Parent Category Official Policy Release

The new Parent Category policy was released early February 2020, due to re-open on 24 February, and with the first selection due to take place in May. There were no real surprises, with the policy largely mirroring what had been announced to the media last year, but I have summarised the criteria below.

General requirements

Parents (and in limited circumstances, legal guardians and grandparents where the sponsor’s parents have passed away) may be sponsored by an adult child who

  • is no longer a dependant,
  • has held a NZ resident visa for at least 3 years, and
  • continues to live in NZ

Parents must meet health and character requirements and cannot have any “dependent” children. They must also meet minimum English standards or pre-purchase ESOL tuition to be eligible for residence.

Sponsorship Criteria

The period of sponsorship is for 10 years, in line with the current period of time to meet NZ superannuation eligibility criteria.

The income threshold is calculated based on the number of people being sponsored (including those previously sponsored and still within a sponsorship period) and whether it is an individual sponsor or joint sponsors.

The table below outlines the thresholds based on this framework.

Only taxable income recorded through IRD will be considered and the income threshold for sponsors will be adjusted annually. In addition, INZ are requiring that the sponsor(s) show that, in at least two of the three years immediately preceding the invitation to apply being issued, their income met or exceeded the income threshold stipulated in policy for that year.

While the policy is largely as was announced and expected, I do anticipate many applicants and their sponsors will struggle to figure out what income thresholds apply to them, given it is a sliding scale depending on the exact moment an invitation to apply is received.

As always, we are here to provide assistance and representation for visa applications such as this, so please feel free to contact one of our lawyers in our Immigration team.