Guide on Parent Resident Visa

With an eligible sponsoring child in New Zealand, you may qualify for residence under this category.
If you want to learn about Parent Resident Visa, you've come to the right place.
This guide has everything you need to understand the basics of Parent Resident Visa. You'll also find links to useful resources from our blog and video throughout, so you can plan your next steps.

What is it?

If you are a parent of a New Zealand resident or citizen, then you may be able to apply for family category visa NZ. Parents in particular are regarded as low priority for Immigration New Zealand, and it could take several years for Immigration New Zealand to process the application.

Let's take a look the Parent Resident Visa Category.

What are the requirements?

You may be eligible to apply for residence under this category if you have a child who is an "acceptable sponsor". You will need to apply under either ' Tier 1' or ' Tier 2'. Tier 1 allows you to progress relatively more quickly than Tier 2. Immigration New Zealand has indicated in the past that applications lodged under Tier 2 could take up to seven years until an immigration officer is allocated to the application.

Under Family (Parent), you will need to satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • meet general requirements; and
  • meet English language requirements; and
  • meet sponsor requirements; and
  • meet additional requirements.

Let's take a look at each in turn.


General requirements include paying correct application fee, using prescribed Immigration New Zealand form, meeting health/character requirements, and being a 'bona fide' (genuine) applicant. There is no age limit with this category, but you must not have any dependent children.

English language

You and your partner will need to provide evidence to show that you have English proficiency equivalent to an IELTS exam score of at least 4.0. Alternatively, you and your partner have the option of pre-purchasing ESOL training if they are unable to meet the English language requirement.

Sponsoring child

You must be sponsored by an adult child who is ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and is a New Zealand citizen and/or the holder of New Zealand residence visa for at least three years.

Additional requirements

In addition, if you are applying under Tier 2, your sponsor will not be an acceptable sponsor if he/she is receiving New Zealand Government benefit from Work and Income.

Different additional requirements apply depending on whether you are applying under Tier 1 or Tier 2. Please see below.

Tier 1 — additional requirements

If you are applying under Tier 1, you must meet any one of the following requirements:

  • sponsor's income; or
  • your guaranteed lifetime minimum income; or
  • your settlement funds.

Sponsor's income: your sponsor or their partner must earn a minimum of NZ$65,000 per year, or the sponsor and their partner jointly must earn a minimum of NZ$90,000 per year.

Your guaranteed lifetime minimum income: If you are the only applicant, you must have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of NZ$27,584 per year (about US$22,000). If your partner is also included, you and your partner must jointly have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of NZ$40,523 per year (about US$32,000).

Your settlement funds: You must transfer a minimum of NZ$500,000 (about US$390,000) to New Zealand. The funds should have been earned or acquired legally, and originate from your own bank account using normal banking system.

Tier 2 — additional requirements

If you are applying under Tier 2, you must meet both of the following requirements:

  • sponsor's income; and
  • location of your other adult children.

Sponsor's income: your sponsor or their partner must earn a minimum of NZ$33,675 per year. Your sponsor must not be receiving New Zealand government benefit from Work and Income.

Location of your other adult children: all of your adult children must live lawfully and permanently outside the country in which the applicant or applicants live lawfully and permanently. This means no adult children must remain in your country of origin, and have already gained citizenship or residence status in another country at the time of the application.

author headshot Michael Yoon
Guide last modified on 9 September 2023 by
Michael Yoon
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.

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From start to finish, with us, you can apply with confidence.
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