Problems following the closure of the Parent category, solutions are sometimes found

With the suspension of the Parent category of New Zealand Residence in October 2016, a problem has arisen for many. Since then, we have been asked to assist in a number of situations, to find a way for an elderly parent to remain in New Zealand with their adult children.

We have helped in a number of interesting situations, with outcomes as described below.

  1. Elderly parent brought to New Zealand as a Visitor prior to the closure of the Parent category in October 2016, but unable to apply under that category due to its closure, and unable to return to their home country due to their age and condition. They became unlawful in New Zealand after their Visitor Visa expired.  A Humanitarian appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal against deportation liability was successful, and Residence was granted.
  2. Elderly parent brought to New Zealand as a Visitor before the Parent category closed.  A Parent category Expression of Interest (“EOI”) was made, and an Invitation to Apply for Residence was issued.  However, the Residence application could not be filed within the required timeframe.  Then the selection of EOIs under the Parent Category was closed so that a new Residence application was no longer possible.  They became unlawfully in New Zealand when their Visitor Visa expired.  Unfortunately, a section 61 request for Residence was unsuccessful.
  3. Elderly parent brought to New Zealand as a Visitor after husband passed away in the home country, just before the Parent category was suspended in October 2016. Due to a decline in health, they were unable to return to their home country and became unlawful in New Zealand when their Visitor Visa expired.  A request for a Visa was made to the Minister of Immigration (under the previous National Government).  The Associate Minister of Immigration granted a 3 year Visitor Visa, subject to usual health and character requirements being met.
  4. An application under the Parent Category for an elderly parent was made prior to the closure of the category, and the family brought them to New Zealand as a Visitor while the application was in processing.  The application was placed in a queue and further processing was not expected until late 2018 or early 2019.  In the meantime, they had already stayed as a Visitor for the maximum allowed period of 9 months in the last 18 months.  We made an application for a further Visitor Visa as an exception to instructions, and a 6 month Visitor Visa was granted to allow them to wait out a decision on their Residence without having to make the long flight home.

These situations all involved slightly different solutions to the problem presented.  They show that where some creative lawyering is applied, success in difficult situations can be achieved.  Each case is dependent on its own facts.  It is critical to draw out the most compelling aspects, not only of the parent’s own situation, but also of their family both in New Zealand and overseas.  And we can’t necessarily win them all.

As at January 2018, the selection of Parent category EOIs remains on hold.  Just before the Election, the Labour Party representative at the Annual Conference of NZAMI indicated that they would, if elected, look afresh at when it might be reopened.  We expect nothing more on this front until after the new Immigration Ministers have come to grips with their new portfolios.

This entry was posted in Business, Citizenship, Immigration Appeals, Immigration Industry, Immigration Problems, Immigration Visas, Politics, Practice of Law. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Problems following the closure of the Parent category, solutions are sometimes found

  1. Azaria says:

    INZ announced at some point that a new policy for Parents Visa category will be revealed before June 2018, however nothing happened, and although the deadline is behind us there is no discussion on this subject. When do you think the government will address this issue?


  2. Eleanor Da Fonseca says:

    Same question as above. My parents submitted an EOI before the category closed and are in the queue since Feb 2016. I have been awaiting an update for the past 2 years with a lot of my life plans on hold due to the application with absolutely no update even though June 2018 was the date given to us. Could someone shed some light on what is happening? Much appreciated.


    • We do not yet know how and when the Parent category might be reopened. In recent speeches the Minister has indicated that he is aware of concerns in the community, but he has given no promises about how long it will take to decide what to do with the Parent policy.


      • Eleanor says:

        Are you able to provide the name of the Minister? The review and announcement regarding the category was meant to be in June 2018 – I’m unclear why several months later there still is no update and no new date for announcement given. Are there any channels to push back? Any help is much appreciated.


      • The Minister is Hon. Iain Lees-Galloway, which is publicly available information.


  3. Cheryl Christopher says:

    Very similar question to the two above. I recall meeting you Simon just after the announcement was made to close the parent category and several announcements on the INZ website state that it will be reviewed and reopened by the end of 2018. We’re at that point now, and nothing seems to have happened. Is the minister even aware that this prolonged closure and non communication is impacting legal tax paying residents and citizens who only want to have their families close to them.
    Will this category ever open because I have two small children who would like to have a relationship with their grandparents.


    • Eleanor says:

      Hi Cheryl, I am appalled by the lack of communication. A closure for 2 years with absolutely no forewarning was bad enough but not making an announcement 6 months (and counting) after that feels like a massive let down. Are you aware of any channels to make contact and get an update on what is happening? I have written so many forums and emailed party members with no response. Any ideas would be much appreciated!


    • Actually as we speak there is a petition to reopen the category. This petition is collecting signatures, and already accumulated over 5000 of supporters. The most proactive thing you can do is to sign the petition on the NZ Parliament website, convince as many people as you can to sign the petition as well, and write to your local MP to support this petition to remove the moratorium on Parents Category Immigration visa


      • Eleanor says:

        Hi Azaria, that’s exactly what I was looking for? Are you able to post the link here so others who visit the page can see and sign it as well?


  4. I think we all have same concerns on the closure of Parent Category visa. I just come to know the situation once I completed my SFV application (It’s not approved yet though). Nevertheless I hope there will be an update on this soon since this surely impacts on personal’s life.


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