Are you a partner of a NZ citizen or resident and interested in gaining residency in the country? The NZ Partnership Visa is one of the most challenging and complex visas in New Zealand, but for some, it can be a viable pathway to residency. If you’re interested in getting residency through partnership in NZ, there are various conditions you will need to meet. Here’s what you need to know.
To fully understand the requirements of the Partnership Residence visa, you must first understand what NZ Immigration considers a “partnership.” To put it simply, Immigration NZ constitutes a partnership as two people (of all genders & sexual orientations) who are either in a legal marriage, a civil union, or a de facto relationship. The criteria state that the couple must be living together, and this does not include living as flatmates or sharing accommodation temporarily. At the time the residence application is lodged a couple must have lived together for 12 months or longer immediately before the date the application is made.
To prove to Immigration NZ that you are in a genuine and stable relationship, you must provide evidence. There are many ways to provide evidence of your partnership, and the more evidence you have from official sources, the better.
Official evidence must show that you and your partner are committed to each other. This can be proved with official sources such as marriage certificates, civil union certificates, and/or birth certificates of the children you share. Evidence must also show that you and your partner make important life decisions together and support each other financially. Providing evidence of joint bank accounts, joint rental agreements, joint property or joint credit card agreements can help to prove this.
In addition to “official” evidence, other supporting evidence could include regular social media conversations, photos posted together, or mail addressed to both of you. This will show that you spend free time together, enjoy each other’s company, and the relationship is known to other people. While this type of evidence alone is not enough to prove a partnership, it can help to support your case. Getting the documentation right is important because in most cases Immigration NZ place a lot of weight on the evidence provided with an application.
When it comes to Partnership Residence Visas, the lack of flexibility in the application process can be quite a challenge for some couples. The requirement that a couple must live together to be considered a partnership can be problematic. For example, a couple that lives together is not always an indication of a successful and genuine relationship. Some couples may be fully committed to one another, but for personal or cultural reasons have chosen not to live together or are simply unable to (particularly while the border is closed). Immigration NZ does not take these factors into account — your partnership will only be considered “genuine” if you share a home together.
The processing times for Partnership Visas can also be quite frustrating. Immigration NZ generally takes a long time to assess partnerships — they need to make sure that your relationship is truly genuine and is not just an excuse for the applicant to gain NZ residency. If Immigration NZ is not satisfied with the evidence you have provided, they may request more information or simply reject your application.
We recommend speaking with an immigration adviser early in the application process. An adviser will ensure you have all the evidence you need and improve your chance of success significantly.
Not sure if a Partnership Visa is the best option for you? As licensed immigration advisers in NZ, we can help you figure out the best visa solution for your needs. Get in touch today for reliable and expert advice on all visa types.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
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.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
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.
From 15 February 2021
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.
From 7 October 2020
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.
From 27 July 2020
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.
From 27 May 2020
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.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
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.
From 1 November 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
In order to address labour shortages in New Zealand's crucial industries the NZ government has implemented a "Green List" of sought-after high-skill occupations. This list offers a prioritised pathway to residency.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Occupations are broken down into two tiers:
The recent additions in May 2023 across many sectors on the Green List NZ can be found here