Bringing family if you have a work visa

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.

If you have an Essential Skills Work Visa 

If you have an Essential Skills visa, from 27 July 2020 you can support:

  • visitor visas for partners
  • visitor or student visas for dependent children, as long as you meet the income requirement, which is currently NZD $43,322.76 a year.

If you are paid at or above the median wage, you can also support a work visa for your partner.

Check your visa or approval letter to find out the remuneration level for your job.

If you applied before 27 July 2020

If you applied before 27 July 2020 and we assessed you as high or mid-skilled, you can support a work visa for your partner. Check your visa or approval letter to find out which skill-band your job is.

If we assessed your job as lower-skilled, you can only support a work visa for your partner if:

  • your partner held a visa on 28 August 2017 that is based on their relationship to you, and you have not been subject to a stand-down period, or
  • you completed study in New Zealand and your student visa let you support your partner for a work visa. You then worked here on a post-study work visa and supported them for visas based on your relationship with them.

If you earn below the median wage and your partner wants to work, they will have to apply for their own work visa.

If you have an Accredited Employer Work Visa 

If you have an Accredited Employer Work Visa you can support:

  • a work visa for your partner, if you are paid the median wage or above
  • visitor or student visas for dependent children, as long as you meet the income requirement, which is currently NZD $43,322.76 a year.

If you are paid under the median wage, you can only support a visitor visa for your partner.

Check your visa or approval letter to find out the remuneration level for your job.

From December 2022

You can support a visitor visa for your partner. If your partner is granted an AEWV, they will be able to work less than 30 hours per week.

If you are working in an occupation on the Green List or are paid twice the median wage you can support a work visa with open work rights for your partner.

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