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You want to sponsor a family member or partner? 

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How can I bring my family to New Zealand?

There are several ways in which the families of New Zealand residents may apply for entrance to the country. Temporary visas can be provided for shorter visits – there are several temporary visa policies available, based on your relationship to the New Zealand citizen or resident.

Usually, a standard visitor’s visa will suffice in these cases; however, parents and grandparents of New Zealand citizens and residents can obtain multiple-entry visas, which enable them to enter the country several times over three years.

As with any other visa, general health and character requirements must be met before anyone is issued a visa allowing them to enter New Zealand.

Application under the Family category

Any recognised partner (opposite or same-sex) of a New Zealand citizen or resident, be it an officially sanctioned or de facto partnership, may apply for New Zealand residency.

Your partner must be eligible to sponsor you, meaning that they must be able to prove their immigration standards and meet certain character requirements.

In particular, sponsors and partners cannot have been convicted of domestic violence or a sexual crime.

What about dependent children?

If you are already a citizen or resident of New Zealand and wish to gain visas and/or residency for your children, you must be living permanently and lawfully in New Zealand, and be able to provide proof of your residency status.

Children must meet the same basic health and character requirements as all visa and residency applicants.

If your children were born before you established residency in New Zealand, you must declare them on your residency application if you hope to have them gain residency status in the future. Children must be totally financially dependent on an adult, though that adult does not necessarily have to be a parent.

Under recent changes to the family stream, young adult children aged 18 to 20 may be eligible for residence – even if they have a job in their home country – provided they are single, have no children and are included, or were declared, in their parents’ residence application.

How can I sponsor my parents?

Parents of an NZ resident or citizen wishing to obtain residency will first have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and then be invited to apply. Once they have received an invitation to apply, they may make a residence application. The parent category cannot be applied for without first receiving an invitation to apply.

The parent category is a two tier scheme where people can submit an EOI under either tier 1 or tier 2. Tier 1 has the first priority and has higher income and financial requirements than tier 2. Tier 2 EOI are only processed after tier 1 and applications lodged under the previous rules.

How to strengthen your case? Apply as a skilled migrant

Qualifying as a skilled migrant is one way to streamline the process. If you have skills, training, and/or experience in a field currently under-represented in New Zealand, or an exceptional and recognised ability in culture, the arts, or sports, you may qualify for a visa under this programme. Otherwise, a temporary work visa can be a first step towards establishing residency.

Begin the process now

Even if you are not yet a New Zealand resident, but are planning a permanent move and eventual residence there, you can start the process of bringing your family to join you.

There are a number of temporary visas available as a legal means to bring relations into New Zealand to join you, and if they prove themselves reputable, productive and law-abiding individuals, their application for residency is likely to be approved.