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One option for getting a New Zealand visa that is not well known is as the Guardian of a student. This visitor visa allows the applicant to come to New Zealand to live with and care for a student who holds a visa to study in New Zealand. What is even less known is that this visa could potentially allow the parent to work in New Zealand without needing to pass a ‘Labour Market Check’ (ie showing that no NZ residents are available to fill the job offered to them.) This category also provides a potential pathway to residence in New Zealand that could be considered as part of an immigration plan.

Important points to note about this Visa include:

  • This visa is only available to the ‘legal guardian’ of a child – ie parents or other legally appointed guardians who provide care for the student in their home country.
  • The child must be 17 years of age or younger, or enrolled in school years 1 to 13 (primary and secondary school), and must hold a current student visa.
  • Students will need to pay international student fees applicable
  • You will need to show sufficient finances to support yourself and the student
  • guardian visa holders are not entitled to publicly subsidised services, including healthcare
  • only one guardian visa will be granted per family at one time (however two guardians could take turns in New Zealand.
  • The visa can be granted for up to one year but can be renewed to allow them to stay for the duration of the student’s course or until the student turns 19 years of age
  • if the guardian is granted a visa to care for a student aged 13 years or younger, they must live with that student.
  • guardian visa holders are not eligible to apply for student visas or work visas under Essential Skills Work or Specific Purpose or Event Instructions while in New Zealand.
  • guardian’s can request a variation of conditions to allow them to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) in New Zealand during school hours (when student is in class)
  • Applications to work part-time under this category do not need to meet the labour market Check (ie showing that no NZ residents are available for the position)

Summary

This Visa may suit people who want to give their child a New Zealand education and come here to support them. It is not really a suitable pathway to come to New Zealand and then move on to a work visa as this is not allowed. However, guardians may be able to work part-time and get valuable work experience in New Zealand. This visa category also does not prevent you from applying for residence in New Zealand if you are able to secure a permanent job offer while here and meet points for a Skilled Migrant Residence application.

If you want to know more about this option or look into how it can be incorporated into an Immigration plan for your family, feel free to contact us for more info.

Until next time,

Jig Patel

Managing Director 
Immigration Centre