Updates to the Skilled Migrant Resident Visa Category and Parent Resident Visa Category

Skilled Migrant Resident Visa Category

Skilled Migrant Category reopens

On 12 October 2022, the New Zealand government announced that selections of expressions of interest (EOIs) for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (SMC) will resume on 9 November 2022. On 9 November, INZ will select all EOIs in the pool with at least 160 points, which is the current minimum threshold. After 9 November, the threshold will increase to 180 points with the first selection under this threshold to occur on 18 January 2023.

Individuals wishing to apply for Residence under the Skilled Migrant Category are encouraged to consider applying in advance of the 9 November selection date.

Those who have submitted EOIs can proceed with updating their details, if required, to be included in the selection on 9 November 2022, or withdraw their EOI and request a refund from Immigration New Zealand.

EOIs submitted before 9 May 2022 that are not selected on 9 November 2022 will expire. They will not be reselected.

EOIs submitted on or after 9 May 2022 that are not selected will expire 6 months from the date of submission.

Applicants whose EOIs are selected and invited to apply for Residence under SMC will have four months to submit their completed application. Submissions will now be made online.

Existing 2021 Resident Visa applicants

INZ encourage those who have already applied for a 2021 Resident Visa to continue with their application, rather than applying for an SMC Visa as well. Currently, residence visa processing priorities are focused on completing the 2021 Resident Visa applications. INZ has committed to processing the vast majority of 2021 Resident Visa applications by June 2023.

Application fees

As a reminder, SMC application fees were increased earlier this year.

EOI: $590 (previously $530)
Resident visa application fee: $4,290 (previously $2,710)

The future of SMC

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is consulting on proposed new settings for the SMC to apply from mid-2023. New Era Consulting will be involved in this consultation process.

Parent Resident Visa Category

Parent Resident Visa restarts

Existing applicants

The Parent Resident Visa Category allows any New Zealand Resident or citizen who has lived here for at least 3 years as a Resident to sponsor their parent’s application for residence if they meet certain sponsorship criteria. EOI selections have been paused since 2016 to allow for a review of the Parent Category settings. It was set to restart in 2020, however, it was further paused due to the pandemic.

Selections of existing expressions of interest (EOIs) under the Parent Resident Visa Category will restart from 14 November 2022 and selections are planned for every three months after that. INZ will select enough EOIs to approve 2,000 visas a year under the Parent Category. EOIs will be selected in date order, with the oldest EOIs selected first.

INZ appreciate things may have changed for many families since they submitted their EOIs, and they want to make sure they are aware of the options available to them.

INZ will contact people who have made an EOI to advise of the changes and to provide an opportunity to update or withdraw their EOI and to request a refund. People who withdrew their EOI after the previous income thresholds were announced for this visa category will be invited to resubmit their EOI.

The number of visas that can be granted each year will increase from 1,000 to 2,500 from July 2023. The income threshold required for sponsors has also been lowered. This means more people will be able to bring their parents to join them in New Zealand.

There are many EOIs already in the queue. Once selections resume it may take time for INZ to provide an accurate estimation of processing timeframes. These will be added to the INZ website when available.

New Expressions of Interest

INZ can now accept new EOIs and are moving to an online process for submitting EOIs in May 2023. From 12 October 2022, new EOIs will be entered into a ballot. The first ballot will be held in August 2023.

In total 500 EOIs each year will be randomly selected from the ballot. EOIs stay in the ballot for 2 years, so people interested in the Parent Category may wish to submit their EOI closer to the first selection in August next year.

EOIs that have not been selected from the ballot will expire after 2 years. The person will need to submit a new EOI and pay the fee to be entered into the ballot if they would like to be considered for future selection.

We appreciate that there is a lot of information to digest regarding the latest updates from INZ, so if you have any questions on the updates provided or would like to discuss the new changes further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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