If your partner is already in New Zealand, or you and your partner are applying for a visa to come to New Zealand together, you may be eligible for a visa based on your partnership.
Immigration New Zealand defines partnership as two people of the opposite or same sex, who live together in a genuine and stable relationship in any of the following:
When you apply for a visa based on your partnership with a New Zealand visa holder or New Zealand citizen, we call that person your supporting partner.
You and your supporting partner must:
- be aged 18 or over, or if they're aged 16 or 17 years, have the consent of their parents or guardians
- have met each other before applying for a visa based on your partnership
- not be close relatives.
You must be able to show us that you're living together in a genuine and stable relationship before we can grant you a visa based on your partnership.
Living together means sharing the same home as your partner, which doesn’t include:
- spending time in each other’s homes while you each maintaining your own home
- sharing accommodation while on holiday
- flatmate arrangements.
When we assess if you meet our partnership requirements, we'll look at things like:
- how long you’ve been together
- how long you've been living together as a couple
- your living arrangements
- whether you support each other financially
- how you share financial responsibilites
- how committed you are to a life together
- whether you own property together and/or share your property
- any children you have together, including your arrangements for their care
- whether you share common household tasks
- whether other person recognise of your relationship.
Evidence of partnership
You and your partner must provide enough evidence to show us that you're living together in a genuine and stable relationship.
Your evidence will be more credible if it's from official sources. For example, a joint tenancy agreement showing the date that you and your partner started renting a property together is better than your friend writing us a letter to tell us how long you've been living together.
You don’t have to provide all of the documents listed as examples, but the more evidence you provide, the easier it will be for us to make a decision about your application.
Evidence to show us you're in a genuine and stable relationship can include:
- marriage or civil union certificates
- birth certificates for any children you share
- cards, letters, emails and social media conversations
- photos together
- evidence that others recognise your relationship
- evidence you make decisions and plans together
- evidence you parent together
- evidence you spend leisure time together
- a joint rental agreement or home loan
- mail addressed to you together at the same place and time
- joint bank accounts
- evidence you own assets together
- joint credit cards or hire purchase agreements
- joint utilities accounts, like power or phone bills.
Time spent living apart
If you and your partner have spent time living apart, you should provide information about your separation, including:
- the reasons you were living apart
- how long you were living apart
- how you kept in touch while apart.
We'll use any evidence you provide about your separation to assess its effect on your partnership.
Your partner’s character
If you apply for a visa based on your partnership with a New Zealand citizen or resident, your partner will need to meet character requirements. If they have any convictions for domestic violence or sexual offences in the 7 years before you apply, they won't meet our character requirements for supporting partners.
Your partner may need to provide police certificates to be able to support your visa application.
Sometimes we can grant a character waiver to a partner who doesn't meet our character requirements. We we decide if we'll grant a character waiver, we'll take into account things like:
- the seriousness of the offence
- whether there is more than one offence from one or more events
- how long ago the event or events happened.