Update on the Parent Category (Residency)

HB-Slide-couple-200This week sees the QCL immigration team casting light on some of the recent changes in the Parent Category for New Zealand Residency. Rita Worner is the author and an integral part of the QCL immigration team and an expert in the Parent Category of NZ visa. Rita is primarily involved in immigration and employment law at Queen City Law. She has previously worked in a regulatory role within the immigration advice industry. Rita is passionate about human rights. She is a member of Zonta, a global organisation working to advance the status of women.Some legal work Rita has worked on recently include advising specialist offshore companies requiring work visas for the Christchurch rebuild,

It has now been over two years since the current Parent Category of New Zealand residence came into force (after the abrupt closure of the old category). This saw the introduction of an expression of interest (EOI) system. So how well is it working?

From all the EOI draws that have taken place to date, no Tier 2 EOIs or applications still remaining under the old category have been selected and offered an invitation to apply for residence. The latest two draws – in May and August 2014 – have also seen a surplus of Tier 1 applications. This means that there were more EOIs in the pool than there were available places, so those that submitted their EOI late had to wait until the next draw to be selected. It’s likely that this trend will continue, which is bad news for any parents who do not meet the Tier 1 requirements.

If you have held your residence visa for at least 3 years, you may be eligible to sponsor your parents for residency.

Your parents must meet the following criteria:

– Good health
– Good character
– No dependent children
– Meet the English language requirements or pre-purchase English tuition
– Meet either Tier 1 or Tier 2 requirements

Tier 1 requirements

– Guaranteed lifetime minimum income per annum of at least $27,584 alone or $40,523 together with their partner; or
– $500,000 in settlement funds to New Zealand; or
– Sponsor (or their partner) earns at least $65,000 p.a., or $90,000 p.a. together with their partner’s income.

Tier 2 requirements

– Sponsor (or their partner) has annual income of $33,675; and
– Parents have no other adult children living in their home country.

All applicants must first submit an EOI which goes into a queue. Every three months Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will select a certain number of EOIs from the pool, before they issue an invitation to apply for residence.

A higher financial threshold applies to Tier 1, but these applications will be processed over a much shorter timeframe as they are selected from the pool before Tier 2 applications. From EOI through to residency a Tier 1 application could be processed in less than 12 months, but a Tier 2 application is still estimated to take over 7 years. We do not recommend submitting an EOI under Tier 2, unless there is no other immigration option available to you.

See our ‘Parent Category Infosheet’ here for further information.

If you would prefer to read this Update on the Parent Category (For New Zealand Residency) as a tablet and print friendly pdf click here