Visas for Partners and Children

Visas for Partners and Children

If you are coming to New Zealand, especially to settle permanently, you will no doubt want to bring your partner or family with you. There are a variety of visa’s your family can apply for. In some cases you can include a partner and dependent children in your own visa application. For some visa types they will need to complete a separate application, even though it’s based on their relationship with you, and the outcome of your application. 

We can help you get them here, so you can enjoy all New Zealand has to offer together as a family. 

There are both temporary and permanent partners and children’s visas. If you are in a hurry to bring them over you may opt to go for a temporary visa first, as it’s a bit easier and faster to process. Then start working on the residency application after they arrive. We advise starting to work on the evidence and documentation you will need for your residency application, even if you are only applying for a temporary visa. This will save you time, and strengthen your case later on. 

Temporary Family Visas

Visitor Visa

This may be the fastest and easiest option. If you are likely to qualify for partnership based residency or a work visa it could be easier to get a visitor visa approved first, then apply for work or residency once your family arrives. We can then work with you and your partner to get longer visas sorted. 

Partner of a Worker: For the length of time left on their partners work visa (But can’t work)

Partner of Resident/Citizen: Up to 24 Months (But can’t work unless they apply for a work visa) 

Dependent Child: A child aged under 19 can get a visitor visa for the same length of stay as your work visa. For children aged over 19 take advice from a reputable immigration professional. 

For any type of partnership visa you will need to prove the relationship is genuine. We have put together these tips for how to prove a genuine relationship. 

Work Visa 

Partner of a Worker: Your partner can apply for a visa for the same length of time left on yours. 

Partner of a Resident/Citizen: If you have lived together for over 12 months your partner can apply for a 2 year work visa. If it has been less than 12 months they can apply for a 1 year work visa. 

If you are in New Zealand on a work visa, your partner and children can apply, but will only be granted the length of visa to match yours. If you have one year left on your visa they will be given one year as well. You will all need to apply for a new visa before it expires. 

A dependent child cannot apply for a work visa, but may be able to study here under the domestic fees structure until they reach territory level studies. Check with us if you have older children and we will explain what the restrictions are.

Residency for Family Members 

You must currently be a resident or citizen for your partner and children to consider a resident visa.

Partners will need to prove:

  • Identity
  • Good health and character
  • Partners eligibility as a sponsor (and their residency or citizenship)
  • You have been living together for over 12 months in a genuine and stable relationship 

You will need to prove for your children: 

  • They are under 24 years old 
  • That they are single
  • Children aged 21 to 24 usually must prove they are totally or substantially reliant on you for financial support
  • Their Identity
  • That they are of good health and character
  • That you have the legal right to remove them from their home country (If they are under 15)
  • That you are their legal parent or guardian and have full custody rights 

Visa’s for dependent children are usually given priority and processed faster than other visa types. There are also no visa quotas for dependent children. 


Can Malcolm Pacific Immigration still help me if I’m overseas?

Yes, we can work with you before you enter New Zealand. We can help you get temporary visas, or work on your residency application through online communication (such as video calls and email). If you are starting on a temporary visa application we are happy to help you prepare, so that when you arrive we can meet and work on the next steps together towards residency, or bringing your family over. 

It helps to talk to us before you arrive even if you have a visa, but will need help with partners or children’s ones once you arrive, or for moving on to residency. We can tell you what to prepare while you are there (for your current visa and the ones to come), to make sure you bring everything you will need with you. This will help you avoid delays and extra stress throughout the process. 

What do Immigration New Zealand mean by ‘dependent’ child?

A dependent child is defined as someone who is under the age of 24, single, in your legal custody and financially dependent on you. For children under 21 financial dependence does not have to be proven, but for those between 21 and 24 you will need to provide sufficient evidence that they rely solely or substantially on you for finances, and that they are single (as in not living with a partner or spouse). 

They must also have the right to leave their country of birth. If there is only one parent travelling with them to New Zealand, the other parents custody rights may need to be considered, according to the laws of your home country. This is something we can check for you and discuss further. 

What do Immigration New Zealand mean by a genuine relationship? 

A genuine relationship is defined as two people of any gender, living together with shared responsibilities (and finances), in a committed relationship that is likely to last. You will need to provide evidence that your relationship is genuine and stable, that you are both of good character and healthy. There will also be financial, and possibly English language requirements. We can go through a country specific list of what will be expected of you, give us a call to book a meeting. 

You can read more about how to prove your relationship is genuine and stable in our ‘Comprehensive Common Sense Guide to New Zealand Partnership Visas’. 

What are the most common reasons for a declined family based visa?

For partners it is usually an issue of insufficient evidence of shared finances or lack of rental agreements etc to show you have been living together long enough. A marriage certificate won’t cut it. Proving a relationship is genuine and stable does take a lot of work for any New Zealand visa. 

For dependent children it is less likely to fail. However, if you don’t have sufficient evidence of custody, and the right to be removed from their home country, or your child is adopted you will run into issues. It is also harder for dependent children who are older (over 20) to be approved, more evidence will be needed to show they are financially dependent on you, and couldn’t cope alone in their home country. 

If your child has an ongoing health concern your application is less likely to succeed as well, due to the additional cost to New Zealand to support them. We have dealt with these types of cases before and can help you work through these issues, just give us a call. 

What do I do if my visa gets declined?

Don’t panic, we can help you get it sorted. A declined visa does not mean you will never get in. It is a setback, and it will have to be mentioned when you apply for further visas, however it doesn’t mean it’s the end. As long as you remedy the errors or concerns brought up by Immigration New Zealand, you have a good chance of getting an approval the second time around, especially if you seek professional help from a licensed immigration adviser. Sometimes there is a stand down period, we will let you know if you need to wait before applying again, but more often than not you can apply again straight away. 

We will help you make sure everything is in order, and help you provide exactly what they are looking for in terms of evidence. We will triple check for errors and inconsistencies that may raise red flags and result in delays or declined applications, and help you get the outcome you want. 

You can contact us on 0800 800 612, through our contact us form, or pop in to one of our offices in Auckland or Wellington, for a no obligation consultation.

Get started with a free assessment today

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.