The New Zealand Government has announced that it is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme.
The current scheme will be closed with immediate effect and the new Parent Category option will be opened with new criteria in February 2020. It will have a cap of 1,000 people.
Once reopen, the new Parent Category will:
– Support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for their parents to join them.
– Remove the need for parent applicants to have guaranteed lifetime income and focus instead on the ability of their skilled migrant child to support them.
– Help New Zealand businesses find the skilled labour they need.
– Further strengthen the economy by helping businesses thrive.
“Skilled migrants and their parents have been in limbo since the previous Government decided almost three years ago to effectively close the Parent Category by placing a moratorium on it. This created unnecessary and unfair uncertainty for people,” said Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
“This Government is committed to attracting and retaining highly-skilled migrants by providing a pathway for their parents to join them in New Zealand, while ensuring they will be supported by their children when they get here.
“The new Parent Category settings will increase financial requirements, focusing on their adult child’s income rather than the circumstances of their parent and align with the ‘highly-paid’ settings under the Skilled Migrant Category and the recent changes to employer-assisted Temporary Work visa settings.”
Under the new settings, the financial requirements will be as follows:
– For one sponsor, the financial requirement will increase from BZ$65,000 annual income to twice the New Zealand median income (around NZ$106,000 a year) if sponsoring one parent and three times the New Zealand median income (around NZ$159,000 a year) if sponsoring two parents.
– For joint sponsors, the financial requirement will increase from NX$90,000 a year to three times the median income (around NZ$159,000 a year) if sponsoring one parent and four times the median income (around NZ$212,000 a year) if sponsoring two parents.
“The ability for a parent to gain residence through having a guaranteed lifetime income or settlement funds will be removed under the new settings,” added Lees-Galloway. “Parents will still be required to meet health and character requirements as part of the application process.
Applicants with Expressions of Interest currently in the queue will be able to update it to reflect the new requirements and hold their current place in the queue. Applicants who do not meet the new eligibility criteria will be able to withdraw their EOI and apply for a full refund.
Article published 7th October 2019