New Zealand, celebrated for its picturesque landscapes and exceptional quality of life, has become a favoured destination for immigrants. Statistics from Statistics New Zealand highlight how international migration has profoundly influenced the country’s recent demographic growth, creating a rich tapestry of cultures and ethnicities. Its resilient economy, political stability, and comprehensive healthcare system augment its desirability as a haven for living, working, and family life.

Overview of the Partnership Work Visa

The Partnership Work Visa is significant in New Zealand’s immigration system, enabling individuals to join their New Zealand-based partners. This visa is more than a residency and work permit; it embodies New Zealand’s commitment to familial unity and multicultural integration, recognising the diversity of relationships in modern society.

Defining Partnership as per New Zealand Immigration Law

New Zealand immigration law adopts a broad view of partnerships, encompassing:

  • Legal Marriages: Unions legally recognised under New Zealand law.
  • Civil Unions: Formal partnerships with a legal status akin to marriage.
  • De Facto Relationships: Couples living together in a marriage-like relationship, whether formally registered or not.

This inclusive definition aligns with New Zealand’s progressive social values and acknowledges the varied nature of modern relationships.

Essential Requirements for the Applicant

Applicants for the Partnership Work Visa must meet several critical requirements:

  • Proof of Relationship: Substantial evidence like joint bank accounts, tenancy agreements, and shared bills.
  • Health and Character Certificates: Compliance with specific health and character standards, usually involving medical exams and police clearances.
  • Support from the NZ Partner: Endorsement from the New Zealand partner, including verifiable evidence of the relationship’s legitimacy.
  • Intent to Stay: A demonstrated intention to live in New Zealand for the visa’s duration.

Criteria for the New Zealand Partner

Clean image of a cheerful working couple holding legal documents-New Zealand Partnership Visa

The New Zealand partner plays a vital role in the application process, needing to verify their legal status in New Zealand, support the application, and provide financial and accommodation assistance.

Assessing the Partnership

INZ assesses the partnership based on the following:

  • Duration and Commitment: Examining the relationship’s length and commitment to a shared life.
  • Family Dynamics: This includes children from the relationship and their care arrangements.
  • Social Recognition: How the relationship is perceived and acknowledged by others.
  • Living and Financial Arrangements: Reviewing cohabitation duration, living conditions, shared household responsibilities, financial support, shared financial responsibilities, and property ownership.

Periods of separation are also considered, requiring detailed information about the reasons for the separation, the length of time apart, and how the relationship was maintained.

Visa Details

  •   Length of Stay: 1-2 years, depending on the relationship’s duration.
  •   Cost: Starting from NZD 860. (it can change. Visit the government immigration website or contact us for more information)
  •   Processing Time: Approximately 80% of applications are processed within 80 weekdays.

Benefits include the ability to stay, work, and study in New Zealand. Before the visa expires, individuals holding a visa can apply for residency based on their partnership.

Application Process

A cozy living room scene featuring a middle-New Zealand Partnership Visa-ICL Immigration

The process involves assessing eligibility, gathering evidence of the relationship, accurately completing and submitting the application form, and paying the application fee. The method may include an interview; the average processing time as of 2023 is around 3 to 5 months.

Documents and Application Methods

Required documents include a valid passport, relationship proof, medical and police certificates, and evidence of the New Zealand partner’s residency status. Applicants can choose between online and paper-based applications, with online applications typically processed faster.

Visa Duration and Conditions

The visa’s validity is 12 to 24 months, allowing holders to work unrestrictedly in New Zealand and obligating them to maintain their relationship status. Visa extensions and transitions to other visa types are possible, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Rights and Benefits

Visa holders enjoy full work rights, eligibility for publicly funded healthcare (conditions apply), and education rights for their children. During the visa’s validity, frequent travel in and out of New Zealand is permitted.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Challenges include inadequate proof of relationship, processing delays, and fulfilling health and character requirements. Solutions include comprehensive documentation, staying informed about immigration policies, and addressing health and character requirements early. Delays or rejections should be handled by contacting INZ and seeking professional advice.

Additional Resources & References


The Partnership Work Visa is a pathway to a new life in New Zealand, filled with opportunities for couples. ICL Immigration is committed to guiding applicants through this intricate process, ensuring a smooth transition to life under the skies of Aotearoa.


For the latest information, always refer to the official Immigration New Zealand or New Zealand government websites.

ICL Contact Information

  •   Email:
  •  Phone: 09 369 1681
  •  Address: 500 Karangahape Road, Auckland Central, 1010, New Zealand
  • Website: ICL Immigration


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