Visa News
April 3, 2023

Partnership Visas: Your Work Rights and Other Important Information.

Knowing your work rights as a partner of a resident work visa holder in NZ is critical to your success in this country. Here are many of your questions answered
Partnership Visas: Your Work Rights and Other Important Information.

Depending on your partner's circumstances, you can apply to work in New Zealand. Various visas support your ability to work in this country. However, the length of time you can work here depends on your supporting partner.

Your supporting partner visa or residency status dictates the time you can work in NZ. Whether they hold a work visa holder or are a student, resident, or citizen, your work rights will be aligned with their status. 

Which Visa is Right for You and Your Partner?

Before applying for a partner visa, it is worth investigating whether your qualifications or job role could win you a working visa without relying on your partner. For example, you may find your role is in short supply in New Zealand and, therefore, a more straightforward pathway to residency. 

By applying in your own right for work visas such as an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) or a Skilled Worker Visa, you circumvent the need for the extra paperwork that comes with proving your partnership status. Immigration advisers can help you isolate the visa pathway, which is the best option for you and your family. 

What are Your Work Rights If You are A Partner of a Work Visa?

There are several different types of partnership visa that may or may not restrict your rights to work in this country. Find below specifics on each situation.

Applying as a Partner of a Citizen/ Resident

With a successful application for this visa, you have open work rights. 

Applying as a Partner of an Accredited Employer Work Visa Migrant

From the 31st of May, 2023, New Zealand will be amending their policy on work rights for partners of work visa holders. This change will not impact workers approved through the New Zealand Green list or who earn twice the medium wage. You will be able to apply offshore for this work visa without the need for a job offer. 

All other partners of AEWV holders will be granted open work visas but with conditions - they will have to work for an accredited employer and earn the median wage- $29.66.

Frequently Asked Questions About Partnership Visas in NZ

To help you out we have compiled a list of the questions and concerns of our clients whilst applying for a Partnership Visa. 

  • How much does a Partner Visa NZ cost?

There are several different partner visa types that vary in cost. Currently, the cost of a Partner of a Work Visa is NZ$860, whilst the partner of an NZ Resident costs $3,610. 

  • What are the eligibility requirements for a partnership visa?

To be eligible for a partnership visa, you must be 18 or over. Before your partnership application, you must have been in a genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand citizen, work visa holder or resident. In addition, you need to prove that your relationship is genuine and long-term.

  • How long does it take to process a partnership visa application?

It typically takes several months to process a partnership visa application. The current average for a partner of a work visa processing is 55 days, whilst INZ is currently processing 90% of the visa applications within 90 days. For a partnership of a residency visa, the processing time can be longer, with the average timeframe being six months.  

It's important to factor in the processing time for a partnership visa application before planning your potential move. There are various factors, including the complexity of the application and the workload of the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) office, that can extend the processing time. 

Our immigration advisers can help you keep up to date with time frames and streamline your application, ensuring INZ has everything they need at the beginning to get you an answer faster. 

  • Do you need to be living together for a partner visa?

Yes, you need to be able to provide evidence of a stable relationship. By proving you have lived together through tenancy or mortgage agreements, you are committed to a genuine relationship. If you and your significant other have been separated by distance for a period of time, it is recommended that you disclose details about the separation, such as:

  • The circumstances that led to the separation
  • The duration of the separation
  • The methods you used to stay in touch when you were not living together.

  • What is the criteria to be a sponsor of a Partner Visa application

To qualify as an eligible NZ supporting partner, your partner must meet specific criteria. Firstly, they must be able to support your visa application. Additionally, they must be eligible to sponsor a partnership-based resident visa application within a 12-month period. 

However, some restrictions may prevent your partner from being eligible. For example, your partner can only support a successful resident visa application for one previous partner within the last five years.

Similarly, if they have included a previous partner in their own successful residence application within the last five years, they will not be eligible to support your application. Furthermore, they will not meet the eligibility criteria if they have been included as a partner in a successful residence application within the last five years. 

  • What proof do you need for a partner visa?

To prove that your relationship is genuine and stable, you may need to provide a range of evidence, including photos, emails, messages, evidence of cohabitation and proof of shared financial commitments, such as joint bank accounts or joint tenancy agreements.

  • Can I work in New Zealand on a partnership visa?

Yes, if you are granted a partnership visa, you will be allowed to work in New Zealand. Your partner's visa, citizenship, or residency status determines how long you can work and any conditions. For partners of New Zealanders moving to NZ on work visas, you can work up to 2 years. You may be able to apply for residency before this partnership visa nz expires. 

  • What happens if my relationship breaks down while I am on a partnership visa?

If your relationship breaks down while you are on a partnership visa, you may no longer be eligible for the visa and will need to leave New Zealand. Contact our licensed Immigration Advisers in this situation, as we can help provide support and guidance on your personal situation. 

The Partnership visas application process is complex due to the detail you need to provide to prove your relationship. With that in mind, we are always here to help. Our advisers help hundreds of partners and families each year through their application process and onto a new life in New Zealand.

Get in touch with us for your free consultation.

Why Professional Support Can Make All the Difference

If you hold a different type of visa that permits you to live in New Zealand for an extended or indefinite period, obtaining a partnership visa may not be necessary. Your present visa could be sufficient for maintaining your relationship and lifestyle in New Zealand. 

In this situation, talking to our Immigration Advisers can help provide you with a clear understanding of your own pathway to residency and your best option. 

Get started with a FREE consultation today

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers

Our experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. 

Our team is on standby, ready to help.

Get started with a free assessment today

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.