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Immigration New Zealand announces changes to Parent Category visas

What is happening to the Parent Category?

In July 2012, new requirements for the Parent residence category will come into effect. The requirements include:

The need for people to submit an expression of interest (EOI) and to be invited to apply for residence before they are able to lodge a residence application.

The introduction of a two-tiered system in which people must meet one of two sets of requirements, as well as some generic requirements, in order to gain residence.

Changes to the requirements for the category (such as income, “centre of gravity”, and English language).

Parent Category closing temporarily

In addition to the changes, the Parent Category will close from 16 May 2012 until July 2012. People will not be able to lodge Parent Category applications during this time, however any applications (with all necessary documents) accepted for processing by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) on or before 15 May 2012 will be processed.

EOI system

After July 2012, people will be able to express their interest in applying for New Zealand residence under the Parent Category by completing the appropriate EOI form and submitting it to INZ, along with a NZ$420 fee. A branch for receiving EOIs will be confirmed at a later date.

EOIs will be entered into the Parent Category pool under either tier one or tier two, depending on the requirements they claim to meet. EOIs will be drawn from the pool every three months. After this, the people who submitted these EOIs will either be invited to apply for residence or have their EOIs declined.

Two tiered system

Unlike the previous Parent Category, the new Parent Category will have two tiers with separate requirements applying to each. Applications that meet the tier one criteria will be given priority processing. To gain residence, a person needs to meet the requirements for either tier one or tier two as well as the generic requirements for the category, such as family relationship, sponsorship, health and character. The requirements for each tier are outlined below.

New requirements

All applicants must meet the general requirements of family relationship (with their sponsor), and being of good health and character.

Tier one

– People applying under tier one must meet the following requirements:

They must have either:

a guaranteed life-time minimum income of $27,203 per annum for a single person or $39,890 per annum for a couple, or

minimum settlement funds of $500,000 which they bring to New Zealand, or

a sponsoring adult child who has an income of at least $65,000 per annum or $90,000 per annum when combined with the sponsor’s partner’s income, and

They must not have any dependent children, and

They must meet at least two competencies of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Level 4.0, meet an equivalent requirement or pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages tuition at a cost of $1,735.

Tier two

– People applying under tier two must meet all of the following requirements:

They must have a sponsoring adult child who has an income of at least $33,675 per annum.

If the applicants have other adult children, the children must all live lawfully and permanently outside the country in which the parents live.

They must not have any dependent children.

They must meet at least two competencies of IELTS Level 4.0, meet an equivalent requirement or pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages tuition at a cost of $1,735.

A “centre of gravity” requirement will no longer apply to the Parent Category.

Order of processing

Under the new Parent Category, priority will be given to tier one EOIs. Applications lodged before the close of the previous Parent Category will be processed second. Tier two EOIs will be processed after these.

Please note that the number of people who can be granted residence through the Parent Category each year is limited to approximately 4,000 people. This number is determined by the New Zealand Residence Programme and the number of people approved through other New Zealand residence categories.

People who have lodged Parent Category applications on or before 15 May 2012

People who lodged Parent Category applications with INZ on or before 15 May 2012, which are still being processed, will have an opportunity to submit an EOI under the new Parent Category if they wish. Such people will need to pay a fee to submit an EOI, but they will not need to pay an application fee should they be invited to apply for residence.

 

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