Visa News

What are the Requirements of a Partnership Residence Visa in NZ?

The Partnership Residence Visa is one of the most challenging and complex visas in NZ. Find the requirements here, along with tips to help your application.

28/10/20213 min read
What are the Requirements of a Partnership Residence Visa in NZ?

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.

What Constitutes a ‘Partnership’?

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.

How to Prove your Partnership to Immigration NZ

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.

Providing Official Evidence

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.

Common Challenges of the Partnership Visa

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.

Need Advice? Talk to Malcolm Pacific Today

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.

Latest Updates

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


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

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.

16 Dec 21