I have recently been granted a New Zealand Partnership Work Visa which is great and such weight off my mind. .When putting together my application, I found it nearly impossible to find solid examples and resources about how others completed their personal application. This type of advice is something I would have found SO useful at the time. Trying to figure out what I needed to do and in what order was a pretty complex and long task.
In light of this lack of solid information out there, I decided to document what I did, here on this blog. Hopefully, this way it might be useful for other people.
Read on, to find out my tips on how to prepare for your application and how to arrange documents for an NZ Partnership Visa application.
My partnership situation in New Zealand
It maybe helpful for you to know a little about my situation. Although I have actually known my Australian boyfriend for several years since doing a working holiday in Melbourne 4 years ago, we only ended up getting together when he came to the UK to travel in 2015. He came to travel and it wasn’t meant to be more than that. Somehow though, it became more serious even though he was leaving the UK within weeks and we had no plans to go to each others respective countries.
We had a bit of a visa problem. I had ‘used up’ my working holiday visa for Australia, so couldn’t go back easily. We couldn’t commit to a partner visa in Aus either, because, lets face it, we had only just got together. It was also going to cost over $7000 and we probably wouldn’t have been eligible yet. We needed to come up with a plan. That plan became New Zealand. The NZ Working Holiday Visa was easy and cheap for me to get and my boyfriend could work freely in NZ as an Aussie. So, off we went.
You can read more about my reasons for coming to New Zealand in my previous post: Why Move to New Zealand?
Why did I apply for the Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa?
I was coming to the end of my time on my NZ Working Holiday Visa and my boyfriend and I had decided that we wanted to stay and work in the country for longer. Just getting another WHV wouldn’t cut it for me. At the time I was applying you could only work for 12 months even if you had the WHV visa for 24 months.
At first, naively, I had thought I would need to apply for the Australian DeFacto Visa to work in New Zealand as my boyfriend is Aussie. Don’t make this mistake! If you have an Aussie partner in NZ, you only need to apply for the New Zealand Partnership Work Visa. This is a lot easier and cheaper.
How I was eligible for the NZ Partnership Work Visa?
My boyfriend is an Australian Citizen which makes him a New Zealand resident. We had, by now, lived together for over a year in Aus and then here in New Zealand. These are the 2 main requirements for applying for the Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa.
NOTE: even if you haven’t lived together for an entire year, you can still be eligible. There is a Partnership Visa NZ Checklist on the NZ Immigration website that you can look at to make sure you are eligible and have all the information.
Find all the Partnership Work Visa information on NZ Immigration HERE
The different types of Partner Work Visa for New Zealand:
As I said, I applied for the Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa, because my boyfriend is an Aussie citizen and therefore classed as a New Zealander. However, even if your partner is NOT a New Zealander but is legally employed in New Zealand for longer than 6 months, you can also apply for a slightly different Partner visa called a Partner of a Worker Work Visa.
I believe both of these visas use the same Application Form (INZ198)
Note: Both types of NZ partner work visas require you and your partner to be living together and in a ‘genuine and stable’ relationship and you will need to provide ample proof of this. But don’t stress if you haven’t lived together for a whole year, as long as you have proof and reasons you should be fine. If you have lived apart and can show your online conversations and reasons why you lived apart at any point you will likely still be eligible. The trick is to be transparent and make everything super obvious, OVERSHARING is key. If you are anything like me, you will find it a bit weird turning your whole relationship into paperwork but that is unfortunately the nature of this whole thing.
Final note… I am a British Citizen and things may or may not be quite different if you are from a different country to me so make sure you check all this with NZ Immigration. I also applied while already in the country but it is possible to apply before you arrive so check these details too.
ALRIGHT, LETS GET TO IT…
MY TIPS FOR BEFORE YOU START YOUR APPLICATION FOR A NEW ZEALAND PARTNERSHIP WORK VISA.
DO THESE THINGS:
1.As soon as you know that you will be going down this route, start planning and always keep it in mind. There will be evidence that you need to gather, and sometimes there are things that you might ordinarily throw away that will be useful to your application. This is especially if you haven’t lived together in a rented place for a whole year. My boyfriend and I used to write to each other while he was in Australia and I was in the UK and his mum accidentally threw out a lot of those letters. Had we been more prepared, we would have made sure to keep things which solidly prove our relationship like these, with official date stamps.
2. Think well ahead, the application process time takes 25 days ish once you have lodged your application but there will be other things that you need to do before you are able to lodge it. If you give yourself plenty of time, you alleviate yourself from the stress of your current visa running out if you are already in New Zealand or of your flight coming up if you are travelling from outside. I would recommend to start planning 2 to 3 months ahead if you can.
WHEN YOU ARE READY TO START THE VISA APPLICATION DO THE FOLLOWING IMMEDIATELY:
1. Put aside a bit of money. Let’s not beat about the bush, this is going to cost you. You will need to pay for the visa, around $300 or $400 and the compulsory medical exam which costs around the same. The police check from your home country also costs as do passport photos and any other bits of admin you will need to do.
2. Get passport pictures taken with a digital copy. You will need the digital copy for any police checks that are done online and you will also need the prints for your NZ Partner Visa Application
3. Apply for your UK (or other country you have lived in for longer that 12 months) police check if you are going to need one. This one is quite a significant step as there is usually a processing time sometimes this processing time can be up to 6 weeks(mine from the UK was 10 days). You will need the official document posted back to you to include in your application as well. I paid for an international courier, which was quite expensive at 48 pounds, but the UK police don’t cover it if its lost. I didn’t want to risk this with it coming all the way to New Zealand. Your police check needs to be within the past 6 months, so don’t apply too early!
4. Book to have your medical taken. This is the most annoying and expensive preparation. If you are a partner of a New Zealander you will need to get the Limited Medical and a chest Xray and if you are a partner of a non-New Zealander you will need a General Medical and a chest Xray. I was getting this done in Wellington and the cheapest I could find was $375 for the Limited medical with chest Xray. The General medical costs slightly more. I have been told by friends that its cheaper to get this done in Auckland than anywhere else, but as I live in Wellington Im just getting it done here. However, if you are going to be in Auckland. Your medical will be sent directly to immigration from whichever medical practice does it.
5. Get certified copies of your partner’s passport and/or work visa. Your partner will likely want to hand this in with your visa rather than their actual document. There are Justices Of The Peace operating all over New Zealand who will do this for free.
6. Get any statements from family about your relationship signed and sent to you. We lived with my boyfriend’s family in Australia for 5 months so his mum sent us a signed statement stating this because we had no bills or tenancy agreement at this time.
7. Have family send any useful bits of evidence and support over to you ahead of time. Have letters, invites and photos still at home? Get them scanned and sent over ahead of time so you have everything ready. Luckily most contact is done online now so you will easily be able to access your online relationship!
8. Get your overseas licence converted into a New Zealand license or get an 18+ card. (Not essential but a good idea) When you send off your passport you will still want a form of ID that is accepted in bars New Zealand if you wanna have a drink!
GETTING YOUR NEW ZEALAND PARTNERSHIP WORK VISA APPLICATION TOGETHER
There are several sections of evidence that must be covered as outlined by immigration on their Partnership Visa NZ Checklist. I wont repeat them here, because that seems unesaccary. But check up on their website. make sure you have got together all the particular information relevant to your situation and application.
The information required is listed on the immigration website but they don’t give you a required or recommended way of presenting your application or tell you exactly what to include. This leads to confusion! I think the trick is, to just do what your confident with and what will be the most effective and simple way for it to be read.
PRESENTING YOUR APPLICATION FOR A NEW ZEALAND PARTNERSHIP WORK VISA:
I laid out my visa application in a small ring bound folder, inserted it with slim plastic slips to hold my documents and labelled separators for the different main chapters. Then I hole punched my scanned and printed evidence documents and organised it all according to my contents page. This is the way that seemed easiest and most clear to me. You may have a better or more efficient idea for presentation.
AFTER NOTE: I have heard that Immigration don’t like folders and clips and stuff and prefer it presented more cleanly, but this wasn’t noted on their site. It might be a good idea when you do yours, to just pile the documents in order and slot them in a folder without hole punching or separating them. If I have to do this application again I would probably do it like that.
The most simple way of me showing what I included in my personal application is to give you MY CONTENTS PAGE:
A. Letter outlining the entire time we have known each other and our future plans
B. Timeline of Josephine and Lucas’s Relationship
1: SIGNED FORMS
1.1 Partnership based Temporary Visa Application (INZ 1198)
1.2 Partners Supporting Partnership-Based Temporary Entry Applications (INZ 1146)
2: APPLICANT’S PERSONAL DOCUMENTS
2.1 Original Passport of Applicant
2.2 Police Certificate of Applicant
3: PARTNER’S PERSONAL DOCUMENTS
3.1 Certified Copy of supporting partners passport
3.2 Certified Copy of supporting partners’ Driving license
4: EVIDENCE OF LIVING TOGETHER
4.1 Timeline of where and when we have been living together
4.2 Tenancy Agreements from
4.3 A Joint power bill
4.4 Reciept from our wellington Air BnB
4.5 Letter from Air BnB host
4.6 Statement from Lucas’ Mum about our time living with her
4.7 Thank you letter from friends’ wedding in May 2016
4.8 Reciept from Air BnB we stayed in in Melbourne.
4.9 Screenshot of the host reviews from both Air BnB hosts stating we were both living there
4.10 Photo of Josephine and Lucas in Venus Bay
5: EVIDENCE OF A GENUINE AND STABLE RELATIONSHIP
5.1 Joint Bank Statement
5.2 Evidence of flights we took to Auckland
5.3 Tickets for flights we took to Bali
5.4 My flight ticket to Australia
5.5 My flight to Helsinki
5.6 Photo of us in Helsinki
5.7 Screenshot of Facebook friendship
5.8 Screenshot of Facebook mutual friends
5.9 Screenshots of Facebook chat messages
5.10 Screenshots of photos together from Social Media
5.11 A note left for us in Wellington by our good friend
A.1 Email conversation between Immigration and myself
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT
That is how I completed my application. I then took it into the Wellington Immigration building drop box, but you can also post yours to the relevant location. I really hope this helps anyone applying. Good Luck!
DISCLAIMER: I am nothing to do with New Zealand Immigration, this is just my experience as a UK girl applying, so feel free to use it as reference but DO NOT RELY ON IT! Make sure you check: NZ Immigration for all the official up to date advice!
If you have any questions you think I can help with, please comment below. I would love to hear from anyone going through this process.
Moving to New Zealand? Check out my post: The 9 essential tasks to complete when moving to New Zealand
Thanks for reading