How can I bring my parents to New Zealand?

By Andrew Nah

If you want to sponsor your parents to live in New Zealand permanently, you have two options: There is the Parent Retirement visa and the Parent Category visa.

Parent Retirement Visa

This option requires one parent to make a significant investment in New Zealand. They will need the following:

  • Invest $1 million over a span of 4 years;
  • They must possess an extra $500,000 to aid in their settlement;
  • They will need an annual income of $60,000;
  • Their sponsor must be a New Zealand Resident or Citizen who lives in New Zealand
  • Meet the standard Health and Character requirements

If one parent applies, they can bring their spouse with them. This visa is quite restrictive due to the financial requirements involved.

Parent Category Visa

Here, you sponsor your parents for residency. This is the main visa people use to sponsor their parents, and it’s the one most people think of.

This visa uses an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Essentially, your parent declares their eligibility and readiness to apply, then waits to be randomly selected. It’s a bit like putting a ticket into a box and waiting for Immigration New Zealand to draw your ticket. However, there's a yearly quota of only 2,500 applicants. Given the huge number of people who submit an EOI,  the selection process is lengthy and requires a lot of luck. EOIs are only valid for 2 years, meaning your parent may even need to submit an EOI again if they are lucky enough to be selected during that time.

Furthermore, the parent must demonstrate an English proficiency equivalent to an IELTS level 4, although they can pre-purchase ESOL education as an alternative.

The minimum income threshold for sponsorship is calculated based on various factors, including the number of parents being sponsored. The sponsor needs to meet a minimum income requirement, which is at least 1.5x the median wage. It increases by 0.5x if your partner helps you act as sponsor, and for every parent past the first one. For example, a couple sponsoring two parents will need 2.5x the median wage.

Finally, the applicant will also need to meet standard health and character requirements.

In conclusion, whether you opt for the Parent Retirement visa or the Parent Category visa, it's crucial to understand the requirements and complexities involved. They are both time-consuming visa applications so you will want to make sure you get it right the first time.

We would recommend you get professional assistance if you’re thinking of applying for these visas. Our team of experts would be more than happy to help you with your immigration needs.

We have taken care to ensure that the information given is accurate, however it is intended for general guidance only and it should not be relied upon in individual cases. Professional advice should always be sought before any decision or action is taken.