Rita Worner, immigration and employment law specialist at Queen City Law, has completed a new whitepaper on “Partnership Visas”. Rita explores some of the aspects of immigration law and how it affects partners already in NZ who want their partners to join them in NZ.
To read the full article as a PDF click here.
Rita is passionate about human rights and previously worked for the NZ Government established Immigration Adviser’s Authority. To read more about Rita click here.
In order to obtain a visa through partnership, the couple must be ‘living together in a genuine and stable relationship’.
Many clients ask us what length of time they need to have lived together in the same physical residence before submitting their visa application. There is no set time length for temporary visas. If you can make the case that your relationship is genuine and stable, then you may be granted a visa after even a very short period of time living together. However, a good rule of thumb is 6 months of cohabitation.
In order to be eligible for a residence visa under the partnership category, you must prove you have lived together for a minimum of 12 months.
The application process can potentially involve an interview with you and your partner, or even an unannounced home visit by immigration officers.
Your partner will need to meet a few requirements. Firstly, they should be either a New Zealand citizen or resident, or the holder of certain types of work visa. Student visa holders may also be considered an eligible partner if they are studying certain high-level and/or post-graduate qualifications.
The partner must not have sponsored more than one other person for residence in New Zealand, and they must not possess convictions for domestic violence related offences.
Partners of NZ citizens living overseas
If your partner is a New Zealand citizen and you have been living together outside of New Zealand for at least 5 years, you may be directly eligible for a Permanent Resident visa.
Periods of separation
If you and your partner have not been living together for lengthy intervals throughout your relationship, for example, while in separate countries, genuine reasons for this must be supplied to INZ. You must appropriately explain what led to the periods of separation and how you maintained your relationship during this time.
Not living together?
The only exception to the “living together” rule for partners is the Culturally Arranged Marriage visa category. You may be eligible under this category if you and your partner intend to marry according to an identified cultural tradition. This category can be very hard to navigate without professional advice – we recommend that you contact us for assistance.
See our Partnership infosheet and contact Queen City Law for assistance with your partnership-based visa application. For more information on Partnership Visas, and wether you qualify feel free to contact us.