Partnership visas can be applied for by the following classes of persons:
- Partners of New Zealand citizens or New Zealand resident visa holders;
- Partners of some work visa holders (subject to certain exceptions);
- Partners of some student visa holders (subject to certain exceptions); and
- Partners of holders of military visas.
Partnership includes marriage, de facto and civil union partnerships.
Partners of New Zealand citizens or New Zealand resident visa holders can apply for a special visitor visa, work visa or a resident visa under partnership.
Partners of some work visa and student visa holders can apply for a special visitor visa or a special work visa.
Partners of military visa holders can apply for a special work visa.
Generally, the special work visas will be granted for the same term as the work, student or military visa held by the applicant's partner and in most cases will include open work conditions. The duration of a special work visa where the applicant's partner is a New Zealand citizen or resident visa holder will depend on the period of time the partners have been living together in a genuine and stable partnership.
The fundamental and often most challenging aspect in terms of partnership applications is the relationship evidence that needs to be provided. This consists of evidence of living together as partners in a genuine and stable partnership. The duration of the partnership is a key factor that will be taken into account and the onus of proof of these matters is on the partners involved. The applicant's partner must also meet certain character requirements and support a partnership visa application. There are additional eligibility requirements for an applicant's partner in terms of a residency application under partnership.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.