Information about Refugee Family Support Resident Visa

New Zealand residents who came to New Zealand as a refugee or protected person may be able to sponsor a family member (and their partner and dependent children) for New Zealand residence. Sponsors must register with us and if their registration is selected their family may apply for New Zealand residence.

Overview

Overview

Length of stay

Indefinitely

Quota

300 places a year


You can

  • Live, work and study in New Zealand.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your residence application – if they were first included in your sponsor's registration.

Things to note

  • We are currently only accepting tier 1 sponsor registrations.
  • If you’re invited to apply for residence, you’ll have 12 months to send us your application.
Criteria

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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Eligible sponsor

You must have an eligible sponsor

Your sponsor must be a New Zealand citizen or resident who was granted residence on the basis of being a refugee or protected person, or as an Afghan interpreter.

Your sponsor must also meet other tier one or tier two requirements.

Refugee Family Support Category Sponsorship Requirements

If your sponsor doesn’t meet the requirements, they won’t be able to sponsor your residence application.

Sponsor registration

Your sponsor must register as a tier one or tier two sponsor

Your sponsor must complete a ‘Refugee Family Support Category Sponsor Registration Form’ and provide evidence of their immigration status, which can include any of the following:

  • a New Zealand resident visa
  • a New Zealand permanent resident visa
  • a valid New Zealand passport
  • a Certificate of New Zealand Citizenship
  • a recent official statement of citizenship from the Department of Internal Affairs

If your sponsor has changed their name, they’ll need to provide a statutory declaration certificate of their name change too.

Refugee Family Support Category Tier One Sponsor Registration Form (INZ1094) PDF 482KB

Refugee Family Support Category Tier Two Sponsor Registration Form (INZ1192) PDF 482KB

Your sponsor should also attach photocopies of birth certificates for all family members they want to sponsor, if they are available.

Only tier 1 sponsor registration is currently available. Tier 2 sponsor registrations will be returned.

If birth certificates aren’t available, your sponsor can include identity cards instead.

For you to include your partner and dependent children in a later residence application, they must be included in your sponsor’s registration.

Sponsorship obligations

Your sponsor must have the means to make sure you have somewhere reasonable to live when you arrive and for your first 2 years in New Zealand

Sponsors aged 18-24 must provide evidence they can meet their sponsorship obligations, which may include:

  • bank statements 
  • a plan detailing how your sponsor will meet your accommodation needs for your first 2 years in New Zealand.

If your sponsor is aged 18-24, they’ll need to include this evidence with their completed ‘Refugee Family Support Category Registration Form’.

Invitation to apply for residence

You must be invited to apply for residence

If your sponsor’s registration is selected from one of the Refugee Family Support Category queues, we may invite you to apply for residence.

If we invite you to apply for residence, we’ll send you a letter detailing all the information you’ll need to provide.

If you’re invited to apply for residence, you’ll have 12 months to send us your application.

Health

You must be in good health

You don’t need to provide any evidence of your good health, unless we ask you to.

Character

You must be of good character

If you are 17 or over, you must provide a police certificate from:

  • your country of citizenship
  • any other country where you have spent 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if you did not spend that 12 months all in one visit.

Good character

How to get a police certificate

Police Certificates must be less than 6 months old when you apply.

You don’t need to provide any Police Certificates until you’re invited to apply for residence.

Bring family

For your partner and dependent children to be included in your residence application, they must have been included in your sponsor’s registration

To include your partner and dependent children in your residence application, you must provide evidence:

  • of your relationship with your partner and dependent children, like birth and marriage certificates
  • that your partner and dependent children meet the identity, health and character requirements for this visa.

Partnership
Dependent children

You don’t need to provide any evidence until you’re invited to apply for residence.

Process

Process

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

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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.

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Conditions

Conditions

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

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you are given on the way to New Zealand.

Arriving in New Zealand

You can be refused entry permission if:

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

Arriving in New Zealand

When we grant your visa, if you are outside New Zealand you and your family will have 12 months to come to New Zealand.

If you and your family are unable to come to New Zealand in this time, your visa will expire and you’ll have to apply for a new visa.

Your family must have been included in your resident visa application for them to come to New Zealand.

Keep your visa in a valid passport

If you want to travel, your visa must be in a valid passport.

If your passport expires, you must apply to transfer your visa to a new passport before you can travel.

Transferring my visa to a new passport

To transfer your visa, you must:

  • send us your old and new passports
  • complete an ‘Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa’
  • pay a transfer fee.

 

Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa (INZ 1023)

Fees, decision times and where to apply

Travel

You can travel in and out of New Zealand as often as you like until your travel conditions expire.

To travel after that, you will need to apply for and be granted either:

  • a Permanent Resident Visa
  • a variation of your travel conditions, which would allow you to return to New Zealand at a later date. 

Your travel conditions will expire 2 years from the date you first arrive in New Zealand as a resident.

If you’re outside of New Zealand when your travel conditions expire, your visa will expire as well.

Sponsorship

Your sponsor is responsible for making sure you have somewhere reasonable to live for your first 2 years in New Zealand.