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S4.5 Residence Category for victims of domestic violence

S4.5.1 Objective

The objectives of the residence category for victims of domestic violence is to:

  1. enable partners of New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders to remain in New Zealand where they:
    1. intended to seek residence class visas on the basis of their relationship which has ended because of domestic violence to either the non-resident partner or their dependent child; and
    2. cannot return home because of the impacts of stigma, or because they would have no means of independent financial support from employment or other means; and
  2. recognise New Zealand's international obligations, particularly to:
    1. end discrimination against women in all matters related to marriage and family relations (Article 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women); and
    2. protect children from mental and physical violence (Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child);

S4.5.2 Who is eligible for a resident visa for victims of domestic violence

People in New Zealand who:

  1. are, or have been, in a partnership (see F2.5b) with a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder; and
  2. had intended to seek a residence class visa in New Zealand on the basis of that relationship; and
  3. that partnership has ended due to domestic violence by the New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder or by someone with whom the applicant is living with in a domestic relationship; and
  4. are unable to return to their home country because:
    1. would have no means of independent financial support from employment or other means, and have no ability to gain financial support from other sources; or
    2. would be at risk of abuse or exclusion from their community because of stigma; and
  5. meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5);

may be granted a resident visa.

Note: For the purpose of these instructions, 'domestic relationship' has the meaning set out in s4 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

S4.5.5 Evidence of domestic violence

Evidence of domestic violence means:

  1. a final Protection Order against the New Zealand citizen or resident partner, or someone with whom the applicant is living in a domestic relationship, under the Domestic Violence Act 1995; or
  2. a relevant New Zealand conviction of the New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder partner, or someone with whom the applicant is living in a domestic relationship, of a domestic violence offence against the principal applicant or a dependent child of the principal applicant; or
  3. a complaint of domestic violence against the principal applicant or a dependent child investigated by the New Zealand Police where the New Zealand Police are satisfied that domestic violence has occurred; or
  4. a statutory declaration from the applicant stating that domestic violence has occurred and two statutory declarations completed by persons competent to make statutory declarations that domestic violence has occurred (see S4.5.6 below).

Note: For the purpose of these instructions, 'domestic violence' has the meaning set out in s.3 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

S4.5.6 Persons competent to make a statutory declaration that domestic violence has occurred

  1. Statutory declarations from the following persons stating that they are satisfied that domestic violence has occurred are acceptable as evidence of domestic violence:
    1. social workers who are:
      • registered with the Social Workers Registration Board; or
      • full members of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers; or
      • employed under the State Sector Act 1988;
    2. doctors registered with the New Zealand Medical Council;
    3. nurses registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand;
    4. psychologists registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board;
    5. counsellors who are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors; and
    6. experienced staff members of Child Youth and Family approved women's refuges who have been nominated by:
      • the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges
      • Shakti Community Council.
  2. In order to meet the requirements of S4.5.5(d) above, an applicant must supply a statutory declaration from people acting in their professional capacity from two of the groups listed above. The two people must be unrelated professionally (for example, they cannot be a doctor and a nurse from the same practice).
  3. Immigration officers may verify that statutory declarations provided as evidence of domestic violence have been made by the appropriate person by contacting the professional bodies listed above.

S4.5.10 Evidence that the principal applicant has been in a partnership with a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder

Evidence that the principal applicant has been in a partnership with a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder may include, but is not limited to, original or certified copies of:

  • an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate
  • correspondence (including postmarked envelopes) addressed to both principal applicant* and the New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder;
  • evidence of communication between the couple;
  • photographs of the couple together;
  • documents indicating public recognition of the relationship;
  • evidence of any specific arrangements and/or engagement ceremonies which have been carried out;
  • communication between the parents of the couple and/or a person acting as a go-between or matchmaker;
  • other documents indicating public recognition of the arrangement and/or engagement ceremony;
  • confirmation from independent sources that such arrangements and/or engagement ceremonies are in accordance with the cultural custom of the parties concerned;
  • a joint mortgage, tenancy agreement or rent book;
  • birth certificates of their children;
  • proof of joint assets;
  • proof of shared income; and
  • proof of shared bank accounts.

S4.5.12 Evidence of living in a domestic relationship with the perpetrator of domestic violence

Evidence that the principal applicant has been living in a domestic relationship with the perpetrator of domestic violence includes:

  1. confirmation from the New Zealand Police that they are satisfied the domestic violence was perpetrated by someone living at the same address;
  2. a statutory declaration by the applicant that the perpetrator of domestic violence lived at the same address as the applicant and was a member of applicant's partner's family;
  3. a statutory declaration by one of the professionals listed at S4.5.6 stating that the person lived at the same address as the applicant;
  4. any other documentary evidence that the person lived at the same address as the applicant.

Note: For the purpose of these instructions, 'domestic relationship' has the meaning set out in s.4 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

S4.5.15 Evidence of inability to return to the home country

  1. Principal applicants must provide evidence, in the form of documents and/or information provided at an interview with an immigration officer, that if they returned to their home country they:
    1. would have no means of independent financial support from employment or other means, and have no ability to gain financial support from other sources; or
    2. would be at risk of abuse or exclusion from their community because of stigma.
  2. INZ may refer to any relevant information when determining the ability to return to their home country.

S4.5.20 Making an application

  1. Applications must be made in the prescribed manner (see R2.40); but an appropriately delegated immigration officer may waive:
    1. the application fee; and
    2. police certificates, if these are not available from a particular country.
  2. Where police certificates are not available, the applicant must make and provide a separate statutory declaration in both English and their own language. The statutory declaration must:
    1. detail the applicant's attempts to obtain a police certificate; and
    2. state whether the applicant and any accompanying family members have been convicted; or found guilty of, or charged with offences against the law of that country, or have not been charged with any offences against the law of that country; and
    3. be corroborated by other information confirming the applicant's character.

S4.5.25 Determination of applications

  1. Applications will be determined by immigration officers who have received specialist training on this category.
  2. Applications under this category will be given priority processing.

Effective 30/03/2015

PREVIOUS IMMIGRATION INSTRUCTIONS

S4.5 Residence Category for victims of domestic violence (07/11/2011)

S4.5 Residence Category for victims of domestic violence (29/11/2010)

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