There are a few options for people to join family in New Zealand. Most family visas require sponsorship from a New Zealand resident or citizen.
If you are looking to sponsor a partner or family member, we recommend speaking to a registered immigration adviser. They can help you put together a submission that is more likely to succeed.
What is a sponsorship?
If you want to move to New Zealand with your family (including children), you may need a sponsorship. There are a few different options for this, so it’s important to get advice from a Licensed Immigration Advisor before you apply.
You can be sponsored for many types of visas, including work and residence visas. In general, to be sponsored you need to show that you have a genuine relationship with your sponsor and that they will support you while you’re in New Zealand.
A sponsor can be a friend or family member, but they can also be a business or organisation. It’s important to remember that as a sponsor you are legally responsible for the person you are sponsoring. This includes paying their bills, if they need to, and making sure that they return home when their visa expires. You can find more information about sponsoring someone on the Immigration NZ website.
Who can sponsor someone to come to NZ?
Anyone can sponsor someone to come to New Zealand, though certain categories of visas are only available to those who meet specific criteria. You can find out more about who can be a sponsor on the Immigration website.
Sponsors are responsible for their sponsored family members while they’re in New Zealand, so it’s important to understand what that means before you sponsor someone. This includes paying any bills or debts they might incur in New Zealand, and ensuring that they meet their visa requirements.
If you’re in a relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident and want to bring them here permanently, you can apply for a Partner Visa(opens in new window). You’ll need to have been living together outside of NZ for at least 12 months. Immigration NZ will also require that you’ve been assessed by one of their panel doctors for health reasons. This can take time, so plan ahead! You can check your eligibility on our Partnership Visa Page.
How do I fill out a sponsorship form?
Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, your sponsor may need to complete an online or paper form. They will be asked to submit evidence of their income and other requirements. You will also need to submit your own application and supporting documents.
For example, if you are applying for a Partner of Student Visitor visa, your sponsor will need to provide a financial contribution towards your accommodation, health and travel costs. Similarly, if you are applying for a Parent & Grandparent Visitor visa, Immigration NZ will assess your sponsor’s ability to meet the cost of your care and support.
It is important to read the sponsorship guidelines carefully, and to double-check your work. A mistake could delay your application or even result in it being rejected. A professional immigration adviser can help you prepare your application and ensure it meets the required standards. Find an adviser near you.
What are my obligations as a sponsor?
There are a number of obligations you must keep as a sponsor. These are detailed on the Immigration NZ website.
You must ensure the sponsored visa holder takes part in the occupation, program or activity for which they were nominated. If you want to engage a sponsored visa holder in a different occupation, program or activity, you must lodge another nomination.
Sponsors can be New Zealand citizens or residents or non-New Zealand companies, incorporated societies and charitable trusts. However, they must genuinely intend to meet their sponsorship obligations and be able to pay for the student’s stay in New Zealand.
It is important that sponsors are aware of the potential risks involved in being a sponsor. These include being found to have breached their sponsor duties and being made liable for the student’s costs in New Zealand. It is also a breach of the law to provide false information on a sponsorship application. The penalties for doing so can be severe and could result in the sponsorship being cancelled.