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Sponsoring Visas for Parent NZ

If you are the parent of an adult New Zealand citizen or resident, you may be able to migrate to and live in New Zealand permanently with a Parent Resident Visa.

This resident visa category was discontinued in 2016 and reopened for new applications in 2022 with additional requirements. It’s important to understand what these requirements are to have a successful application.

To learn more about getting sponsored for the Parent Resident Visa, including details on who can sponsor you and how to apply for the visa, speak to a New Zealand immigration lawyer at Total Law. Call 0333 305 9375 or reach us online.

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    Sponsorship for the Parent Resident Visa

    The Parent Resident Visa is designed to allow foreign nationals who are parents, grandparents, or legal guardians of New Zealand citizens or residents to move to the country and live there permanently.

    If you have an adult child already settled in New Zealand, you may be able to apply for a visa to live with them. However, you must meet the health and character requirements for sponsorship.

    Additionally, your child must agree to sponsor you and meet the income requirements. If they do not meet the income requirements, they may be able to sponsor you jointly with their partner or another adult child.

    The application for the Parent Resident Visa is a two-part process. First, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) explaining how you meet the requirements. Then, if your EOI is selected from the selection pool, you will be Invited To Apply (ITA) for residence. If your application is successful, you will be allowed to live, work, and study in the country indefinitely.

    It’s important to note that the Parent Resident Visa has a quota of 2,500 available visas each year. As such, the application process may be competitive. Nevertheless, our Total Law immigration lawyers can help you. Call us at 0333 305 9375 to discuss your case.

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    What are the Eligibility Requirements for an NZ Parent Resident Visa?

    Eligibility Requirement for Applicants

    As an applicant for the Parent Resident Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

    • You must be invited by Immigration New Zealand to apply for the Parent Resident Visa.
    • You must be the parent, grandparent, or legal guardian of the child sponsoring you.
    • You must be able to speak the English language. Otherwise, you must agree to pay for English lessons if your application is approved.
    • You must be in good health.
    • You must be of good character.
    • You must not have dependent children.

    Note that you will be able to include your partner in your residence application as long as they meet these requirements as well.

    If you are applying as a legal guardian of a New Zealander, you will only be considered as their parent if:

    • Both parents of the sponsor died before they turned 18, and
    • You had custody of the sponsor and the right to control their upbringing before they turned 18.

    Furthermore, if you are the adult child’s grandparent, you will only be considered as a parent if both of their parents are dead.

    Eligibility Requirement for Sponsors

    To apply for the Parent Resident Visa, you can be sponsored:

    • Alone by your adult New Zealand citizen or resident child
    • Jointly by your adult child and their partner, or
    • Jointly by two of your adult children or your adult child and your partner’s adult child.

    Your sponsors must be New Zealand citizens or residents who have been residing in the country for at least 3 years. If you are being sponsored by your child and their partner, they must have been living together for at least 12 months.

    Your sponsor(s) must also meet other requirements, including:

    • They must be 18 or over
    • They must have spent 184 or more days in New Zealand in each of the 3 years before you apply for residence.
    • They must have sufficient financial resources to meet your living costs for the first 10 years of your residence if you’re unable to.
    • They must agree to cover the costs of sending you home, if necessary.
    • They must be willing to provide Inland Revenue tax statements as proof of their income.

    Minimum Income Requirement for Sponsors

    Your sponsor(s) will be required to earn an income based on the New Zealand median income to enable you to qualify for the visa. They must have earned this income for 2 years in the 3-year period before your expression of interest was selected.

    The minimum income threshold changes depending on your circumstances. To calculate the minimum income, you should consider:

    • If you have 1 or 2 sponsors.
    • How many parents are being sponsored. This includes any parents they may have sponsored before.
    • Which two 12-month periods (two years) your sponsor will use to have their income assessed on.
    • The New Zealand median income on the last day of each 12-month period that your sponsor’s income will be assessed on.

    Generally, if you have a single sponsor, they must earn 1.5 times the current New Zealand median wage. But if you have a joint sponsor, they must earn 2 times the current New Zealand median wage to sponsor you.

    However, if they have sponsored or will be sponsoring another parent, the minimum income requirement increases by half the median wage. This half increase will apply for each additional parent being sponsored, up to a maximum of 6 parents.

    Note that the median income is updated each year, so the specific amount your sponsor will need to earn may change. From February 28, 2024, the income requirement for single and joint sponsors are indicated in the table below:

    Category Single Sponsor (NZD$) Joint Sponsor (NZD$)
    Median Wage 65,748.80 65,748.80
    1 Parent 98,623.20 131,497.60
    2 Parents 131,497.60 164,732
    3 Parents 164,732 197,246.40
    4 Parents 197,246.40 230,120.80

    What Are the Required Documents for an NZ Parent Resident Visa?

    When applying for the Parent Resident Visa, you will be required to provide the following documents:

    • Parent Category Expression of Interest Form (INZ 1202)
    • Parent Category Residence Application (INZ 1206)
    • Sponsorship Form for Residence (INZ 1024)
    • Evidence of your identity with:
    • A valid passport
    • Acceptable photos of your head and shoulders
    • An original or a certified copy of your identity card
    • An original or a certified copy of your full birth certificate
    • Evidence of your sponsoring child’s immigration status with their:
    • New Zealand passport, birth certificate, or certificate of citizenship,
    • New Zealand Resident Visa or
    • Australian passport
    • Evidence of your relationship with your child with:
    • A birth certificate, adoption papers, or other legal document
    • Household registration documents
    • Evidence that your child lives in New Zealand,
    • Marriage certificate if your partner is joining your application.
    • Medical and X-ray certificates not more than 3 months old.
    • Police clearance certificates not more than 6 months old from your home country and any other country you’ve lived in for more than 12 months within the last 10 years.
    • An acceptable English test result, evidence that you can speak English, or an agreement to pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

    Note that you do not need to take a medical exam, get a police clearance, or take an English test until after you’ve been invited to apply for the residence visa.

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      Parent Category Expression of Interest Form

      Completing the Form

      Before you can apply for the Parent Resident Visa, you must first complete an Expression of Interest Form (INZ 1202) or submit an ​​Expression of Interest online at Immigration New Zealand’s website.

      You will be required to tell INZ about:

      • Your family
      • Your partner, if you have one
      • Your identity, character, and health
      • Your English-speaking ability
      • Your sponsor or sponsors, including their income.

      When completing the EOI form, ensure to fill out all the sections of the form. If a question is not relevant to you, please indicate ‘N/A’ or ‘not applicable’ in the corresponding box to ensure that INZ is aware that the question has been intentionally skipped.

      Ensure you provide correct and complete information. If it is found that you provided false information, you may not get an invitation to apply for the visa.

      You do not need to provide any supporting documents along with your EOI. You’ll only be required to pay the fee along with the application form.

      The Expression of Interest Pool

      Your Expression of Interest will be entered into an Expression of Interest ballot pool, which will be selected from every three months, typically in February, May, August, and November.

      If you want to be considered for a particular month’s ballot, ensure to submit your expression of interest before the first day of that month. For example, to be considered for the February pool, submit your EOI on or before 31 January.

      Note that your EOI will remain in the pool for 2 years before it expires.

      If yours is selected from the pool, it will be verified by the immigration officers to check whether you are eligible to apply for residence. If you are, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and you may make a residence application.

      How to Apply for the Parent Resident Visa

      You will be given four months from the date you received your invitation to apply to submit a residence application. Failure to apply within this four-month timeframe will result in the lapse of your invitation to apply.

      To apply for the Parent Residence Visa, you must complete the residence application form (INZ 1206), and your sponsor/s must complete the sponsorship form (INZ 1024). Afterward, send both forms, with the original or certified copies of all your supporting documents, the application fee, and the immigration levy, to the postal address on the INZ website.

      The immigration authorities will assess your residence application against immigration guidelines and verify the information provided with those on your EOI application. If your submission demonstrates that you meet the requirements for the Parent Residence Visa, your application will be approved in principle.

      Upon approval of your application in principle, you may be required to submit your passport to be granted residence.

      What Are the Fees for a Parent Resident Visa?

      The cost of the New Zealand Parent Resident Visa will vary depending on where you’re applying from and whether you’re applying for an EOI online or via paper.

      Here’s a breakdown of the costs:

      • Expression of interest fee: NZD$430 (online applications) or NZD$550 (paper applications)
      • Resident visa application: NZD$3610 (if applying outside New Zealand) or NZD$2,750 (if applying from within New Zealand).

      Note that the immigration levy fee is charged and included in the resident visa application fee.

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        What Is the Processing Time for a Parent Resident Visa?

        80% of Parent Resident Visa applications are typically decided by the New Zealand immigration authorities within 9 months.

        How Can We Help?

        The New Zealand Parent Residence Visa is an opportunity for parents to reconnect and live together with their children. However, the visa has a limited yearly quota, and the application process can be lengthy and challenging. That’s why you need a lawyer.

        Our immigration at Total Law are experts in New Zealand immigration law and can help you navigate the process. We will assess your situation to determine if you and your sponsor(s) meet the requirements.

        If so, we will help you complete your Expression of Interest Form accurately to increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply. We will also help you prepare your supporting documents and complete your residence application for the parent category.

        For more information on how to apply for the Parent Resident Visa category or any other New Zealand visa, call us at 0333 305 9375. We are also available to discuss with you online.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Generally, you must be in good health to get residence. However, while having a medical issue can impact your application, it doesn’t mean your case will be dismissed. The INZ will investigate the severity of your condition to determine if you can be granted residence.

                  Once you arrive in New Zealand, you must apply for entry permission. You can do so by completing a paper arrival card or a digital traveler declaration.

                  If your EOI is rejected or your residence application is denied, your application fees will not be refunded.

                  If your sponsors do not meet the income requirement, you may be able to apply for a Parent Visitor Visa instead. With this visa, you can visit New Zealand for up to 6 months every year. However, you won’t be able to work or study during your stay.

                  When your sponsor(s) meets the income requirement for the resident visa, you can apply and live permanently in the country.