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New Zealand Border Exception Criteria for Partners and Dependents of Citizens/Residents



Entry to New Zealand from all the countries is strictly controlled to prevent the spread of Covid-19; but Partners of New Zealand resident/citizen who are currently outside New Zealand can still apply for border exception. Applicants who do not hold a relationship-based visa and are currently outside New Zealand can apply for a border exception. Applicants must prove that they are in a genuine and stable relationship and intend to travel to New Zealand to be with their New Zealand partner(citizen/resident). You can include even dependent children in the application.


Border Exception Process

The first step is to request a border exception called an Expression of Interest (EOI) by INZ. This EOI is not a visa application but a request form that only lets you explain your circumstances in 3000 words. The fee for this request is NZD 45 as of date.


If INZ is satisfied that you meet the requirements based on the information provided in the request form, they will issue an ‘Invitation to Apply (ITA)’ for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa (CPVV). This will be an actual visa application wherein you will be requested to lodge a formal application and submit the relevant supporting documentary evidence to prove that you live together in a genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand resident/citizen. The fee for this application is NZD 246.


Reasons for not receiving an ITA:

INZ is not satisfied that you are in a genuine relationship with an NZ citizen/resident.

There are outstanding bona fides/Character issues/Health issues.

INZ has identified bona fides/Character issues/Health issues in the border exception request.

This process may appear to be straightforward; however, it involves a lot of intricacies. There are many complexities involved in determining if you may be eligible to travel to New Zealand during the current border closure. The threshold is very high to be granted a border exception/relationship-based visa.


If you are not sure if you meet the requirements for a critical purpose visa/relationship-based visa or would like to know how you may be able to qualify, please contact one of our staff for further details.



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