Knowledge base articles

How do I bring an adopted child to New Zealand?

In order to become a New Zealand resident or citizen, your child must be adopted by you through a process recognised by New Zealand law.

Therefore, before the process of adoption begins, the adoptive parents must contact Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) and Department of Internal Affairs to ensure the process complies with all relevant New Zealand laws. By doing this, you can avoid any legal issues with your documentation, and ensure a smoother process for your child.

Once the adoption process is completed, the child can then apply to become a resident or a citizen of New Zealand, based on the following:

  • If the adoptive parent is a New Zealand citizen, please contact Department of Internal Affairs, for details on obtaining New Zealand citizenship by descent
  • If the adoptive parent is a New Zealand resident, please refer to the policy and process for obtaining residence as a Dependent Child

Can an adopted child be allowed to enter New Zealand before their Resident Visa is granted?

Yes. If you wish to bring your child to New Zealand before their residence is granted, the visitor or student visa instructions will apply to the child. 

However, for children aged less than 14 years of age adopted by New Zealand citizens, Immigration New Zealand needs to see evidence that an application for New Zealand citizenship for the child has been made, as well as evidence of the adoption order for a visitor visa to be considered.

The Department of Internal Affairs handles all citizenship application and can be contacted for forms and country specific information and timeframes.  

Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children)

Department of Internal Affairs

Dependent Child Resident Visa