If you are applying for a visa based on your partnership, find out how we define partnership and what evidence you can provide to show your relationship is genuine.

How we define partnership

We define partnership as 2 people, who live together in a genuine and stable relationship in any of the following:

Providing evidence of your partnership

You must be able to show us that you and your partner are living together in a genuine and stable relationship before we can approve a visa application based on your partnership.

Living together

Living together means sharing the same home as your partner.

This does not include:

  • spending time in each other’s homes while you each maintain your own home
  • sharing accommodation while on holiday
  • living as flatmates in the same house.

Evidence showing you are living together can include:

  • joint ownership of, or home loan for, residential property
  • a joint rental agreement or rental receipts
  • joint utility accounts, like power or phone bills
  • joint or individual mail sent to your shared address.

For some partnership applications – such as a Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa – evidence of living together must cover a period of 12 months prior to the application being submitted. Make sure you check the category you are applying under to see if we need this from you.

You can provide us with items showing your shared address, dated every few months, to cover the full duration.

These items can be addressed to you both jointly — or individually — as long as we can see that you have both been at the same address for the same period of time.

Having a genuine and stable relationship

Evidence of having a genuine and stable relationship needs to show that:

  • others recognise your relationship
  • you make decisions and plans together
  • you spend leisure time together
  • you parent together, if you have children.

Evidence can include:

  • marriage or civil union certificates
  • birth certificates for any children you share
  • joint bank accounts being used frequently
  • joint ownership of any assets
  • joint credit cards or hire purchase agreements of things such as home appliances
  • any mutually agreed financial arrangements
  • cards, letters or emails sent to you and your partner
  • chat records and communication between you and your partner
  • social media posts or photos of you together
  • letters of support that recognise your partnership.

How to supply this evidence

The way we want to receive this evidence depends on how you are applying.

Applying by paper

If you apply by paper for a residence visa, we must receive originals or certified copies. You can send electronically issued documents as we regard those as originals.

Applying online

If you apply online, we accept scanned images — so you do not need to send us originals or certified copies.

Minimum requirements

You and your supporting partner must:

  • be aged 18 or older, or have the consent of your parents or guardians if you are aged 16 or 17
  • have met each other before applying for a visa based on your partnership
  • not be close relatives.

Supporting partners

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.

Good character for supporting partners

See also the requirements for supporting partners in the 'Eligible NZ supporting partner' and 'Your partner's' sections for these visas:

How we assess partnership

When we assess your visa application, we consider things like:

  • how long you have been together
  • how committed you are to a life together
  • any children you have together, including your arrangements for their care
  • whether other people recognise your relationship.

We will also look at your living and financial arrangements, including:

  • how long you have been living together as a couple
  • your living arrangements
  • whether you share common household tasks
  • whether you support each other financially
  • how you share financial responsibilities
  • whether you own property together or share your property.

If you have not always lived together

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 you were not living together.

We will use the information you provide to assess whether you and your partner have genuine and compelling reasons to have stayed apart.


If you and your partner are coming together through a culturally arranged marriage, the rules are different.

Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa