If you have not yet read my post How to apply for the NZ Partnership Work Visa, I suggest you check it out first for advice about how to complete your application . After writing that post, I realized there were quite a few unanswered questions, so I have created this post to help answer them.
DISCLAIMER!: This is just my personal experience of this process. I do not work for immigration, it is just what worked for me and cannot be relied upon.
NZ Partnership Work Visa FAQs
1. Does your partner need to get a police check?
For the NZ Partnership Work Visa, NZ Immigration did the internal police checks for us, so we didn’t need to worry about organising that. With regards to other countries that your partner has lived in for over 12 months; if your partner is sponsoring you for the Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa and a they are New Zealand resident, no they don’t need to obtain other police checks. If your partner is not a New Zealand resident and you are applying for the NZ Partner of a Worker Work Visa yes they will need a police check from everywhere they have lived for more than 12 months. This can be a lengthy process, so be organised!
2. Which medical examination did you get for your application?
Because my boyfriend is a New Zealand Resident, I just needed to obtain the Limited medical screening with a chest X-ray. I believe if your partner is not a New Zealander you will have to do the same but with a General medical screening.
3. How long is the New Zealand Partnership Work Visa for?
This depends, if like us, you have been living together for a year or more, your visa will be a work visa of up to 2 years. In cases where you have not lived together for a year, I believe the visa will be granted for up to a year. You then have the ability to reapply of course. Double check this with immigration for your specific case.
My visa is just for one year and can be renewed after this until two years. I was a bit frustrated by this because I put loads of evidence into my application proving that we have been together for 12 months but they only used my tendency agreement from when I moved to Wellington and disregarded all my other information such as the statement from my boyfriends mum and Air BnB receipts from places we were living. We still got the visa, but just for 12 months rather than 24.
4. My passport is due to expire within the first year of the Partner visa, what should I do?
There is a very confusing bit of information on the New Zealand Immigration website. Under the ‘Meeting the Criteria’ section of ‘Identity’ it states, “Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand”. I don’t know when I’m going to be leaving new Zealand so couldn’t really define this, but my passport was going to expire about 12 months after I lodged the application. This left me very confused about whether to get a new passport before lodging.
I got in touch with NZ Immigration and they informed me that I didn’t need to worry about getting a new passport before applying for the visa, my visa could just be transferred to my new passport once I had received it. I think this may be because my boyfriend is a New Zealand resident and therefore the requirements to leave are less. It may be different if they are not an NZ resident.
Again, I would advise, if you have a problem or question similar to this, that you contact NZ Immigration for an official answer as every situation is different.
5. Do I need to provide actual documents for evidence or will scans and photocopies be ok?
Not all documents need to be originals. Only those that are specifically asked for by immigration do, like identity documents and your police check. All evidence documents i.e. things showing you have been in a relationship, can be photocopies.
6. Can I lodge the Application in person?
Yes, you can drop the application into a drop box at one of the NZ Immigration branches. If there isn’t one of these available where you are, sending it in the post is also easy, just find the address on the relevant immigration website here:
7. Will I receive my application back?
My application was not returned, but all my original documents were, except the police certificate, which they keep on file.
9. Where should I lodge my application?
Depending on where you live in New Zealand you can lodge your application at the office in that area. To find out where it is just check on the NZ Immigration Office and Fee Finder.
10. We have been together for a year but haven’t lived together for the whole time, can we still apply?
Yes, you can. You will need lots of evidence to prove that you have been together for this time such as call logs, travels together, photos, Facebook chats and things, but it is possible.
Remember, if you haven’t lived together for a year, you can only be granted a year long visa rather than two years.
11. Can I submit the NZ partnership visa application online?
No, not for the partnership based work visa.
12. How much does it cost?
This also depends on which partnership work visa you are going for and which country you are a resident of. For the correct information, check here:
13. How was your visa given back to you?
For partner visas, you only have the option of submitting the forms in a paper version. This meant that my visa was included in my passport when it was returned to me.
If you have any more partner visa questions or queries you think I might be able to help with, comment below. I would be happy to help and add more to this list.
This can be a strange and confusing process and talking to others really helped in my experience.
Thanks for reading and come back soon!