Wealth related delays introduced for immigrants parents
Less wealthy New Zealand immigrants hoping to sponsor their parents’ residency visas will now have to wait for seven years before their applications reach the processing stage.
Immigration New Zealand’s parent category was briefly closed mid-May and has now reopened with a two tier system. Under the new rules, applications from wealthy migrants will take priority over those from less well-off applicants.
Similarly, the huge backlog of applicants hoping to sponsor their parents’ visas who applied just before the closure of the old system will be placed at the back of the queue and forced to wait until there are spare places. The estimated waiting time is at least five years.
To cut the average processing time to 18 months, those wishing to sponsor their parents must be earning at least $65,000 a year or bring an amount of $500,000 into the country. Since the changes took effect, 230 applications for Tier 1 have been placed, against only 16 for Tier 2.
Almost half the Tier 1 applications came from China, 25 percent were from the UK, and 75 per cent of the Tier 2 applications were also from China. Kathy Lin, a Chinese immigrant whose husband had lodged an application for his parents, said a wait of five to seven years was unfair and ridiculous.
She told the NZ Herald her parents-in-law were now in their 70s and might well die before the application is reviewed. She added the reason why they wanted to sponsor them was to spend quality time with them before it was too late. Mrs Lin was advised that INZ had told her that a payment of $420 would jump the applicat
ion to Tier 1. She said she could not proceed as she only has a part time job, adding that if her parents-in-law were here to help with her two children, her wages from a full-time job would meet the Tier 1 requirements.
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