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 of the opposite or same sex, who live together in a genuine and stable relationship in any of the following:

What it means to be in a 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 grant you a visa 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.

If your partner is an NZ citizen or holds an NZ visa

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 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 partner character requirements


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

Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa

Providing evidence of your partnership

Evidence of your relationship needs to show that:

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

If you can, provide evidence from official sources with your visa application so you can show us you are in a genuine and stable relationship.

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 have been living together.

Official evidence could include:

  • marriage or civil union certificates
  • birth certificates for any children you share
  • a joint rental agreement or home loan
  • joint bank accounts
  • evidence you own assets together
  • joint credit cards or hire purchase agreements
  • joint utilities accounts, like power or phone bills.

Other evidence could include:

  • cards, letters, emails and social media conversations
  • photos together, or
  • mail addressed to you together at the same place and time.

How we assess partnership

When we assess your visa application, we will 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 how living apart affected your partnership.