Visa News

How Difficult is it to get NZ Partnership Residency?

The NZ Partnership Visa is one of the most difficult residence visas to obtain in New Zealand. Most couples will face challenges during the application process, making it all the more important to seek advice early on.

15/03/20223 min read
How Difficult is it to get NZ Partnership Residency?

The NZ Partnership Visa is one of the most difficult residence visas to obtain in New Zealand. Most couples will face challenges during the application process, making it all the more important to seek advice early on.

What are some of the challenges applicants face and is it possible to overcome them? Here, we explore the strict requirements of applying for residence under partnership in NZ and the issues you might face along the way.

Applying for Residence Under Partnership in NZ

The Partnership Visa allows you to apply for NZ residency based on your partnership with a New Zealand resident or citizen. To apply for residence under partnership, you and your partner must prove to Immigration New Zealand that your relationship is “genuine and stable.” Immigration NZ defines a partnership as two people in either a legal marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship; the couple must be living together and be able to provide evidence of such. Official evidence may include bank statements, marriage certificates, joint credit cards, or a joint rental agreement. Supporting evidence such as social media posts, photos together, and mail addressed to both of you could also help to prove your case. The problem is, even the most genuine and stable relationships may not have all the evidence they need to support their case.

At the time you lodge the residence application you must have been living together for 12 months or longer. This means on the date you press “submit” Immigration NZ will immediately go back 12 months from that “submit” date to be satisfied you have lived together throughout the 12 month period before you applied. For example, if you lodge the application on the first day of December but you didn’t start living with your partner until the last day of December the year before you will be considered to have lived together for 11 months. In that scenario, the residence application would be declined. The “living together” requirement just does not end on the day the application is lodged. Immigration NZ keeps assessing you are still living together right up to the day the visa is issued. If you are overseas when the visa is issued then until you arrive in New Zealand you have an obligation to inform Immigration NZ of any change in circumstances, including if you and your partner stop living together.

Immigration officers consider a range of other factors when assessing your application, some of which can feel quite intrusive. This may include how you share household tasks, how committed you are to a life-long relationship, child-care & financial arrangements... the list goes on.

The Complexities of the Partnership Visa

Relationships are complex; applying for a visa based on your relationship with another person can therefore be very complicated. Unfortunately, immigration officers don’t always consider these complexities when assessing applications. You either meet the criteria, or you don’t.

The expectation that a couple must live together to be considered “genuine and stable’ is the biggest challenge for most couples. If there was a period when you and your partner lived apart, you can expect Immigration New Zealand to question this. But what if your partner had work commitments in another city or country? What if you and your partner lived apart for cultural or religious reasons? Many factors could affect a couple’s living arrangements.

In your application, you’ll need to explain (and prove) why you lived apart. Immigration New Zealand will assess how living apart affected your relationship, but this can be difficult for a third party to judge.

Seek Advice Early: Contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration Today

As you can see, applying for a Partnership Visa is a unique challenge. No matter how genuine your relationship may feel from your point of view, there are no guarantees with the visa application process. We recommend speaking with an NZ immigration adviser early on to determine your eligibility and chances of success. At Malcolm Pacific Immigration, we can help you figure out the best solution for your needs. Get in touch today for reliable immigration advice and support.

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Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.

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The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

16 May 22

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21