New Zealand reopens 'Parent visa': What other countries offer this?

Published on 2019-02-21 at 11:23 by Anne-Lise Mty
Will New-Zealand reopen the parent visa category? The New-Zealand government could be making a decision in favor of this very soon. Indeed, according to the NZ Herald, there is a backlog of approximately 6000 applications dating back to 2016 when this category was closed. What is a parent visa and where else in the world can you apply for one? Let's find out.

A decision should be made in the first half of this year This was announced by Iain Lees-Galloway, Immigration minister in early february this year. Indeed, parents of New-Zealand citizens or expats in New-Zealand will soon be able to apply for visa in order to live with their children. In 2016, a backlog of 6000 applications had caused the closing of this category.

What is a parent visa?

A parent visa, although the name differs depending on the country is a visa that allows the reunion of a citizen or a resident of the country and their parents living outside of the country. The visa can take many forms, allowing the new residents to work or requiring some sort of investment. In New Zealand, however, this visa only allows parents to stay in the country for up to 6 months at a time. A visitor on a parent visa cannot work while in New Zealand, but they can, however, fly in and out of the country as they please and their partners are also eligible for this permit.

Where else can one apply for a parent visa?

Parent visas are available in different forms in different countries of the world. The requirements and the conditions of the visa differ from country to country.


Australia is a the latest country to have established a parent visa. The country has, indeed, only last year passed the necessary amendments to the Migration Bill to be able to create a parent visa category. The aim being to allow families to reunite and bring more visitors to the country. This visa had been extensively lobbied for by expatriate communities in Australia. To be eligible for this visa, one needs to have a child who is either an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand Citizen who has been living in the country for two years prior to the application. Parents also been a sponsor to be able to apply. At first, the parent visa will allow a holder to live in Australia as a temporary resident for two years but this can be converted to a permanent resident.


Canada has two types of parent visas. The first and temporary one is called the Super visa and is opened to parents and grandparents of a Canadian citizen or of a permanent citizen of Canada. It allows multiple entry for up to 10 years and individuals can stay for up to two years at a time. The child needs to guarantee that they will be able to financially support their parents.

On the other hand, parents and grandparents can also reunite with their children through the Parents and Grandparents Program. Requirements are higher for this program because it will allow a holder to reside and work in the country. Expression of interest for this program in Canada opened on 28th of January and canadian authorities have seen 100, 000 individuals trying to get through.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, a parent can only obtain a visa if their child is under 18 who is a British citizen or is a permanent resident who has lived in the UK for seven consecutive years. Parents of children this age will also be expected to show an active role in their child's upbringing and be able to prove that they take them to school or attend parent evenings and also take them to the dentist. The visa is only granted for 2.5 years the first time but can be extended.


The German government support reuniting families and have a special Family Reunion Visa. These are open to parents of third country national who are residing in Germany but only if they're citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the European Free Trade Association. Family members or partners can all apply for this visa and will be allowed to live and work in Germany without needing a separate work or residence permit.