New Zealand citizens and residents, and organisations like registered companies, incorporated societies and charitable trusts, and government agencies can sponsor visa applications. Sponsorship doesn’t guarantee that we’ll grant a visa – people who have sponsors still have to meet other visa requirements.

Acceptable sponsors

A sponsor can be any one of the following:


For us to consider an individual an acceptable sponsor, they must meet all of the following criteria:

The profit employers expect to make from an employee’s work doesn’t exclude them from being acceptable sponsors.

Extra criterion for sponsoring student visa applications

Individuals sponsoring a student must be a family member or friend of the student.

Students who are in New Zealand and who are applying for a further student visa as a fee paying tertiary student, can only be sponsored if their first student visa was sponsored. Sponsorship must be by the same person or organization that acted as the sponsor for the initial visa application.

Extra criteria for sponsoring resident visa applications

Individuals who wish to sponsor a resident visa, must also:

If needed, we will use our records to confirm a sponsor’s time spent in New Zealand as a New Zealand citizen or resident.


For us to consider a sponsoring organisation an acceptable sponsor, it must:

Evidence of acceptable sponsorship

Before we accept a sponsorship arrangement we need evidence that sponsors can meet their responsibilities and obligations. Sponsors needs to show us:

Sponsorship responsibilities (undertakings)

Sponsors must agree to:

Sponsors can agree to sponsor a person’s partner and dependent children too. If they agree to do this, they’ll also be responsible for covering these same costs for the partner and dependent children of the sponsored person.

Even if the sponsored person has agreed to provide all or some of their own funds, the sponsor is still legally responsible for providing for them if needed. 

Sponsors can also choose to guarantee the costs of maternity health services in New Zealand if the sponsored person is pregnant and intending to give birth in New Zealand.

When sponsorship begins and ends

Sponsorship begins from the date the sponsored person arrives in New Zealand, or if they are already in New Zealand, the date their visa is granted.

It ends on whichever of the following dates happen first:

Sponsors can’t withdraw their sponsorship. It continues even if the sponsored person stays in New Zealand unlawfully after their visa expires. Sponsors who sponsor multiple entry visa applications, are responsible for their sponsorship undertakings every time the sponsored person is in New Zealand on that visa.

When sponsors don’t meet their obligations

If sponsors don’t meet their sponsorship obligations, the person they’re sponsoring can be deported.

If sponsors leave their sponsorship obligations to be paid by a third party or the New Zealand government, their obligations will become a debt. If the debt remains unpaid, sponsors can be pursued for it in court, even if the person they’re sponsoring: