Which visa?

Old Jul 12th 2013, 9:41 am
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Question Which visa?

Hello all,

First time poster here. I'm new to this, and will try to be as concise as possible. I would like some guidance/advise in regards to the visa I should apply for.

First of all, I am British, and my wife is a New Zealand citizen (from birth).

We have been in a relationship since March 2009, and we got married in South Korea in May 2013.

We shared an apartment together in South Korea from March 2010 until June 2013. Our contracts just came to an end - so I am now back in the UK visiting my family, while my wife is in NZ visiting her family.

We would like for me to join her in NZ, but looking at the requirements, we were quite naive in thinking it would be a simple process.

As we are currently in different countries, does this void all possibilities of me applying for a partner/temporary work visa? Or does the fact that we have lived together for 3 years supersede this (even though, we are technically now not living together)?

Our apartment in Korea was provided by the government, and no bills were in our name. However, we do have copies of our Korea ID cards, which have our Korean address on. Is this enough to prove we lived together? Can other evidence be used to prove we lived together - i.e. photos, personal letters?

We have an abundance of evidence to show we have been in a stable relationship for the past 4 years. Is this enough? Or will the potential lack of evidence that we have lived together prove too much of an obstacle?

Are applications viewed on a case by case basis?

Is it best that I apply for a working holiday visa in the meantime, and upgrade when I'm in NZ? (Is this even possible?)

Sorry if this is a bit muddled, it feels like quite a complicated situation. I sincerely appreciate any replies
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Hello and welcome to BE

As you have found out the NZ immigration system can amaze and confuse at times However it's not that difficult really....

I haven't had direct experience of partnership applications and hopefully someone will come along who has, but I can help with some of the details.

Firstly, are you wanting to go to NZ on a permanent basis [ie residency] or is it a temporary move [<2years]?
If permanent then you apply via the Family Partnership Category. You are correct in saying that you have to have lived together for at least one year for you to gain residency by this route. It does look like you have only just stopped living together so I would be surprised if there was a problem with the time apart. From the Operations Manual:
If a couple has been living separately for any period during their partnership, they should provide evidence of the length of the periods of separation, the reasons for them, and how their relationship was maintained during the periods of separation, such as letters, itemised telephone accounts or e-mail messages

F2.30.1 Assessment of periods of separation
a. If a principal applicant and their partner have lived apart for periods during their partnership, the application should not automatically be declined. Instead, immigration officers should determine whether there are genuine and compelling reasons for any period(s) of separation.
b. Determining whether there are genuine and compelling reasons will depend on the circumstances in each case, and may require consideration of:
• either partner's family, education or employment commitments;
• the duration of the partnership and the length of time the couple has spent apart;
• the extent to which the couple has made efforts to be together during the time apart.
So yes, there is discretion. It wouldn't do any harm to log contact, phone calls and maybe even write letters and post them [keep the envelopes]. Old fashioned I know but good evidence.
My opinion, and this is my opinion only, is that I think you'll be ok. You've lived together for three years and only just started living apart. If you have compelling reasons why then the regulations state that residency can be granted.

If not then residency can be deferred to allow the qualifying time [living together] to be attained.
F2.35 Deferring the final decision if the partnership is genuine and stable but less than 12 months duration
a. An application can only be deferred if the applicant has been assessed as living together in a genuine and stable partnership with their New Zealand citizen or resident partner but the 12 month qualifying period has not been met.
b. If, after assessing an application, an immigration officer is satisfied the couple are living together in a partnership that is genuine and stable, but the duration of that partnership is less than the 12 months required, (see F2.5(a)) they may defer the final decision to enable the qualifying period to be met.
c. If the principal applicant wishes to be in New Zealand with their partner during the deferral period, they may be granted a work visa (once an application has been made) for a period sufficient to enable the qualifying period to be met and any further assessment of their residence class visa application to be completed.
Our apartment in Korea was provided by the government, and no bills were in our name. However, we do have copies of our Korea ID cards, which have our Korean address on. Is this enough to prove we lived together? Can other evidence be used to prove we lived together - i.e. photos, personal letters?
The ID cards will help. Also any letters or documentation that places you at the same place of residence is ok. Did you have a rental agreement? Things like bank statements, loyalty cards etc. Photos and marriage certificate are good for relationship proof. As you've realised NZIS are more interested in the living together thing!

As for other suggestions:
The WHV that you mentioned-you can do this, if you're <30 years old and have not applied for one before.
There is also a temporary partnership based entry visa which you should be eligible for. The requirements are less strict compared to residency but if you plan on staying longer than 2 years then you will need to apply for residency later on anyway.
You go over as a visitor until the visa comes through-you will need to fulfil all the requirements for a visitor visa/waiver though.

I hope I haven't confused you more
Another option could be an opinion from an immigration agent. I know that applying for a visa through them is VERY expensive [and really not worth the cost, especially for an easy application like yours] but I don't know how much they charge for a consult and assessment. As I said, my opinion is that you should be ok going for residency. BUT I am not an advisor and ultimately the choice is up to you.

Just one more point, presumably your wife has not sponsored someone else for residency in the past. Not being nosy or insensitive but it can affect whether she can sponsor you.

And lastly, congratulations on the wedding
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Hello,

I'm in a pretty similar position;

I'm British, my wife is a Kiwi.
We've lived together since 2007.
We married in 2010.
We have a daughter, born in 2010 (shotgun ) who is a New Zealand passport holder through her mum.

I got Permenant Residency on the basis that we could prove that we had lived together for 5+ years, in addition to the details above.

My worry for you is the proving you'd lived together, but there is certainly hope. Did you have bank and credit card statements sent to your government provided address?

Insurance documents?
Any finance agreements?

They don't have to be in both of your names, so so long as you can provide this information individually they'll be accepted.
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Old Jul 13th 2013, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Thank you both for your replies - lots of really useful and helpful information.

Re: Persephone - it was so kind of you to take time out and provide quotes from the Operations Manual - thank you so much! It's good to know that discretion is applied, and hopefully the system is quite sensible.

I definitely want to live and work in NZ permanently, but I don't necessarily need the full partner visa straightaway. Is it possible to upgrade a WHV, or a family stream/temporary work visa, whilst in New Zealand?

Also, thanks for the congratulations! And no, my wife hasn't sponsored anyone in the past. Hopefully the process is going to be smoother than I thought.

Re: TommyLuck, you made some very good points, thanks you! Yeh, I think our main issue might be providing proof that we have lived together.

Apart from our Korean ID cards, we don't have anything on paper - no bills, insurance docs or anything, everything was government provided, and all postal correspondent went through our places of work, rather than our home address. It was all in Korean too...

Can other evidence be provided as proof we have lived together? For example, photos of us together in our apartment, or perhaps testimony from our employers (who organised/provided the accommodation) or testimony from our landlord? Or any other kinds of evidence?

Cheers
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Originally Posted by warrend View Post
Can other evidence be provided as proof we have lived together? For example, photos of us together in our apartment, or perhaps testimony from our employers (who organised/provided the accommodation) or testimony from our landlord? Or any other kinds of evidence?

Cheers
The more you can provide the better.

The visa application gives room for additional material whre you can explain why you have collated the evidence of co-habitation the way you have.

It's by no means a cert, but put together as much a you can.

Good luck.
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Hi Warrend,
I had assumed some post would go through your home address which would link you both to the same place but that wasn't the case. It may be a little harder convincing them of the living together aspect in that case. All you can do is try and collate as much info as possible. Certainly testimony from your employer or landlord may help, do they have anything official such as a rental contract that has both your names on it?
I don't know if Korea has a system of household rates, if so did that have your names and address on?
A joint bank account?
Just trying to think what you could use.
All is not lost, you may be able to convince NZIS of your living together if you explain the situation well enough. It depends on how strict they decide to be.

F2.20.15 Evidence of living together in partnership that is genuine and stable
a. Evidence that the principal applicant and partner are living together may include but is not limited to original or certified copies of documents showing shared accommodation such as:
i joint ownership of residential property
ii joint tenancy agreement or rent book or rental receipts
iii correspondence (including postmarked envelopes) addressed to both principal applicant and partner at the same address.
b. If a couple has been living separately for any period during their partnership, they should provide evidence of the length of the periods of separation, the reasons for them, and how their relationship was maintained during the periods of separation, such as letters, itemised telephone accounts or e-mail messages.
c. Evidence about whether the partnership is genuine and stable may include but is not limited to, original or certified copies of documents and any other information such as:
i a marriage certificate for the parties;
ii a civil union certificate for the parties;
iii birth certificates of any children of the parties;
iv evidence of communication between the parties;
v photographs of the parties together;
vi documents indicating public recognition of the partnership;
vii evidence of the parties being committed to each other both emotionally and exclusively such as evidence of:
 joint decision making and plans together
 sharing of parental obligations
 sharing of household activities
 sharing of companionship/spare time
 sharing of leisure and social activities
 presentation by the parties to outsiders as a couple.
viii evidence of being financially interdependent such as evidence of
Residence INZ Operational Manual
 shared income
 joint bank accounts operated reasonably frequently over a reasonable time
 joint assets
 joint liabilities such as loans or credit to purchase real estate, cars, major home appliances
 joint utilities accounts (electricity, gas, water, telephone)
 mutually agreed financial arrangements.
d. The presence or absence of any of the documents, information or evidence listed above is not determinative. Each case will be decided on the basis of all the evidence provided. Evidence about these matters may also be obtained at interview and can be considered up until the date of final decision.
You can go over on a WHV or a temp partnership visa and apply for residency later on, there are no problems with doing that. You don't upgrade really, you apply for another visa

The temporary partnership visa is here: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migra...milystream.htm

WHV information is here: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migra...orkingholiday/

The problem will be proving the living together bit. I can't say how successful you would be if you decided to go straight for residency, it would depend on you producing a good case, I just don't know how much discretion NZIS can use so am loathe to say you will definitely be ok. But equally cannot say 'no chance' It's an unusual situation you and your wife are in! However there are other routes for you to live and work in NZ and then get residency later on. They'll just cost more as you'll have to apply for more than one visa
All the best
Let us know what you decide and how it goes
P
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Old Jul 16th 2013, 6:59 am
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Default Re: Which visa?

Thank you again, for all the info!

Are there ever situations where an applicant is offered/given a different visa to which they applied?

For example, say if I apply for a residency/partner visa, but it's decided that I haven't provided enough evidence, might I be given a 1-2 year Family Stream visa (or equivalent) instead?
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Old Jul 16th 2013, 7:10 am
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Default Re: Which visa?

Originally Posted by warrend View Post
Thank you again, for all the info!

Are there ever situations where an applicant is offered/given a different visa to which they applied?

For example, say if I apply for a residency/partner visa, but it's decided that I haven't provided enough evidence, might I be given a 1-2 year Family Stream visa (or equivalent) instead?
This question leads me to thinking you should speak to an immigration officer ain't your situation to work out you best plan.

I'm not sure if they'll actually suggest a different visa, but I'm sceptical that they would.

My advise would be to head to London to speak to someone. Not sure where you are in the UK but the time and effort to go and speak to someone (and have a day out in our glorious capital) will rap benefits in the long run.

You'll get a clear idea of the whys and wherefores at a small percentage of the cost an immigration adviser would be, for instance.

Last edited by TommyLuck; Jul 16th 2013 at 7:12 am.
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Old Jul 16th 2013, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Which visa?

agree with ToomyLuck, speak to the guys at Immigration and ask them the best course of action. couple of quid on a phone call may save you hundreds in the long term
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Old Jul 16th 2013, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

It could happen if they deferred your application - have a look at the quoted part in my first post on this thread. Alternatively they could just turn down the application.
I would suggest speaking to NZ House as Tommyluck and MrsF have suggested. If you're near London then just go in, you don't need to make an appt, you take a ticket and wait. The few times I've had to do it, I didn't have to wait for long.

It's the lack of evidence of living together that is the problem, otherwise you'd have a simple partnership application and all would be well. There's no knowing how much discretion NZIS can and will use when assessing your application
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Old Jul 17th 2013, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Thanks for that. My wife called them, and they said as long as we explain everything fully, then I should be applicable for a partner visa.

We've subsequently found out that the Korean government may be able to supply us with residency certificates (which will include our Korean address). If we can get hold of them, then it should make everything much smoother.

We've decided we just want to try out NZ on a temporary basis first, so a 2 year work visa is what we're plumping for.

Thank you again to the people who replied.
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Old Jul 17th 2013, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Hi there,

You have already had a lot of great advice, so just a few small things.

I have been married for ten tears but the certificate wasnt enough for my visa. We sent a series of holiday snaps etc to prove we had been together all the time. We had no issues, visa awarded.

Re temp visa, I had to come over in a hurry to take the job I was offered so I came on a temp visa (3 yrs) and got the residency visa afterwards (time was a factor, residency visa takes longer)

Don't get a migration agent, call immigration directly, they are really helpful and it will probably cost you less!
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Old Jul 17th 2013, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Originally Posted by warrend View Post
Thanks for that. My wife called them, and they said as long as we explain everything fully, then I should be applicable for a partner visa.

We've subsequently found out that the Korean government may be able to supply us with residency certificates (which will include our Korean address). If we can get hold of them, then it should make everything much smoother.

We've decided we just want to try out NZ on a temporary basis first, so a 2 year work visa is what we're plumping for.

Thank you again to the people who replied.
Good news, it looks like you may have something to confirm you've been living together.
Do you mean the Working Holiday Visa or the temporary partnership visa? The living together requirements are less strict for the latter
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Old Jul 17th 2013, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Which visa?

Originally Posted by M_and_M View Post
Hi there,
I have been married for ten tears but the certificate wasnt enough for my visa. We sent a series of holiday snaps etc to prove we had been together all the time. We had no issues, visa awarded.
Cool, I'll do the same. We've been fortunate enough to visit quite a lot of countries together over the last 4 years, so I've compiled and captioned/dated a few dozen photos to print off. Each are in different places, with different landmarks in the background!

My wife has visited me in England, and I've visited her family in New Zealand. Will photos of me with my wife's parents, and of my wife with my family, be useful too?

Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
Do you mean the Working Holiday Visa or the temporary partnership visa? The living together requirements are less strict for the latter
Thanks Persephone. I'm looking at getting the 2 year work visa, under the Family Stream category (info on this page).
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 4:02 am
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Default Re: Which visa?

The more the merrier with regards to the photos and evidence!! My OTA application weighed almost a kilo when I sent it off!
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