If your husband/wife is studying in New Zealand, it is easy to join them if you get a spouse visa for yourself. Not only you, but your children can join you and stay in New Zealand till the time your spouse's course gets over.
Partner means the spouse into a legal marriage or civil union partner of the applicant where the couple has been living together for 12 months or more. This may include same-sex couples or de facto relationships.
Children 19 years of age or younger, unmarried will be considered dependents. The online visa application fee for spouses is INR 35,265 approximately and the visa is processed in two and a half months. It may take more time to process the application but 90% of the applications are assessed within this timeframe. However, INR 36,800 is charged for an offline or paper application along with NZD 1,625 as a centre fee when applying for a New Zealand-dependent visa. The processing times are the same for online and paper applications for spouse visas in New Zealand.
If you are applying for a dependent visa, you need your application to be reliant on being the partner of a student in New Zealand. There need to be certain criteria that need to be fulfilled before you may be granted a dependent visa.
Predict your English proficiency score by sharing few details
New Zealand Dependent Visa Requirements
The immigration officer needs to be satisfied that the following criteria are met when an applicant files an application for a New Zealand spouse visa as Indian:
- The applicant couple complies with the minimum requirements for recognition of a partnership.
- The couple is living together in a genuine and stable relationship.
- Their partner (the main applicant for a student visa) supports the application.
- Their partner (the main applicant for a student visa) meets the character requirements for partners supporting 'partnership-based temporary entry class visa applications.
- Your partner must hold a New Zealand student visa to study for a level 7 or higher qualification on the NZQF in an area of skill shortage as specified in the Long Term Skill Shortage List or a postgraduate qualification.
- Prove that you have NZD 4,200 worth of funds for your stay in New Zealand. Evidence of bank or credit card statements will work or even bank drafts and traveller's cheques can be submitted.
- Proof of good health through submission of chest x-ray or a medical examination.
Documents Required for a Spouse Visa in New Zealand
The following documents will be required for visa application purposes for a New Zealand spouse visa:
- Valid passport – Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your period of stay in New Zealand
- Completed Visa Application Form
- Application fee payment receipt
- Health insurance receipt
- You may be required to show Health and Character certificates, to prove that your intention of staying in New Zealand is genuine
- Two passport-sized photographs
- Marriage certificate or evidence if guardians support the relationship (for 16 and 17-year-olds)
Note: This visa allows the applicants to work in New Zealand even if they have a partner who is studying there towards a level 7 or 8 qualifications in the Long Term Skill Shortage List, or a level 9 or 10 qualification.
Working Partners of Student Visa Holders in New Zealand
The spouse of the student visa-holding partner will be eligible to apply for a work visa only if the student visa-holding partner fulfils the following criterion:
- A level seven or eight qualification on the NZQF in an area of absolute skill shortage as specified in the Long Term Skill Shortage List, or
- A level nine or ten qualification on the NZQF, or
- If the student visa-holding partner is on an MFAT-funded New Zealand scholarship.
In case of any other student visa holdings, the spouse of the student visa holding partner can apply for a visitor visa based on partnership.
How to Apply for a Spouse Visa in New Zealand?
In order to apply for a partnership-based temporary visa, applicants must first complete the Partnership-Based Temporary Visa Application (INZ 1198) form. In case the applicants are 16 or 17 years of age, their parents or legal counterparts should sign the form on behalf of the applicants. This form should be sent along with the application fee and immigration fee including all the necessary documents required for assessing the application. The final application is divided into four broad areas namely:
- Section A: Personal Details which include personal name, passport details and partnership details.
- Section B: Contact Details
- Section C: Health of Applicant which would include details about giving birth in New Zealand, medical certificates, etc.
- Section D: Character Details where the applicant will have to submit a police verification certificate (unless exempted).
Related Info: Student Guide to New Zealand (NZ)
Assessing Student's Spouse Visa Application in New Zealand
To sum up, the applicants applying for a student's spouse visa will be granted a visa based on their personal circumstances. These circumstances may be related to the applicant's promise of returning home or their personal, financial and other commitments in their respective home countries. The major circumstance may be related to the ties at home shared by the applicant.
Other than the personal circumstances, there are also key points like if any rule has been breached by the applicant during their previous stay in New Zealand, like if they overstayed or made any havoc. In the case of unlawful dependents in New Zealand or any chances of facing deportation from the country may hamper the applicant's spouse's visa application rejection. Applicants must be very careful in submitting accurate details and avoid breaching any rules in the country.
Download this guide to read it offline
New Zealand Spouse Visa Processing Time from India
Those who are applying for a New Zealand spouse visa are usually worried about getting their visas in hand. The average processing time for a dependent's visa in New Zealand is around 43 days. However, 90% of the applications are assessed within 65 days. Thus, keeping in mind the New Zealand spouse visa processing times, applicants should apply for the visa accordingly.
Those who already hold this visa and require renewal of the visa can request an interim dependent or spouse visa in New Zealand. The interim spouse visa in New Zealand is at zero cost. This is only applicable to those who were already holding this visa. This interim visa is automatically granted and hence no applications are to be submitted, plus it's valid for six months and after that, if the applicant gets the renewed and extended spouse visa, he/she can stay or else they will have to leave the country.
Student's Spouse Visa in New Zealand FAQs
Q. What are the exceptions where applicant's spouse cannot get a spouse visa in New Zealand?
A. The following are some of the exceptions would apply and hamper an applicant's spouse to get a spouse visa in New Zealand if they are holding any of the following visa types:
- Foreign Crew of Fishing Vessels Instructions
- Working holiday schemes
- Pacific Quotas Residual Places Work Visa Instructions
- Recognised Seasonal Employer Work Instructions
- Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) Instructions
- Silver Fern Job Search Instructions
- Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Instructions
- Essential Skills, if the partner is into a lower-skilled work
Q. Can the spouse of a study visa applicant get a work visa in New Zealand?
A. Yes, if the applicant's partner’s study started on or before 7 September 2022, and they are studying a level 7 or 8 qualification which is lsited on the Long Term Skill Shortage List, the spouse of the applicant may still be able to get a work visa even if their partner does not meet the above requirements. As per the shortage skill jobs rules in New Zealand, those applying for jobs in these shortage skill areas will be allowed to get their partners and their partners will be able to work in New Zealand. Applicants must check all the details before taking a step further.
Q. Is it necessary for the spouse of the student visa to secure a job in order to work in New Zealand?
A. No, its not mandatory for the student visa holder's spouse to secure a job before coming to New Zealand on a work visa. However, applicants spouses' can work in New Zealand if they are coming with their working partners. They can also study in New Zealand and consequently apply for jobs once they complete their education in New Zealand. But on the whole, it is definitely not mandatory for applicant's spouse to secure a job before travelling to New Zealand with their working partners.
Q. How long can a student visa holder's spouse can stay in New Zealand?
A. The student visa holder's spouse can stay in New Zealand till the student visa of their partner does not expire. They can stay upto three months and travel in and out of New Zealand as many times as they wish, but they must leave the country upon or before visa expiration. The applicants have the option to extend their visas and they must apply well within time in order to get a visa extension.
Q. What evidence of relationship is acceptable for getting a spouse visa in New Zealand?
A. Applicants applying for a spouse visa through their student visa holding partners must be able to furnish the following evidence for their relationship:
- Relationship duration and how long they have lived together as a couple
- Financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support between the applicant and their partner
- Property ownership and acquisition details between the partners
- Degree of commitment to a shared life
- Children of the partnership, including the common care and support of such children
- Performance of common household duties by the partners, and
- Reputation and public aspects of the relationship.
Q. Is there a spouse visa in New Zealand based on culturally arranged marriage?
A. Yes, spouse visa in New Zealand is granted based on a culturally arranged marriage. There are certain requirements that must be fulfilled in order to obtain this visa, they include:
- The applicant intends to marry within three months of their arrival
- Intend to maintain marriage based on a long-term and exclusive basis, and also
- Show evidence that the marriage follows an identified cultural tradition.
Note: There must be no legal hindrance to the marriage. The intended spouse must plan to be in New Zealand at the same time as the applicant's.
Q. Which translating agencies are accepted for translating spouse visa documents in New Zealand?
A. Agencies like the Translation Service of the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs or reputed people known to translate documents accurately; or the embassies or high commissions (if translation is endorsed with an embassy or high commission seal), or any other private or official translation business translations are acceptable for translating spouse visa documents in New Zealand.
Q. What are the partnership options in spouse visa applications in New Zealand?
A. The following partnership status options are available for applicants applying for a spouse visa in New Zealand:
- Married/civil union (a civil union is a legally recognised union of a couple of the same or opposite sex, with rights similar to those of marriage)
- Never married/never in civil union
- Partner/De facto
- Separated (this includes being separated from a civil union)
- Divorced (this includes having a dissolved civil union)
Q. Who all are exempted from submitting a medical certificate while applying for spouse visa in New Zealand?
A. Those applicants who would be in New Zealand for less than six months or those who haven't visited any country where Tuberculosis incidence is high in the past six to 12 months are exempted from submitting a medical certficate while applying for a spouse visa in New Zealand. Applicants will have to show proofs in order to get entry in New Zealand on a spouse visa.
Q. Which medical certificates can be provided by those applying for a spouse visa in New Zealand?
A. There are two medical certificates, the General Medical Certificate (INZ 1007) and the Limited Medical Certificate (INZ 1201) which are acceptable in New Zealand from those applying for a spouse visa. Applicants can also check the official website and check out which all medical documents are required and how and when they are required to be submitted. Also check the duration of the medical check up last done in the certificate that will be acceptable for visa purposes.
Q. Are student's spouse visa applicants exempted from submitting a police verification certificate?
A. There are a few exceptions where the student's spouse visa applicants will be exempted from submitting a police verification certificate. These include - providing a police certificate with a previous application, and that certificate was issued less than 24 months ago
- If the applicant is younger than 17 (If you are under 17 you do not need to provide police certificate, or
- If the visa is being applied on the basis of their relationship to an Essential Skills visa holder and they have provided one with a previous visa application.