Hi everyone,

I really really need some advice on whether I should apply for visitor visa or work visa under partnership to extend my stay.

I will give you a quick background about my situation. I had quite a history with INZ.

I've lived NZ for 10 years, study and work. But I wasn't a PR. In 2012, due to my employment problems, my application for residence was declined. My then working visa was about to expired. So I applied for a new work visa and that got declined too. I was overstaying for four months trying to appeal my case, as my family and partner were living in NZ as well, so I didn't want to leave. But then the attempt didn't succeed so I decided to leave NZ.

On the day I left, my working visa got approved. It was a huge surprise but I was already on the plan so I had to leave. I came back to my home country and got the visa approved there. However I was offered a better job opportunity so I did't come back to NZ, despite having a one-year work visa.

Anyway my partner and I have had a long distance relationship. He has a good job in NZ and I want to have my career as well so we decide to stay apart. But we were in stable relationship. He proposed to me this year and wanted me to come back to NZ. I applied for a visitor visa and was granted one month period visa.

We are going to register for marriage as soon as I get back to NZ. But with the short visitor visa, I fear that there isn't enough time to apply for work visa under partnership category. The marriage certification takes like 8 days to be issued. And this type of visa will take longer to process comparing to visitor visa.I'm just afraid of the same situation which happened with my overstay (no valid visa while decision being made, then come declination).

We've had all the necessary supporting documents like travelling document, public and family recognition of our relationship, joint bank account, wedding venue contract. However we have not lived together yet, which we are planning to do when I get back.

So my question is should I apply for a longer visitor visa or work visa under partnership with all the supporting documents I have ? Do you think they will consider my case, taken that we have not lived together (some threads here make it obvious that you must have a sufficient period of living together) even though we will register for marriage.

A few friends said I should apply for work visa under partnership straight away because visitor visas are also strictly given nowadays. I'm really lost. Please give me some advice and opinion. Many thanks.