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Parent category visa to reopen in February 2020

7 October 2019

The Government has decided to reopen the Parent resident visa category in early February 2020 with new requirements. The first selection is scheduled for May 2020.

In the meantime, the category will temporarily close from today, 7 October 2019. This means that INZ will not accept expressions of interest (EOIs) from this date.

When the category reopens, 1,000 residence places will be available annually under the category.
Other changes from the current Parent resident visa criteria include:

  • Tier Two of the category will be removed

  • The settlement funds and the guaranteed lifetime income financial eligibility criteria will be removed

  • The new financial requirements for the Parent resident visa can only be met through the income of the sponsor and their partner. Here are the new financial requirements based on a median salary of NZ$53,040:


Expected income thresholds

1 sponsor for 1 parent

NZD $106,080

2 times the median salary

1 sponsor for 2 parents

NZD $159,120

3 times the median salary

Sponsor and partner for 1 parent

NZD $159,120

3 times the median salary

Sponsor and partner for 2 parents

NZD $212,160

4 times the median salary

Guaranteed lifetime income of 1 applicant or for a couple

Not available in new Parent Category

Settlement funds

Not available in new Parent Category


  • Sponsors will be required to provide evidence of their annual income through Inland Revenue tax statements, and that they’ve met it for two out of the three years before the application is lodged, and

  • The sponsorship period will be formally aligned with the New Zealand Superannuation residency eligibility requirement.

Existing EOIs in the queue under the Parent Category

People with EOIs in the system will be emailed to inform them of the changes and invited to either update their EOI or withdraw it. People who withdraw their EOI will be eligible for a fee refund.

When the Parent Category reopens, EOIs will be selected in date order based on the date INZ originally received them (regardless of whether they were submitted under Tier One or Tier Two).

By Michelle Carabine
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