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Thread: Change of visa?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
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    auckland
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    Question Change of visa?

    Hi everyone, hoping to get some advice/support to calm me down a little..

    So my situation is as follows:
    I am currently in NZ on a student visa, but as I am really unhappy and stressed I want to quit. After looking at our options, me and my partner (a kiwi) decided to apply for a Partner of NZer Work Visa (and plan to apply for a residency visa once I get my birth certificate from my family). Is there anything Immi might have issues with, considering I am completely changing my Visa?
    We have been together since December 2019, living together since March 2020 (I wasn't on the lease, but I was sending my bills portion to my partner who then forwarded it to the flatmate responsible and since August, my rent portion to one of the flatmates who was paying for the whole house). I attached my bank statements from the whole period which also show my address as well as the transactions, got the flatmate responsible for paying rent to send me his (signed) bank statements with the transactions highlighted.
    As other evidence I attached some online orders that me or my partner had delivered to our address, the partner's vehicle insurance, the fact that my last visa application had the shared address listed as my address, our new lease from the new house that we moved to in December (we are both on the lease since then). As for our evidence of our relationship, I attached photos, some of our fb conversation, some support letters from our flatmates/friends, a PLB registration where I am listed as my partner's emergency contact, a car insurance where we are both listed as the insured drivers, flight tickets from when we went to visit my partner's family, some concert/event tickets. We only opened a joint account just before the visa application (insane waiting times for bank appointments, clashing schedules..I just attached a letter from the bank confirming we opened the account and explained why we have just opened it so late).

    I'm just really worried if I gave them enough evidence of our relationship and if the fact that I am changing from a student visa (valid till 2023) to a work visa might be an issue. I wonder if the fact that my partner is younger than me by 6 years will make them doubt us.
    Q1: Do you reckon I gave them enough evidence? Will me changing my visa be an issue/suspicious?
    Q2: Any idea when I can actually quit my studies without breaching the current visa conditions? I lodged the application in the beginning of August and it hasn't even been assigned a CO yet. I don't know if I have to wait until I have a new visa, or if I can quit now without having to leave the country..We really don't want to have to separate because of some silly mistake.
    Q3: Anybody know what the current processing times are considering the lockdown and what not?

    Thanks & sorry for the novel I just wrote..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Is there anything Immi might have issues with, considering I am completely changing my Visa?
    There's nothing suspicious about changing your mind about what you want to do. If you think about it, MANY kinds of visa application can be the result of someone deciding to do something different, e.g. going to live in NZ instead of their previous country, changing their job within NZ, getting a work visa connected with employment after being a student, etc. etc.. Your partner's age is not any kind of bar - INZ aren't entitled to judge people, only to examine evidence that they are, and have been, living together for a qualifying amount of time.

    1. That looks like a good amount of evidence, of various different kinds. If the CO needs more, or further explanations, s/he will ask. Incidentally, a couple don't HAVE to have a joint bank account; it can be sufficient to show from each person's account that they each paid for things that are for the benefit of them both in their shared life. Don't forget, it's normal for INZ to ask for more evidence of living together when they're about ready to issue a visa, to cover the time of processing (making sure they're not giving a visa on the basis of a relationship that has now split up), so you need to keep collecting more of all of this. Also, when you are ready to apply for partner-sponsored residence, you will need to cover this early period of living together all over again (as the case will probably not be processed in the same office, and you need to make things obvious and easy for the next CO), so keep copies of everything you send in, and keep collecting partnership proof all the time, right up until the new application is sent in, and then while it is being processed.

    2. Your present visa is valid while you are still on your course. If you were to quit the course (or get thrown off it), the visa would become invalid. INZ can only process the application from a person in NZ for a new visa if they are legally there, covered by a current visa. So continuing to study, and doing satisfactorily on the course, is necessary for the time being.

    3. I haven't seen any times mentioned on the forum recently for this kind of visa. Has anybody out there got experience? Lockdown is putting the brakes on for everyone/everything, and as it is dependent on the numbers for Covid, it's unpredictable. All this waiting isn't anything to do with you - it's because of events beyond anyone's control. Feeling anxious is a normal state for anyone with an application in to INZ, even in normal times, so be assured that you're not alone. It will all take as long as it takes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    auckland
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    Default

    Thank you for the answers. I was hoping regarding Q2 I would be able to quit sooner (as that's what the contact centre told me, but I didn't quite believe them....).

    I uploaded a cover letter last night adding more proof (saw that one document uploaded with the application itself had messed up formatting - importing pdf to doc, ugh). Is there any chance at all that might make them look at what was just uploaded or will the CO just look at everything when they get assigned eventually?
    Also, another question..
    I am assuming we will need NZ police certificates (both for me and my partner).
    Is it the CO who requests those, or the person that checks all documents are present (so the first check before it even gets in the queue to be assigned to a CO)? I know that they've done the first document check over 2 weeks ago, but it hasn't been assigned to a CO yet..

  4. #4
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    I think the CO, when the case is eventually assigned to one, will read everything that you've uploaded by that point. The initial check by a clerk is just to see if what is there with the original application appears (without going into details or verifying any of it) to meet the requirements for the visa applied for, before the application is lodged in the system to wait to be assigned, and since your case has been lodged, it's evidently 'so far, so good'. NZ police certificates are requested by INZ, but people's experiences seem to vary as to at what stage this happens. In any case, it's not anything you can or need to do anything about.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2021
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    And any idea whatsoever how long it usually takes COs to get to one's file when it gets assigned? Do the partnership work visas (not residency) also go through a second person check?
    I wish Immi would update the page about processing time estimates. It is truly nerve-racking.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    There are often periods of time when you hear nothing while your application is being processed. All that is perfectly normal. The CO is working on scores of other cases in rotation with yours, so many times your file will be working up the queue for its next turn for his/her attention. Before this first communication, it will have joined that queue at the back, so will not have been attended to immediately. There is no "usual" timing - it depends on the demands of what the CO already has in hand. Also, the CO has to verify all your evidence, and potentially has to wait for other people to reply to his/her queries.

    All visa applications go through second-person checking, to check for errors or omissions, and to guard against the possibility of corruption.

    INZ have no basis for making realistic estimates of processing times at the moment, as their work, like everybody's, keeps getting disrupted by the pandemic. Anyway, any estimate they make in normal times is only ever a guess, not a promise.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2021
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    auckland
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    Is there any statistics info about how many people apply for the partnership work visa per month? I know about the "decided" one, but can't find anything about average number of applications lodged.

  8. #8
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    Anybody?

  9. #9
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    Aug 2016
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    New Zealand
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    Default

    I had a look at the Migration Data Explorer and they don't show that statistic there... if you really want to know then you might want to make an Official Information Act request: https://fyi.org.nz

  10. #10
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    Feb 2008
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    Thank you.

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