Sponsoring Family

Are your ready to submit your partnership visa in New Zealand?  It’s always best practice your immigration adviser or yourself to put more information than less. This is due to many partnership applications being received by Immigration New Zealand every day. Often the immigration officer doesn’t know as much about your relationship as you do.

Relationship details

Applicants sometimes forget the level of detail which must be included. In particular this is common with young relationships which are less than 3 months old. Often these can require immigration interviews. They must prove they have lived together by using household bills, rental agreements and landlord support letters. Even more surprisingly, wechat, Skype and text dialogue can make up a large part of the relationship evidence, rather than traditional letters and emails.  

The applicant has to prove to INZ that they meet 4 levels of criteria. These briefly include stability, being genuine, receiving support and recognition. Should the officer have concerns or doubts, the application may receive a shorter visa currency or be declined with poor and inconsistent information presented.  There is an easier way to be successful and that is by asking us for advice. For more information on this topic see our Residence partnership visa section so we can assist you.

Partnership recognition

Partnership visas are becoming increasingly difficult with a higher bar now being set. Since the last policy change with skilled migrant applications, there seems to be more pressure on this type of category.

It used to be the case where you could just be married in a new relationship and it would pass the immigration test. However these days you need a couple to demonstrate a genuine and stable relationship evidence which includes documentation living together, social proof, family recognition and other supporting social information with Immigration New Zealand use the four tiers of partnership recognition. Any long distance relationship will often be looked on suspiciously, especially if people the couple haven’t met and it’s an online relationship. Even if they have met a few times in the applicant’s home country or holidays there is still usually a lack of solid information and evidence to show that the relationship is genuine or stable. For that reason often a general visitor visa is recommended for the initial stages of partnership pathways.

The most difficult aspect for partners of New Zealanders applying for a visitor visa is to demonstrate bona fide requirements. This requires evidence that the applicant has a home base to return to and includes some of the following stable employment evidence, consistent savings and spending habits, a good education & international travel experience and generally good documentation presented professionally.

When applying for a visitor visa, couples are also frustrated as the partner often wants to work immediately when in NZ. However trust and credible evidence with documentation needs to be gained from immigration New Zealand before a higher level visa can be granted.

Once reunited with the sponsor they can then test the relationship and live together for several months in NZ until they have eligibility for a work visa under partnership category. After then, they continue to keep up the documentation and providing they have lived together for 12 months or more, they may apply for a residence application under the partnership category.

For couples who are about to get married under a cultural arrangement which is particularly popular in India, the documentation is very specific for immigration requirements and no information can be missed.

Sometimes with couples in different nationality relationships the assessing officer may ask further questions or even request an interview. For these cases it’s important to have full intimate knowledge of each other’s’ lives so all would be seen as genuine full stop

Also with more established couples usually children can be included as dependents. For example if a New Zealander sponsors his partner she may be eligible for a partnership work visa and the child would be eligible for either a student or visitor visa depending on the child’s age. Note is worth seeing that any work visa over 1 year would be treated as domestic regarding school formalities which can be a financial bonus for applicants.


Link applications

Our Immigration Adviser at Visa4u had a case where a client had previously sponsored his girlfriend with a work visa. They wished to swap their roles with her sponsoring him whilst she was holding a student visa. Many applicants forget when doing this, they need submit separate NZ partnership visa applications. However its important to link them together with good cover letters, relationship and partnership evidence with correct fees. As well as time and money, making the correct application under partnership categories is beneficial for future residence visa applications in NZ.  Fortunately as we were organised, our clients were successful and there were no issues.