When it comes to acquiring a partnership-based visa in New Zealand, there are certain immigration instructions that must be followed in order for the application to be approved.
It is important to fulfil these instructions as applications can be declined if they do not meet the required criteria.
Here we will discuss some of the common reasons for a partnership-based to be declined.
Common Reasons For Decline
Simply applying for a visa under an incorrect category can often get your application declined. For instance, many applicants who have had an arranged marriage apply for a Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa believing it to be the most appropriate visa category for their circumstances. However, it is important to understand that solely having an arranged marriage does not fulfil the requirements for this visa category. There are certain intricate immigration requirements, and the availability of evidentiary documentation needs to be met to be eligible to apply for this visa category.
Here is a video by Vandana Rai (LIA No. 20140900) that talks about some important things to consider before applying for a visa under a Culturally arranged marriage.
Applying under an incorrect or inappropriate visa category means you are unlikely to meet the applicable immigration instructions for that category. This will likely lead to your application being declined; leaving you and your partner disappointed and confused.
If you are uncertain about which visa category to apply for and want to ensure your application is not declined, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced Licensed Immigration Adviser (LIA). An LIA can provide invaluable advice in helping you make the right decision on your visa application and avoid potential pitfalls that could otherwise result in a decline.
One of the primary requirements for a partnership-based application is that the relationship must be genuine and stable. A genuine relationship is one where a couple can demonstrate that they have entered the relationship with the intention of maintaining it long-term, and the relationship is exclusive. A relationship is considered stable if the information and evidence provided demonstrate that it is likely to endure or last for a long time. There is an exhaustive list of evidence that can be provided to demonstrate the stability and likely longevity of a relationship.
If the couple cannot provide sufficient documentary evidence of this and cannot demonstrate the genuineness of the relationship, the visa application is likely to be declined.
If there are inconsistencies in the information provided by the couple, such as discrepancies in their statements or documentation, a visa may be denied. An example is where information about how the relationship started provided by the applicant during an interview does not match the documentary evidence provided, or the couple’s stories do not match.
Another very important requirement for being granted a visa under the partnership instructions is that the couple should be physically living together. If the couple has not lived together long enough, an application made under Partnership instructions is likely to be denied as one of the requirements of the applicable instructions will not be met. In addition, the lack of living together raises concerns regarding the relationship’s stability. However, in certain cultures and parts of the world, cohabitation or living together may not be easily demonstrated. In such situations, other visa options may be better suited. Our Licensed Immigration Adviser (LIA) Ms Vandana Rai can provide further guidance on the best possible solutions tailored to the couple’s unique circumstances.
For more information about other visa options, click here
Having an acceptable standard of health and being of good character are non-negotiable requirements. Even if all partnership requirements are met, if the applicant has some health conditions that make their standard of health unacceptable or the visa applicant has a criminal record, a visa is unlikely to be granted. It is important to note that having an adverse immigration history in New Zealand or any other country may also cause an applicant to fail the good character requirement. It is, therefore, very important that if there is adverse immigration history, you seek advice from a Licensed Immigration Adviser.
In some cases where a waiver to these requirements may be considered by INZ on a case-by-case basis. For applicants with known health or character issues, it is best that you contact a Licensed Immigration Adviser to advise you further on your immigration matter.
If sufficient documentary evidence is not provided to show that you meet the applicable immigration instructions, the application is likely to be declined. The reason is that in such cases, the assessing immigration officer will not be able to establish if the applicant meets the relevant immigration instructions.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit all the required documentary evidence that supports their application. For applicants outside of New Zealand, INZ is also not obliged to seek further information. In most situations, they do not ask for additional information and decide the application based on what has been submitted with the application.
If you do not know or are not entirely clear on what documents to provide, take the help of Licensed Immigration Advisers (LIAs) like us to guide you.
If the couple is found to have provided false or misleading information or documents or is found to have withheld material information, the application may be denied. Some examples are not declaring information about previous relationships, providing a fraudulently obtained marriage certificate, providing photoshopped photographs etc. Such acts will lead to a negative outcome on a visa application and may affect the outcomes of future applications as well. It is, therefore, strongly recommended that documents/ information provided in support of visa applications are genuine and true.
Under certain circumstances, an immigration officer may seek further information on an application before taking a final decision. This is an opportunity that INZ gives to applicants to further support their application and should be taken very seriously. There are two types of requests that one can receive from INZ; one is a Request for Information (RFI) letter, and the other is a Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) letter. In both cases, an applicant can provide further documents or comments advocating their case. Not responding to such a letter in a proper and clear manner or not providing the requested information within the deadline is likely to result in the application being declined.
Gathering information takes time. Please check out this link for Requesting an Extension from INZ for Document Submission.
Having a history of not complying with the conditions of any visa granted or having violated immigration law, e.g. overstaying or working without permission or having any other adverse immigration history, are some other reasons for an application being declined.
It’s worth mentioning that an immigration officer’s decision is final and cannot be appealed unless the visa applicant is present in New Zealand at the time of the decision. While a new application with more comprehensive and stronger evidence may be submitted, the processing timeframe is likely to be longer as such applications are likely to be subjected to a higher level of scrutiny. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that if there is any complexity in the circumstances, you approach a Licensed Immigration Adviser at the outset.
To summarize, a New Zealand partnership visa can be declined for a variety of reasons, such as insufficient evidence of a genuine and stable relationship, inconsistencies in the application, lack of co-habitation, failure to meet health and character requirements, financial instability, fraudulent activities and non-compliance with visa conditions. It’s important to provide as much evidence as possible to demonstrate the genuineness and stability of the relationship to increase the chances of success.
To know more about the documents required for an NZ partnership-based application, click here
Immigration instructions may seem simple at face value; however, there is an in-depth complexity that requires a proper understanding of the instructions. You may believe that making an application on your own will help you save money, but the truth is that engaging the services of a competent and experienced Licensed Immigration Adviser will enable you to save time and money in the long run and is more likely to grant you the outcome that you desire.
To know more about NZ partnership-based visas, and if you are facing a similar situation or need assistance with your partnership-based visa application, please fill out this form.
Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.