Sponsorship - Refugee Family Support Category

Sponsors under the Refugee Family Support Category must register as either a tier one or tier two sponsor before their family members can be invited to apply for a New Zealand resident visa.

Queue system for sponsor registrations

Refugee Family Support Category sponsor registrations are managed by a two tier queue system. Each year, a quota of 300 places is available for family members of tier one and tier two sponsors.

Tier one sponsors, who have no other family in New Zealand, are given first access to available places.

Registrations are selected from the tier one queue in the order they are entered. If there are remaining places after all tier one registrations have been selected, registrations from the tier two queue are selected.

Refugee Family Support Category sponsorship criteria

To be a sponsor under the Refugee Family Support Category, you must :

  • have been granted New Zealand residence on the basis of being a refugee or protected person, or as an Afghan interpreter or the partner or dependent child of an Afghan interpreter
  • not have previously sponsored someone who has been granted a resident visa under the Refugee Family Support Category (or the Refugee Family Quota)
  • be in New Zealand
  • be aged 18 or over
  • meet specific tier one or tier two criteria.

 

Sponsors must also:

  • be a New Zealand citizen, or hold a New Zealand resident or permanent resident visa
  • live in New Zealand for the term of the sponsorship (unless an exception applies)
  • not be sponsoring for a financial reward or fee
  • never have been convicted of an offence under immigration law
  • not have an outstanding debt to the Crown or other third parties as a result of another sponsorship arrangement
  • not have previously breached sponsorship obligations
  • not have entered into insolvency procedures or be bankrupt
  • not be liable for deportation
  • not be serving a custodial sentence (e.g. prison) or be waiting to be sentenced after being convicted of a crime that carries a custodial sentence.

 

Tier one sponsors

To be a tier one sponsor you must meet the sponsorship criteria and:

  • have no immediate family in New Zealand (unless you are the sole carer of a dependent relative)
  • have no other family members who are eligible for residence in New Zealand under any other category.

 

Being the sole carer of a dependent relative means that you have the primary responsibility for the day-to-day care of a dependent relative or relatives in New Zealand on an ongoing basis.

As a tier one sponsor, you can sponsor either your parent, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, adult sibling or adult child, and that person’s partner and/or dependent children.

Tier two sponsors

To be a tier two sponsor you must meet the sponsorship criteria and:

  • have immediate family in New Zealand
  • have no other family members who are eligible for residence under any other category
  • have been a New Zealand citizen and/or holder of a residence class visa for at least three years immediately preceding the date their registration under the Refugee Family Support Category is lodged, and in each of those three 12-month portions have spent a total of 184 days or more in New Zealand.

 

As a tier two sponsor, you can sponsor either your parent, adult sibling, adult child, or grandparent (if that grandparent is the sponsor’ legal guardian), and that person’s partner and/or dependent children.