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Thread: Partnership Work Permit for national of non visa-free country

  1. #1
    auz
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    Post Partnership Work Permit for national of non visa-free country

    Hi this is the first time Ive posted here. I have looked for people with similar problems but to no avail. I hope someone is able to help because this issue is really starting to become frustrating.

    I am a NZ citizen and met my Ukrainian girlfriend online about 10 months ago on a language site. In June we both traveled to Thailand to spend three weeks with each other. We decided that we would try a long distance relationship, and now are serious about trying to be together.

    I am currently a post-graduate student and cannot travel and stay in Ukraine for a long period of time until I have finished my thesis at the end of next year. Optimally we would like to apply under the Partnership work permit so that she could spend next year with me. As we need to be living together at the time of application we thought that perhaps we could get the ball rolling by applying for a visitors visa for her and then apply for the Partnership work permit once she arrived. However, being Ukrainian she is likely to be issued a limited visa - meaning she can't apply for the Partnership work visa during the 3months she will be permitted to stay in NZ.

    This is where is gets tricky, and I am now at somewhat of a loss. We want to progress our relationship, from long distance and skyping twice a day to being able to be together. Although I do not have the finances to continue small trips back and forth around the globe, I thought that perhaps over christmas I could travel to Ukraine and live with her for two months and apply for the PWP whilst there before I had to return to University here.

    The main problem is that because she is from a non visa-free country, she can't just arrive and then apply for the PWP, like a German could come on a Working Holiday Visa and have privileges to change the visa status.

    If anyone has any suggestions or advice it would very much appreciated.

    AUZ

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Hi and welcome.

    You seem to have researched your subject well . Normally this would be a fairly straight forward and ideal application under the partnership WP category, but I'm not sure how it works with your girlfriend's visa status due to her nationality. I don't know if by saying, as a visit visa holder she won't be able to apply for the PWP during her stay in NZ means because of lack of time or some other reason. If it is only time, then it could be possible that, once a PWP application is under way, INZ may allow an extension of her visitor permit so that her application can proceed. It would be worth asking them if this is what happens. It might save you the cost of a trip to the Ukraine if you find your girlfriend can stay long enough in NZ for her application to go through. If there is another reason why she can't apply then, perhaps you could elaborate.
    Mother Bear

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  3. #3
    auz
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    Hi MotherBear,

    Thanks for replying. If allowed into NZ on a limited visitor visa, as part of the conditions attached to this limited purpose visa, she can only stay for a maximum of three months and she cannot change her visa status while in NZ. Therefore the only way she could apply for the Partnership Work Permit in NZ is if she was granted an unlimited visa, which allows her to stay for up to 9 months and change her visa status.

    The problem therefore is applying for the visitor visa may result in limited purpose, meaning after her three months she will have to leave NZ, reapply for another visa from a different country and hope she is granted an unlimited the second try - which is very expensive, time consuming and still doesn't guarantee that she won't be issued another limited purpose visa.

    I hope that explains the problem a little better.

  4. #4
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Ah, yes. I think I remember something about this business with the limited purpose visa, although we don't come across it very often on here. Thanks for the clear explanation.

    Maybe it would be an idea to contact INZ and ask what would be the best way around this, as you need to get it right. You could then check with them if your plan to visit the Ukraine later in the year and apply from there would be of benefit. Their information can sometimes be contradictory, but it might give you a starting point. I would have suggested using our licensed onboard immigration advisor to talk you through it but, if cost is an issue, I guess this isn't an option. I would alert you to the fact that INZ can be rather difficult in some cases where proving the 'genuine and stable relationship' issue is concerned. So, any proof of your skyping, any photos or other evidence relating to your relationship and its duration would be very helpful.

    The only other alternative I can think of would be if your girlfriend has some job skill with which she could get her own work visa, although this is very dependent on what she works at and, no doubt, you have already explored this avenue.
    Mother Bear

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  5. #5
    auz
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    After many phonecalls with NZ immigration I am now thoroughly and utterly confused. It appears we have three choices, all of which would be a gamble on our part.
    We have been told:

    First; She can come to NZ on a visitor visa and state that she is intending to visit a friend (some have told us we do not qualify as partners because we have not lived together as a family). However if she does not specify that I am her boyfriend, it is considered lying, and it could also prevent her from obtaining a Partnership Work permit in the future - as they will not see any consistency.

    Second; She can come to NZ on a visitor visa and specifically state that I am her partner and this is why she wants to come to NZ. This however will apparently raise the alarm that she might be a risk of overstaying. They will also find it suspicious as we will not have applied for a visitor visa under partnership.

    Third; She can come to NZ on a visitor visa under partnership. However we have been told by some at immigration NZ that we qualify as partners, and by others who say we do not.

    As for applying for the Partnership Work Permit, some have advised that this is very necessary to put in the application as an intention to come to NZ as it is important in determining that she be given a general purpose visa that will allow her to change her visa status when she is here.It is also telling the truth. Others say we should NOT put it in the application as a visitors visa is for visiting, and should not be used as a means of staying in the country.
    I was also told, even though it explicitly states the opposite on the website, that we are able to apply for the PWP whilst NOT living together at the time of application. This apparently is because NZ immigration takes into account that couples in similar situations would never be able to see each other if this was not the case.

    Residency is NOT part of our plan currently as I wish to do some traveling once I finish my post-graduate degree. This is getting out of control. A lot of money, time and hopes are held in the balance of inconsistent information. If anyone has any further advice it would be very much appreciated. Thank you motherbear for your help so far.

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Oh dear, this is a bit of a mess if you can't get one straight answer. Really, the situation ought to be down to INZ to sort out as they don't seem to be working off the same page. If INZ can't agree on which way you need to proceed, there's not much hope for the rest of us to point you in the right direction.

    Ideally you need to deal with one particular person in INZ and follow that person's instruction through, taking his/her name to refer to if something goes wrong along the line and getting as much in writing as you can. As it is, you've reached a stalemate and don't know which path to follow.

    If you need advice from a licensed adviser on this, we have an onboard consultancy who should be able to clear the matter up although it will, of course, cost. As you would probably only want advice rather than having them deal with the case the whole way through, perhaps asking how much it would cost just to ask the question of which way to proceed, might solve the matter and actually save some time and wasted money along the way. No harm in asking . NZ Shores' website can be found here and you can view details of the team here.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  7. #7
    alika is offline Junior Member
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    Default hope i could help

    hi...i have read your posts and motherbear's really giving a very sound advice. got same case but i am the kiwi partner.

    i have visited nz twice. the first time i got limited purpose visa then the second time i think i got visitor's visa already which is good for a month then that's the time i tried to lodge my PWP. i guess i was lucky enough that we have the financial means to be in and out of nz several times.

    your case is the same with my friend though. why not have your gf apply for PWP straight and not under visitor's visa? but providing all the necessary documents that you are real partners might be rigorous.

    visiting her in her country will add bonus points of proof i guess. and take lots of pictures and keep all email correspondence coz it will be tons if u print skype chats and u cant also provide proof of voice chats. if she is in post-paid mobile plan then there is proof for txt messaging and calls i guess.

    im not sure about this but maybe if she is lodging her PWP applcn it would be best if you are there with her when she goes to immig ofc or if u cant then just visit ukraine when immig still got some doubts over your partnership status.

    the basis for the period of PWP that will be given is accdg to how long you have been in the relatiuonship....if say u have been seeing each other for a year then likely her visa will be one year too.

    motherbear is right...i think it is better for your gf to apply PWP in her country like what i did. i was alrdy here in nz but due to lack of docs and evidence to give, my visitor visa expired and have to leave.

    the advantages for her applying from there are:
    a. police cert can be done and followed up personally by her (as this takes a while)
    b. medical certificate ie xray, blood tests maybe cheaper in her country (here costs 500nzd) and that is if everything is normal with her health. but if there is prob and she needs to get something cured then if she is here visitors are not entitled to free health care.
    c. if she applies from her country, there is no time pressure if the decision may take a while (unlike what happened to me where we spent a lot of money with my 2-way airfares)
    d. completing necessary docs is easier when the person is in her country because she is the one handling it not just asking one of her relatives to do this or that
    e. will save u money for d ticket

    good luck!

  8. #8
    auz
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    Hi alika

    Thanks for your advice. We now have been told that although they recognise we have a relationship they have confirmed that we are not in a de facto relationship as 'immigration NZ' sees it. Therefore they have told us that we cannot apply for any kind of partnership visa. Of course this raises all sorts of other problems, such as; even though we consider each other as partners, does she still tick the 'partner' box as her relationship status, and do I still say that the relationship between applicant (her) and sponsor (me) is a partnership? Either way, when we provide evidence of the relationship between sponsor and applicant, they will see that we clearly have more than just a 'friendship', so its all a bit confusing really.
    If she is issued a limited visa we are thinking she will apply for another visitor visa or a PWP back in Ukraine. However there is a chance that I wont be able to be with her at that time so we hope it will still be possible for her to apply by herself.
    Thanks again for all your help,

    auz

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