INZ Forced to Change Stance on Culturally Arranged Marriages

INZ Forced to Change Stance on Culturally Arranged Marriages
Immigration New Zealand has come out with Amendment Circular 2019-11 to update the Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa, allowing people who have entered arranged marriages overseas to apply for a partnership based visitor visa, and provide more advice on getting a general visitor visa to join a partner.
This results from an announcement made by the Minister of Immigration regarding the change to allow people who had a culturally arranged marriage outside New Zealand to apply for this visitor visa.
INZ has updated its guidelines on how they assess if people travelling to New Zealand to join their partner, who they have not lived with, have genuine intent of staying in New Zealand temporarily for a lawful purpose.
The detailed guideline was communicated to the staff and published as an Internal Administration Circular, IAC 19-01 – Guidelines for staff assessing visitor visa applications for people who do not meet partnership criteria.

What does it mean for visa applicants?

If your visa was declined before, INZ is developing a process to deal with partners of New Zealand residents and citizens who may be affected by the new processing guidelines – they are going to contact these people via email.
If your visa application is currently being assessed, you do not have to do anything, INZ will assess current applications that may be impacted by this according to the updated guidelines.
Earlier, the New Zealand Government had vowed to reverse a controversial decision handed down by Immigration New Zealand that had made it harder for some migrants to obtain partnership based visas. The harsh changes prohibited people from getting partnership based visas unless they had stayed together for at least 12 months – a move that had infuriated the Indian community as it made it almost impossible for people with culturally arranged marriages to obtain their visas.
However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had stepped in saying Immigration New Zealand will be directed to go back to the “status quo”.
Professional Visa Solutions is following the developments related to Culturally Arranged Marriage Visas carefully to see how this impacts categories beyond the visitor visa.