Immigration Updates

07 October 2019 – Parent Resident Visa  – Re-opening Feb 2020

Just in and what most people have been waiting for, is the re-opening of the Parent Resident Visa Category.

There will be changes to the current requirements and EOI’s (Expression of Interest) will only be accepted once the category opens with selection starting in May 2020.

To be an eligible sponsor, you must hold a resident visa for at least three years [ or be a citizen].

The category is also capped at  1000.  

Single Sponsor Current Requirement New Income Threshold
1 parent NZD $65,000 NZD $106,080 Twice the median salary
2 parents NZD $65,000 NZD $159,120 Three times the median salary
Sponsor and Partner Current Requirement New Income Threshold
1 parent (joint income) NZD $90,000 NZD $159,120 Three times the median salary
2 parents (joint income) NZD $90,000 NZD $212,160 Four times the median salary
Guaranteed lifetime income of 1 applicant or a couple NZD $28,166 or NZD $41,494 NOT required
Settlement funds NZD $500,000 Not available in the new category




Less than 24 hours ago,  the Minister of Immigration announced the details of the employer-led temporary visa application system.  These changes will be rolled out over a 18 month period.

We will see a three-phase rollout starting 07 October 2019 followed by mid 2020 changes and finally 2021 where employers are targeted.

Below is a summary of what to expect:

Visa Category Change Effective Date Advice/Comments


Work to Residence -(Accredited Employer) Annual salary increases from $55,000 to $79,560 ( based on a 40 hour week) 07 October 2019 You can apply for this visa up unto 06 October 2019
Residence From Work (Accredited Employer) Removal of a Permanent residence visa if you earn +$90,000 p.a. 07 October 2019 You will still obtain a Resident Visa. You will need to show further commitment to New Zealand for a further 2 years (4 years in total)
Employer Accreditation Only allowing employers accreditation with INZ for 24 months 07 October 2019 The removal of accreditation for a 5 year period. Employers will have to re-apply after 24 months.


Sector Agreements introduced Negotiations start October 2019 for sector of Residential Care and Meat processing.

Dairy, Forestry, Road/Freight Transport, Tourism and Hospitality start negotiations by 2020.


Mid -2020 – first two sector agreements will be announced.

The remaining four sectors will be addressed from mid 2020.

Essential Skills Work Visa Skill-levels and wages.   ANZSCO will not be used determine rate of pay.

High-paid jobs will be defined as “at or above” median wage.

Low-paid jobs will be below median wage.

Mid -2020 High-paid jobs will be issued with a 3-5 year visa.

Low-paid jobs will still be issued with a one year work visa. This will be dependent on the region they are employed in.  This will include all applicants earning less the Median Wage.

The median is currently at $25 p/hour which is reviewed and amended every November.

Essential Skills Work Visa Low-paid applicants will be able to support their family’s visas. They must however meet the minimum income threshold. Mid -2020 They will be issued a 12-month visa, with a maximum stay of three years. They will have a stand-down period of 12 months, after the three years.


There is no certainty of remaining in New Zealand longer than three years.


1.     Essential Skills Work Visa

2.     Essential Skills Work Visa – Approval in Principle

3.     Talent (Accredited Employer)

4.     Talent (LTSSL)

5.     Silver Fern Job Search

6.     Silver Fern Practical Experience

Six visa categories will be scrapped By 2021 TBC – a new visa system will be introduced.


This will also change the landscape of the Residence Category.

Mandatory Employer Accreditation All employers looking to employ migrants will require accreditation from INZ By 2021 There will be three types of accreditation on offer.


Previous Posts

  1. Remuneration threshold changes for Skilled Migrant Category and Essential Skills Work Visa Holders – effective 26 November 2018
  2. Post-study work rights for international students – effective 26 November 2018
  3. New Immigration New Zealand Visa Fees – effective 5 November 2018
  4. Minimum Income Threshold changes to Samoan quota scheme, Essential skills and Religious workers, and Tier One Parent Category – 31 May 2018
  5. Seasonal Labour Shortage – Bay of Plenty – 7 May 2018
  6. 3 Day Processing for Indian Visitor Visas – 3 May 2018
  7. Parent Category – FAQs – 2 May 2018
  8. Remuneration Threshold – Changes to the Skilled Migrant and Essential Skills policy – effective 15 January 2018
  9. Part 2 – Tom and Sophia’s Journey
  10.  Essential Skills in Demand List – Effective February 2018
  11.  Parent Category Update for 2018

If you have concerns on your current work visa status or would like to talk to us about your pathway to residence, feel free to contact us.