Options for Partner/Spouse of NZ citizen or resident

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Living and/or working in New Zealand

If your ultimate goal is to live together permanently in NZ, the overseas partner will need to obtain a resident visa. There is a specific Family Partnership residence category available to such applicants. There are a set of requirements that the couple must meet before residence can be granted.

The overseas partner may also apply for a Partnership work visa, if:

  • the couple has not lived together for 12 months yet (as is required for residence) but can show sufficient evidence of living together in a stable and genuine relationship; or
    the residence is already in process, but the applicant wants to travel to NZ before residence application is finalised.
  • If you are waiting for the residence decision in NZ, please note that the overseas partner must be on a valid visa at all times, which in some cases means that you may need to apply for a further work visa, if your current one is about to expire.

The process of renewing a temporary class visa (such as work visa) is the same as when you applied for it the first time – your officer will need to see all of the evidence again, to make sure you still meet the policy requirements.

Studying in New Zealand

If the overseas partner wishes to study in NZ, before residence is finalised, they must apply for a student visa. In this case, general student policy must be met, and international school fees may be payable.

Just visiting?

If your trip to New Zealand is only temporary (such as a holiday or visiting friends/family), you will need to apply for a partnership-based Visitor Visa (with support from your NZ resident/citizen partner) or a general visitor visa.

However, if you are from a visa-waiver country, and your stay will be less than three months (or less than six months if you are a UK citizen) you may not need to apply for a visitor visa. If this situation applies to you, please make sure you are familiar with requirements for the visa-waiver visitors.

This answer was last updated on 13 October, 2017.

From Immigration New Zealand website under Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 3.0 New Zealand Licence.