New Zealand offers a number of different parent visas that allow parents to join their families in NZ. Both are based on having at least one adult child living in NZ as a resident visa holder (or citizen). One requires a net worth or NZ$1.5m and an investment in NZ for four years of NZ$1m. The other is simply based on having at least one adult child resident here (this policy has been ‘temporarily closed’ since 2017….).
Parent Resident Visa NZ
This visa type allows parents to stay indefinitely in New Zealand if they are sponsored by their NZ citizen or NZ resident child. The visa allows parents to live, work and study in NZ. A partner can also be included in the application.
How To Apply For
A Parent Resident Visa?
An expression of interest needs to be submitted in order to apply for a parent resident visa. It needs to include the following details:
Your partner, if you have one
Your sponsors, including their income
By submitting an expression of interest (EOI), you will be entered into a selection pool. Applications are selected based on chronological order of filing. Only 1000 parent resident visas are issued every year which means processing times can be lengthy.
Parent Resident Visa
Meet health and character requirements
You must not have dependent children
Your sponsoring child must be a New Zealand citizen or resident, live in NZ and earn sufficient income to sponsor you
You must be the parent or legal guardian of the sponsoring child
Parent Resident Visa
Eligible Child Sponsors
Sponsors must be:
18+ years old
New Zealand citizens or residents for at least 3 years before prior to the application
Live in New Zealand for at least 184 days in each of the 3 years prior to the application
Able to meet your living expenses for the first 10 years
Able to provide tax statements as evidence of income
Sponsor Child’s Income
For the sponsor to be eligible they must meet minimum income thresholds which are based on the current New Zealand median income.
The median income generally increases year on year, and so the minimum requirements may also increase. Minimum income requirements need to be maintained for at least 2 of the last 3 years before the application is submitted.
Visitor Visa For Parents NZ
The Visitor Visa for parents, or Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa as it’s formally called, allows parents and grandparents to visit their children or grandchildren living in NZ. This visa allows stays of up to 6 months at a time to a maximum 18 months in any consecutive 3 year period. Partners can also be added to the application.
Parent Retirement Resident Visa
The Parent Retirement Resident Visa allows parents with an adult child who is a NZ citizen or resident to apply to live in New Zealand. The minimum financial requirements for this visa type are as follows: NZ$1 million to invest over 4 years, an additional NZ$500,000 (which does not need to brought to NZ) and a pre visa application annual income of at least NZ$60,000 (before tax).
Investments need to be moved to New Zealand within 12 months of approval. Once the 4-year investment period is complete, Parent Retirement Resident Visa holders will become eligible for permanent residence.
Australian Visas For Parents
Parents wanting to join children in Australia have a number of temporary and permanent resident visa options available.
For permanent residence they need to satisfy a balance of family test by having at least 50% of their children lawfully and permanently residing in Australia or more children are permanently residing in Australia than any other country.
Subclasses and alternatives
Contributory Parent Visa
(Subclass 143 Visa)
The Contributory Parent visa allows a parent of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen to move to Australia permanently. The subclass 143 visa requires at least AUD47,825 for sponsorship.
Contributory Parent Visa
(Subclass 173 Visa)
The Contributory Parent visa subclass 173 is similar to the Contributory Parent visa subclass 143 visa. The major difference is that the subclass 173 is a temporary visa that only allows a stay of up to 2 years. It requires a smaller contribution of AUD31,980, but still allows parents to apply for the subclass 143 visa at a later time.
This is another temporary visa that allows parents of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens to visit Australia. This visa allows for stays between 3-5 years but the visa can be extended for up to 10 years in total. The main purpose is to allow extended time in Australia whilst the permanent resident visa is processed. Stays of up to 3 years cost AUD5,090 and up to 5 years cost AUD10,180.
Parents with a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen are allowed to move to Australia permanently under this visa. The cost for the subclass 103 visa starts at AUD6,490. To be successful in the subclass 103 visa, you need to pass the balance of family test and meet certain health and character criteria.
This visa type can take many years to be processed, and the outcome must be decided when you are outside of Australia.
Aged Parent Visa
Contributory Aged Parent Visa
To reduce the waiting period, eligible aged parents may want to apply for the Contributory Aged Parent visa. This visa however will incur a larger application fee and an Assurance of Support bond. This visa allows aged parents to permanently move to Australia and enrol in Medicare. Costs start at AUD47,825.
As a general comment the advantage of filing an onshore application in Australia is that it confers bridging visa rights to applicants. Bridging visas enable applicants to remain lawfully in Australia whilst the parent residence visa is processed.