Family Category

Overview

If you are a partner, dependent child, or a parent of a New Zealand resident or citizen, then you may be able to apply for New Zealand residence under this category. Parents in particular are regarded as low priority for Immigration New Zealand, and it could take several years for Immigration New Zealand to process the application.

Let's take a look at each of the sub categories, i.e. partnership, parent, dependent child.


Family (Partnership) Category

If you have a "genuine and stable relationship" with a New Zealand resident or citizen, then you may be able to apply for residence under this category. You will need to have lived together for at least 12 months, and your relationship with your sponsoring partner must be genuine and stable.

Regardless of whether you have been living together for several years, or have children from the relationship, Immigration New Zealand will still want to see documents that will back up your claim, so ensure that you keep a record of relevant paperwork.

Under Family (Partnership), you will need to satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • meet general requirements; and
  • meet relationship requirements; and
  • meet sponsor requirements.

Let's take a look at each in turn.

Family (Partnership) — general requirements

General requirements include paying correct application fee, using prescribed Immigration New Zealand form, meeting health/character requirements, and being a 'bona fide' (genuine) applicant.

Family (Partnership) — relationship requirements

You must have been living together with your sponsoring partner for at least 12 months in a partnership that is genuine and stable. It is not a requirement that you be married to the sponsoring partner. The term 'partnership' includes legal marriages, civil unions and de facto relationships.

Family (Partnership) — sponsoring partner requirements

Your sponsoring partner must satisfy the following requirements:

  • must not have acted as a partner in more than one previous successful residence class visa application (whether as principal applicant or as partner); and
  • must not have acted as a partner in a successful application for a residence class visa (whether as principal applicant or as partner) in the five years immediately preceding the date the current application is made; and
  • the New Zealand partner cannot, in the seven years prior to the date the application is made, have been the perpetrator of an incident of domestic violence which has resulted in the grant of a resident visa to a person under the category for victims of domestic violence; and
  • must meet general character requirement.

Get advice

Many issues that you were not aware of could surface when you lodge a Family residence application, so it will be worth getting proper advice and guidance from the beginning.


Family (Parent) Category

You may be eligible to apply for residence under this category if you have a child who is an "acceptable sponsor". You will need to apply under either ' Tier 1' or ' Tier 2'. Tier 1 allows you to progress relatively more quickly than Tier 2. Immigration New Zealand has indicated in the past that applications lodged under Tier 2 could take up to seven years until an immigration officer is allocated to the application.

Under Family (Parent), you will need to satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • meet general requirements; and
  • meet English language requirements; and
  • meet sponsor requirements; and
  • meet additional requirements.

Let's take a look at each in turn.

Family (Parent) — general requirements

General requirements include paying correct application fee, using prescribed Immigration New Zealand form, meeting health/character requirements, and being a 'bona fide' (genuine) applicant. There is no age limit with this category, but you must not have any dependent children.

Family (Parent) — English language requirements

You and your partner will need to provide evidence to show that you have English proficiency equivalent to an IELTS exam score of at least 4.0. Alternatively, you and your partner have the option of pre-purchasing ESOL training if they are unable to meet the English language requirement.

Family (Parent) — sponsoring child requirements

You must be sponsored by an adult child who is ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and is a New Zealand citizen and/or the holder of New Zealand residence visa for at least three years.

In addition, if you are applying under Tier 2, your sponsor will not be an acceptable sponsor if he/she is receiving New Zealand Government benefit from Work and Income.

Family (Parent) — additional requirements

Different additional requirements apply depending on whether you are applying under Tier 1 or Tier 2. Please see below.

Tier 1 — additional requirements

If you are applying under Tier 1, you must meet any one of the following requirements:

  • sponsor's income; or
  • your guaranteed lifetime minimum income; or
  • your settlement funds.

Sponsor's income: your sponsor or their partner must earn a minimum of NZ$65,000 per year, or the sponsor and their partner jointly must earn a minimum of NZ$90,000 per year.

Your guaranteed lifetime minimum income: If you are the only applicant, you must have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of NZ$27,584 per year (about US$22,000). If your partner is also included, you and your partner must jointly have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of NZ$40,523 per year (about US$32,000).

Your settlement funds: You must transfer a minimum of NZ$500,000 (about US$390,000) to New Zealand. The funds should have been earned or acquired legally, and originate from your own bank account using normal banking system.

Tier 2 — additional requirements

If you are applying under Tier 2, you must meet both of the following requirements:

  • sponsor's income; and
  • location of your other adult children.

Sponsor's income: your sponsor or their partner must earn a minimum of NZ$33,675 per year. Your sponsor must not be receiving New Zealand government benefit from Work and Income.

Location of your other adult children: all of your adult children must live lawfully and permanently outside the country in which the applicant or applicants live lawfully and permanently. This means no adult children must remain in your country of origin, and have already gained citizenship or residence status in another country at the time of the application.

Get advice

Many issues that you were not aware of could surface when you lodge a Family residence application, so it will be worth getting proper advice and guidance from the beginning.


Family (Dependent Child) Category

If your parent(s) is a New Zealand citizen or a resident visa holder, and if you are not over the age of 24, then you may be able to apply for residence under this category. Generally, residence visa applications under family category are regarded as low-priority for Immigration New Zealand and therefore the processing time of your application might take up to one year.

Under Family (Dependent Child), you will need to satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • meet general requirements; and
  • meet age requirements; and
  • meet marital status requirements; and
  • meet financial dependency requirements; and
  • meet sponsor requirements.

Let's take a look at each in turn.

Family (Dependent Child) — general requirements

General requirements include paying correct application fee, using prescribed Immigration New Zealand form, meeting health/character requirements, and being a 'bona fide' (genuine) applicant.

Family (Dependent Child) — age requirements

You must not be older than 24 years old at the time of application lodgement.

Family (Dependent Child) — marital status requirements

You must be single regardless of age.

If aged between 18 and 24, you must have no children of your own. There is no requirement as to having your own children if you are aged 17 or younger.

Family (Dependent Child) — financial dependency requirements

This requirement only applies if you are aged between 21 to 24. In this case you must be totally or substantially reliant on an adult (whether your parent or not) for financial support, whether you live with them or not.

Family (Dependent Child) — sponsor requirements

Your sponsoring parent(s) must be lawfully permanently in New Zealand.

Get advice

Many issues that you were not aware of could surface when you lodge a Family residence application, so it will be worth getting proper advice and guidance from the beginning.