New Zealand’s Partnership-Based Work Visa: A Comprehensive Guide for Newcomers

New Zealand’s Partnership-Based Work Visa: A Comprehensive Guide for Newcomers

If your partner or spouse has secured a job offer in New Zealand, or if you are a partner or spouse of a NZ citizen, permanent resident or eligible Australian citizen living in New Zealand, you’re eligible to apply for a NZ partnership-based work visa. You can lodge the application in New Zealand or from overseas.

In this article, we shall look at how long it takes to process these applications and what kind of benefits they offer to those who are successful.

What is a Partnership-Based Work Visa?

A partnership work visa is designed to facilitate the relocation to New Zealand for two types of applicants:

(1) Those who are spouses or partners of a NZ Temporary Work Visa holders; or

(2) Those who are in a genuine, stable relationship with a New Zealand resident or citizen.

This visa allows you to:

  • Accompany your significant other to New Zealand
  • Work in New Zealand
  • Study a short course up to three months

If your partner is a worker in New Zealand, your visa is dependent on the length of theirs. If your partner is a citizen or resident of New Zealand, your visa can be varied from 1-2-year length depending on how long you and your partner have shared a residence.

What are the key requirements for this visa?

You and your supporting partner must meet the general requirements below:

  • You and your supporting partner are over the age of 18 (or 16-17 with parental consent);
  • You are in good health and good character;
  • You are in a genuine and stable relationship; and are not close relatives; and
  • Your partner is an eligible sponsor.

How to know that your partner is an eligible sponsor?

Your supporting partner is an eligible sponsor if:

  • They are older than 18 years of age (Or 16–17 with agreement from parents)
  • They hold a valid work visa that allows to sponsor a partner, or they hold a valid resident visa or citizenship;
  • They must have enough funds to be able to sponsor you
  • They have not sponsored a partner visa for anyone else in the past 5 years
  • They must meet all the character requirements.

If your partner is an Australian citizen or resident visa holder living in New Zealand, they must show that New Zealand is their primary place of residence.

Examples of evidence of your genuine relationship

  • Photos together
  • Marriage or civil union certificates;
  • Supporting letters from family or friends;
  • Evidence of communication between couple like WhatsApp/Facebook chat and call history.
  • Joint account statements and evidence you own assets together, etc.

How is your relationship assessed?

When Immigration New Zealand review a partnership application, the following factors are taken into account:

  • Your relationship’s timelines, how long you’ve been living together as a couple.
  • How you share financial responsibilities.
  • Property or other financial dependence that you may own or share together such as joint mortgage/loan documents, joint insurance policy, any asset/liability for both name, bank statement, utility bills, etc.
  • Whether you have any children together.
  • Whether your relationship is well recognised by the public.
  • How you maintain the relationship if you have spent some time living apart.
  • How committed you are to a life together.

It is important to note that INZ might decline the application even if any of the above requirements are not satisfied. If you wish to apply for a partnership work visa, it is essential that you check the requirements carefully before applying.

Also read: New Zealand Green List: Everything You Need to Know

How long does it take for your visa to be processed?

Many people dream of living and working in New Zealand. To make the process smoother, it is important to understand the requirements and timelines associated with getting a partnership-based work visa in New Zealand.

In general, the process can be expected to range under 4 months for a visa for a partner of a temporary work visa and up to 6-7 months for a partner of a NZ resident or citizen. However, our best advice is that your application should be well-prepared with a substantial amount of information to satisfy the requirements of Immigration NZ right at the first instance when a case officer is assigned. This will significantly help the officer process your application faster and shorten the communication time back and forth.

Has your partnership work visa got declined before?

There are different factors coming in place when your partnership visa got declined. Some most common reasons for decline are:

  • You did not provide sufficient evidence to prove your genuine relationship;
  • INZ did not satisfy that your relationship will be stable after they granted you a visa;
  • Your partner is not an eligible sponsor;
  • You don’t meet the health or character requirements;

In case of the above situation, we will help assess your and your partner’s eligibility, reasons why your visa got declined, and work closely with you toward preparing and reapplying for a successful application.

Final Thoughts

This visa is a great opportunity for those looking to work in the country. It allows partners of New Zealand citizens or residents to gain access to the New Zealand labour market, allowing them to contribute and grow with their partners.  This visa also offers employers access to a larger pool of talent from around the world, allowing them to find the best candidates for their roles. It is clear that partnership-based work visas are having a positive effect on the economy and job market in New Zealand and will continue to do so in future.

Immigration Chambers can guide you through the process of gathering and presenting the appropriate information. Get in contact with the ICLegal team now!