To apply for a visa based on a relationship with a New Zealand visa holder or New Zealand citizen, you and your partner must meet Immigration New Zealand’s definition of a partnership: two people of the opposite or same sex, living together in a genuine and stable relationship.

 In this explainer, we highlight some tips for getting your evidence together and what to do if you struggle to provide enough detail.

The Standard Relationship Paradigm

Immigration New Zealand usually seeks specific evidence like joint bank accounts and shared living arrangements to validate relationships. However, real life doesn’t always fit these criteria.

 Many couples don’t anticipate needing to document their relationship for immigration. 

They may lack standard evidence, particularly if they’ve led transient or non-traditional lives. No universal solution exists for this challenge. Each case is unique, often requiring a detailed review of the relationship history to find overlooked but valid evidence.

What Evidence Do You Need to Provide as Proof of Your Relationship?

Recommended types of evidence include:

  • Statements showing your joint ownership or mortgage of the property you currently live or have been living in
  • Joint tenancy agreements, rent books, or rental receipts
  • Bills and/or letters addressed to both you and your partner

Tip: If you have been living separately for a period of time during your relationship, you should provide proof of your relationship during this period of separation, such as letters, emails, SMS, or other chat or call logs. However, the reason for separation must be a compelling one. Periods of separation can cause significant problems, so we recommend seeking professional advice as to how this may impact your case.

Common Mistakes in Providing Proof of Relationship

Consistency across all documents for your visa application is crucial, as inconsistency will be a red flag to the immigration official reviewing your application. 

When providing multiple documents, some of the information will be repetitive and should be identical, such as your address details, certain information about your relationship, travel and your history. 

Before you start your application, draw a timeline of your relationship and refer to this as you complete your application. Some good things to clarify are:

  • When and where you met
  • When you decided to commit to the relationship
  • When you moved in together and where you lived
  • When you got engaged
  • When you got married

Tip: Another important detail often overlooked is keeping your address up to date. Conflicting addresses might make Immigration New Zealand question whether your relationship has ended. 

Also, give some thought to the domestic details of your life together. Be clear about:

  • How you share money and who pays the bills? Do you both have access to bank accounts?
  • What is your household routine and who does which chores?
  • What do you do for fun as a couple and how do you spend the weekend? Do you have regular things you do together?
  • Who are your mutual friends? What holidays have you been on together?
  • What plans do you have for the future and what are your mutual goals?

What If Immigration New Zealand Require More Evidence?

Often, clients struggle to meet INZ’s evidential requirements for partnership visas. When this happens, reach out to our team for advice.

How NZIL Can Assist

At NZIL, we understand that love doesn’t always come with a paper trail. Our tailored approach involves spending significant time understanding your relationship, your lifestyle, and the kind of evidence you can realistically provide. We then use our expertise to frame your application in the best possible light, maximising your chances of success.

The Bottom Line

Navigating the partnership visa application process can be both complex and stressful. If you find yourself stuck in the maze of evidential requirements, remember that help is available. NZIL specialises in complex cases and has a strong track record of helping couples like you make their case effectively.

Looking for advice about your partnership visa application? Contact our team today. You can read more about the Partnership Visa process or our Guide to a relationship support letter here.

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