F2.5 How do partners of New Zealand citizens and residents qualify for a residence class visa?
- To be granted a residence class visa under Partnership Category applicants must provide sufficient evidence to satisfy an immigration officer that they have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable with a New Zealand citizen or resident.
- For the purpose of these instructions 'partnership' means:
- a legal marriage; or
- a civil union; or
- a de facto relationship
and 'partner' means one of the parties to such a partnership indicated in (i), (ii) and (iii) above.
- In each case the onus of proving that the partnership on which the application is based is genuine and stable lies with the principal applicant and their New Zealand partner.
- An application under Partnership Category will be declined if:
- the application is not supported by an eligible New Zealand citizen or resident partner; or
- an immigration officer is not satisfied that the partnership on which the application is based is genuine and stable; or
- the applicant and New Zealand citizen or resident partner have not lived together for 12 months or more at the time the application is lodged; or
- the application is based on marriage or a civil union to a New Zealand citizen or resident and either that New Zealand citizen or resident, or the principal applicant is already married to or in a civil union with another person; or
- both the principal applicant and the New Zealand citizen or resident partner cannot satisfy an immigration officer they comply with the minimum requirements for recognition of partnerships (see F2.15); or
- the applicant(s) does not meet health and character requirements (see A4 and A5).
- Applications for residence under Partnership Category will also be declined if the principal applicant was a partner to the eligible New Zealand partner but not declared on the eligible New Zealand partner’s application for a residence class visa (if applicable), unless an immigration officer is satisfied the non-declaration occurred with:
- no intention to mislead; and
- would not have resulted in a different outcome in the eligible New Zealand partner’s application.
If both these clauses are met, an immigration officer should continue to assess the application and may approve it if all other requirements are met.
Note: Notwithstanding (e) above, officers should not decline an application on the basis of this provision without first providing the principal applicant an opportunity to explain the non-declaration in accordance with R5.15 Explaining discrepancies in family details.
F2.5.1 Eligibility for a permanent resident visa for partners of New Zealand citizens living overseas
- A principal applicant may be granted a permanent resident visa (RA1.5) if:
- they meet all the other criteria for a residence class visa under the Partnership Category; and
- they have a New Zealand citizen partner who has been residing outside New Zealand for a period of at least five years at the time the application is made; and
- the couple have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship for at least five years at the time the application is made.
- To meet the requirements of a(ii) above, the New Zealand citizen partner must either be
- outside New Zealand at the time the application is made; or
- have been in New Zealand for less than three months after residing outside New Zealand for at least five years at the time the application is made.
- For the purposes of these instructions, residing outside New Zealand means spending less than 3 months in New Zealand in each of the five 12 month periods immediately preceding either:
- the date the application is made (if the application was made outside New Zealand); or
- the date the New Zealand citizen partner arrived in New Zealand (if the application was made in New Zealand.
- Any secondary applicants included in an application where the principal applicant is eligible for a permanent resident visa under these instructions may also be granted a permanent resident visa (RA1.5).
- Any applicants who do not meet the criteria set out in this section but who meet all other requirements of the Partnership Category should be granted a resident visa (RA1.1).