The new parent category visa that has been temporarily suspended by the previous National government before being reopened by the Coalition government in an announcement made in October 2019 will start taking new applications from February 24. 

The category will have a capping of 1000 people 

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway had opened the parent category visa, in one of the most anxiously awaited decisions on immigration ever since forming the government in 2017. 

However, the announcement then was seen by many anxious skilled migrants as a wall to their desire of looking after their parents while they live and work in New Zealand – a fact vigorously contested by the government. 

Mr Lees-Galloway had then said that the reopening of the category was a step forward as it removed anxiety for more than 6000 applicants who remained in limbo in the queue as Immigration New Zealand had continued to accept the expression of interests despite a suspension on the visa-category. 

Notably, under the new policy, a single person wanting to sponsor one parent will need to be earning twice the median income which is $104,000 a year, whereas couples wanting to sponsor one or both of their parents will have to be earning between $159,000-$212,000. 

The children wanting to sponsor their parents in New Zealand will need to show this level of earnings for the previous three consecutive years of filing the visa.