NZ Parent Category Residence Opens soon – Are you ready?- written by Arunima Dhingra

– Written by Arunima Dhingra

The new parent category requirements announced can be a minefield to get through. Let us simplify these for you. Available quota of only 1000 applications so hurry and talk to one of our expert licensed advisers today to discuss your case.

Here is what you need to know for the upcoming Parent Category changes:

  • Applications can be made from 24th February 2020, INZ will begin selecting new EOIs in May 2020
  • Grandparents and legal guardians can also apply under this category
  • 1000 quota each year
  • Sponsor must meet eligibility requirements (see below)
  • If the parent(s) has any dependent children, they are not eligible for this visa
  • Health and character requirements must be met
  • If the parent doesn’t speak English at the required level, payment for English language lessons can be made to INZ before a visa is granted
  • Including a (parent’s) partner in the EOI means the partner will be able to apply for residence based on this partnership later, if they decide to. They will not be able to if the partner is not included now

Eligible Sponsor

To be eligible, you must:

  • be 18 years or over; and
  • have been a New Zealand citizen or resident for at least 3 years with minimum 184 days spent in NZ in each of those years
    must live in NZ (i.e. must be living in NZ lawfully for more than 183 days in last 12 months); and
  • be ready to meet sponsorship obligations for 10 years from grant of parent’s residence.

Sponsor’s funds requirements

Sponsors need to have earned the correct income, based on the New Zealand median income, for 2 out of the 3 years before the parent resident visa is applied. The 3-year period where sponsor’s income starts is from the end of the month before an invitation was sent by INZ and ends 36 months before that.

The New Zealand median income is updated each year, so the amount they need to earn may change depending on which years they include in their application. The median income for each year is the median income that was in effect on the last day of each 12-month period.


If invited to apply for residence on 28 May 2020, the 3-year period assessed starts on 30 April 2020 (the previous month):

  • Year 1 is from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2020
  • Year 2 is from 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019
  • Year 3 is from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018

The median income varies yeat to year, the table below represents the minimum income that must be met:

Only taxable income is considered and must appear on sponsor’s IRD income summary.

If a sponsor sponsored 2 parents before the visa closed, then they and their partner sponsored 2 more parents after it reopens, they will need to meet the income requirements to sponsor 4 parents.

If a sponsor’s income helped to sponsor their partner’s parents before the visa closed, they are not considered a previous sponsor.

Contact me at to see if you and your parent meet the requirements for this residence category.


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