Parent Category applications are part of what is known as the 'Capped Family Stream' of the New Zealand Residence Program.

The current Parent Category was introduced on 30 July 2012. Potential applicants submit an Expression of Interest to Immigration New Zealand and must be invited to apply before a residence application can be submitted. This category is a two-tiered system. Residence is granted under the requirements of either Tier One or Tier Two.

Expression of Interest (Tier One)

Potential applicants submit an Expression of Interest form (INZ1202) and pay the Immigration New Zealand fee of NZ$420.

At the Expression of Interest stage you do not have to provide any documentation to support your claims. It is only once your Expression of Interest has been selected from the pool and you are invited to apply for residence that you will then need to provide the documentation to support your claims with your application.

Once your Expression of Interest is received by Immigration New Zealand it will be entered into the applicable pool in the order of the date it was received. Draws from the pool of Expressions of Interest happen every three months.

Once your Expression of Interest is drawn, it is given a credibility check by Immigration New Zealand before successful Expression of Interest applicants are sent an Invitation to Apply for a resident visa. 

The number of Expressions of Interest or applications selected from the pool in each draw is dependent on places available in the Capped Family stream of the New Zealand residence Program. Priority is determined as follows:

  1. Tier One Expressions of Interest
  2. Applications still to be processed under the former immigration instructions (i.e. the 'old' immigration instructions in existence prior to the current instructions which came into force on 30 July 2012).
  3. Tier Two Expressions of Interest.

Selections of Expressions of Interest under the Parent Category for 2014 are scheduled to take place in May, August and November. The number of places available in each selection draw depends on the number of places available under the New Zealand Residence Program. Between July 2011 and June 2014 there were 14,850 to 16,500 places allocated for the Capped Family Stream (which includes the Parent Category).

The Immigration New Zealand website indicates that the queue of Tier One Expressions of Interest is currently estimated to be six months.

Those Expressions of Interest not selected in one draw will remain in the pool available for selection for further draws.

Below is a brief summary of the main requirements under Tier One and Tier Two: 

Key Requirements

Tier One - you must meet ONE of the requirements below:

Tier Two - you must meet BOTH of the requirements below:


Have a sponsor (or sponsors partner) who earns NZ$65,000 per annum or whose combined income is $NZ90,000 per annum; OR

Have a sponsor (or sponsor's partner) who earns a gross income of at least NZ$33,675 per annum: AND


Have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of at least NZ$27,319 per annum or NZ$40,084 per annum if your partner is included in your application; OR

Have all your adult children living lawfully and permanently outside the country in which you (and your partner) live lawfully and permanently.


Bring in at least NZ$500,000 in settlement funds to New Zealand


No dependent children

Applicants under both categories must have no dependent children.

Health and Character

Applicants under both categories must meet health and character requirements 

NZ adult child sponsor

The sponsor must have been a NZ citizen or resident for at least three years and be otherwise eligible under the immigration instructions.


Once your Expression of Interest is Selected

Once your Expression of Interest is selected and you are invited to apply for residence you must lodge an application within four months of being invited to apply. If you do not, the invitation will lapse.

It is important you get your application right. Seeking help at the outset is an investment well worth making.

Written by Michelle Carabine at 09:00





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