Personally, I find interracial relationships a wonderful thing. There’s just something about a partnership that transcends geographical, linguistic, and cultural barriers.
Plus, they tend to result in some awfully cute children (who eventually turn into instant celebrities in the Philippines later on, not because they’re especially talented but simply because they’re half-white, but I digress).
All that fluff aside, the practicalities of such a relationship can be quite tedious. If we are to assume that the individuals involved would like to live together eventually, someone will have to apply for a visa at some point.
And while people like applying for visas as much as I like writing about them, the process to get a partner visa in New Zealand is actually more straightforward than most. Let’s take a look:
What a New Zealand Partner Visa Allows You to Do
If you are granted residence in New Zealand based on your having a partner who is a citizen or a resident, you can live, work, and/or study in this island nation indefinitely. This visa also allows you to include any children (aged 24 years and under) that you and your partner might have in your application.
Do note that if your partner is either an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident, you can still apply for this partner visa so long as your significant other lives in New Zealand.
If the two of you have been living outside of New Zealand for five years or more but your partner is an NZ citizen, you can apply for an NZ permanent resident card so long as your partner remains abroad or has been back in the country for less than three (3) months during the application period.
How to Qualify for One
Immigration New Zealand defines a partnership as two people of the opposite or same sex in a genuine or stable relationship, be it a legal marriage, a civil union, or a de facto relationship. It’s also ideal if one of the partners is an NZ citizen or passport holder. That person is then considered the supporting partner.
Either partner must:
- Be at least 18 years of age or older or failing that, have the consent of their respective parents or guardians;
- Have been acquainted with each other before applying for this visa;
- Not be related to each other.
Those interested to apply for this kind of visa may need to present evidence of partnership, including but not limited to the following documents:
- Marriage or civil union certificates;
- Birth certificates for any children you’ve had together;
- Photos together;
- Joint tenancy or rental agreements/home loans;
- Joint bank accounts;
- Joint credit card statements;
- Joint purchase agreements;
- Joint utilities accounts, such as phone or power bills;
- Cards, letters, emails, and social media conversations.
Lastly, there’s a possibility that Immigration New Zealand may require a police certificate to vouch for an applicant’s character requirements. Needless to say, convictions for domestic violence or sexual abuse will compromise and perhaps automatically invalidate a candidate’s application as these are not in line with the country’s values.
How to Apply for a New Zealand Partner Visa
It generally takes about four (4) months for the authorities to reach a decision on each partner visa application, which makes for an interesting symmetry with the four (4) basic steps for applying:
1. Your supporting partner needs to fill out a Partnership Support Form for Residence (INZ 1178), which can be accessed here. You would then attach this, along with other supporting documents like the supporting partner’s proof of residence or a scan of their passport, to your own application.
2. Fill out the Residence Application Form (INZ 1000) and submit it to Immigration New Zealand along with your application fee, immigration levy and supporting documents. Don’t forget to include your supporting partner’s paperwork from Step 1.
3. Wait for a decision. If you need to supply anything else, the immigration department will be in touch.
4. Fly to New Zealand. Once your visa application gets approved, of course. Good luck!
Bear in mind that New Zealand has other partner visa options, such as for work visas or student visas.
These, however, are usually better suited for short-term arrangements, such as when your partner or spouse plans to return to their home country after a period of, say, three months. You can, of course, look into these options as well, or simply stay tuned on our blog until we roll out an article on the same.