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Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Old Sep 17th 2013, 7:50 pm
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Default Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Well it's been several years since I first signed up on here but hopefully I'm that bit closer to emigrating! Apologies in advance, you're going to get almost my whole life story here but it's a bit complicated. The short of it is that I'm in a long distance relationship and one of the reasons we want to emigrate is that job opportunities in the UK are preventing us living together - but I can see that living together is central to including a partner on my application.

Back then I was coming up for turning 20 and not long started 5 years of studying/training to become a pharmacist. Fast forward to now and I'm a recently qualified and registered hospital pharmacist, and hoping to be in NZ (or Oz if NZ doesn't work out) within the next 18-24 months.

The partner I was with at the time decided fairly soon afterwards that emigration wasn't for him due to family ties and things went downhill from there. I'm now with a lovely chap who's as keen as I am to head off into the wild blue yonder (we've both done spells of world wide travel prior to meeting), we've been together 2 years as of next month, so we're looking at 3+ years by the time we head off.

Unfortunately, we met while I was still living in Aberdeen, and we only had 9 months together before I moved to Cornwall to start my 1-year pharmacist traineeship (I accepted the offer a month before we met, Sod's Law). I went back home for a month on unpaid leave in August of this year, during which I moved 90% of my things into his house. I hadn't been able to find any work closer to him, so I'm part of the way through a temporary post back in Cornwall until I can find something up North. My dog is temporarily living with him while I'm here for this short stint as finding temporary accommodation with a dog in tow is nigh on impossible.

So far I've been offered a 5-month maternity cover post in a hospital 2 hours from him, and I have an interview lined up for a permanent post on a Scottish Isle. Both of these options would mean living away during the week and potentially only staying with him for 2 weekends a month. Due to the jobs market, I can't see this changing anytime soon so potentially we're looking at continuing with long distance until the point of emigration. While I've been in Cornwall and he's been in Aberdeen, we've seen each other for a weekend every 3 or 4 weeks, we've been on holidays together, Skype/email/text/call on a daily basis, attend functions as a couple where possible (eg engagement meal for his sister recently, my graduation ball last year and we have a couple of joint invites to upcoming weddings).

This level of contact would continue until the point of emigration. For all intents and purposes, we are in a stable and continuing relationship and WOULD be living together if we had the choice. Immigration authorities seem to insist on us physically living together though, and I'm just wondering if anyone out there has been in a similar situation or is aware of anyone who has. We could supply masses of evidence of the relationship (both financial records and personal), and have no doubt we could produce many letters from friends and family attesting to the genuine nature of the relationship.

Do the authorities apply common sense in these situations? Or will they simply say it boils down to we haven't been living at the same address?

Any advice much appreciated, I've had it with contacting immi staff - all they seem to do is copy and paste sections of guidance which I've already read..

Amy
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Old Sep 17th 2013, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

as far as I can make out you have to show you are in a stable relationship, I don't think personal letters from friends and family hold much weight. so holiday photo's, holiday booking forms, rental agreements, joint bank statements, joint bills utilities, official letters going to the same house etc.for a minimum of a year.

do Immigration use common sense - no The case officers have their procedure to carry out and that follow that, if any of the stages along that route has a problem that have to sort that before carrying on.
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Old Sep 17th 2013, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Thanks MrsFychan - so do you reckon that no amount of evidence will make up for not living at the same address?

We can put bank accounts, utility bills etc in our joint names, I could also move my professional registration etc to his address too - would the formalities of all that be enough along with other evidence of the relationship (photos, holiday bookings etc)?

I really can't see us managing to live together fulltime, and it's not for lack of trying. But if we can appear to be living together on paper, then I can make those sort of changes now, and by the time we apply those things will have been in place for the required 12 months.

I've heard about some partners being issued with temporary visas to cover the 'living together' requirement whilst abroad? So provided we can evidence the relationship side, this could potentially be an option?

Amy
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Old Sep 17th 2013, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

I personally would go with putting a few things in your name at his address or visa versa. yes the other option is viable but I believe could be tricky. ??
We only had to show paperwork, sent lots of family photo's and wedding/party invites/holiday bookings. sent skype messages/emails etc. No one actually came to the house to check so if it looks good on paper
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Old Sep 17th 2013, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

You're a star - just what I needed to hear! Thanks very much

Amy
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 10:00 am
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Hi,

Sorry but I'm not so sure this will work......
Don't get me wrong, doing these things won't do any harm, they will most certainly help, BUT see here in the Ops manual -
Definition of Partner :-

http://glossary.immigration.govt.nz/Partner.htm

As you can see it clearly states Immigration will only award Residency to a partner where the couple have been living "together" for a minimum of 12 months.

Your partner does not meet this criteria. Long distance relationships do not count. You are not living together ?
Having bills for the same address, joint bank accounts etc goes some way to show you are in a stable relationship but you must be honest with Immigration. You have an obligation to tell them any information that could pose an issue for your application and the fact that you do not live together will most certainly be a concern.
Not wise to hide anything or hope they don't find out. At some point Immigration will question the partnership Im sure.
Ie your address and that of your partner is in Scotland, but you have been working in Cornwall for the past year!
Doesn't take a genius to work out you can't commute to that job everyday!

In my opinion you really need to make a life changing decision if you both want this move.
Assuming you can provide evidence of your previous 9 months living together, all you need to do is prove another 3 months.
If you cannot find a job near your partner, how about your partner finding a job near you or can he work away temporarily so you can live together in Cornwall ?

In my experience Immigration stick to the rules. They are heavily audited so it is not in their interest to allow the rules to be bent or allow one rule for one and another rule for someone else.
They have to stick to their process. Common sense does not come into the equation.

Regards,
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Unfortunately, I know where you're coming from..

Even if we weren't emigrating, we wouldn't choose to be doing long distance, living apart is not by choice believe me! So no unfortunately, him getting work here etc is not an option, we've already looked into it many, many times.

Although we're betting on my career in pharmacy being our golden ticket, and so it would make sense for us to prioritise my work, he's been in his job for 10+ years (wouldn't get the salary he's on if he left that company) and also has a mortgage on a house up there.

It's a catch 22 - we want to emigrate because we can't live together in the UK, we can't emigrate because we can't live together while stuck in the UK! :-/
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Originally Posted by deepfriedbrain View Post
Unfortunately, I know where you're coming from..

Even if we weren't emigrating, we wouldn't choose to be doing long distance, living apart is not by choice believe me! So no unfortunately, him getting work here etc is not an option, we've already looked into it many, many times.

Although we're betting on my career in pharmacy being our golden ticket, and so it would make sense for us to prioritise my work, he's been in his job for 10+ years (wouldn't get the salary he's on if he left that company) and also has a mortgage on a house up there.

It's a catch 22 - we want to emigrate because we can't live together in the UK, we can't emigrate because we can't live together while stuck in the UK! :-/
I sympathise but basically the balls in your court.
You either follow Immigration's rules or you'll be declined.

Just another spanner although not a major issue!

As a pharmacist you obviously have to be registered in the UK to practise.
It's the same here in NZ.
If you are hoping your career to give you the golden ticket into NZ you must be registered and able to practise as a pharmacist in NZ to be able to claim the points for the skill shortage etc.
This means jumping through whatever hoops you have to in order to get NZ registration (whilst still in UK) before you have to submit your formal application.
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

And I fully appreciate I do not want to piss off the immi people!!

Yeah I'm familiar with the qualification/registration process to allow me to work over there, that's seeming like a fairly minor hurdle at the moment. I only need to have had my qualification assessed and have passed the exam in order to apply for a skilled migrant visa - those two things allow me partial registration which would suffice for visa purposes (I've had this confirmed by the NZ pharmacy people). I can't get full registration without 4 weeks supervised practice and a law/ethics interview, so need the visa first to allow me get in to NZ to do that.

However, I believe they'll be taking pharmacy off the 'list' in December, so I'll be in the same boat as everyone else by the time I apply, i.e. I'd need a job offer to get the points!
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 11:10 am
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Just wondering, if it's looking like taking him out as an official partner isn't feasible, what is our best alternative option?

Me applying for a skilled migrant residence visa, him coming out on a temp work one for 12+ months to allow us to fulfill the partner requirements, then apply for residence for him as my partner?
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

for a temp work visa he will need a job offer.

what does he do?
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Bugger. Is it just working holiday that's easy to come by then? I know that would limit how long he could work for, so isn't a great option either.

He's an architectural technologist/technician - like a draughtsman I guess? From what I've seen, exactly like an architect but without the design background - he does all the drawings, site visits, liaises with contractors/clients etc, 10 years experience with a well respected company. We're struggling to figure out what his qualifications/experience would be worth (if anything) overseas to be honest :-/

Amy
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Hi Deepfriedbrain, (great name by the way), this is only my opinion from years of life, but take a deep breath and let it go for now. The more you push and try to find a workable solution the more frustrated you will become. But some time soon, when the time is right, (and that could be tomorrow or next year,) the door for emigrating will open and it will be so much easier. IMHO when it's the right time you'll know and everything will slot into place. It'll still be stressful, emigrating is, but the process will flow. Good Luck.
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

Originally Posted by deepfriedbrain View Post
Bugger. Is it just working holiday that's easy to come by then? I know that would limit how long he could work for, so isn't a great option either.

He's an architectural technologist/technician - like a draughtsman I guess? From what I've seen, exactly like an architect but without the design background - he does all the drawings, site visits, liaises with contractors/clients etc, 10 years experience with a well respected company. We're struggling to figure out what his qualifications/experience would be worth (if anything) overseas to be honest :-/

Amy
Also, if you had Residency, you would have to complete 2 years in NZ as a Resident before you are eligible to sponsor someone else for Residency via Partnership via the family stream.

I'd say the WHV is the easiest way to come to NZ which will also allow a person to work, but I'm sure you can only do a maximum 12 months on these if you meet the requirements for the visa in the first place and you cannot repeat it.
Still doesn't allow enough time to cover the living together period and then time enough for you to become eligible to sponsor your partner for Residency.

Have you looked at individual Residency applications without a partner so you both do it individually....can you each get enough points ?
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Partnership criteria - long distance relationship?

you can get a WHV for 23mths but that would require full medicals and you need to be between 18 - 30 yrs old.

If you want to come together you may have to delay until you are able to fit into the living together terms.

Personally I would give NZ House in London a call, Immigration Dept and have a chat with the guys there and see if they can offer you any help
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