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New assessments of visitor visas to join New Zealand partners Monday, 2 December 2019

We have contacted a group of people who were recently declined visas to visit a New Zealand citizen or resident partner. These people have been told they may apply for a visitor visa which will be assessed against updated guidelines. The fee for this application will be waived.

Background

We have recently updated our guidelines for assessing visitor visa applications from people who wish to join their partner in New Zealand, but who do not meet the requirements to be granted a partnership-based work or visitor visa. We have now emailed people who were recently declined visas assessed under older guidelines, inviting them to submit a new application for a visitor visa. The application fee will be waived for these people, and their applications will be assessed under the new guidelines. Applicants must meet all requirements for a visitor visa and there is no guarantee in any particular case that a visa will be granted.

What has changed

The previous guidelines suggested that people coming to New Zealand to join a partner living permanently in New Zealand should not be considered genuine visitors. The new guidelines recognise that people coming to New Zealand to join their partner can be considered genuine visitors, as long as they meet all other requirements for a visitor visa. These other requirements include having enough money to live on while they are here and being able to return home at the end of their stay in New Zealand. The guidelines have been published in Internal Administration Circular 19/01.

Internal Administration Circular 19/01 PDF 312KB

Who we invited to make a new application

The people we invited to make a new application had their applications for the following visas declined after 10 May 2019:

  • Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa
  • General Visitor Visa, if their purpose was to join a New Zealand citizen or resident living in New Zealand
  • work or visitor visa based on their partnership with a New Zealand citizen or resident.

The invited people can only make a new application if they:

  • are still outside New Zealand
  • have not been granted a visa since we declined their initial application 
  • do not have a current application that we are considering.

How these applications will be assessed

An immigration officer will assess all the information provided and make a decision on the application.

Immigration New Zealand will email applicants to tell them the outcome of the application.

Immigration New Zealand will assess each application against our requirements, based on the information and evidence provided by the applicant.

More information

More information about this process is available in our question and answer document.

Questions and answers: New assessments of visitor visas to join New Zealand partners PDF 119KB