Information on retirement in New Zealand and the visa options
The New Zealand government has decided to temporarily close the Parent Resident visa.
This decision took effect on Monday, 7 October 2019, which means INZ is no longer accepting Expressions of Interest from this date.
The Parent Resident visa will open again in February 2020, but with new criteria for applicants and sponsors to meet.
How is the Parent Resident visa changing?
INZ is making a number of significant changes to the Parent Resident visa. These changes include:
- Limiting the number of people who can get the visa each year to 1000.
- Standardising the Expression of Interest process and removing the 2-tier system.
- Changing the financial requirements that sponsors and applicants have to meet.
Of all these changes, the financial requirement changes affect an applicant’s chances of joining their children the most. For this reason, we’ll discuss these changes in detail below.
The new financial requirements for sponsors and applicants
The Parent Resident visa’s new financial requirements can only be met through the income of the sponsor and their partner. Applicants will no longer have the option to apply for the visa based on their settlements funds or a guaranteed lifetime income.
The income levels that sponsors need to meet will also increase. In addition, sponsors will also need to:
- meet the income criteria for two out of the three years before their parents applied for residence, and
- provide evidence of their annual income by providing Inland Revenue tax statements.
What is the new income levels?
INZ will update the income levels for sponsors each year based on the New Zealand median income.
The current median income is NZD $53,040, which means the expected income levels for 2020 are as follows:
If your sponsorship is based on your personal income, you’ll need to each before tax:
- NZD106,080 to sponsor one parent – Twice the median salary.
- NZD159,120 to sponsor two parents – Three times the median salary.
If you’re using both you and your partner’s income, you’ll need to earn between the two of you:
- NZD159,120 to sponsor one parent – Three times the median salary.
- NZD212,160 to sponsor two parents – Four times the median salary.
What if you’ve already submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI)?
If you already have an EOI in the queue, you’ll have three choices:
- Update your EOI to meet the new requirements, or
- Withdraw your EOI, or
- Leave your EOI in the queue, if you think you’ll meet the new requirements.
INZ will publish more information on how to update your EOI by November. If you update your EOI or keep it in the queue, or submit a new EOI next year, it will be eligible for selection from May 2020.
If you decide to withdraw your EOI, you’ll be able to request a refund. Information regarding this is available on INZ’s website. Please contact your Intergate Emigration advisor to discuss this process if you lodged your EOI under the Parent Residence category as a client of ours.
What are the other available options?
The Parent Retirement visa offers temporary residency and could lead to permanent residency. You’ll have to be able to invest certain amounts in New Zealand.
The Parent and Grandparent Visitor visa on the other hand is a 3-year multiple-entry visa that enables you to stay in New Zealand for up to 6 months at a time.
Stay up to date with developments
Today we wanted to share some of the most frequently asked questions on this visa category.
What age must you be to qualify for New Zealand retirement?
The good news is that New Zealand doesn’t have an official age of retirement. This is extremely good news, as many countries have a set age for retirement purposes.
Who can qualify for the New Zealand state pension (Superannuation)?
In order to qualify you will need to meet certain requirements.
These requirements are:
• Being over 65 years of age.
• You will need to be a New Zealand permanent resident or citizen.
• Live in New Zealand when you apply.
• Have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you were aged 20 with 5 of those being after you attained the age of 50.
How do I know if I qualify for a pension?
Some people qualify for a pension from the New Zealand government. Other people qualify for a pension from overseas countries. It is even possible to qualify for both.
Even though other pensions may lessen your New Zealand benefit, it is very important for you to be honest and to declare the truth.
Who can provide me with additional information?
Should you require additional information with regard to your prospective pension and benefits, it is going to be within your best interest to contact The International Services Team, who will be able to advise you best and assist you further in this regard.
How do I apply?
By New Zealand law, you are eligible to apply for NZ Super, three months prior to turning 65. You can apply online by filling in the form on the Work and Income website.
I am considering New Zealand retirement
If you are considering New Zealand retirement, then it is going to be within your best interest to make use of a fully licensed immigration agent for New Zealand.
There is a vast amount of complicated information which may become confusing. It is going to be worth your while to go through the steps correctly with a qualified professional.
I want to start the New Zealand immigration process
Should you wish to begin your journey to New Zealand, then the best place to start is by booking an assessment with us or calling us on either+27 (0) 21 202 8200 (SA) or +44 (0) 2038 732150 (UK). If you prefer, you could instead send us an email.