Work visa holder supporting family

Most types of work visas allow you to support visas for your partner and dependent children, but there are some restrictions.

Visas your family can apply for

With your work visa, you can normally support the following visas for your partner and dependent children:

  • an open work visa for your partner
  • a visitor visa for your partner or your children
  • a student visa for your children.

Visas for your partner and children expire at the same time as your work visa.

Who cannot support visas for family

You cannot support a work, visitor or student visa for your partner or dependent child if you have any of the following visas:

  • a Fishing Crew work visa
  • a working holiday visa
  • a limited visa under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) or Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) schemes
  • a Silver Fern Job Search visa
  • a Domestic Staff of a Diplomat work visa
  • an Essential Skills work visa — if your employment is lower skilled

Long Term Skill Shortage List

If you have an Essential Skills visa for lower-skilled work

Check your visa or approval letter to find out which skill-band your job is. 

Employment skill-bands for Essential Skills work visas

If your job is lower-skilled, you can only support visas for your family if one of the following applies to you.

  • Your partner or dependent child held a visa on 28 August 2017 that is based on their relationship to you.
  • You completed study in New Zealand and your student visa let you support your partner for a work visa and your children for student visas. You then worked here on a post-study work visa and supported them for visas based on your relationship with them.

How family members can apply for a visa

If you cannot support your partner or dependent children to apply, they can apply for a visa in their own right.

Explore visa options