NY (Partnership) [2022] NZIPT 206460

IPT decision 206460 published on the Ministry of Justice website is summarised below for educational purposes.

  • The Tribunal identified significant oversights in INZ's assessment regarding the couple's separation reasons and efforts to maintain their relationship.
  • The appellant's history of driving offenses was a factor but did not override the humanitarian considerations and his family ties in New Zealand.
  • The Tribunal emphasized the need for a comprehensive and fair evaluation of all evidence, highlighting the complexity of assessing genuine partnerships.
  • The decision illustrates the importance of considering individual circumstances in immigration cases, especially those involving family and partnership dynamics.

Background

The appellant, a 32-year-old Indian citizen, arrived in New Zealand in September 2010, initially on student and work visas. He completed diplomas in Hospitality Management and Management in 2011 and 2014, respectively. His employment history included working at a vape store and a service station. He faced legal issues, including convictions for driving with excess blood alcohol in 2014 and 2015. The appellant formed a relationship with his partner, a New Zealand citizen, in June 2015, and they started living together from about July 2015. They have a daughter born in November 2016.

Prior to Appeal

The appellant's journey through the immigration process involved multiple applications and appeals:

  • Work Visa Applications: His first work visa application in July 2016, based on his partnership, was declined due to doubts about the genuineness and stability of the relationship. A second application in February 2017 was also declined, leading to his unlawful status in New Zealand.
  • First Appeal to Tribunal - Deportation: In August 2017, he appealed against deportation, which the Tribunal allowed in December 2017, granting him a 12-month work visa.
  • Applications for Work and Resident Visa: In May 2019, he applied for both work and resident visas based on his partnership. During the assessment, he provided extensive evidence to support his claims.

Immigration New Zealand Assessment

Immigration New Zealand's assessment raised concerns about the credibility of the appellant's evidence and his partnership's genuineness. They questioned the consistency of information provided, including addresses, living arrangements, and the extent of the couple's shared life. INZ also noted the appellant's criminal history (drink driving convictions) as impacting his character assessment.

Immigration New Zealand Decision

Immigration New Zealand declined the appellant's work visa application in February 2020 and his residence application in January 2022. The primary reasons were doubts about the genuineness and stability of his partnership due to separate residences and limited shared time, along with credibility concerns about the couple's evidence.

IPT Assessment

The Tribunal found that Immigration New Zealand's decision to decline the application was incorrect. It concluded that INZ had not considered all relevant information and failed to assess the application properly. The Tribunal highlighted several aspects overlooked by INZ, including the couple's consistent intention for temporary separation, their efforts to be together, and the financial and employment constraints impacting their living arrangements.

Special Circumstances

The Tribunal identified special circumstances related to the couple's separation, which included the appellant's employment commitments and the partner's preference for living in a smaller community close to her family. The Tribunal also considered the impact of the appellant's criminal convictions and his efforts to remain with his family in New Zealand.

IPT Determination

The Tribunal cancelled the INZ decision and referred the application back to Immigration New Zealand for reassessment. It directed INZ to consider the totality of the circumstances, including the genuine and compelling reasons for the couple's separation and their efforts to maintain their relationship.

author headshot Michael Yoon
Last modified on 8 January 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.
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