This piece of very good news is for people who have had an offshore cultural marriage and could not apply for the cultural marriage visa.
Before November 2019, in New Zealand, it was mandatory to have a culturally arranged marriage ceremony in New Zealand itself recognized by the government. The Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa is now available for those who had their marriage ceremonies outside of New Zealand. They can apply for the visa now, unlike before when they were not eligible. This paragraph uses active voice instead of passive voice.
In November 2019, the Immigration Department brought a change to this policy to allow people to get a visa even if they had an off-shore marriage ceremony. Immigration New Zealand has also clarified that to join their partner and stay in New Zealand for a longer duration, individuals traveling to New Zealand will still qualify as genuine visitor visa applicants. However, they still have to meet certain requirements. These requirements include health and character requirements, compliance with their visa conditions, and leaving New Zealand when their visa expires.
What is a Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa?
A culturally arranged marriage visitor visa allows an individual to come to New Zealand for a short term. It allows the holder to marry or join a New Zealand citizen or resident in a traditional arranged marriage. The marriage must be recognized by the government and the partners can not do the marriage arrangement themselves. In simple words, the marriage can be arranged by family members or a matchmaker per an identified cultural tradition.
One can apply for this visa either before or after the marriage ceremony. Remember, If you are applying after the marriage ceremony then you must apply three months before the marriage ceremony. One can also bring family members to attend the ceremony.
The approval of a culturally arranged marriage visitor visa can take up to 5 months. The applicant can enter the country within nine months of approval. It is a single-entry visa and it is valid for three months since the first entry to New Zealand.
These changes are a big boon for the people who had a culturally arranged marriage ceremony outside of New Zealand. They can now come to live in New Zealand and apply for a partner visa. This could help them meet the requirements for an immigration partnership visa. Which requires the couple to be living together in a genuine and stable partnership to be eligible to get the visa.