Visa News
November 7, 2022

Parents – Family Reunions reopen

At long last, the government reopened the Parent Category paused in 2016 (six years ago!).
Parents – Family Reunions reopen

At long last the government has reopened the Parent Category that was paused in 2016 (six years ago!). A few changes have been made which are positive but did not go nearly as far as we would have liked. The summary of the changes are:

1.   The number of Parent visas issued each year increases from a quota of 1,000 to 2,500.  

2.   The income requirement for the sponsoring NZ adult child reduces from double the median wage to 1.5 times the median wage (the median wage is currently $57,740 per annum but increases to $61,692 in February 2023).  

3.   Parents who lodged an Expression of Interest (EOI) before 12/10/2022 will start being selected from November 2022 and every three months or so until the queue is cleared. 

4.   A lottery opens for 500 (included within the 2,500 quota) Parent visas to be approved residence each year.  

Couple of points to note:

- EOIs for Parents already in the queue will be selected in strict date order. The oldest EOI will be selected first and then moving forward every three months until the last EOI in the queue is cleared. There are around 9,000 EOIs already in the queue and we expect it will take at least 4 to 5 five years to clear the current queue.

- To sponsor one parent a sponsor would need to earn at least $86,612 (but increases are expected in February 2023) for two out of the last three years before a Parent is invited to apply for residence. If two or more Parents apply, the income requirement rapidly increases.

- There are other options for Parents who want to be in New Zealand sooner rather than later. One option is the Parent Retirement Category or a three-year multiple Visitor Visa. 

We share the disappointment of the migrant community that more has not been done to reunite families. The rhetoric to restrict the number of Parents gaining residence is that they impose costs on NZ. There is no real evidence to back up these claims. Our experience over decades of experience is that Parents settle well in NZ and bring money to help adult children get into first homes, offer childcare so a couple are out at work (no different to what kiwi parents do), invest and work in businesses and take up work as many Parents are skilled (just what we need right now). Parents must pass a high medical threshold for approval. It is time for a rethink about the contribution Parents make to NZ by supporting skilled workers and their families to settle.

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