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How to Apply for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa

A Partner of a Worker Work visa allows migrants to join partners and work in NZ, with a 3-month study option. Learn more about this visa and its requirements.
November 7, 2022
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5
 min read
How to Apply for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa

Depending on your partner's situation, you can apply for a visa to work in New Zealand while they're also here working. A Partner of a Worker Work visa allows you to join your partner, work in New Zealand, and study for up to 3 months.

New Zealand work visa holders can include their partners and children in their applications. However, they will only be granted the length of the visa to match the work visa. So you will both need to apply for a new visa before it expires. 

What Type of Relationships Qualify for a Partnership Visa?

A partner is a legal term that refers to your relationship with another person, like a spouse. A partnership is defined as two people of the same or opposite sex who have lived together in a genuine and stable relationship for at least 12 months. The types of partnerships that INZ recognises include:

  • Legal marriage
  • Civil union
  • De facto relationship.

A partnership requires you and your partner, an NZ work visa holder or applicant, to meet the following criteria: 

  • Be 18 or older (If you are 16 or 17, your parents or guardians must consent).
  • Have met each other before applying for the visa.
  • Not close relatives.

How a Partnership is Assessed

When Immigration New Zealand reviews a partnership application, the following factors are taken into account, which assists them in assessing and determining whether the relationship meets the requirements.

  • How long you've been together, and how long you've been living together as a couple.
  • Whether you support each other financially and how you share financial responsibilities.
  • Property that you may own or share together.
  • If you have any children together.
  • Whether other people recognise your relationship or not.

The Definition of a Genuine Partnership

We often are asked what a genuine relationship is in the eyes of Immigration NZ. So to put it simply, a genuine relationship is defined as having been entered into on a long-term and exclusive basis and is likely to endure.

A genuine relationship is well-known and accepted by your family and friends. It's also a public relationship that is clear to see, regularly talked about and proven. So if your employer or grandmother doesn't know you are in a serious relationship, this would raise a red flag with an NZ immigration officer. 

Your relationship also needs to be known by government agencies, as you should declare you are in a partnership on any forms or documents that ask it of you. So if you are on a single parent benefit through WINZ while applying for a partnership visa, this raises red flags and can equal a declined application.

Evidence to Prove Your Relationship

Here are some examples of evidence that can be used to prove a stable and genuine relationship:

  • Marriage or Civil Union Certificate.
  • Dated rental agreements in both of your names.
  • Joint home loan.
  • Joint bank accounts.
  • Joint Credit Card accounts.
  • Child/Children's birth certificates.
  • Photos together (preferably dated, try to provide a decent quantity from different times).
  • Communication between you both over time, social media, cards, and emails.
  • Proof that others are aware of your relationship and see it as serious (such as invitations to family events in your names, Christmas cards to you both, and photos with family).
  • Evidence of leisure time spent together (such as fun days out or holidays away).
  • Assets that you own together, in both your names.
  • Joint bills (electricity, internet) or each paying some of the bills at the same address.
  • Mail addressed to you together at the same place and time.
  • Evidence of and a letter explaining any time apart and how you kept in touch in that time.

We help you check through these things before you apply. We can go through all of the places an Immigration Officer will look to see if you are telling the truth on your application and about the length of time of the relationship.

Can I Work as a Partner of an NZ Work Visa Holder?

When one of a couple obtains a job offer, the decision is often made to move to New Zealand together. In fact, in most cases, both partners would rarely have secured a job offer at the same time.

A Partner of an NZ Worker visa allows you to be with your partner while they are in New Zealand on a work visa. It is an open Work visa that can allow you to work for any employer in New Zealand.

The general requirements for partner work visas are:

  • Evidence of a genuine and stable relationship.
  • Living together with shared finances and responsibilities.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Your relationship is public and recognised by others.
  • You (or your partner) have sufficient funds (salary or savings) to support you for the entire length of time of the visa you are applying for (either 1 or 2 years in length).

Partner Visa Exclusions 

Several work visas do not support work, visits or studying for the partner or family entering. These are:

  • A Fishing Crew work visa.
  • A working holiday visa.
  • A limited visa under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) or Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) schemes.
  • A Silver Fern Job Search visa.
  • A Domestic Staff of a Diplomat work.

Partnership Visas

Various partnership visas allow migrants to work in New Zealand if their partner has an NZ work visa. With your work visa, you can normally support the following visas for your partner and dependent children:

  • An open work visa for your partner.
  • A visitor visa for your partner or your children.
  • A student visa for your children.

If You're a Partner of an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) Holder

INZ's big reset of the immigration system aims to make it easier for employers to fill skill shortages via an Accredited Employers Work Visa (AEWV NZ). If your partner already holds an AEWV, you could be eligible to join them and work in New Zealand.

Your partner who holds the AEWV must meet INZ's requirements and earn above the median wage to support a work visa for their partner.

The government announced that from 4 July 2022, partners are eligible for an open work visa as long as the first applicant (the AEWV holder) earns above the median wage of NZ$27.76 an hour.

If you can not support your partner or dependent children, they can also supply independently to gain their own visas. 

What is the Application Process for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa?

The partner who holds the AEWV must first meet all of INZ's requirements.

For more details about the application process, talk to a licensed immigration adviser. Call Malcolm Pacific Immigration today to discuss your concerns or book a free appointment to see how we can work with you.

How Much Does the Partnership Visa Application Cost?

Applying for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa can cost upwards of NZ$700. The cost covers INZ's time for processing the application. However, it is important to note that INZ does not refund application costs if applications are declined.

Contact our team of licensed immigration advisers for expert advice and guidance on the process.

Hold an AEWV Already? What You Need to Know to Help Your Partner Apply

If you're a migrant holding an AEWV already, you can support your partner in getting a visitor visa. Otherwise, if your partner is granted an AEWV, they can work under 30 hours per week.

If you're an AEWV holder working in New Zealand in an occupation on the Green List or are paid twice the median wage, you can help support your partner to work in New Zealand. For example, in this circumstance, you can support a work visa with open work rights for your partner. To save on stress, let Malcolm Pacific Immigration take care of the whole process.

What Can Cause a Partner of an NZ Worker Work Visa to be Declined?

For partners, it is usually an issue of insufficient evidence of shared finances or lack of rental agreements to show that you have been living together long enough. A marriage certificate won't be enough. Proving a genuine and stable relationship takes a lot of work for any New Zealand visa.

Our experienced Licensed Immigration Advisers at Malcolm Pacific Immigration can help you avoid the lengthy and challenging process of applying for a Partner of Worker Work Visa in New Zealand. We can review your application and evidence and understand where Immigration will need to investigate to prove your relationship is genuine. 

Get Professional Advice From Licensed Immigration Advisers

If you've already started the process, we can advocate on your behalf after your application has been submitted and address any issues raised by your Immigration Officer. We will work to resolve any problems and help you provide any additional evidence needed to back up your claims. 

When we speak to your Immigration Officer on your behalf, we're armed with the background knowledge of similar cases and how they were remedied and approved. We know what to say and what they want from you. Your chances of a quick, problem-free approval are significantly increased when you choose to use the services of a reputable Licensed Immigration Adviser. 

You can get in touch with us through our Contact Form, by calling 0800 800 612 or by popping into one of our offices in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington or Queenstown during business hours.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

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.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

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 employer team is on standby, ready to help.

Latest Updates

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Our team keep ahead of all the latest employment and immigration law developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.

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Update

Migrant Worker Residence

Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.

July 8, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrants Opportunity

Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.

July 8, 2022
Update

New Employer Accreditation Process

The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.

July 8, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 19 July 2021

  • The median wage used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications increases from $25.50 per hour to $27 per hour.
  • Applicants paid below the median wage may be granted a work visa for up to 24 months. The usual 6-month visa validity restriction is suspended until mid-2022.
  • In certain cases, the labour market test is waived and in some cases, it will still apply.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 30 June 2021

  • Employer Accreditation and Approval in Principle applications are now closed.
  • No new Employer Accreditation applications (including renewals) will be accepted until the new process goes live in mid-2022.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Employer Accreditation Becomes Mandatory

Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.

July 8, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From mid-2020 (delayed)

  • Government to negotiate and introduce Industry Sector agreements setting minimum conditions for industries that heavily rely on overseas workers. Sectors include; residential care, meat processing, dairy, forestry, road freight transport, tourism, and hospitality. Construction, horticulture, and viticulture may also be included.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 15 February 2021

  • Dairy Cattle Farmer job offers are now assessed by three new occupation descriptions: Dairy Farm Manager, Assistant Dairy Farm Manager and Dairy Herd Manager. Pay rates and job tasks will determine how long a work visa is valid. Take advice.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2020

  • Introduction of "Oversupply" and "Undersupply" occupation lists used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications when a job offer pays less than the median wage.
  • Employers offering jobs to migrant workers where an occupation is on the "Oversupply" list will not get Skill Match reports issued by Work & Income. Solid evidence of genuine attempts to find a local to fill the job will be critical for approval.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:

Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 July 2020

  • Essential Skills work visa applications are now assessed based on the current median wage (NZD $25.50 or more per hour.).
  • Job offers paying below the median wage require employers to pass the labour market test* and secure a Skills Match Reports from WINZ (work visas granted for a maximum of 6 months).

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 May 2020​

  • Regional Skill Shortage List goes live. 15 regions around New Zealand list occupations reflecting local skill shortages in each region. The labour market test is not mandatory provided the job offer matches the occupation and region plus the visa applicant has qualifications and/or work experience set out on the list.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:

  • Has employment paying double the median wage which is currently NZD $51 per hour OR NZD $106,800 per annum; OR Has New Zealand occupational registration and is required to hold valid registration to lawfully carry out their job.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 24 February 2020

  • Wage or salary thresholds increase for Essential Skills Work Visas applications lodged on or after 24/02/2020 (labour market tested; read more here).
  • Higher Skilled employment increases to $38.25 or more per hour ($79,560 per annum*)
  • Mid Skilled Employment increases to $21.68 or more per hour ($45,094 per annum*)

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2019

  • Base salary to qualify for a Work to Residence Visa (WTR) supported by an accredited employer increases from $55,000 per annum to $79,560 per annum (or $38.25 per hour).
  • Pay rates for WTR visas are now reviewed annually.
  • Work visa applicants paid less than $79,560 per annum by accredited employers need to apply under other work visa categories.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 1 November 2021

  • Work to Residence Visa (Accredited Employer and Long Term Skill Shortage) applications close.
  • Applications lodged on or before 31 October 2021 will be processed under current visa settings.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Mandatory Vaccination Required for Travel

From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.

July 8, 2022
Update

Employer Accreditation

Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.

July 26, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:

  • Had lodged a residence application under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work category; OR Had lodged an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) in the SMC pool that included at least one dependent child aged 17 or above.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:

  1. Settled.
  2. Skilled.
  3. Scarce.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:

  • Workers in NZ who held an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and on the day they apply for residence; OR Applied for an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and the work visa application is subsequently approved and still hold an eligible work visa on the day they apply for residence.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Critical Purpose Visitor Visas

A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • July 4. Applications open for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.
  • July 31. Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa close.
  • August. Skilled Migrant Residence category scheduled to reopen.
  • August. A new pathway to residence for people earning 200% or more of the median wage.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

July 8, 2022
Update

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.

July 8, 2022
Update

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.
July 8, 2022
Update

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.

July 12, 2022
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