Criteria and process to become a sponsor

If an individual or organisation wants to sponsor you, they must meet our criteria for an acceptable sponsor and provide evidence by completing a sponsorship form.

Criteria for individual sponsors

Your sponsor must:

  • be a New Zealand citizen or have a residence visa, and
  • live in New Zealand while they are sponsoring you (unless an exception applies).

Your sponsor cannot be:

  • formally insolvent or bankrupt
  • liable for deportation
  • serving a custodial sentence (for example, be in prison) or be waiting to be sentenced after being convicted of a crime carrying a custodial sentence.

Individuals sponsoring a student visa application

Individuals who sponsor a student visa must be a friend or family member.

If you apply for a further student visa you cannot:

  • change your sponsor
  • have a sponsor unless a friend or family member sponsored your first student visa.

Individuals sponsoring a resident visa application

Individuals who sponsor a resident visa must:

  • live in New Zealand
  • have been a New Zealand citizen or resident for at least 3 years
  • have spent 184 days in New Zealand in each of the last 3 years.

When we assess your application we can check our records to confirm the time your sponsor has spent in New Zealand as a citizen or resident.

Refugees sponsoring a family member

If you are a refugee sponsoring a family member to come to New Zealand, the rules are different.

Sponsoring family members if you are a refugee

If you are pregnant

If your sponsor intends to pay for your maternity care in New Zealand, they must supply financial records showing they can afford it.

Paying for maternity care

Criteria for organisations

The organisation must:

  • be registered in New Zealand as a company, incorporated society or charitable trust
  • show a clear link between its activities and the reason they want to sponsor you to come to New Zealand, and
  • authorise a contact person to represent them and be responsible for your sponsorship.

They cannot sponsor you if they are in receivership or liquidation.

What your sponsor must do

Your sponsor must provide information to us either online or using a paper form, depending on what type of visa you are applying for.

Visitor Visas

Your sponsor must complete an online form showing they are an acceptable sponsor.

Skip to the 'Other Visas or applying on paper' section if you are applying for:

  • a Visitor Visa and travelling from a Pacific country
  • a partnership-based Visitor Visa
  • a Visitor Visa on paper, or
  • a Group Visitor Visa.

Travelling from the Pacific

Sharing ID

Your sponsor must give you their sharing ID before you can complete your application.

They need to:

  • log into Immigration Online using a RealMe account
  • give you the Sharing ID in their Immigration Online dashboard, and
  • confirm their email address.

How to create a RealMe account

Log into Immigration Online

 Screen shot of Immigration Online showing a user's sharing ID.

You need to:

  • log into Immigration Online using your RealMe account, and
  • complete your online application for a Visitor Visa.

You will be asked at the ‘Supporting documents’ section to enter your sponsor's sharing ID, as well as their name and email address. Make sure these details are correct as we will email your sponsor to ask them to complete a sponsorship form online.

 Screenshot of immigration online showing the 'supporting documents' section. The user is being asked to input their sponsor's name, email address and sharing ID.

After you have applied for your visa we will email your sponsor and tell them to log into the system and complete the form.

We use the information in this form to decide if your sponsor can meet their responsibilities for you while you are in New Zealand.

What sponsors must do while a visa holder is in New Zealand

Other Visas or applying on paper

Your sponsor needs to complete the Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) if you are:

  • applying for a Visitor Visa but are travelling from the Pacific
  • applying for a Group Visitor Visa
  • applying for a partnership-based Visitor Visa
  • applying for another type of visa, or
  • applying for a visa on paper.

If you are applying online you need to scan and upload the sponsorship form on the 'upload documents' page of the online portal. If you are applying on paper you need to include the sponsorship form with your application when you post it to us.

Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 414KB

Travelling from the Pacific

If your sponsor gets someone to complete the form on their behalf, they will need to complete a Sponsor and Supporting Partner Declaration form.

Sponsor or Supporting Partner Declaration Form (INZ 1256) PDF 244KB