Updated information – November 2023

On 12 October the Minister of Immigration Hon Michael Wood-announced the reopening of the Residence Parent Category which has been on hold for a number of years. Immigration New Zealand will resume selecting existing Expressions of Interest (EOIs) on 14 November 2022. A selection for new EOI’s will be made in August 2023. This will be on a random draw basis.

Minimum requirements

To be eligible

  • The parent must have an adult dependent child who is a New Zealand  resident or citizen and no dependent children.
  • Sponsors must meet the minimum time in New Zealand rule (at least 3 months per year for 3 years as a citizen or resident)
  • The new sponsor income requirement of 1.5 median wage for one parent and 2x median wage for two parents.  Medium wage for immigration purposes is currently $27.76 per hour, so the annual requirement is $86,612. However for two parents, a combined sponsor income of $115,481.60 is needed. On 27thFebruary 2023 when median wage goes up to $29.66/hour and income thresholds will increase accordingly. For full details of the sponsor income requirements please see


  • Two adult children, not just an adult child and their partner, can now jointly sponsor a parent
  • For those who are selected there are lengthy sponsor obligations (currently 10-years) to avoid parents accessing welfare benefits.


Applicants must still meet normal health and character requirements. Health requirements can be quite relevant for this group.  There are certain conditions which are deemed to be an unacceptable burden on New Zealand health services regardless of insurance or willingness of the sponsor to cover medical costs.

In other instances, where conditions are not listed, an individual included in the application will also fail the good health requirement where the following applies:

  • In the case of acute medical conditions, there is a relatively high probably that the condition or group of conditions will require health services costing in excess of NZ$81,000.00 within a period of five years from the date the assessment is made; or
  • In the case of chronic recurring medical conditions, over the predicted course of the condition or group of conditions, there is a relatively high probability that the condition or group of conditions will require health services costing in excess of NZ$81,000.00; or
  • There is a relatively high probability that the applicant’s medical condition or group of conditions will require health services for which the current demand in New Zealand is not being met (irrespective of actual service costs).

If you think this could be an issue we can advise before you put in the Expression of Interest.

Temporary visa options for parents?

There are no temporary visas issued while waiting for the draw but there are temporary visa options including a multiple entry Parent/Grandparent visitor visa and an Investment visa option ( 2 year temporary  parent retirement visa) Contact our office for more details.

Lodging an EOI

The ballot is now open for physical application forms lodging these now is not advisable- you will miss a  second opportunity.  It currently costs $550 to lodge a ballot. From May 2023 these will become electronic and the advice is to wait until then. The draw is random (not in date order).

For those lucky winners the actual residence application fee if Invited to Apply (ITA)  will be NZD $2,750 (onshore) or NZD $3,610 (offshore)

How many places

The initial draw will include 500 places in August 2023 although the maximum number of places in future will be 2500.  This is because Immigration New Zealand is working through a huge backlog of past Expressions of Interest which is expected to take 3 to 4 years to clear at 2000 places a year.   There are likely to be many thousands of  Expressions of Interest vying for the 500 new places.  Essentially this is a lottery.

The Expression of Interest stays in the pool for 2 years.   There is no rush to get an Expression of Interest in but If eligible we would advise you to put an expression of interest in next May ( for the August draw) so that it stays in for 2 draws.

Other options for parents and grandparents who have assets

There is another resident option, the parent retirement visa is available for parents who have NZ$1 million to invest for four years, $500,000 in funds for support and an annual income of $60,000 per year.  As with the Parent Category, an adult New Zealand child is required to support the application.

Pacific Legal has extensive experience with all sorts of parent visas. Contact our office  for advice on the best option for you.

Richard small


14 November 2022