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Partnership Visa

Here we share some general information about the Partnership Visa policy. This material is for information purposes only. Contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers for personal immigration advice.

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Partnership Visa Policy

Non-New Zealanders may secure residence in New Zealand through their relationship with a partner who is a New Zealand Citizen or Resident.


However, what appears straightforward is often complex. The government requires couples to meticulously document their relationship to a high standard before granting residence.


Demonstrating a genuine relationship to meet immigration standards can be intricate. Ensuring accuracy from the outset is crucial to avoid disappointment. Read more about the Partnership Visa NZ guide here for further insights.

How is Partnership Defined?

Partnerships are recognized as genuine and stable relationships between two individuals of the same or opposite sex who have lived together for at least 12 months. Accepted types of partnerships include:


- Legal marriages

- Civil unions

- De facto relationships

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The NZIHS immigration advisers and experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complex world of New Zealand Visitor visas, policies, and immigration.

Partnership Visa Approval

Approval hinges on Immigration New Zealand's assessment of whether the relationship is "genuine and stable" and if the partners have lived together continuously for at least 12 months at the time of the residence application. The presence of a legal marriage alone does not determine the outcome. These rules apply equally to both heterosexual and same-sex couples.


One of the main challenges for applicants is demonstrating the "genuine and stable" nature of their relationship with sufficient documentation. Couples often face separation due to work, family obligations, or visa constraints, complicating the documentation of their cohabitation over the required period of 12 months.

The Complex Criteria

Given the subjective nature of these criteria and the diversity of customs across cultures and religions, it's understandable that some individuals have attempted to exploit this policy for unfair advantages, prompting Immigration New Zealand to develop rigorous strategies to combat fraud.


Even genuinely committed partnerships can face intrusive scrutiny under these requirements. While you may be certain of the authenticity and stability of your relationship, proving it to a skeptical third party can be challenging. Questions arise about documenting the duration of cohabitation, especially if a couple has traveled or spent time apart during the period in question.

General Comments

Health and character standards are mandatory, and there are constraints on how often a New Zealand citizen can sponsor a partner.


Past actions, even those innocently taken at the time, can significantly impact an Immigration New Zealand evaluation.


Navigating these complexities is further complicated by the emotional strain of having a relationship scrutinized by an external party, especially when children are part of the equation.


Even seemingly uncomplicated cases are advised to engage with NZIHS right from the outset.

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