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.

When you cannot support visas for your 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.

Visas you can support for your family

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

  • a 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.

Supporting visas for your family on an AEWV or ESWV 

If you have an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) or an Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV) and you want to support a work visa for your partner, you need to either:

  • earn at least the median wage rate, or
  • have a role on the Green List, meet its Green List requirements, and earn at least the median wage.
    Green List roles

If you have an AEWV or an ESWV and you want to support a student or visitor visa for your dependent children, your annual income must be currently NZD$43,322.76.

Tip
  • To find out the pay rate that was assessed for your work visa check your visa or approval letter.
  • Check the wage rate requirements page for the current median wage rate:
    Wage rate requirements for visas 

Supporting visas when you earn below the median wage

If you are paid under the median wage:

  • you cannot support your partner for a work visa
  • you can support a Visitor Visa for your partner.

Partner of a Worker Visitor Visa

Supporting partner open work visas or work visas with conditions

When you hold either an AEWV or ESWV, check if you can support either an open work visa or one with conditions for your partner.

Supporting an open work visa for your partner

We may approve an open work visa if either:

  • you earn twice the median wage or more, or
  • your role is on the Green List, you meet the Green List role's requirements, and you earn at least the median wage.

An open work visa means your partner can work for any employer with no pay requirements.

Supporting a work visa with conditions for your partner

We may approve a work visa with conditions if you earn at least the median wage but less than twice the median wage.

A work visa with conditions means your partner as the visa holder needs to meet a set of employment rules or terms.

Partner of a Worker Work Visa

Work visas with conditions for your partner

If we approve the Partner of a Worker Work Visa application and your partner gets a work visa with conditions, it means:

  • they can only work for an accredited employer
    Check if an employer is accredited
  • they cannot be self-employed
  • they cannot work below the median wage in roles covered by a capped sector agreement
  • if they are working in a role:
    • not covered by an uncapped sector agreement, they must be paid at least the median wage rate in place when they receive their visa or job offer, whichever is later. 
    • covered by an uncapped sector agreement, they must be paid at least the wage threshold in place. They will not be subject to a stand-down period.

Check the wage rate requirements page for the current threshold and median wage rates.
Wage rate requirements for visas

Alert

If the work visa conditions apply to your partner and they are:

  • currently employed, they need to ensure their employment meets the conditions for their new visa when it takes effect
  • not employed, they need to ensure any future role they are offered meets the conditions.

If you get a pay rise or your role is now on the Green List

When you get a pay rise or your role is added to the Green List, your partner's options depend on their visa status.

If your partner:

  • is going to apply for a Visitor Visa, or already has one, they can apply for a Partner of the Worker Work Visa if:
    • you now earn at least the median wage rate, or
    • you meet your role's Green List requirements and earn at least the median wage.
      Green List roles 
  • holds a work visa with conditions they can apply to change the conditions to an open work visa if:
    • you now earn at least twice the median wage, or
    • you meet your role's Green List requirements and you earn at least the median wage.

Your partner must provide evidence of your pay rise or Green List role in their application.

Note

You do not need to apply for another Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) for the purpose of supporting your partner’s work visa application.

Pay rise or Green List evidence your partner needs for their application

Pay rise evidence your partner needs for their application are your:

  • employment agreement or a letter from your employer confirming the pay and hours, and
  • full bank statements showing a salary payment or a summary of income details from Inland Revenue or pay slips.

Green List evidence must show that you meet the Green List requirements. These are set out for each role in the Green List.

Green List roles

Partner of a Worker Work Visa

INZ 1020 Application for a Variation of Conditions PDF 424KB

Medical and police certificates and Essential Skills Work Visa holder's family visa applications

The requirement to provide medical and police certificates has been removed for your family in New Zealand who:

  • are applying for a work, student or visitor visa based on their relationship to an existing Essential Skills Work Visa holder or applicant, and
  • provided medical and police certificates to Immigration New Zealand with a previous visa application.

If they have already obtained medical or police certificates for their visa applications, they can still choose to submit them.

They can apply using the paper forms for a partner (Partnership-Based Temporary Visa Application, INZ 1198) or for a dependent child (Student Visa Application INZ 1012, or Visitor Visa Application INZ 1017).

If you use a paper form, download the most recent version of the form from this list to avoid processing delays.

Student Visa Application (INZ 1012) PDF 450KB

Visitor Visa Application (INZ 1017) PDF 397KB

Partnership-based Temporary Visa Application (INZ 1198) PDF 332KB

Visas that allow you to join family

How family members can apply for a visa

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

Explore and select a visa