New Zealand Partnership Visas: A Common Sense Guide

Finding love outside of the borders of your native country can be an exhilarating experience. Not only that you’ve found a partner, but going to a foreign country can spice up the relationship making it a very unique life event. Until you run into the wall with the bureaucracy and regulations that can shake up even the most stable partners.

Moving to New Zealand with your partner may seem like a simple process on paper until you actually start filling in applications and jumping through the hurdles of the unclear questions that your future life depends on. Read on to find out what to expect, how to deal with it, and the issues you should pay special attention to.

Partnerships that are eligible to apply for a visa

A partnership visa can be obtained by couples that are legally married, living in a civil union, or in a de facto relationship. This applies to both opposite or same-sex marriages and unions. However, a partnership visa is not only limited to those cases. The immigration agents are looking for proof of a genuine relationship, regardless of their legal status. A couple has to have a history of a relationship for at least a year and show some evidence of it, like family photos of vacations and holidays spent together. Immigration officers will be also focused on the longevity potential of the couple, how stable they are, and whether or not the community is going to last for, hopefully, a lifetime, or is it going to fall apart as soon as the visa is approved. The impressions that the couple leaves are crucial for their application being approved or denied.

This is somewhat warranted since there have been a lot of fake marriages lately, leaving agents untrusty to the new applicants. If your relationship is legit, there is no need to be scared of the interviews or any security checks by immigration. However, some lack of fairness has happened before. Couples who were truly devoted to each other got denied because the application was filled in a way that gave the officers reason to suspect in the legality of the marriage or the union, while others passed and got divorced or separated as soon as the process was finished. For this reason, the best thing couples can do to prevent this is to hire professionals like Malcolm Pacific who specialize in New Zealand visa assistance.

Eligibility criteria

Unfortunately, being in love with each other is not enough to be allowed to live together if you’re coming from different countries. Besides proving that you’re in a true relationship, there are a few more criteria that need to be fulfilled before applying. First, and probably the most important fact is that your partner who is applying for you needs to be an NZ citizen, resident or present in the country on a certain visa that will allow him or her to apply for bringing the partner. Further, before you can get a job, your partner will be financially responsible for all your expenses and he or she needs to prove that capability by providing officers with net income.

Your partner must have a clean police record regarding any domestic violence. Also, if he or she applied for someone else in the past 5 years he won’t be able to apply for you. On the other hand, you need to pass some basic health checks and character evaluations by immigration officers.

How long can you stay with your partner in New Zealand?

Not indefinitely. Here’s how it works: if you and your partner lived together for more than 1 year, you will be able to stay in New Zealand for 2 years; if you’ve been living together less than 1 year, you can stay for up to 1 year. For this period, you will be able to work and sign up for some classes for up to 3 months, if you wish so.

In case you and your spouse are looking to live together in New Zealand for prolonged periods of time, you should apply for a different kind of visa or for residency. This carries various new requirements and limitations, as well as rights as a resident. The smartest thing would be to talk to your lawyer on how to approach the application in this case.

Processing time

Processing time will depend on a few factors like whether you’re applying from New Zealand, or are you in your native country, whose passport you hold, and if you’re applying online or by mail. In general, statistics say that 75% of all visa applications are processed within 12 months.

When thinking about starting a process take into account the time that you’ll need to gather all the paperwork needed to apply. Depending on the country you live in, this could take anywhere from 1 to 3 months. Brace yourself for loads of papers you never knew existed; you’re probably going to need every single one.

Required documents

When applying for the partnership visa, paperwork can be overwhelming. Going through it alone, without the specialized lawyer is not recommended. However, if you still decide to embark on this uncertain journey make sure to at least have the support of your partner. This will not only look good when your case hits the desk of the immigration officer, but it can spare you a lot of headaches and speed up the process. Once again, the main thing is that you have to convince the immigration agent that you are in a genuine relationship by providing proof of life together.

Documents that are always asked for are: marriage certificate, certificate of a civil union, mortgage contract showing both your names or a joint lease agreement, children’s birth certificates if you have any kids, bank accounts, credit card accounts, and social media accounts showing you in constant contact. If you have some messages saved on your phone, or from any social media platform, include them in the paperwork. Literally, everything that can prove that you are in an authentic, real relationship that is steady and bound to last for a long time

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]