In some cultures they mean the same thing, but this is not so in the Philippines. In the Philippines people that are in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship do not necessarily live together. Partners, on the other hand, are in a relationship that is like marriage. Partners are commonly known as 'live-in' partners in the Philippines. Immigration New Zealand instructions define ‘partners’ as either currently residing together permanently, or having recently done so, and are in a genuine and stable relationship.
If you are applying on the basis of your relationship with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you will not meet the minimum requirements under partnership because you have not physically met. You may consider applying under the general visitor visa category. However, please note that part of the consideration under this category are return incentives, and the strength of your commitments in the Philippines. As the basis of your current intent to travel to New Zealand is to meet your boyfriend/girlfriend, evidence of return incentives is likely to be limited. The incentive most likely to be viewed in an applicant’s favour is stable, credible and well remunerated employment (Policy E5.10). Return incentives form part of the assessment of an applicant’s bona fides. Sponsorship from a New Zealand citizen/resident is not likely to prove significant in determining an outcome in a situation like this since the focus is on the applicant's bona fides rather than the New Zealand sponsor's. There is seldom any doubt that a New Zealand sponsor genuinely intend to sponsor their friend for a temporary stay in New Zealand.
The Partnership Profile diagram PDF [75KB] may help you ascertain which visa type is appropriate for you.
If you intend to join your partner in New Zealand for a long period of time, or indefinitely, you should lodge your application under the Partnership Category (visitor or work visa). If you have plans to work in New Zealand, you will have to apply for a partnership work visa. Otherwise, you may simply apply for a partnership visitor visa. In either case, you must meet all the requirements for visas under partnership instructions. These requirements are laid out in immigration instructions V3.10 and WF3.
When an applicant has met with but not lived with his/her New Zealand partner, we may consider him/her under the visitor (general) category provided that the couple is able to satisfactorily demonstrate that they have entered into, and maintained a genuine and stable relationship. Evidence of the applicant’s return incentives and commitments in the Philippines (or his/her home country) should also be submitted.
In cases where the applicant is in a partnership with a New Zealand resident/citizen, but will only visit New Zealand for a short period of time, (for example, for a holiday, family reunion), his/her application should be made under the visitor visa (general category). In these situations, in addition to evidence supporting the nature of the relationship, evidence of the applicant’s return incentives and commitments in the Philippines (or his/her home country) should also be submitted.
Note: If you are applying for a visitor visa under the general category do not tick “yes” in answering question A12 of the application form even if your partner is based in New Zealand.
No. To apply under the partnership category, your partner must be a New Zealand resident or citizen. However, you might be eligible to apply for a visitor or work visa as a dependent of a long-term worker. For more information, see Immigration instructions V3.10 and WF3.
Please also see the Dependent of Workers checklist PDF [40KB].
Yes. If your intention is to stay in New Zealand longer than 6-12 months you must submit a full medical certificate and an NBI clearance.
One of the requirements under the Partnership Category is for you and your partner to be living (or have recently lived) together permanently. If you have only spent a very short amount of time together, you do not meet this requirement. However, if you can provide evidence that suitably demonstrates the relationship was entered into with a genuine intent, and has been maintained as a genuine and stable relationship, you may be considered for a visa under the visitor visa general category.
No. Marriage does not prove the relationship has been entered into for a genuine and long-term intent, nor satisfy the living together requirements. New Zealand also equally recognises those in de facto partnerships. In assessing whether or not a couple is in a genuine and stable relationship, many factors are considered. For example, evidence of communication, financial dependence/interdependence, public recognition of the relationship and shared household duties would be taken into account. Most importantly, evidence needs to show that you and your partner actually live, or have recently lived together, such as bills, rental agreements etc.
It is possible to meet this requirement although you have been living apart for some time. You will need to prove that you were living together in the past, and in addition, you will have to provide evidence to show that your relationship was ongoing and maintained exclusively in spite of the physical distance.
Immigration instructions F2.20.15 list a number of documents you can submit to show that you and your partner meet this requirement. This is not an exhaustive list and it is up to the sponsor and client to consider what evidence is available to demonstrate that they are either living or have lived together, and are maintaining a genuine and stable relationship.
You may apply for a visitor visa, however part of the assessment of the application will consider your employment, economic, and social return incentives to the Philippines. If you have concerns that you would not qualify for a general visitor visa based on your return incentives, you might consider applying directly for a limited visa. You will need to provide evidence that suitably demonstrates your relationship with your sponsor was entered into with a genuine intent, and has been maintained as a genuine and stable relationship.
If you are granted a visitor visa under the Partnership Category, the nine-in-18-month rule will no longer apply to you so a 12-month visa may be granted. If you apply for a general visitor visa because you don’t meet all requirements to qualify for the partnership category, we may consider granting a visa allowing you to stay in New Zealand for nine months as an exception to instructions.
Applicants that meet the positive partnership profiles can expect processing to be completed within 10 working days, if all evidence submitted at lodgement is satisfactory. Immigration officers will notify applicants if there is a delay or need for additional information within 10 days upon lodgement.
All applicants, upon INZ Manila accepting their application, are now automatically notified by email of their client and application number. Please ensure your email details are clearly and correctly declared in application forms.
The Partnership-Based Temporary Visa Application (INZ 1198) can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website under the forms and guides section.
The requirements are outlined on our Partnership visa checklist PDF [65KB], as well as the Partnership-based Temporary Visa Guide (INZ 1199).
You will be notified within 48 hours via an automatic email of acknowledgement of your application.
If you clearly meet one of the published positive partnership profiles, and your documents are all complete, you can expect your application to be finalised within 10 working days.
Your medical certificates may need to be forwarded to a medical assessor in New Zealand, or you may have sent in incomplete supporting documents, or there may be delays in making satisfactory verification of documents, or concerns noted in the application that require your comment.
Yes. We recommend you also include a photocopy of all your original supporting documents as well. We will return the original documents once your application has been decided.
Yes. Ideally you should submit your passport at lodgement, however if it’s not readily available, we require that a copy of the biodata page be submitted at lodgement, and that you indicate in your cover letter why you cannot submit your passport. You will need to provide your original passport once your application has been approved so it can be endorsed with a visa.
Yes. If you’re applying for a visitor visa, you still need to provide evidence that you or your partner can support your stay.
Six to eight weeks from the time your document has been dispatched to New Zealand. INZ Manila sends the medical certificates every Friday and receives the assessed certificates back from the INZ medical assessors every Thursday.
If you have active or old healed TB, your medical certificates are likely to be referred to a medical assessor. Applicants with a history of TB should provide all documentation (X-ray films/plates/scans) to show recent and past history of diagnosis and treatment. X-ray films/plates/scans should have corresponding reports attached. We also strongly recommend that the results of three sputum cultures be attached to your medical certificate as they will be required by the medical assessor.
Yes. You or your contact person will either receive an email or a call from your immigration officer.
You are required to submit an NBI clearance only. All NBI clearances should be no more than six months old at the time the application is lodged.
Yes, if you are intending to remain in New Zealand indefinitely, you are required to provide an NBI certificate, as well as police certificates from any country you have resided in for five years or more.