Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa

A Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa is appropriate for someone who wants to come to New Zealand either for their wedding or within three months of their wedding outside of New Zealand. The marriage must be arranged by someone who is not one of the individuals who will or who have been married, and must be in keeping with an identified and recognised cultural tradition.

Once the holder is living in New Zealand with their partner, they will usually be able to apply for a Partner of a New Zealander work visa.

Who can apply for a Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa?

In order to qualify for a Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa, you must:

  • be intending to travel to New Zealand in order to get married, or within three months of getting married outside New Zealand
  • be marrying or planning to marry a citizen or resident of New Zealand
  • provide proof that your marriage has been arranged as part of a recognised cultural tradition, for example:
    • records of communications between the couple’s parents and a matchmaker or go-between
    • confirmation from an independent source that the marriage is consistent with the cultural customs of the couple
    • documentation showing that the ceremony or arrangement is recognised publicly
  • not have any legal impediments to your marriage e.g. being married to someone else, being closely related to your partner
  • demonstrate that you have sufficient funds or sponsorship to support yourself while in New Zealand, and to pay for a ticket to leave New Zealand
  • meet the standard good health and character requirements for a New Zealand visa

What does a Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa offer?

If granted, a Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa gives the holder permission to travel to New Zealand for three months in order to get married, or to come to New Zealand within three months of their wedding.

Holders of this visa are permitted to remain in New Zealand for up to three months and are allowed to undertake formal study, but are not allowed to work.

It is possible to apply to bring dependent children to New Zealand with you when applying for this visa, providing they are in good health and that the applicant is the child/children’s parent or legal guardian.

Once the holder is in New Zealand and they are living with their partner following their wedding, in most circumstances they will be able to apply for a partnership work visa, which can be issued for an initial period of 12 months for those who have recently arrived in New Zealand.

NB: Sponsoring New Zealand citizens and residents are restricted from sponsoring more than two successful resident visa applications for partners, and from sponsoring more than one individual in a five year period.

How do I apply for a Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa?

Applications for this visa can be made online or on paper. Once submitted, around 80% of applications receive a decision within six weeks.

How much your application will cost depends on your nationality and whether you submit digitally or on paper. Most applications will cost in the region of NZD $200-250 for a single traveller, rising slightly for each additional traveller attached to the application.

Mohamed Anas Sirajur Raheem

BA (Political Studies), LLB (VUW)

Mohamed is an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, specializing in immigration law.

He is a former New Zealand Immigration Officer (Visa Services) and Border Officer at Auckland International Airport. He has several years of experience working in various Government Departments in New Zealand and has also worked as a Licensed Immigration Adviser at a prominent New Zealand Immigration firm.

His areas of expertise and interest are in the fields of General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work (Long and Short Stay), Business visas, Partner, Parent and Child Visa streams.

Mohamed was inspired to pursue a career in immigration by his own migration experiences. Over the years he has assisted individuals, families, large corporations, Professional sportspeople, and Entertainers (singers, speakers, and actors) to come to New Zealand.

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