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Thread: Partnership work visa, PR and Residency..huh?

  1. #1
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    Red face Partnership work visa, PR and Residency..huh?

    Hi everyone

    I'm feeling a little lost after hours of immigration research regarding residency application.
    If someone holds a 2 year partnership-based work visa, can you soon after apply for residency? (if you've already lived with your partner for 1 year)
    Or do you have to be on that work visa for one year before applying for residency?


    And...totally confused here. Is there a difference between residency and permanent residency? Or are those old terms which have now changed?

    Would love to be enlightened on this one. Many thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Hi sgsj,

    If you look at what the operations manual says about qualification of partners of citizens/residence for residence class visa,

    F2.5 How do partners of New Zealand citizens and residents qualify for a residence class visa?

    To be granted a residence class visa under Partnership Category applicants must provide sufficient evidence to satisfy an immigration officer that they have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable with a New Zealand citizen or resident.


    As far as I can understand from the manual, it only mentions about living together with your partner and not being in an employment for 12 months. The determination of eligibility for residence visa does not seem to depend on what visa you are currently on and must be looked at as a completely new application. As long as you satisfy the requirements, such as the living together part among other things, you should be able to lodge your application.

    On your second question, this link will point you to the summary of changes of Immigration Act 2009. Under terminology changes, residence permits, residence visa and returning resident's visa have been replace by "residence visa" and "permanent resident visas"

    From what I understand, residence visa is the first type of residence visa given with validity of 2 years (this visa type can have travel conditions attached to it). Permanent residence is what you get after being on residence for two years and doesn't have any conditions allowing you to stay in NZ indefinitely or until you apply for citizenship (following citizenship requirements and eligibility of course).

  3. #3
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    Do you mean you would be the principal applicant?


    Residence Visa (which earlier used to be called Permanent residence Visa) is the the initial PR stamp which is fixed on your Passport with Variation of Travel conditions for 2 year, i.e. you can travel in/out of NZ for 2 years without any restrictions, however at the end of 2 years - you can either apply for extension of "variation of travel condition" OR apply for PR Visa (more info below)


    Permanent Residence Visa: You apply for this visa after having Residence Visa for minimum of 2 years (and fulfilling the conditions stated on this link), having PR visa is equivalent of IRRV by old terminology.


    Perhaps you can read more clear information on this link

    Hope that helps. (I don't have much info on partnership visas but someone will clarify that soon)

  4. #4
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    They've covered everything I would have said, I think. The partner can apply for Residence as a partner whenever s/he is eligible, and that's measured by having 12 months' proof of partnership with the person who can sponsor them (besides the obvious health and character checks). And, as anonimoose's link says, these days the first 'for ever' visa you get is Residence, and, as Sun777 explains, you can move on to PR after a minimum of two years.

  5. #5
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    Sun777, yes I am the principal applicant.

    Ok, I think it makes sense now:
    I can apply for residency now whilst on my 2 year partnership work visa.
    I wouldn't have to wait for one year to pass on my current work visa in order to apply for residency (since I've already been living with my partner for a year).

    The residency visa is given for 2 years, and thereafter I can apply for permanent residency.

    Since I've just began my 2 year partnership work visa, would there be any objection to applying for residency at this early stage?...I'm a play it safe kind of person and don't want to be running out of time, seeing that the residency visa takes anything from 6-8 months.

    Thank you for the links Sun777, and thank you for the info anonimoose

  6. #6
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    If you can prove you have been in a stable relationship for 5+ years, you can be "upgraded" to PR on Residence application.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Mo View Post
    If you can prove you have been in a stable relationship for 5+ years, you can be "upgraded" to PR on Residence application.
    Hi G-Mo -- I'm keen to know where in the operation manual can I see this information? As far as I know, there is no "upgrade" or "conversion" technically speaking when it comes to most visas (the closest perhaps is SMC WTR to PR, which is really a deferral rather than conversion/upgrade). Every visa type has to be applied for on the basis of eligibility, therefore coming from work visa under partnership, you can't really upgrade to any other visa types, but rather apply for a different visa type, residence visa in sgsj's case.

    I could have missed it but I don't see any reference to 5+ years to be eligible to residence visa. The only 5-year requirement I know of is when assessing eligibility for Citizenship, which requires a person to hold residence/permanent residence status for 5 years before or she can apply for citizenship by grant (link here).

    While it's good that we share information we know to others, if inaccurate, it might cause headache/problems for people who might think they have to wait 5 years to apply or be upgraded (whatever that means) when they only need a year of living together to lodge the application.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonimoose View Post
    Hi G-Mo -- I'm keen to know where in the operation manual can I see this information? As far as I know, there is no "upgrade" or "conversion" technically speaking when it comes to most visas (the closest perhaps is SMC WTR to PR, which is really a deferral rather than conversion/upgrade). Every visa type has to be applied for on the basis of eligibility, therefore coming from work visa under partnership, you can't really upgrade to any other visa types, but rather apply for a different visa type, residence visa in sgsj's case.

    I could have missed it but I don't see any reference to 5+ years to be eligible to residence visa. The only 5-year requirement I know of is when assessing eligibility for Citizenship, which requires a person to hold residence/permanent residence status for 5 years before or she can apply for citizenship by grant (link here).

    While it's good that we share information we know to others, if inaccurate, it might cause headache/problems for people who might think they have to wait 5 years to apply or be upgraded (whatever that means) when they only need a year of living together to lodge the application.

    Hope this helps.
    I've just gone through this, as have a number of other forum members here who are married or living with Kiwis long term.

    F2.5.1 Eligibility for a permanent resident visa for partners of New Zealand citizens living overseas
    a. A principal applicant may be granted a permanent resident visa (RA1.5) if:
    i. they meet all the other criteria for a residence class visa under the Partnership Category; and
    ii. they have a New Zealand citizen partner who has been residing outside New Zealand for a period of at least five years at the time the application is made; and
    iii. the couple have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship for at least five years at the time the application is made.
    b. To meet the requirements of a(ii) above, the New Zealand citizen partner must either be
    i. outside New Zealand at the time the application is made; or
    ii. have been in New Zealand for less than three months after residing outside New Zealand for at least five years at the time the application is made.
    c. For the purposes of these instructions, residing outside New Zealand means spending less than 3 months in New Zealand in each of the five 12 month periods immediately preceding either:
    i. the date the application is made (if the application was made outside New Zealand); or
    ii. the date the New Zealand citizen partner arrived in New Zealand (if the application was made in New Zealand.
    d. Any secondary applicants included in an application where the principal applicant is eligible for a permanent resident visa under these instructions may also be granted a permanent resident visa (RA1.1).
    e. Any applicants who do not meet the criteria set out in this section but who meet all other requirements of the Partnership Category should be granted a resident visa (RA1.5).
    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual/42627.htm

    Now, I notice reading this (that I wasn't aware of initially, as we were out of country applicants), that the NZ partner must have resided outside NZ for 5+ years as well as the relationship being 5+ years. We've been married 8+ years and together 10+ years, as you can see from my signature, I applied for Residence (provided all documentation documenting length of relationship) and was changed to PR. I don't know if there is a similar condition for internal applicants.

  9. #9
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    I went through the links here, and wondered.. what happens if you get residency from a partnership but (touch wood) you happened to separate before the time came to apply for renewal of residency or PR? Would you be able to apply? Or would you have to start all over again with a different residency application (SMC, etc) if you ever want to leave the country for a while (since you're not partnered anymore)?

  10. #10
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    If you have Residence, it's a grant personal to you. The checking for eligibility is for your situation in life beforehand, not afterwards. Once you have Residence, you're on the same basis as any other Residence visa holder - so going for PR, or renewal of travel conditions, would be under the same regulations as for someone who got in through Skilled Migrant. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migra...quirements.htm (and in the side bar).

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