead.

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