Family Category Immigration to New Zealand


Partner Visa | Sibling and Adult Child Visa | Parents Visa

In order to cover the needs of the vast majority of our readers as quickly and efficiently as possible, we’re not going to consider family based immigration in any detail here – there are too many ifs and buts in the legislation to give you a quick, informal, one page summary.

There is a cap on the number of some family visas being issued. The Capped Family stream (which consists of Parent, and Sibling and Adult Child residence categories) is currently allocated between 14,850 and 16,500 places from July 2011 to June 2014.

Some of the family visas are listed below:

Partner visa

This visa is for partners of New Zealand citizens or residents who want to live in New Zealand. Further details are here.

Dependent child of a New Zealand resident visa

This visa is for children of New Zealand citizens or residents who want to join their parents in New Zealand. Further details are here.

Parents of New Zealand resident’s visa

This visa is for parents of New Zealand citizens or residents who want to join their children in New Zealand. This visa operates on an expression of interest (EOI) basis. EOI’s go into a pool and there is a pool draw every three months. There is an annual allocation of approximately 4,000 places for this visa.

Priority will be given to applicants (Tier One) who:

Have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of NZ$27,203 per annum for a single person or NZ$39,890 per annum for a couple, or

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

Have a sponsoring adult child who has an annual income of at least NZ$65,000, or NZ$90,000 when combined with their partner’s income.

Tier One applicants are not be subject to a “centre of gravity” test whereby the number of adult children in New Zealand need to be at least as many as the adult children in the home country.

The time taken to process this visa is estimated at 18 months.

Tier Two applicants must

Have a sponsoring adult child who has an income of at least NZ$33,675 per annum, and

Any other children the applicant has must live outside the country in which the applicant lives.

The time taken to process this visa is estimated at up to 7 years.

Sibling and Adult Child visa

Applications for the Sibling and Adult Child Category closed permanently at midnight on May 15 2012. Applications already received will continue to be processed.

Demand for this visa also currently outstrips supply and there is a delay of up to 2 years before you reach the top of the queue. Further details are here.

If you have any immediate family in New Zealand at all, it’s worth checking with the New Zealand Immigration Service to see whether you qualify for residence. This also applies if your partner is a New Zealander or Permanent Resident.


Comments

  1. The first selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Parent category took place on Thursday 16 August 2012. 595 EOIs were selected representing 1001 people. All completed Tier One EOIs accepted on or before 15 August 2012 were selected. No tier two EOIs were selected.

    Selection by nationality was as follows:
    China : 43%
    UK : 28%
    South Africa: 10%
    India: 6%
    Others: 19%

  2. wendy hinde says:

    Where are the results of the 16.11.12 draw please???

    • Hi Wendy,

      The results have not been released yet by NZ Immigration.

      • The figures for the second selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Parent category that took place on Thursday 16 November 2012 have been published. A total of 1,669 EOIs were selected, representing 2,763 people. All completed Tier One EOIs accepted on or before 16 November 2012 were selected. No tier two EOIs were selected.

        Selection by nationality was as follows:
        China : 43%
        UK : 16%
        South Africa: 11%
        India: 9%
        Others: 21%

        The next selection will take place on 15 February 2013.

  3. Penny Hartley says:

    As parents of a Scot resident in NZ, we wonder if our application for residency in NZ, lodged 6 months before the cut off date in May 2012, has in reality any chance of being looked at, at all, within our lifetimes, given that the new system will keep pushing us to the back of the queue ad infinitum. What are your comments on the situation regarding such applicants.

  4. Do you know if you can get citizenship or a residents visa through a NZ Partner/Wife of 12 years and NZ child even though i am not working/ living in the country. I spend 1-3 months of the year there just with my family at our home on holiday. for 10 years i have had a NZ bank account, owned rental property and my own home and paid tax on these. my work keeps me abroad most of the year but my money is spent in nz. Can i get Citizenship while still traveling aboard?

    • Hi Steve,

      There are a number of criteria you must meet to be able to obtain NZ citizenship. One of them is the presence test which states:

      ‘To be eligible for a grant of New Zealand citizenship you must have New Zealand residence.

      Residence means that Immigration New Zealand has allowed you to live in New Zealand indefinitely. You are required to have:
      1. Been present in New Zealand;
      • for at least 1,350 days with New Zealand residence during the 5 years immediately before you make your application; and
      • for at least 240 days with New Zealand residence in each of those 5 years; and
      2. Fully met any conditions imposed by Immigration New Zealand in regard to your New Zealand residence.’

      For the full requirements see this page:

      http://www.dia.govt.nz/Services-Citizenship-General-Requirements-for-a-Grant-of-New-Zealand-Citizenship

  5. The figures for the third selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Parent category that took place on 18 February 2013 have been published. A total of 962 EOIs were selected, representing 1,612 people. All completed Tier One EOIs accepted on or before 15 February 2013 were selected. No tier two EOIs were selected.

    Selection by nationality was as follows:
    China : 44%
    UK : 13%
    South Africa: 10%
    India: 10%
    Fiji: 6%
    Philippines: 4%
    Others: 13%

    The next selection will take place on 15 May 2013.

  6. Im planning to enrol my 14 year old in a school in Auckland, Can someone tell me if both parents are issued guardianship visa? or it just one? If its one, what option does the other have to get a visa?

  7. The figures for the fourth selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Parent category that took place on 16 May 2013 have been published. A total of 1,092 EOIs were selected, representing 1,830 people. All completed Tier One EOIs that were accepted on or before 16 May 2013 were selected. No tier two EOIs were selected.

    Selection by nationality was as follows:

    China : 47%
    UK : 12%
    South Africa: 9%
    India: 10%
    Fiji: 7%
    Philippines: 3%
    Others: 13%

    The next selection will take place on 15 August 2013.

What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.

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