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Culturally Arranged Marriage Under Partnership Visa

Name : Jagmeet and Simran

Nationality : Indian

Problem : Demonstrating marriage followed identified cultural tradition

Category : Partnership Visa (Culturally Arranged Marriage)

Simran married Jagmeet in his home country and wanted her husband to come to New Zealand and establish a life with her. Simran googled about the best immigration adviser in Auckland and contacted Immigration Advisers New Zealand team. She visited our office in Auckland to enquire about the process to lodge her husband’s partnership-based visa application. She met with Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser Vandana Rai, who had a detailed discussion with the couple.

While Simran was in the office at Auckland, Jagmeet was in India on Zoom call during the discussion. The couple informed Vandana that they had a culturally arranged marriage in India and would like to apply for a visa. They had read about the new culturally arranged marriage visa category but were not fully aware of its eligibility criteria.

Vandana Rai informed the couple that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had made some changes to the immigration instructions at the end of 2019 by making provisions for partners of New Zealand citizens, and residents. Under these provisions partners of New Zealand citizens and residents could apply for partnership visa provided they could demonstrate that they had a culturally arranged marriage with their New Zealand partner. However, such applications are required to be lodged within three months of the wedding.

She assessed their circumstances and informed them that they met the main requirement under this category, which is to demonstrate that the marriage follows an identified and recognised cultural tradition. Under these traditions, marriage arrangements, including facilitation of the initial selection of the person who is to be married, should have been made by persons who are not parties to the marriage.

This requirement, as evident, is not always easy to substantiate with documentary evidence. In most cultures, the initial interaction or meeting would have been in person, or the family members may have overlooked keeping or maintaining evidence of that communication.

In such eventuality, if the applicant can not demonstrate to the immigration officer’s satisfaction that the marriage followed an identified and recognised cultural tradition, then INZ may decline the application.

These applications require in-depth knowledge and correct interpretation of New Zealand Immigration Instructions to get a favourable outcome.

Since Simran and Jagmeet too faced a similar challenge, Vandana and her team’s extensive experience came in handy and to the couple’s aid.

Vandana’s meticulous approach and knowledge enabled the couple to gather the required evidence. Whatever could not be demonstrated by documents was explained in detail by Vandana in her cover letter to INZ.

The time and efforts put in gathering documents and evidence supporting the application and the detailed explanation provided enabled Jagmeet to get his visitor visa approved.

Since Jagmeet provided all the evidence and information upfront, the immigration officer could make a decision based on the available information without having to seek further information or clarification.

Since this was a relationship-based visa, Jagmeet could travel to New Zealand despite the current border closure.

The couple was delighted to receive the visa and Jagmeet is now making arrangements to travel to New Zealand. As soon as he can secure a place in the Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ), he will be flying to New Zealand. The couple is now happily looking forward to their reunification. Immigration Advisers New Zealand and its team of Licensed Immigration Advisers and support staff wish them the very best for their future.

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