Recently, staff from Queen City Law attended a workshop with Immigration New Zealand (“INZ”) in regards to preparing and submitting “decision ready” visa applications under the partnership-based categories. The workshop was held in INZ’s Hamilton branch. The Hamilton branch primarily deal with on-shore partnership-based visa applications while off-shore applications are reviewed by branches in Manila, Mumbai and New Delhi to name a few.
During this workshop discussions were held between key members of the Hamilton branch on how to prepare an application under the partnership category to the highest quality. A high quality application, known as a “low touch” application, is one that provides INZ with a complete picture of the relationship between the applicant and their supporting partner. In contrast, a “high touch” application is on the opposite end of the scale and requires a significant inspection by INZ to determine whether or not the relationship meets Immigration Instructions.
One way to compare a low to a high touch application is to think of them as different types of art. A high touch application can be viewed as surrealist painting such as “The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali – looking at the painting you can see a picture and identify objects within it but you are left with questions wondering what are you looking at, what do the objects mean and how do they fit together? The same can be said for high touch applications. INZ may be able to see that there is a relationship but is it genuine and stable? Does it accurately represent the relationship and are all the details truthful?
By comparison, a low touch application could be considered to be an impressionist painting such as the “Water Lilies series” by Claude Monet – all of the paintings are just what they appear. No deeper meaning needs to be sought and hardly any questions are raised.
The key take away that we had from this workshop was that the best way to prepare an application was to provide INZ with all the details of a relationship. Sounds simple? It is in fact more complicated than it first appears and it is worth noting that approximately 60% of partnership-based applications that are received are not “decision ready”. Sixty percent of applications received are high touch leaving only 40% of applications received by INZ to be low touch “decision ready” applications.
Another key topic that was discussed was the purpose of partnership-based visa categories. This category is in place so that existing relationships between a NZ supporting partner and an applicant can be maintained and essentially grow. The category is not intended for people to “test” a relationship that developed for example over social media. You cannot lodge an application under the partnership category so that you can travel to New Zealand to meet and live with someone that you met online and have been messaging for the past couple of months. A partnership-based application can only be used for those people that are already in a relationship and can demonstrate that they have been living together in a shared residence.
If you are considering making an application under the partnership-based categories, do not hesitate to contact the team at Queen City Law to discuss your options.
We have taken care to ensure that the information given is accurate, however it is intended for general guidance only and should not be relied upon in individual cases. Professional advice should always be sought before any decision or action is taken as Immigration New Zealand’s instructions change on a regular basis.