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Need help applying for your partner's visa?

No problem! Partnership Category is one of our Licensed Immigration Adviser's specialties. Partnership Category refers to a group of visas that are reserved for partners of New Zealand citizens/residents and some eligible work and student visa holders. There are three types of visa that fall under this category: visitor visa, work visa, and resident visa.

All visas under Partnership Category have four main evidentiary requirements that must be met. Immigration officers must be satisfied that all four criteria are met before they will grant a visa based on partnership:

  1. The relationship must be genuine, stable and likely to continue for the long term.

  2. The couple must be "financially interdependent", i.e., share the costs of living together or otherwise depend on each other financially.

  3. The couple must be living together (unless there are genuine and compelling reasons for any periods of separation). Living together means sharing the same home as partners and requires proof of address. Shared accommodation during holidays together will not be considered.

  4. The principal applicant and the partner, both separately and together, must be credible in any statements made and evidence presented by them.

The supporting partner in a partner visa application also needs to meet certain eligibility requirements. If the supporting partner is a New Zealand citizen or resident, they:

  • must not have acted as a partner in more than one previous successful residence class visa application; and

  • must not have acted as a partner in a successful application for a residence class visa in the five years immediately preceding the date the current application is made, or four years if applying for a Partnership Visitor Visa or Partnership Work Visa; and

  • must be of good character from a partnership point of view, i.e., they must not have any convictions for offences involving family violence or offences of a sexual nature. This includes convictions in other countries outside of New Zealand. If they do, then a character waiver will be required.

Partnership Visitor Visa

The Partnership Visitor Visa is often the first step in getting an overseas partner to New Zealand if they are not from a visa-waiver country. For example, if your partner is from Fiji, India or the Philippines, then they will need to apply for this visa. The Partnership Visitor Visa is available to partners of New Zealand citizens and residents, and some eligible work and student visa holders. If you have a partner that you want to bring to New Zealand, please check your eligibility as a supporting partner with an immigration adviser or lawyer first.

In some cases where the couple has not lived together previously, or have lived together but don't have any proof of this, the immigration officer may grant a General Visitor Visa instead of a Partnership Visitor Visa at their sole discretion in order to allow the couple to begin living together in New Zealand. This will only happen where the immigration officer is satisfied that the relationship is genuine, stable and likely to endure. Please consult our immigration advisor for more information if this situation applies to you and your partner.

Partnership Work Visa

The Partnership Work Visa is often the second visa that a partner applies for after arriving in New Zealand. This is an open (unrestricted) work visa that allows the successful applicant to work for any employer in New Zealand for the duration of their visa, or even be self-employed if they wish. It requires solid evidence of living together for at least 2-4 months and is available both to partners of New Zealand citizens and residents, and partners of some eligible work and student visa holders.

Partnership Resident Visa

Residence under Partnership Category is only available to the partners of New Zealand citizens and residents. In order to be eligible, the applicant must have lived with their New Zealand citizen or resident partner for at least 12 months before applying. If they apply even one day earlier, then Immigration New Zealand must decline the application, so applicants are encouraged to be patient and wait until they can prove a solid 12-month timeline of living together with evidence.

Applying for residence can be tricky and requires more documentation than both the visitor visa and the work visa. It is also a much more lengthy and costly process, so it's a good idea to consult an experienced New Zealand immigration advisor or lawyer first and get professional help for your application.

Services: Services


Need guidance? Professional Immigration Services offers obligation-free initial assessments to help clients better understand their situation and prospects. Whether you've received a concern letter from Immigration New Zealand or just need help planning your future, we will facilitate your needs and help get you to where you need to be.


Based in Christchurch city, Professional Immigration Services provides high quality, reliable advice in relation to New Zealand visa applications and other immigration-related matters. Equipped with in-depth industry knowledge and experience, Evelyn Dyer is a Licensed Immigration Adviser who has special expertise in a range of complex immigration issues. She is renowned for her caring attitude towards clients, fast response times and high level of personalised service. If you're looking for an immigration adviser who takes the time to listen to you and understand your whole situation, Evelyn is the adviser for you.


Unlike other areas of law, the immigration industry in New Zealand is fast-moving and dynamic. Sometimes, policy changes are introduced quite literally overnight, so we are constantly updating our knowledge and clarifying grey areas with Immigration New Zealand's management team. If you're interested in keeping up to date with New Zealand immigration law and policy changes, keep an eye on our Blog page for the latest in immigration news, tips and articles.

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