I am here on a visitor visa and my three months are almost over. But I don’t want to leave because I have found a partner who is a New Zealand citizen. This is not my first visitor visa though as I have been here on and off for the last 10 months while living in Australia. What do I have to do to obtain a new visa?

People who are in New Zealand on a visitor visa for a genuine temporary purpose are permitted to stay for a maximum of nine months in any 18 month period. This means that you may not be able to extend your visitor visa unless you could demonstrate that there are special circumstances to justify an exception.

However, if you are living together in NZ with your New Zealand citizen partner, this potentially gives you the option to apply for a partnership based work visa. To secure a work visa based on a partnership you would need to demonstrate that you are living together in a genuine and stable relationship with your kiwi partner, that your partner is an acceptable sponsor, and that you both intend to reside in New Zealand together for the duration of the visa requested.

Importantly, you don’t have to show that you have been living together for 12 months to qualify for this visa (as you do for residence applications) and it is possible to secure this type of visa where a couple have been living together for as little as a month or two (as long as a strong relationship can be proven by objective evidence). If you are running out of time, we recommend you seek professional advice on your options as soon as possible..