Knowledge base articles

Options for Partner/Spouse of New Zealand citizen or resident

Living and/or working in New Zealand

If your ultimate goal is to live together permanently in New Zealand, the overseas partner will need to obtain a resident visa. There is a specific Family Partnership residence category available to such applicants. There are a set of requirements that the couple must meet before residence can be granted.

Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa

The overseas partner may also apply for a Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa, if:

  • the couple has not lived together for 12 months yet (as is required for residence) but can show sufficient evidence of living together in a stable and genuine relationship; or
  • the residence is already in process, but the applicant wants to travel to NZ before residence application is finalised.

If you are waiting for the residence decision in NZ, please note that the overseas partner must be on a valid visa at all times, which in some cases means that you may need to apply for a further work visa, if your current one is about to expire.

The process of renewing a temporary class visa (such as work visa) is the same as when you applied for it the first time - your officer will need to see all of the evidence again, to make sure you still meet the policy requirements.

Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa

Studying in New Zealand

If the overseas partner wishes to study in New Zealand, before residence is finalised, they must apply for a student visa. In this case, general student policy must be met, and international school fees may be payable.

Fee Paying Student Visa

Temporary visit

If your trip to New Zealand is only temporary (such as a holiday or visiting friends and family), you will need to apply for a Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa (with support from your New Zealand resident or New Zealand citizen partner) or a general visitor visa.

Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa

Visitor Visa

However, if you are from a visa-waiver country, and your stay will be less than three months (or less than six months if you are a UK citizen) you may not need to apply for a visitor visa. If this situation applies to you, please make sure you are familiar with requirements for the visa-waiver visitors.

Visa Waiver Visitor Visa