As it is Valentines day today, I will be discussing “partnership” in the context of New Zealand.
For you to be able to gain a visa based on partnership, first let us define what this means to Immigration as it is largely different from what we are used to as Filipinos.
A “partner” in Kiwi speak does not mean “boyfriend-girlfriend” in pinoy speak. It is also NOT a requirement that the two of you need to be married or even of the opposite sex.
When you lodge a visa to join a Kiwi partner in New Zealand, Immigration will be looking if you live together in a “genuine and stable relationship” even if you are both men or both women. It could be a lot of different factors including:
- how long you’ve been together
- how long you’ve been living together as a couple
- your living arrangements
- whether you support each other financially
- how you share financial responsibilities
- how committed you are to a life together
- whether you own property together and/or share your property
- any children you have together, including your arrangements for their care
- whether you share common household tasks
- whether other people recognise your relationship.
This means they should be an on-going relationship ideally 12 months or more. There is no “fiance visa” in NZ nor is a marriage certificate enough to prove a relationship.
Instead, the best documents to produce are the following:
- birth certificates for any children you share
- cards, letters, emails and social media conversations
- photos together
- a joint rental agreement or home loan
- mail addressed to you together at the same place and time
- joint bank accounts with significant movement
- evidence you own assets together
- joint credit cards or loan agreements
- joint utilities accounts, like power or phone bills
If you have been living apart but in a relationship, you need to provide information about the reasons for this. For example, husband was working in the Middle East while the wife was busy looking after the property and children in the Philippines.
A common strategy among Filipinos is they let one person go ahead to New Zealand to look for work while the partner stays in the Philippines. The tips above are important to keep in mind and collate evidences as early as possible to allow for a smooth transition for a reunion down the line.