Changes to the Parent Resident Visa ⁠— applications reopen in 2020

From February 2020 you can apply for a Parent Resident Visa again, although there will be changes to the criteria you need to meet.

The visa is changing

We are:

  • limiting the number of people who can get the visa each year to 1000
  • changing the financial requirements that sponsors and applicants need to meet, and
  • changing the 2-tier system to a single system.

Changes to financial requirements

The visa will reopen with new financial requirements that applicants and sponsors must meet.

  • Applicants will no longer have the option to apply based on their settlement funds or a guaranteed lifetime income.
  • The income levels that sponsors need to meet will increase.
  • Sponsors will also need to:
    • meet the income criteria for 2 out of the 3 years before their parents applied for residence, and
    • provide evidence of their annual income by providing Inland Revenue tax statements.

New income levels for sponsors

We will update the income levels for sponsors each year based on the New Zealand median income.

The current median income is NZD $53,040.

Expected income levels for 2020

If your sponsorship is based on your personal income, you will need to earn before tax:

  • NZD $106,080 to sponsor 1 parent
  • NZD $159,120 to sponsor 2 parents.

If you are using both you and your partner's income, you will need to earn between you:

  • NZD $159,120 to sponsor 1 parent
  • NZD $212,160 to sponsor 2 parents.

You can submit new expressions of interest (EOIs) from February 2020

You can submit new EOIs in February 2020 when the visa reopens ⁠— it is temporarily closed until then so we can prepare our systems for the new requirements. We will announce an opening date in early 2020.

We will publish more information about when and how you can submit new EOIs or update your current EOI in early 2020.

We start selecting new EOIs in May 2020.

If you have an existing EOI

We will email you telling you that the visa is reopening and how it is changing. You can choose to:

  • update your EOI to meet the new requirements
  • withdraw your EOI and apply for a refund of your EOI fee
  • leave your EOI in the queue — if you think you will meet the visa’s new requirements.

If you do not get an email from us, contact us to update your email address.

Contact us

We will publish more information about how to update your EOI in early 2020.

When the visa reopens, we will select EOIs based on the date we originally received them for processing, regardless of whether they were submitted under tier 1 or tier 2.

To withdraw your EOI and ask for a refund

If you no longer qualify for the visa you can withdraw your EOI and request a refund.

  1. Complete the Parent Category Refund Request Form. In Section A 'Applicant Information' fill in the details of the person who submitted the EOI — not their sponsor. The form must be signed by the applicant for the EOI. 
  2. Send the form to us. Use post if your refund is into a credit card account, otherwise you can use email.

Parent Category Refund Request Form PDF 236KB

Immigration New Zealand
PO Box 76895
Manukau 2241
New Zealand

We expect to get a lot of refund requests and we cannot say how long it will take us to process your request. We will process them in the order we receive them.

Paying the refund

The quickest and easiest way to get a refund is to provide a New Zealand bank account number with your refund form. Refunding your fee to bank accounts outside New Zealand will take longer and you may have to pay processing fees to your bank.

We normally pay the refund to the person who originally paid the EOI fee. If you want the refund to be paid into another person’s account, then the person who originally paid the EOI must give us authorisation to do this by email or letter.

If you do not withdraw your EOI

If you do not withdraw your EOI, we will place it in a new EOI queue. We will place it in the queue based on the date it was accepted.

If your EOI is selected it will be assessed based on the new requirements. If you do not meet the new requirements your EOI will be declined and you will not get a refund of your EOI fee.

Existing residence applications are not affected

If you have made an application for a Parent Resident Visa it will be assessed based on the visa requirements at the time you applied. This means that Parent Resident Visa applications we were processing on the date of the announcement will be assessed based on the criteria that applied to the previous Parent Resident Visa.

Other visa options available to parents and grandparents

Parents of New Zealand citizens and residents can apply for residence under the uncapped Parent Retirement Resident Visa. Applicants need to be able to invest specific amounts of money in New Zealand.

Parent Retirement Resident Visa

Parents and grandparents can also apply for a Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa. This is a 3-year visa that comes with multiple-entry travel conditions.

Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa