Intercountry Adoption Resident Visa

If you are a New Zealand citizen or resident you can apply for this visa to bring a child you have legally adopted to live with you in New Zealand indefinitely.

Length of stay


Age range

24 and under

NZD $2750
Processing time
not available
With this visa you can
  • Bring your adopted child to New Zealand to live with you.
  • If your child is old enough, they can go to school or get a job.
Things to note
  • The adoption process must be legally complete before you can apply for this visa.
  • If the adoption process is ongoing, you may be able to apply for a Visitor Visa to bring the child to New Zealand while the  adoption process is being finalised.
  • If you're a New Zealand citizen and the adoption process is legally complete, you may be able to apply for citizenship for your child.

What you need to apply

Check if you are eligible to apply for this visa and what supporting documents and information you need to provide.

View All Evidence

Acceptable photos


Please also provide copies of your children’s Identity cards.

Please also provide your children’s Kartu Keluarga.

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

Please also provide a copy of:

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

If you’re not a French national, please also provide a copy of your children’s’ carte d’assuré.

If your children are 17 or older, they must provide a police certificate from:

  • their country of citizenship
  • any other country where they have spent 12 months or more over the last 10 years.

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 Police Certificates for children under 17.

Your children must have a medical examination as proof of good health. Any children 11 years and over must have a chest x-ray too.

Getting an x-ray or medical examination


Children who are 10 or under, or who are pregnant don’t need to have a chest x-ray, unless a special report is needed.

The adoption must be legally complete and have the same effect as a New Zealand adoption. Evidence that the adoption is complete may include:

  • original or certified copies of adoption papers
  • confirmation of customary adoption from the child’s biological parents.

Evidence that the adoption has the same effect as a New Zealand adoption may include:

  • a New Zealand court ruling
  • an INZ assessment, if there are clear precedents for adoptions in your child’s home country.

The adoption must also comply with the law in the child’s home country.

The child’s home country must agree that you can remove the adopted child from their home country.

If the adoption hasn’t been completed, the child won’t be eligible for residence. You may be able to apply for a visitor visa, while the adoption is being finalised.

For us to consider your children dependent, they must be single and either:

  • 17 or under
  • 18-24 with no children of their own.

We’ll ask you to sign a declaration that your children are single when you complete your residence application.

We’ll use the documents you provide as proof of your children’s identity to confirm their age.

Dependent children


Children living with a partner are not considered to be single, even if they’ve been living with their partner for less than a year.


You must provide an original or certified copy of your:

  • New Zealand passport, birth certificate or certificate of citizenship, or
  • New Zealand Resident Visa.

You must provide evidence that you live in New Zealand, which may include:

  • letters addressed to you, including rates or utility bills
  • employment records
  • records of benefit payments from Work and Income, or tax payments from Inland Revenue
  • mortgage or rental agreements
  • documents showing your belongings have been moved to New Zealand
  • any other documents that show you live in New Zealand.

Process and costs

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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How to submit

Payment methods and receiving centre details if applicable.


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

Entry permission

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


Your child 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 their photo or to provide us with their fingerprints or an iris scan, if asked for them.

Travelling to and arriving in New Zealand

Section 49 conditions

If your resident visa is subject to section 49 conditions, your child’s visa will be subject to those same conditions.


If you don’t comply with the conditions of your visa, you and your adopted child may have to leave New Zealand.


Your children can travel in and out of New Zealand until their travel conditions expire.

To travel after that, they’ll need to apply for either:

  • a permanent resident visa
  • a variation of conditions.

Application from a Resident Holder or Former Resident Visa Holder (INZ 1175)


Your child can study in New Zealand.


If they’re old enough, your child can work in New Zealand.

Keep your visa in a valid passport

If you want the child to travel, their visa must be in a valid passport.

If their passport expires, they must apply to transfer the visa to a new passport before they can travel.


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

Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa (INZ 1023) PDF 375KB

Fees, decision times and where to apply