Immigration New Zealand has categorically denied if they have received any specific government directive to about waiving exceptions around “living together” requirement as per immigration instructions for partnership-based visas. 

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has on Wednesday, October 23, created a furore by telling “disgruntled Indians to catch next flight home,” if they were not happy with the changes in the immigration policy. 

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Party Leader Winston Peters have also taken claim of the changes in Immigration New Zealand’s greater restrictions on partner visas (and parent visas). 

INZ denies about any “govt directive” 

However, Immigration New Zealand’s National Manager Visa Services, Peter Elms has told the Indian Weekender that they had not received any such “government directive.”

Mr Elms was responding to the Indian Weekender’s specific request to see the particular government directive that has asked not to give anymore exception to the requirement of “living together” for being eligible for partnership-visa. 

“This was a decision made by INZ and was not a directive by the Government,” categorically putting Mr Jones claim on the dock. 

“There has been no directive,” says Immigration Minister 

Minister for Immigration Lain Lees-Galloway has also confirmed to the Indian Weekender that the government has not given any such directive, as going rounds in public media since Wednesday, October 23. 

“There has been no government directive on partnership visas. Immigration New Zealand has made its own decision to ensure staff were clear on their own operational decision making,” Mr Lees-Galloway said. 

There is no 12-month requirement for living together for a partnership visa

Minister Lee-Galloway also took the opportunity to clear the air around the requirement of living together for 12 months before being eligible for a partnership based visa.

“Importantly, there is no time limit for living together for temporary entry partnership applications,” Mr Lees-Galloway told The Indian Weekender. 

It is important to note that a story appearing in Radio NZ on Wednesday, October 23,  Arranged marriages caught up in immigration policy changes had created an impression that the partners should be living for at least 12 months to qualify for “living together” for a partnership based visa. 

According to Immigration Instructions V3.14Partners of NZ citizens or residence class visa holders in Immigration operational manual, there is no time-limit requirement for living together to convince an Immigration Officer if partners are in a genuine and stable relationship. 

“The 12-month requirement is for residence applications only,” Mr Lees-Galloway said. 

Read our extensive coverage on this issue here:

PARTNERSHIP BASED VISAS: WHY SUDDEN EMPHASIS ON "LIVING TOGETHER"?

MINISTER SAYING “DISGRUNTLED INDIANS GO HOME” IS NOT GOOD LOOK ON THIS GOVERNMENT OF COMPASSION

NATIONAL MP ASKS PRIME MINISTER TO CLARIFY ON "CATCH NEXT FLIGHT" COMMENT BY MINISTER

IS GOVT BEING IGNORANT OR JUST ARROGANT ON PARTNERSHIP VISA DELAYS?