Parent Category Visa NZ Reopens

The Parent category visa NZ is a pathway for parents to join adult children who are resident in New Zealand. It has a yearly quota and requires the sponsor to earn 1.5 times the median wage for single sponsorship or twice the median wage for joint sponsors.

The visa holder can only stay in New Zealand for ten years unless they obtain permanent residence or apply for a variation of travel conditions.

1. Health

New Zealand’s healthcare system is free or heavily subsidised for citizens, residents and some visa holders. If you are granted a residence visa, it will include healthcare as part of your travel conditions.

The Parent Category visa allows New Zealand residents and citizens to sponsor their parents for permanent residence in New Zealand. It is open to parents, grandparents and legal guardians. Once you have your visa, you can travel in and out of New Zealand until your travel conditions expire.

Immigration New Zealand has recently announced that the Parent Category EOI will be restarting on 14 November 2022. The quota has been increased and the income threshold for sponsors has been lowered. Joint sponsorship arrangements have also been expanded to allow two adult children to combine their income to meet the required threshold, rather than each child individually. In addition, health and character requirements have been retained. Parents must pass medical examinations and be a bona fide applicant.

2. Character

New Zealand’s government has finally reopened the parent visa category that had been closed since 2016. This will allow parents of current citizens and residents to move permanently to New Zealand with their children as sponsors.

The new system has a cap of 500 visas per year and requires that the sponsor have sufficient income to meet sponsorship requirements. The first random selection of EOIs for the new visa will be held in August 2023. EOIs will stay in the ballot for two years from the date they are submitted.

Applicants will have to demonstrate that they and their sponsor meet the health, character and English language requirements. In addition, they will need to provide an assurance of support. At Visa Matters we can assess your parent’s eligibility for this visa and represent them in their Expression of Interest. We can also assist you with the application process if they are invited to apply for residence by Immigration New Zealand.

3. Income

Parents who are sponsored by an adult New Zealand citizen or resident can apply for a residence visa. This includes permanent and restricted residence options.

Sponsors must meet eligibility requirements and minimum income thresholds. These are updated annually and may increase. It is also possible for siblings to jointly sponsor their parents.

New Zealand has lowered the minimum income threshold for sponsors. This should allow more people to bring their parents into the country. Additionally, it has reopened the Parent Category visa for those who already had an Expression of Interest in the system.

Selections for EOI’s will begin on November 14. They will be selected in order of when they were received by INZ. This should be a welcome change for many people who have been waiting to bring their parents over. It should also help ease the pressure on the existing visa that is currently oversubscribed by a large number of people looking to move their parents to New Zealand.

4. Accommodation

The new rules for the Parent category are aimed at helping parents and grandparents join their adult children in New Zealand. Sponsors must agree to look after the visa holders’ health and welfare needs and provide accommodation for ten years from the date of their residence visa approval. They must also have enough income to meet the minimum threshold and transfer investment funds to New Zealand to cover living expenses.

This visa allows parents and grandparents to work in New Zealand and live in permanent residence, as long as they are able to support themselves financially. They are eligible for healthcare, which is free or subsidised by the government like that of New Zealand citizens and residents.

People interested in pursuing this visa should submit an expression of interest to Immigration NZ (INZ) and pay the required fee. EOIs will remain in the ballot for 2 years from the date they were submitted. INZ will select 500 EOIs each year.