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The Parent Resident Category (most popular category for parents of New Zealand citizens or residents to get residence in New Zealand) is changing.

This category for adult children to sponsor their parents (Tier 1 and Tier 2)  closed on 7 October 2019 and will reopen in February 2020 with new requirements.


What are the changes? 

The main difference for applicants will be the income requirement for the adult children sponsoring the parent(s).

This means the sponsor(s) will now require a higher salary than before to be able to sponsor parents.

Other changes to the policy include:

  • limiting the number of people who can get the visa each year to 1000
  • standardising the expression of interest process and removing the 2-tier system
  • asking sponsors to provide evidence of their annual income through Inland Revenue tax statements, and show they have met the income requirement for 2 out of the 3 years before the visa application is lodged
  • removing the option to meet financial eligibility criteria through a parent’s guaranteed lifetime income or settlement funds.
  • changing from a two tier-system to one


What are the new requirements?

The following changes have been announced. However it will depend on the median salary, which is currently 

$53,040 (therefore the figures below are subject to change).

Sponsor (Adult Child) Previous New (expected income thresholds)
1 sponsor for 1 parent (sponsor’s income) NZD $65,000 NZD $106,080 2 x median salary
1 sponsor for 2 parents (sponsor’s income) NZD $65,000 NZD $159,120 3 x median salary
Sponsor and partner  for 1 parent  (couple joint income) NZD $90,000 NZD $159,120 3 x median salary
Sponsor and partner for 2 parents  (couple joint  income) NZD $90,000 NZD $212,160 4 x median salary
Guaranteed lifetime income of 1 applicant or of a couple NZD $28,166 or
NZD $41,494
Not available in new parent category
Settlement funds NZD $500,000 Not available in new parent category

What if we have already submitted an Expression of Interest?

People who have already applied and were waiting in the pool will be invited to either

a) update their details (eg show more income)

b) withdraw and be able to get a refund of INZ fee OR

c) leave it and see if they can qualify later

If you have applied through us or require assistance, please contact us.

They will resume selecting EOIs from the pool in May 2020.

If your EOI was previously selected and the application is processing, it will continue to be processed under the old rules.

What other options are there for parents?

Parent Retirement Category

The Parent Retirement Category allows applicants to apply for residence if they can bring significant funds to New Zealand ($approx 1.5 million)

Summary of Requirements:

  • Invest funds/assests of NZ$1 million in New Zealand for four years; and
  • prove you own and legally earned or acquired those funds/assets
  • invest in an acceptable investment in accordance with the instructions and
  • nominate NZ$0.5 million of settlement funds and demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or assets; and
  • demonstrate an annual income of at least NZ$60,000; and
  • meet the Family requirements (eg child in NZ citizen/resident living in NZ)
  • Meet health and character requirements


Parents Multiple Entry Visitor Visa

Parents of NZ residents/citizens can apply for 3 year multiple-entry visitor visas to stay for 6 months at a time (while the sponsor child is in NZ).

Summary of Requirements:

  • Be outside NZ when applying
  • Have a child in NZ over 18 years who is NZ resident or citizen who meets sponsor requirements
  • Provide full medical

This is a visitor visa, which does not entitle the parent to work or claim any resident benefits.

This is just a simplified version to give the general idea. Other terms and details apply. Please do not rely on this as policy and consult one of our Immigration Advisers or read current Immigration Instructions.


If you would like to apply for the parent residence category in future or any current category, please register your details below or see our Contact Page.


Reference/Source: Immigration New Zealand  



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