Support for any dependants with you while you’re on scholarship will vary depending on whether you’re studying in New Zealand or in the Pacific.

Bringing family to New Zealand

The scholarship does not provide any funding for you to bring your dependants with you to New Zealand or to support them while they are here. However, the scholarship does provide some non-financial entitlements such as a work visa and healthcare while the dependants are in New Zealand. 

Definition of dependants

Dependants are defined as your spouse or de facto partner; and/or your legal (including adopted) children, or those of your spouse/partner, who are under 19 years of age.

A de facto partner is defined as someone you have been living with in a genuine and stable, interdependent relationship for 12 months or more, akin to a marriage.

If you have adopted children you must provide evidence (such as an affidavit or statutory declaration) stating that you and/or your spouse/partner have been the legal guardians for at least two years prior to applying for a scholarship.

Employment for partners

Partners of scholarship holders may be granted a full New Zealand work visa for the duration of the scholarship, provided they meet Immigration New Zealand requirements, including evidence of funds. A job offer is not required. But you should note that finding suitable work can be difficult.

For further information on current visa requirements including evidence of funds refer to the dependant visa information page on this website or contact Immigration New Zealand (external link).

Health care for dependants

Any dependent family members living with you in New Zealand are entitled to the same government-funded health assistance in public hospitals as New Zealand citizens.

However, if you bring family members to New Zealand you must also arrange and pay for their health and travel insurance. Contact your institution in New Zealand for further information.


All school-age dependants of New Zealand Aid Programme-funded scholarship students are treated as domestic students in New Zealand schools. This means they're entitled to enrolment at their local zoned state school. But the scholarship does not provide any funding for school fees or for any other schooling costs for dependent children.

Supporting your dependants

The funding you receive from the scholarship is not sufficient to cover the costs of supporting any dependants in New Zealand. You can't bring your family with you to New Zealand unless you have access to other funds. One of the scholarship conditions is that you agree to care for your family while they are in New Zealand and ensure adequate financial support for them.

Immigration requirements for dependants

If you wish to bring your spouse/partner and/or children to New Zealand, you are responsible for ensuring that they meet all Immigration New Zealand requirements including holding valid visas, and having evidence of sufficient funds. You are also responsible for paying any immigration-related costs for your dependants and for ensuring that their passports remain current during their stay.

Read more:

Studying in the Pacific (New Zealand Regional Development Scholarships)

Accompanied stipend

The New Zealand Regional Development Scholarship (NZRDS) provides an accompanied stipend for students with at least one dependant accompanying them in the study country in the Pacific.

The accompanied stipend will assist you with your family’s basic living costs. It will not cover the full costs of providing for a family in the study country. You may have to supplement the accompanied stipend to cover the balance of your living expenses. The amount of the stipend and entitlements depends on the country in which you are studying, and will be specified in your NZRDS offer letter.

To receive the accompanied stipend you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

      • Be on an NZRDS scholarship greater than one year in duration and have at least 12 months remaining on your scholarship by the time your family arrives in the study country.
      • Your dependants can't be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand or Australia (unless they hold New Zealand passports, ie the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau).

If your spouse/partner is also a scholarship student or is employed in the study country this may effect whether you receive a stipend at the accompanied or unaccompanied rate. Contact the New Zealand Embassy or High Commission in the study country for more information.