New Zealand Family Sponsorship: A Note for Migrants

New Zealand Family Sponsorship: A Note for Migrants

New Zealand, renowned for its unparalleled beauty, stable economy, and high quality of life, has been attracting migrants from around the world. Among the various immigration paths, family sponsorship is a popular choice for those who already have family members living in New Zealand.

This blog post aims to provide an overview of the family sponsorship process in New Zealand, offering helpful insights to aspiring migrants.

The Basics of Family Sponsorship

Family sponsorship is essentially an immigration option that allows New Zealand citizens or residents to sponsor family members from overseas to come and live in New Zealand. The sponsor has to meet certain requirements and is responsible for the sponsored family member during their stay.

Who Can Be Sponsored?

There are several categories under which you can sponsor family members. They include:
  • Partner Category: If you are a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can sponsor your partner, which includes your legal husband or wife, or a de facto partner.
  • Parent Category: If you are a New Zealand citizen or resident and meet the income criteria, you can sponsor your parents.
  • Dependent Child Category: You can sponsor your dependent child if they are under the age of 24, single, and have no children of their own.
  • Sibling and Adult Child Category: This category is quite restrictive, and only a few select cases qualify.
Please note that every category has specific conditions and requirements that need to be met.

Key Steps in the Sponsorship Process

  • Step 1: Check Eligibility The first step is to ascertain whether you and your family member are eligible for family sponsorship. Review the specific eligibility criteria for each category on the official New Zealand Immigration website.
  • Step 2: Complete the Application Once eligibility is confirmed, you can proceed to complete the application. It is recommended to be thorough and provide as much information as possible to avoid unnecessary delays or rejection.
  • Step 3: Submit the Application After the application is completed, you can submit it, either online or by mail. Make sure to include all necessary supporting documents.
  • Step 4: Await Decision Once the application is submitted, the New Zealand Immigration Department will process it, which could take several months, depending on the complexity of the case.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Sponsor

A sponsor in New Zealand is expected to take on certain responsibilities. Primarily, the sponsor should be capable of providing financial support to the sponsored family member if needed. In addition, the sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the family member follows New Zealand law and leaves New Zealand before their visa expires if they’re not granted residence.


The process of family sponsorship is a great way to reunite families in New Zealand, but it’s also a process that requires careful consideration and understanding. Before deciding to sponsor a family member, make sure you thoroughly understand the responsibilities involved. It’s recommended to consult with an immigration expert or lawyer to help you navigate this process.

Remember, while the road to family sponsorship may seem lengthy and challenging, the reward is the unity and shared experiences with your loved ones in one of the world’s most livable countries.