- The Tribunal confirmed Immigration New Zealand's decision to decline the appellant’s residence application.
- The appellant's special circumstances, including the genuine and stable nature of his partnership, were deemed to warrant ministerial consideration for an exception to residence instructions.
- The Tribunal recommended the case to the Minister of Immigration for an exception based on special circumstances.
The appellant, a 60-year-old citizen of the Netherlands, met his New Zealand-citizen partner in the Netherlands in July 2016. They began a relationship and since late July 2016, have lived together intermittently in the Netherlands and New Zealand, subject to temporary visa restrictions. The appellant has visited New Zealand several times on visitor visas between 2017 and early 2021. His partner, a 58-year-old dual citizen of the UK and New Zealand, first obtained New Zealand residence in 1992 but lost it subsequently. She regained residence in 2004 and became a citizen in 2009. She has two adult children living in New Zealand.
Prior to Appeal
On 23 April 2021, the appellant applied for residence under the Family (Partnership) category. Acknowledging the partner's ineligibility to support the application due to her history of successful residence applications for previous partners, the appellant anticipated a decline from Immigration New Zealand and planned to appeal to the Tribunal. The application was accompanied by evidence supporting their partnership.
Immigration New Zealand Assessment
Immigration New Zealand assessed the application and advised the appellant of his partner's ineligibility on 2 June 2021. She had previously been the principal applicant in successful residence applications that included her former husbands in 1992 and 2004, making her ineligible to support the appellant’s application under instructions F2.10.10.a.i and F2.10.10.b.iii.
Immigration New Zealand Decision
On 23 June 2021, Immigration New Zealand declined the appellant’s residence application, citing his partner's ineligibility under residence instructions.
The Tribunal evaluated the appellant's appeal, focusing on whether his circumstances constituted special circumstances warranting ministerial consideration for an exception to residence instructions. The Tribunal found the couple’s relationship genuine and stable, and noted the partner's strong familial nexus to New Zealand. The Tribunal recognised the constraints imposed by their temporary visas and the impracticality of their living situation due to COVID-19. It was noted that the partner's previous relationships were genuine and there was no abuse of the immigration system.
The Tribunal confirmed the correctness of Immigration New Zealand's decision but recommended the appellant’s special circumstances for consideration as an exception to residence instructions by the Minister of Immigration. The Tribunal highlighted the need for further assessment of the appellant's character due to a past drink-driving conviction.