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Family Visas for New Zealand

Family Visas serve as a pathway for individuals to reunite with their loved ones and build a new life in New Zealand.

If you want to obtain a Family Visa, Total Law can take you through the entire process. Call us at 0333 305 9375 or contact us via online chat at Total Law.

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    Introduction to Family Visas

    Family Visas help family reunification by allowing New Zealand citizens to bring their loved ones over to settle permanently. They offer a route for partners, spouses, children, parents, and other eligible family members or dependents to come together and reunify.

    A Family Visa gives holders access to New Zealand’s healthcare, education and job market as well as permanent residence with their family.

    Understanding what a Family Visa is and being aware of the requirements is crucial. To get help from professional lawyers, contact Total Law at 0333 305 9375 or via our online chat today.

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    Types of Family Visas

    New Zealand has a range of visas to suit different circumstances, including the following routes:

    Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa – Designed for spouses, de facto partners, or civil union partners of New Zealand residents.

    Parent Resident Visa – Grants parents and, in certain circumstances, grandparents the ability to come to New Zealand to live with their family members.

    Dependant Child Visas – Enables dependant children to join their parents and move to New Zealand indefinitely. Multiple Dependant Child Visas exist, such as the Dependent Child Resident Visa and the Dependent Child Student Visa.

    Parent Retirement Resident Visa – Allows the parents of a New Zealand resident to come to New Zealand and spend their retirement with their family.

    Family Visa Requirements

    Applying for a Family Visa requires submitting the correct paperwork, but the exact documents needed will depend on your individual circumstances and the visa you are applying for. You should be prepared to supply the following:

    • Valid passport
    • Evidence of family ties, such as marriage certificates, adoption certificates, or birth certificates
    • Employment contract
    • Medical record
    • Police certificate

    You will also be asked to provide evidence of a genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand citizen. This can be done through birth certificates, evidence of cohabitation, marriage certificates, or civil union certificates.

    New Zealand immigration will also assess whether your relationship is genuine, especially for a Partner Visa,  and you may need to provide evidence such as photographs, emails and previous meetings.

    For the Parent Retirement Resident Visa, you must be able to provide evidence of a planned investment of a minimum of NZD 1 million for at least four years.  This must be in addition to any annual income or settlement funds.

    Financial stability is another key part of being eligible for a New Zealand visa, and you may be required to show you or your family members can support each other after immigrating to New Zealand. As part of your application, you may need to submit copies of recent bank statements, employment contracts, tax returns, or other evidence of financial stability from the sponsoring family member.

    All family members applying for a Family Visa must meet New Zealand’s health and character assessments. This may involve undergoing medical examinations or providing medical histories and police clearance certificates from the countries where applicants have lived previously.

    Financial Requirements and Sponsorship

    To successfully acquire a Family Visa in New Zealand, you must prove that you and your family are financially stable. This can be achieved by showing you are financially capable on your own or by showing you have obtained funds from a sponsorship.

    Some of the documents you or your sponsor may need to provide include:

    • Bank statements
    • Tax returns
    • Property valuations
    • Employment contracts (if applicable)
    • Share certificates
    • Asset valuations

    For the purposes of applying for a Family Visa, a sponsor can be a family member, a government organisation, a community or an employer.

    For further information about the financial requirements of applying for a Family Visa to New Zealand, contact an immigration expert for up-to-date advice.

    Healthcare and Insurance

    Once you have been granted a Family Visa, you can access a wide range of medical services in New Zealand at a subsidised cost or even free. This includes GP visits, specialist referrals and emergency care.

    The healthcare system involves registering with a local GP who can provide treatment or refer you to specialists if necessary. This is funded mostly by taxation.

    New Zealand residents can also voluntarily opt for private healthcare, offering greater flexibility and reducing wait times.

    However, you should get travel insurance and medical coverage during the transition period. This ensures that you are protected if unforeseen issues occur, as you may not be eligible to claim healthcare before your application is accepted.

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      Family Visa Application Process and Costs

      The visa application process and the associated costs can often be the most frustrating parts of Immigrating to New Zealand. Seeking professional help from our immigration lawyers at Total Law can help streamline the entire process, maximising your chances of acceptance and minimising costs wherever possible.

      Step-By-Step Guide to the Family Visa Application Process

      The steps for applying for a Family Visa are:

      • Assess eligibility and opt for the visa most suited to your circumstances
      • Provide required documents, including a completed application form and fees.
      • Submit your application

      After these steps, you must wait for your application to be processed and a decision to be made.

      You may be contacted if further documentation is needed or some information is unclear. It is important not to make travel arrangements before your visa application is accepted in case your request is delayed or denied.

      Application Submission Methods and Timelines

      There are multiple application submission routes for those applying for a Family Visa:

      • Online Submission via the New Zealand Immigration website.
      • Mailing by post to New Zealand Immigration
      • In-person at a New Zealand visa application centre

      The New Zealand Family Visa processing time can vary significantly depending on which visa you have applied for and your submission method. In general, online applications are processed and reviewed faster than other methods.

      The average Parent Resident Visa waiting time is ten months, as stated on the official New Zealand Immigration website, while other Family Visa application times vary. Therefore, it is important to ensure you submit all the required information on submission to avoid any potential delays or even rejection.

      Contact Total Law at 0333 305 937 if you need help submitting your Family Visa application.

      Cost of Applying for a Family Visa

      The cost of a New Zealand Family Visa varies depending on where you live and your immigration status. Usually, the costs are calculated as you work through the application process.

      The main fee you or your sponsor must pay when applying for a Family Visa is the visa application fee, and the exact amount will vary depending on the visa route.

      In addition, there are numerous additional fees you may have to pay depending on the visa you are applying for, such as medical examination, criminal record request and translation costs.

      Conditions and Duration of Stay

      Family Visas often come with requirements that applicants must follow to maintain their residency rights. Some common conditions you may have to follow are residency obligations, which state that New Zealand needs to remain your main residence, and travel restrictions, which involve being unable to leave New Zealand for a certain amount of time. You must also continue to meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements.

      Usually, Family Visas allow applicants to stay in New Zealand permanently as long as they follow all requirements. However, the conditions and duration of your stay depend highly on the visa you have applied for, and you should ensure you apply for a visa that allows permanent residence if you wish to live in the country.

      For example, the Parent Vistor Visa and the Grandparent Vistor Visa only allow holders to visit for up to 18 months in three years. However, a Resident Parent Visa offers a route to permanent residence and eventually New Zealand citizenship

      If your situation changes or you cannot meet one or more requirements of your visa, you may lose your residency rights. You may also need to renew your visa depending on your circumstances and the type of visa you have been granted.

      How Total Law Can Help

      Acquiring a New Zealand Family Visa can be challenging, but with the right help, it can be made much easier. If you are struggling with your application or do not know where to start, seeking professional guidance will be invaluable.

      If your application is rejected, you may have to go through the entire process again, costing more money and time.

      We here at Total Law can help you plan, choose the right visa, meet eligibility requirements and submit a high-quality application. With our expert lawyers, we will give you the best possible chance of getting your visa approved without lengthy delays.

      We can even help direct you to a better visa option if you do not meet the requirements for a Family Visa or have been rejected before. Obtaining a Family Visa is only one gateway to reuniting with family. If you are a student, skilled worker, refugee, or entrepreneur, you could gain permanent residency via another visa.

      You can contact the experienced Total Law team at 0333 305 9375 or via our online chat to learn more about the services we can offer those wanting to move to New Zealand.

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                Related pages for your continued reading.


                Immediate family in New Zealand typically includes civil union partners, spouses, de facto partners, dependant children, parents, and grandparents. Immediate family is not set in stone and can differ for individual cases, such as with a legally adopted child or a refugee family.

                In most cases, individuals will have to apply for their own visa. However, there are some circumstances where you may be allowed to apply for a visa for someone else. Some examples of this include dependent children who are under the age of 18 and people with certain disabilities.

                It is best to contact professional immigration lawyers like Total Law if you would like to apply for a Visa on behalf of someone else.

                You may be able to bring your parents to New Zealand permanently if they apply for a Parent Visa and are accepted. This can vary on the age and health of your parents, their financial capabilities, potential sponsors, and your relationship with them.