What sponsors must do – responsibilities and obligations

If you sponsor a visa holder, you are responsible for them while they are in New Zealand on that visa.

Support you must provide

While a visa holder you sponsor is in New Zealand you must make sure they have:

  • the things necessary for their health and welfare, like food, clothing and healthcare
  • somewhere suitable to stay — you can provide this yourself or pay for their accommodation.

You must also pay the cost of their return travel to their home country, if they do not intend to pay for it themselves.

If they are to be deported, you must also pay any costs associated with their deportation, such as the costs of finding and detaining them, and then sending them home.

Alert

Even if the person you sponsor has agreed to pay for some or all their expenses, you are still legally responsible for those expenses

Who can sponsor a visa applicant

Sponsoring a visa applicant's family members

You can also sponsor the partner and dependent children of someone you are sponsoring. If you do this, you must cover the same costs for them.

Including family in your visa application

If the person you sponsor travels in and out of NZ

If the person you sponsor has a visa with multiple entry travel conditions you are responsible for them only when they are in New Zealand on that visa.

When your sponsorship begins and ends

Your responsibilities as a sponsor begin from the date the person you sponsor arrives in New Zealand. If they are already in New Zealand, your sponsorship begins on the date their visa is granted.

Your sponsorship responsibilities end on the date the person you are sponsoring:

  • leaves New Zealand, or
  • gets a new visa — with or without a sponsor.
Alert

You cannot withdraw your sponsorship. It continues even if the person you sponsor stays in New Zealand without a valid visa.

If you do not meet your obligations

The person you sponsor can be deported if you do not support them as you have agreed to do.

If you have not paid the costs you are responsible for, and they are paid by a third party or the New Zealand Government, that amount becomes your debt.

If you do not pay, we can take you to court to recover the debt even if the person you are sponsoring:

  • is no longer in New Zealand
  • is in New Zealand without a valid visa, or
  • has a new visa.