- Appeal by a Fijian citizen for residence under the Family (Partnership) category in New Zealand was declined.
- The couple had not lived together for the required 12 months at the time of application.
- The New Zealand-resident husband was ineligible to support the application due to his suspended deportation liability.
- The Tribunal did not find any special circumstances to warrant an exception to the residence instructions.
The appellant, a 29-year-old citizen of Fiji, married her New Zealand-resident husband in October 2017. The husband, also Fijian, had moved to New Zealand in March 2016 and obtained residence under the Family (Dependent Child) category. Their relationship began in November 2016, and they maintained it through electronic communication and reciprocal visits. The appellant made multiple trips to New Zealand, initially to source products for her business, and later to visit her husband.
Prior to Appeal
The appellant applied for residence under the Family (Partnership) category on 17 January 2018. She acknowledged they were not living together at the time, having lived together for around five months. Immigration New Zealand requested further evidence of the relationship and raised concerns about the character requirements due to discrepancies in her visitor visa applications. The appellant provided evidence of their genuine relationship and explained the circumstances of her travel to New Zealand.
Immigration New Zealand Assessment
Immigration New Zealand assessed the relationship's genuineness but noted that the couple had not lived together for the required 12 months at the time of application. It also raised concerns about the husband's eligibility to support the application due to his suspended deportation liability following a drink-driving conviction.
Immigration New Zealand Decision
The application was declined on 17 August 2021 because the couple had not lived together for 12 months or more at the time of application, and the husband was ineligible to support the application due to his suspended deportation liability.
The Tribunal focused on whether the appellant had special circumstances that warranted an exception to the residence instructions. It found the couple's relationship genuine and stable but noted they had not met the 12-month living together requirement. The Tribunal also considered the husband’s suspended deportation liability, which rendered him ineligible to support the application.
The Tribunal did not find special circumstances in the appellant's case. While acknowledging the emotional toll and the lengthy processing time of the application, these factors did not constitute special circumstances. It suggested that living together in Fiji might enable the couple to meet the living together requirement for a future application.
The Tribunal confirmed the correctness of Immigration New Zealand’s decision and concluded that there were no special circumstances warranting an exception. The appeal was unsuccessful.