Knowledge base articles

Options for the partner of a New Zealand citizen or resident

Living and/or working in New Zealand

If the ultimate goal is to live together permanently in New Zealand, the overseas partner will need to obtain a resident visa. We have a specific Family category of residence available to such applicants.

There are a set of requirements that the couple must meet before a resident visa 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 they can show sufficient evidence of living together in a stable and genuine relationship together with the New Zealand partner.

Partner of a New Zealander work visa

This visa would allow you to travel to New Zealand to continue living together, or to remain living together in New Zealand while waiting for the Partner of a New Zealander resident visa application to be decided.

If you are waiting for the resident visa decision in New Zealand, please note that the overseas partner must be on a valid visa at all times. In some cases this means 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. The processing officer will need to see all relevant evidence again to make sure you still meet the policy requirements.

Studying in New Zealand

If the overseas partner wishes to study in New Zealand before obtaining a resident visa, they must apply for a student visa. In this case, general student policy must be met and international student 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, a visitor visa may be appropriate. This could be the Partner of a New Zealander visitor visa (with support from your New Zealand citizen or resident partner) or a general visitor visa.

Partner of a New Zealander visitor visa

Visitor visa

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 visa waiver visitors.

Visa Waiver visitor visa


It is not generally appropriate to travel to New Zealand as a visa waiver visitor if your intention is to remain in New Zealand long-term. In these situations, we advise that you obtain a visa appropriate to your intentions prior to travelling to New Zealand.