- Residence application under Family (Partnership) category declined due to relationship stability concerns.
- Four police interventions in relationship considered significant by INZ and IPT.
- Appellant's efforts in counselling and addressing issues acknowledged but deemed insufficient.
The appellant, a 27-year-old UK citizen, arrived in New Zealand on 1 May 2019 under the UK Working Holiday Scheme and has since held subsequent work visas. Her current work visa, granted under the Essential Skills work visa category, is valid until 23 June 2024. She is employed as an assistant manager on a dairy cattle farm.
Prior to Appeal
The appellant applied for residence under the Family (Partnership) category on 5 April 2021, with her New Zealand-citizen partner. They began cohabiting in December 2019. The application was supported by substantial documentation, including photographs, social media updates, text messages, a relationship timeline, and evidence of joint residence. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) conducted interviews with the appellant and her partner on 1 July 2021, where the focus was on four incidents of family harm involving police intervention.
Immigration New Zealand Assessment
INZ raised concerns about the stability of the relationship due to these incidents. Contradictory accounts of the incidents and police records indicating serious arguments led INZ to question the relationship's stability. Notably, one incident involved the appellant considering leaving the property, and another involved financial manipulation. Despite the couple's explanation of their efforts to address underlying issues and improve their relationship, INZ found the evidence insufficient to demonstrate a stable relationship.
Immigration New Zealand Decision
On 9 September 2021, INZ declined the residence application. While acknowledging progress made in therapy and communication, INZ focused on the frequency and seriousness of the police-involved incidents, especially as one occurred shortly after the application. The inability to provide detailed accounts of the incidents further led to doubts about the relationship's stability.
The IPT upheld INZ's decision. The Tribunal agreed that the police call-outs were a significant concern in assessing the relationship's stability. Despite the couple's efforts at resolving their issues and undertaking counselling, the Tribunal found that insufficient time had passed to have a meaningful impact on the relationship's stability.
The Tribunal did not find any special circumstances that would warrant an exception to the residence instructions. The appellant's settlement in New Zealand and contributions through employment were not considered out of the ordinary. The Tribunal noted the appellant's ability to make a further application for residence or explore eligibility under the 2021 Residence Visa category.
The IPT confirmed the correctness of INZ's decision to decline the residence application under section 188(1)(a) of the Immigration Act 2009. The lack of demonstrated stability in the relationship and absence of special circumstances led to the unsuccessful appeal.