NZ Partnership Work Visa Approved – How long did it take?

Chapel Wairarapa New Zealand

My NZ Partnership Visa Processing Time

I now have my New Zealand Partnership Work Visa, officially stamped in my brand new passport. HURRAY!  This means I can be here until July 2019 without worrying about it again. Phew! BUT… receiving the visa didn’t end up being totally smooth so I thought I would share more of my experience in case it is helpful to others.

If you haven’t yet read the following posts about my visa process it might be a good idea to have look to get some more advice and background:

How I applied for the New Zealand Partnership Work Visa

Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa Application FAQs

The best way for me to describe what happened in my New Zealand Partnership Work Visa Application process is to give you a quick timeline of all the things that happened up to this point, so here we go:

Timeline of my Partner of a New Zealander Visa Application Process

15th April 2017 I dropped off my completed application at the dropbox in New Zealand Immigration in Wellington. Due to information I read on the immigration website I was expecting it would take around 21 days for processing.

1st May 2017 – Had not heard anything so called New Zealand Immigration to check on the status of the application as I was flying to Melbourne on May 19th for a holiday and wanted to make sure I would get my passport back in time. An lady informed me there was nothing she could do or tell me and that it can actually take more than 21 days. Well, great, thanks for that!

More helpfully, she also gave me the email address of my case officer who was the person assessing my application. So I emailed said case officer bout the application and he stated that the visa was accepted and that I could arrange for collection from the next day. Not sure whether this sudden speed was down to me emailing him or if it was just coincidence that he had processed it that day. Anyway this was great, I knew my application was successful and that I could pick up my visa that week.

4th May 2017 – Despite me stating in my application that I wanted to collect the passport in person, they posted it to my house. Oh well! My visa was still coming, yey!

Spanner in the works: When I received the visa I realized that they had only granted me one year instead of the two years which I was eligible for. WHAT THE?! Was I going to have to go through this whole thing again in a years time?!

More about this visa issue:

I had applied for a two year work visa because my Aussie partner and I had lived together for over 12 months which made us eligible. I provided all the evidence including a statement from his mum, letters written to us etc to prove we were infact living together the whole time. When I emailed my case officer to ask him about why he had only granted me one year he stated that this was because he only used the tenancy agreement from Wellington, which proved 8 months.

He also helpfully emailed me the clauses by which he makes the judgement. I checked these and they stated that approval for living together could be granted for but not limited to tenancy agreements. Basically he had just ignored a whole load of information that I had sent. When I explained this to him, he said that my only option was to appeal the result of my application. So that is what I did next.

18th May 2017  The appeal process includes writing a posted letter and explaining in depth where the problem is what you think the outcome should have been. When I did this, I pulled from the clauses he had sent me and then used my contents page to directly show them what they had missed. I posted this letter to NZ Immigration on the 18th May.

3rd June 2017 – Received an email response letter stating that my letter had been received and they would look into the problem.

3rd July 2017 – Received an email saying that my case had now been looked at and my appeal granted and that I was entitled to a 2 year visa and I could come in and get this in my passport. THANK YOU!

Note – I had to get a new passport as mine was running out in Jan 2018 so I decided now was a good time. I asked immigration if I could wait and get my new passport before getting the new visa stamp so I wouldn’t have to then change it over again and incur a fee. They accepted so I started my application for my new passport from the UK, which by the way is so simple and all online! I got it within a month.

10th August 2017 – By now I had received my passport and arranged to take it in to get my new visa stamp. I went to the office, waited for half an hour and BOOM – brand new visa in my new passport. NOT EASY, BUT SORTED FINALLY!

So, how long does it take?!..

So, to answer the questions simply, it takes around 21 days (but according to one agent, it can be more). But for me, to get the right visa it took a lot longer.

My big tip:

If you think something is right, don’t just trust what they say because my case shows that they can get things wrong. If it looks like this, it is well worth appealing!

Next Steps for my Visa Process

So, like I said, I am all good for a 2 years. I will also be eligible for the Partnership Based Residency Visa after I have been in the country for 24 months.

If we do go for the Partnership Based Residency Visa, I will then be entitled to gain Permanent Residency, on my own, in the same way the someone with a residency visa would.

Whether this will all happen, who knows! The options are out there and we shall see.

I hope this was helpful and has given you more of an insight into my visa process. Do you have any questions? Comment Below!

Don’t forget to check out some other useful posts in this category for more useful info about moving to NZ:

Cost of Living in New Zealand – The Truth

9 Essential Tasks for Moving to New Zealand


Thanks for reading and come back soon!

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Josie x