Information about Dependent Child Student Visa

Dependent children of certain kinds of work and student visa holders can apply for a student visa to allow them to go school while their parents work or study in New Zealand. The children can be treated as domestic students, which means they don’t have to pay tuition fees to go to a primary or secondary school.



Length of stay

A dependent child can stay for the same length of time as their parent’s visa.

Age range

19 and under

With this visa you can

  • A dependent child can join their parent in New Zealand.
  • A dependent child can study at a primary or secondary school in New Zealand.
  • A dependent child can be treated as a domestic student, which means you don’t have to pay tuition fees for them to go to school.

Things to note

  • If your child wants to study at tertiary level, they should apply for a ‘Fee Paying Student Visa’ instead.

Fee Paying Student Visa

  • Some work visa holders are not eligible to support applications for this visa

Find out if you are eligible to support your child's visa

  • Dependent children of Student Visa holders are only eligible for this visa if one of their parents is in New Zealand for an approved student exchange scheme, is enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme in a New Zealand university, or has a New Zealand Aid Programme Scholarship.

Meeting the criteria

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements.

Use the filters to display country specific tips, under evidence, to assist you with your application

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Quarantine-free travel zones

You may come to New Zealand from a quarantine-free travel zone

Quarantine-free travel zones

You must have been the same quarantine-free travel zone for 14 days.

Quarantine-free travel from Australia has been suspended. 


You must provide proof of your children’s identity


Acceptable photos

If you apply online, you must upload a copy of your child’s passport. After you’ve applied, we’ll tell you if you must send us your child’s passport as well.

If you use a paper application form, you may send us your child’s passport, or a certified copy. If you provide a certified copy, we may ask for your child’s passport before we complete the application.

Please also provide your children’s Kartu Keluarga.

Please also provide a copy of your children’s livret de famille.

If your child isn't a French national, please also provide a copy of their carte d’assuré.

If you are a citizen of China and you submit a paper application form in China, you must also complete a supplementary form.

Supplementary form for Chinese citizens (INZ 1027) PDF 270KB

If you are submitting a paper application form, you must provide a supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students.

Supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students (INZ 1220) PDF 450KB

Please also provide a copy of:

  • your child’s Hukou (household registration book)
  • your child’s identity cards.


The child must be in good health

The child may need to have a chest x-ray and a medical examination as proof of their good health.

Who needs an x-ray or medical examination

You must provide a chest x-ray completed in the last 3 months, even if you have provided one to us previously, if:

  • your children have spent 6 consecutive months in China since the last x-ray certificate was issued, and
  • your children are now coming to NZ for more than 6 months.

Genuine intentions

You must genuinely intend for the child to meet the conditions of this visa

When we assess if the child’s application is bona fide, we consider all of the information that:

  • you provide to support the child’s application
  • we have about your personal circumstances and previous applications.

Genuine intentions to visit, study or work in NZ

New Zealand immigration status

You must hold an appropriate student or work visa

Because only the children of certain visa holders are eligible for this visa, you must have one of the following kinds of visa.

If you are a student, your children will only be eligible for this visa, if one of the following apply to you:

  • you’re in New Zealand for a New Zealand Government-approved student exchange scheme
  • you’re enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme in a New Zealand university
  • you have a New Zealand Aid Programme Scholarship.

If you have a work visa, your children will be eligible for this visa unless you have one of the following kinds of visa:

  • a Foreign Crew on Fishing Vessels Work Visa
  • a Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa  
  • a Supplementary Seasonal Employment Work Visa
  • a Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa
  • a Skilled Migrant Job Search Visa
  • a Working Holiday Visa
  • a Domestic Staff of Diplomatic, Consular and Official Staff Work Visa.
  • an Essential Skills Work Visa and you are undertaking lower-skilled work.

We’ll use our records to check what kind of visa you have.

It’s OK to apply for a Student Visa for your child at the same time you apply for your own visa.

Dependent child

Your child must be financially dependent on you or your partner

We’ll consider your child dependent if they rely on you for financial support, and they are aged either:

  • 17 or under
  • 18-19 with no children of their own.

If your child is 17 or under, we’ll consider they rely on you for financial support and you won’t need to provide any evidence of this.

If your child is 18 or 19 rely, we may ask you to provide supporting evidence, like:

  • school receipts showing parents paying daily expenses like phone, clothes or food
  • bank account details showing allowance paid, receipts for big purchases by parents for children, eg travel and so on.

Dependent children

Your relationship to your dependent child

You must be the dependent child's parent

You must provide evidence that confirms your relationship to the child, which may include:

  • birth certificates 
  • adoption papers
  • any other documents that confirm your relationship to each other.

Custody of children 15 and under

You must have the legal right to remove the dependent child from their home country

If you’re separated or divorced, you must provide legal documents that show that one of the following applies:

  • you have the sole right to decide where your children live
  • you have the right to remove your children from their home country
  • you have custody of the children and your children’s other parent agrees they can move to New Zealand if their application is approved.

If your children’s other parent has died, you must provide their death certificate.

If you have a statutory right to the custody of your children and it’s not possible to get legal documents to confirm this right, we will assess your right to remove the children on a case-by-case basis.

Health care

You must agree to pay your children’s health care costs

You must declare in your visa application that, if they’re not entitled to free health care, you’ll pay for any health care or medical assistance your child receives in New Zealand.

We recommend your child has full medical insurance for the length of their visit.

Minimum income

If you hold an Essential Skills Work Visa or a Religious Workers Visa, you must earn at least NZ$43,322.76 a year before tax

Evidence can include either of the following:

  • documents that show the amount you earn in salary or wages, eg pay slips, employment agreements, or tax records
  • if you’re a Religious Worker work visa holder, a ‘Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry’ form completed by the religious organisation that’s sponsoring you.

Sponsorship for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 295KB

If you don’t continue to earn the minimum income amount, you and your children may have to leave New Zealand.

If both parents hold an Essential Skills Work Visa, their incomes can be combined to meet the minimum income threshold.

Onward travel

If you’re a work visa holder, you must have the means for your child to leave New Zealand at the end of their stay

Evidence can include:

  • a travel ticket for your child
  • proof you have enough money to buy your child a travel ticket 
  • a ‘Sponsorship for Temporary Entry’ form  completed by an acceptable sponsor.

Sponsorship for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 295KB
Acceptable sponsors

This requirement doesn’t apply to Military Visa holders.

Funds or sponsorship

If you’re a student or work visa holder, you must have enough money to support your child while they’re in New Zealand

Evidence can include:

  • proof that you have, for each child, NZ $15,000 for a full year of study or NZ $1,250 per month that the child will be in New Zealand
  • copies of evidence that the child’s living costs have already been paid
  • a ‘Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry’ completed by an acceptable sponsor
  • a completed ‘Financial Undertaking for a Student’ form.

If you are sponsored, your sponsor must provide evidence they can look after you in New Zealand. Evidence can include:

  • recent bank statements
  • pay slips
  • employment agreement
  • accommodation ownership or payment of rent

Acceptable sponsors
Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 295KB
Financial Undertaking for a Student (INZ 1014) PDF 258KB

The only evidence you must provide is a written guarantee of maintenance for the child from a relative in New Zealand. This relative must be a New Zealand citizen or resident.


Dependent children of diplomatic, consular or official staff must have approval to study

You must provide a letter from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Protocol Division confirming that your child has their approval to study in New Zealand.

If your posting ends in the middle of a school year, your child will need to apply for another Student Visa to finish the school year in New Zealand.



The information below will help you understand the process so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

Fees & receiving centre

Fees & receiving centre

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.



These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.

Entry permission

Your child must apply for entry permission when they arrive in New Zealand. They can do this by completing an arrival card, which they’ll be given on the way to New Zealand.

The children can be refused entry permission if:

  • they don’t meet our character requirements
  • their circumstances have changed since they were granted a visa
  • they refuse to let us take a photo or provide us with their fingerprints or an iris scan, if asked for them.

Travelling to and arriving in New Zealand


If the children want to travel in and out of New Zealand, they must have valid multiple entry travel conditions to return to New Zealand.

If you’re applying from inside New Zealand, we’ll normally give your children multiple entry travel conditions when we grant them a Student Visa.

If your children don’t have multiple entry travel conditions and they leave New Zealand, their visa will expire.

Your child’s travel conditions will be listed on their visa label, or in a visa letter

Onward travel (children of work visa holders)

Dependent children of work visa holders must have the means to leave New Zealand at all times during their visit. This can be in the form of any of the following:

  • a travel ticket
  • enough money to buy a travel ticket
  • a financial undertaking
  • sponsorship by an acceptable sponsor.

Acceptable sponsors

If your child’s visa label or letter doesn’t say ‘Return/onward ticket not required’ or ‘The holder of this visa is sponsored’, they may be asked for evidence of their travel arrangements when they check in or arrive in New Zealand.

Funds or sponsorship (children of student visa holders)

You must have enough money to support your child while they’re in New Zealand, or the child must have a sponsor or guarantor.

If your child’s visa label or letter doesn’t say ‘Financial evidence not required’ or ‘The holder of this visa is sponsored’, we may ask for evidence of funds when they arrive in New Zealand.


Students studying in year 12 or 13, the last 2 years of secondary school can work up to 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time in the Christmas and New Year holiday period between school years.

  • Students under 18 must have written permission from their school, and parents or legal guardian to work.
  • Students over 18 don’t need permission to work in the summer holidays.

Everyone who has a job in New Zealand pays tax on what they earn. An IRD number can be applied for online through Inland Revenue.

Apply online for an IRD number

We do not grant work rights to students under 16.

The children are not allowed to be self-employed. They have to work as an employee with an employment agreement and not as an independent contractor.

Visa expiry

The child must leave New Zealand before their visa expires.

Visa expiry dates are printed on a visa label or included in a visa letter.