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Immigration NZ’s Parent Category restart: Just 2 percent chance of being selected

By Lincoln Tan Thousands are in queue to sponsor their parents to live in New Zealand


Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has announced August 8 as the day it will select expressions of interest (EOIs) from a queue of thousands wanting to sponsor their parents to move to New Zealand.

The agency said there are now 5000 in the queue since the announcement of the Parent Visa Category restart on October 12 last year vying for the annual approval of 500 visas.

Stephen Vaughn, INZ’s chief operating officer, said the category enabled New Zealand residents and citizens to sponsor their parents for residence in New Zealand to support skilled migration.

However, some immigration lawyers have criticised the low chance of success - saying with 500 visas equating to 250 expressions of interest, because each will have roughly two people, there’s only about a 2 per cent possibility of getting a visa. INZ has now announced it will be selecting from two sets of queues, those from before October 12 and another ballot for EOIs received after that date.

It did not say how many are in the first queue, but said it will be selecting “enough to reach 2000 visa approvals each year until there are no more EOIs remaining”.

“We select at least 400 EOIs from the queue at each selection. Before each selection, we decide if we need more than 400 based on the success rate from the previous selection,” INZ said on its website.

Selection will be done from the oldest EOIs first - some applicants have been waiting since November 3, 2014. For the ballot involving EOIs received from October 12, 2022, the selection will be random until the number reaches 500 visa approvals each year.

On August 8, INZ will select 200 EOIs from the ballot and to be included, expressions must be submitted before August 1, 2023. INZ announced on October 12 last year that the category, which was closed in October 2016, will be restarted.

Immigration lawyer Maricel Weischede said the suspension of the category had caused a significant void in reunification.

For the past seven years, the only pathway for parents of migrants to secure residency was through the Parent Retirement Visa.

To qualify, the parent applicant must invest at least $1 million into an “acceptable” New Zealand investment for four years and have access to an additional $500,000 of settlement funds and receive an annual income of at least $60,000.

However, Weischede said the annual quota of 500 was “way too few”.

Harris Gu, an immigration lawyer with Queen City Law says a better system would be to have a long-term visitor visa without stay restrictions for parents, just like Australia. Source: NZ Herald

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