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
On 7 October 2019, a number of visa changes are coming into effect in New Zealand. These changes affect the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa and the Silver Fern Job Search Visa.
Three major changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
Immigration New Zealand are making three changes to the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa. They are:
- Increasing the annual salary limit from NZD55,000 to NZD79,560,
- Removing the option to get a Permanent Resident Visa if applicants apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa, and
- Limiting the amount of time employers can be accredited to 24 months.
Increasing the minimum salary
The new minimum salary applies to all Talent (Accredited Employer) Work visas INZ receives from 7 October, regardless of when the employer became accredited.
The new salary of NZD79,650 is based on a 40-hour week, or NZD38,25 per hour. If your job is for more than 40 hours a week, you must earn at least NZD38,25 an hour.
Should you the salary you’ll receive fall short of the new minimum required, you could apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa instead.
Removing the option to get a Permanent Resident Visa
From 7 October, if you do not have a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa or a current application, you’ll no longer be able to get a permanent residency if you apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa.
At the moment it is possible to apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa if you’re earning NZD90,000 or more a year. This resident visa then offers a Permanent Resident Visa.
If you applied for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa before 7 October and receive your visa, you’ll still be able to apply for Permanent Resident Visa later.
Limiting employer accreditation to 24 months
As of 7 October, employers who apply for accreditation can only be accredited for 24 months before having to reapply. This limit is to allow for some changes INZ are making to the way employers recruit workers from overseas.
Permanent closure of the Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa
The Silver Fern Job Search Visa offers open work visas for young, qualified people who intend to find skilled employment in New Zealand.
Usually INZ accepts applications for this visa on an annual basis, but INZ is permanently closing applications for the Silver Fern Job Search Visa on 7 October.
If you already hold a Silver Fern Job Search Visa, don’t worry – you are not affected by the closure and your visa conditions stay the same. You can also still apply for a Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
More changes coming in the next two years
The New Zealand Minister of Immigration has announced their intention to introduce a number of other changes from now until 2021. The biggest change is INZ’s intention to replace six existing work visas with one new temporary work visa.
You can read more about all the planned changes on our blog.
Get in touch if you need assistance with your visa application
As emigration to new Zealand becomes more and more complex, let us guide you through the best options for your visa application.
If you are serious about emigrating and are ready to talk, you can book your formal assessment with one of our licensed emigration advisers.
Book your telephone consultation here. You’ll get an email from one of our team members explaining the next steps.
After all, these neighbours are both great countries – breathtaking natural scenery, enviable outdoor lifestyles, friendly people… And let’s not forget that both countries are sports mad.
When two countries appear so similar, how do you choose? How do you know which country is the best for your family?
Here’s the good news – Intergate is going to give you the information you need to make your choice. The areas we’ll delve into are:
- How far your money will go.
- The standard of education and healthcare.
- The lifestyle.
- Happiness, safety and general satisfaction.
Let’s get straight to it.
How far will my money go?
The living costs in New Zealand vary between the two islands, with the South Island being much cheaper than the North Island. Furthermore, living costs also vary per region on each island.
When compared to Australia, you’ll find that on average your living costs in New Zealand will be more or less on par with its bigger neighbour.
New Zealand does however have fewer and less expensive taxes than Australia. Australia is known as a high-tax country.
Let’s take buying and owning a car in Australia as an example:
In Australia all vehicle purchases, including second-hand, carry stamp duty tax and the cost of registrations are considerably more than in New Zealand. Insurance is also more expensive and there are a number of tolls across Australia.
Australian salaries are higher than New Zealand salaries though. This is in part thanks to the immense economic growth the country experienced in the 2000s.
Here’s our suggestion to get a good estimate of the living costs in your preferred region, city or town – find out what the average salary is for your occupation and then investigate the living costs of the area.
What is the standard of education and healthcare?
You’ll be happy to hear that you and your family will benefit from superb education and healthcare systems:
The New Zealand education system puts the student at the center of everything it does. The mission is to teach children to:
- Problem solve;
- Process information;
- Work with others; and
- Create and innovate;
- All while keeping an open mind about learning and teaching techniques.
This is most likely why 15-year old students in New Zealand consistently performed above average for reading, mathematical and scientific literacy in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment.
Over in Australia, the world-renowned Qualifications Framework guarantees that schools, as well as tertiary education institutions, are government authorised and accredited.
Further to this, Australian schools have:
- Small classes;
- University-trained and qualified teachers;
- Specialist teachers in subject areas; and
- Additional learning support for children who need it.
New Zealand has an excellent public healthcare system. So much so that most residents choose not to join private health insurers. Those who do, join a private healthcare insurer for the added benefits.
Australia also have both a public and private healthcare system. The public healthcare system is funded through Medicare and gives people access to free or subsidised medical services and care.
Once you become a permanent resident, you’ll also start contributing towards Medicare.
What is the lifestyle like?
We already mentioned that both countries are sports mad and love outdoor activities.
Scratching beneath the surface reveals that New Zealanders have a ‘life is for living’ ethos. They believe that a good day’s work should be balanced with time for family and friends as well as the many opportunities the great outdoors offers.
In fact, New Zealand ranked number 6 out of 45 countries world-wide in the 2017 Expat Explorer Survey for work-life balance.
It helps that New Zealand has smaller, less crowded cities and towns. This makes commuting to and from work a breeze. You can leave for work at a decent hour in the morning and get home in the evening with ample time left for spending with your family or friends.
Australians, on the other hand, work a lot harder. Despite working conditions being regulated to be fair, with maximum working hours and minimum leave entitlements, many Australian employees put in much more than the set standard of 48 hours a week.
This is not uncommon however for a country with big cities and big corporates. The upside to this is that more job and business opportunities are up for grabs.
What’s the happiness, safety and general satisfaction like?
We gathered some stats from people who know:
In the latest World Happiness Report both New Zealand and Australia were in the top 10 happiest countries in the world. New Zealand beat Australia by coming in at number 8 but Australia wasn’t far behind in the number 9 spot.
The 2018 Global Peace Index compared 163 countries, by looking at the risk of personal violence, to find the safest country in the world.
Australia came in at number 13 on the Index. New Zealand? It’s the second safest country in the world.
(In case you were wondering, Iceland was number 1.)
For their Better Life Index, the OECD asks people to rate how satisfied they are with their lives on a scale from 0 to 10.
So now you have the answers to that burning ‘should I move to New Zealand or Australia’ question
From the information above it’s clear that it’s a tight race though:
…Both New Zealand and Australia offer your family excellent healthcare and education systems.
…Residents from both countries are satisfied with their lives.
…New Zealand is considered safer but Australia offers more opportunities.
There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ place here.
Let us not forget however…
Your journey will ultimately depend on your family’s eligibility for New Zealand or Australian visas.
If you qualify for both countries, as some people do, lucky you! Then you’ll be able to pick and choose the country that’s the best fit for you and your family.
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