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Migrant Visa Holders: How to Bring Your Parents To NZ

Migrant NZ visa holders can bring their parents to New Zealand on a temporary or permanent basis. Read about the different family options and how to qualify.
December 20, 2022
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5
 min read

Moving to New Zealand for a new way of life can be the best decision you can make for yourself and your family. However, the loved ones we leave behind can weigh heavily on our hearts. Wanting to share your new way of life, even for as much as a holiday, is possible within New Zealand's immigration policies. 

In this article, we will take you through all of the options to help your parents experience a taster of New Zealand life. 

What Are the Options for Parent Visas?

Whether your parents want to visit, retire or live in New Zealand permanently, these are the current options available from Immigration NZ.

Parent Visitor Visa

The first step for most NZ residents' or citizens' parents before they decide whether to join their children in a new life in New Zealand is to come to visit. 

Parents can apply for a Parent Visitor Visa, which allows them to travel in and out of New Zealand multiple times for up to 3 years. 

They can only stay up to 6 months at a time, with a maximum of 18 months within the 3-year period. 

As visitors, they are not eligible for the same rights as residents or citizens. Therefore, they will need to cover any medical event using their own funds or insurance. 

Sponsorship by an adult child is necessary for this visa and ensures you are responsible for their health and welfare and their accommodation. 

Parent Resident Visa

A Parent Resident visa allows a parent to live in New Zealand permanently if they have an adult child (sponsor) who is a New Zealand citizen or resident. The sponsor must earn enough money to meet the new threshold and agree to sponsor you. 

This is open to parents, grandparents, and legal guardians. It allows the successful applicant to travel freely in and out of the country until their travel conditions expire. After these conditions expire, the visa holder must apply for permanent residency or an extension of their visa. 

Successful applicants can study and work to support themselves. They can purchase property, once they have held residence for 12 months and their healthcare, like other residents, is free or subsidised by the government.

Requirements such as 'must be of good health and character are retained, the same as all other visa categories in NZ. 

This visa has only just reopened in October 2022, previous EOI applications are being processed as of November 2022, whilst new Expressions of Interest (EOI) will be accepted now for a random ballot for visas, starting in August 2023. 

What Are the Sponsorship Requirements? 

The requirements of being a sponsor for the Parent Resident Visa are as follows.

  • Sponsorship of one parent by one adult child requires 1.5x the medium income to be an acceptable sponsor
  • Joint Sponsorship (2 siblings or an adult child + partner) of one parent requires a combined income of 2x the medium income
  • Up to 6 people can be brought in on this visa with an increase of 0.5x the median income with each new applicant 
  • Dependent children of the parent can not be accepted on this visa. 

For ten years after the parent resident visa is granted, the sponsor must meet the following sponsorship obligations:

  • Provide the parent with suitable accommodation
  • Ensure the parent's health and welfare needs are met
  • Pay any costs associated with the deportation and repatriation (if required).

Parent Retirement Resident Visa

The NZ parent retirement visa enables parents to join their adult children in New Zealand. To be eligible, applicants must meet INZ's financial requirements of keeping at least NZ$1 million invested in an acceptable investment in New Zealand for four years.

While allowing migrant parents to live, work and study in New Zealand, it also allows them to apply for permanent residence after four years of keeping their funds invested in New Zealand.

What Are Acceptable Investments?

New Zealand's standard acceptable investments can vary depending on the visa. 

For expert advice on what would be considered as an acceptable investment for the Parent Retirement Resident visa, contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration today.

What Are General Requirements for the Family Visa Category?

There are general requirements for parents looking to come to New Zealand under their adult children's NZ visa.

Meet the Health Criteria

INZ requires medical examinations to assess applicants' health and to ensure they meet the standards. When applying for a visa, parents will need a chest x-ray or medical examination to prove they are in good health. However, depending on the visa, the application will outline what kind of medical examinations are needed.

Character & Identity

It is crucial for the parent or parents applying to meet all of INZ's health and character requirements. Not only do they have to be a genuine applicant, but have a good record to prove good character. While age is not a limit within the parent category, they can not bring any dependent children in on their parent residence visa nz.

English Language Skills

Good English language skills are required for specific parent residency visas. Parents applying can take a test to show INZ they can use and understand English. Alternatively they can pre-purchase English language tuition. Contact licensed immigration advisers for help with finding out which tests we accept and the results you need for better chances of getting your visa accepted.

Once They're Here, What Next?

As you probably experienced, migration to a new country is full of firsts. New experiences and different ways the country works can be intimidating for anyone, let alone someone who may not speak English as their first language or has lived for a long time in another country. 

Support Them Through the Transition

Taking time off work at the beginning of their arrival can make a massive difference and help them gain confidence and acclimatise quicker. They have travelled far to be closer to you, so family time can reassure them that this is a place worth calling home. 

List all the different things that confused you and explain them to your parents. Then, help them get connected with mobile phones and the internet so they can communicate with people back home and find their way around the new environment.

Find Them A Support Network

Cultural groups with members of a similar age can help support their transition so that they can learn from others the experiences that they had and support them to settle down. Also, if English is not their first language, find classes they can attend to help empower them when they are out in the community. 

Show Them Your New Life 

Including them in domestic holidays or days out gives them a sense of what you love about the country. New food experiences or just taking them to the shops can help build their confidence to set up their lives here. 

With residency visas, this could potentially mean finding a job. Applying everything you have learnt and why you call this new country home can help them settle down quicker. 

Want to Know More About Parent Residency Visa Options? Get Advice From Licensed Advisers

Applying for a New Zealand visa doesn't have to be overwhelming. Reach out to our experienced immigration advisers for advice and guidance on the process.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.

Latest Updates

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Update

Migrant Worker Residence

Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrants Opportunity

Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.

January 9, 2023
Update

New Employer Accreditation Process

The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 19 July 2021

  • The median wage used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications increases from $25.50 per hour to $27 per hour.
  • Applicants paid below the median wage may be granted a work visa for up to 24 months. The usual 6-month visa validity restriction is suspended until mid-2022.
  • In certain cases, the labour market test is waived and in some cases, it will still apply.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 30 June 2021

  • Employer Accreditation and Approval in Principle applications are now closed.
  • No new Employer Accreditation applications (including renewals) will be accepted until the new process goes live in mid-2022.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Employer Accreditation Becomes Mandatory

Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From mid-2020 (delayed)

  • Government to negotiate and introduce Industry Sector agreements setting minimum conditions for industries that heavily rely on overseas workers. Sectors include; residential care, meat processing, dairy, forestry, road freight transport, tourism, and hospitality. Construction, horticulture, and viticulture may also be included.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 15 February 2021

  • Dairy Cattle Farmer job offers are now assessed by three new occupation descriptions: Dairy Farm Manager, Assistant Dairy Farm Manager and Dairy Herd Manager. Pay rates and job tasks will determine how long a work visa is valid. Take advice.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2020

  • Introduction of "Oversupply" and "Undersupply" occupation lists used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications when a job offer pays less than the median wage.
  • Employers offering jobs to migrant workers where an occupation is on the "Oversupply" list will not get Skill Match reports issued by Work & Income. Solid evidence of genuine attempts to find a local to fill the job will be critical for approval.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:

Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 July 2020

  • Essential Skills work visa applications are now assessed based on the current median wage (NZD $25.50 or more per hour.).
  • Job offers paying below the median wage require employers to pass the labour market test* and secure a Skills Match Reports from WINZ (work visas granted for a maximum of 6 months).

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 May 2020​

  • Regional Skill Shortage List goes live. 15 regions around New Zealand list occupations reflecting local skill shortages in each region. The labour market test is not mandatory provided the job offer matches the occupation and region plus the visa applicant has qualifications and/or work experience set out on the list.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:

  • Has employment paying double the median wage which is currently NZD $51 per hour OR NZD $106,800 per annum; OR Has New Zealand occupational registration and is required to hold valid registration to lawfully carry out their job.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 24 February 2020

  • Wage or salary thresholds increase for Essential Skills Work Visas applications lodged on or after 24/02/2020 (labour market tested; read more here).
  • Higher Skilled employment increases to $38.25 or more per hour ($79,560 per annum*)
  • Mid Skilled Employment increases to $21.68 or more per hour ($45,094 per annum*)

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2019

  • Base salary to qualify for a Work to Residence Visa (WTR) supported by an accredited employer increases from $55,000 per annum to $79,560 per annum (or $38.25 per hour).
  • Pay rates for WTR visas are now reviewed annually.
  • Work visa applicants paid less than $79,560 per annum by accredited employers need to apply under other work visa categories.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 1 November 2021

  • Work to Residence Visa (Accredited Employer and Long Term Skill Shortage) applications close.
  • Applications lodged on or before 31 October 2021 will be processed under current visa settings.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Mandatory Vaccination Required for Travel

From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.

January 9, 2023
Update

Employer Accreditation

Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:

  • Had lodged a residence application under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work category; OR Had lodged an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) in the SMC pool that included at least one dependent child aged 17 or above.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:

  1. Settled.
  2. Skilled.
  3. Scarce.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:

  • Workers in NZ who held an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and on the day they apply for residence; OR Applied for an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and the work visa application is subsequently approved and still hold an eligible work visa on the day they apply for residence.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Critical Purpose Visitor Visas

A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • July 4. Applications open for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.
  • July 31. Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa close.
  • August. Skilled Migrant Residence category scheduled to reopen.
  • August. A new pathway to residence for people earning 200% or more of the median wage.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

January 9, 2023
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

January 9, 2023
Update

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
January 9, 2023
Update

The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

January 9, 2023
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