Immigration New Zealand has started re-opening of previously declined partnership visa applications from today (Monday, December 2). 

Several applicants have been contacted this afternoon, bringing them the much-awaited news of the re-opening of their declined partnership visa applications. 

The Indian Weekender - which had been working incessantly ever since this major issue emerged disturbing the lives and families of thousands of Kiwi-Indians - has been contacted by several elated applicants this afternoon who were amongst the first to have received the much-awaited email from the INZ about their decision of re-opening of the applications. 

This is indeed great news for those whose families have been unduly separated by an INZ’s arbitrary operational decision of applying discretion on assessing partnership visa applications since the beginning of May 2019. 

Notably, the issue of partnership visa declines of thousands of partners of Kiwi-Indian workers, residents and citizens since early this year, has pushed the entire community on edge and bringing them together up in arms against the Immigration New Zealand and the government. 

After an intense media scrutiny, sustained community push-back the Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway had announced on November 13 new immigration instructions on the culturally arranged marriage visa category to “fix” the issue. 

However, there has been much uncertainty, confusion and anxiety around how the new immigration instructions on culturally arranged marriage visas would be affecting applicants who are already in the queue or are in the process of applying new partnership applications. 

Debunking the myth around “General Visitor Visa”

In this regard, the Indian Weekender was the first media to clear the clutter around this much important issue of culturally arranged marriage visa and also reported that according to new directive INZ will consider granting “General Visitor Visa” to everyone with a Kiwi-partner. 

Stephen Dunstan, General Manager Enablement had told the Indian Weekender on Thursday, November 21 that “the Individuals who would otherwise be eligible for a Culturally Arranged Marriage visitor visa, but whose marriage ceremonies occurred outside the three-month window are likely to be granted a Visitor Visa - General. This will provide these people with the same opportunity as the Culturally Arranged Marriage visitor visa to travel to New Zealand to begin living with their new spouse,” 

At that time, despite, the Indian Weekender’s assessment on the issue of “General Visitor Visa” as a pathway for those partners who would not clearly qualify under the “culturally arranged marriage visa” category some experts had rightly raised the issue of “bonafide” clause that can possibly allow case-officers to reject visitor visa applications. 

The Indian Weekender had been persistently chasing this issue with senior officials of INZ and the Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, who had personally responded to a lot of concerns around lack of clarity on the new instructions in an exclusive interview at our studio on Tuesday, November 26. 

The initial visa re-opening emails to several previously declined applications has finally confirmed the assessment done by the Indian Weekender based on personal interview with several senior INZ officials including Stephen Dunstan, General Manager Enablement and Peter Elms, Assistant General Manager Visa Services that “General Visitor Visa” category will be the new pathway for facilitating genuine and credible partners of people (on temporary visas, permanent residents, or citizens) in New Zealand to enter into the country. 

The Indian Weekender will be bringing more on this development soon.

(Meanwhile, read the Indian Weekender's assessment on getting your partner  in the country here)