My boyfriend and I have just began the pursuit of living in New Zealand. We are both born and raised Americans. I am 21 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology (Level 7) and no current work experience (I just graduated). He is 26 with a Bachelor's in math (Level 7) and 4 years of solid accounting experience. We would obviously love to directly apply for permanent residency. However, from my current research I'm being lead to believe that you cannot do this. You have to apply for some type of work or student visa beforehand, live in the country for so long, and then apply for permanent residency. Is this correct? I am heavily researching the Skilled Migrant Category since we both have bachelor's and mine happens to be in an area of demand, but from what I'm reading it sounds like it is a type of permanent residency visa. Basically, as I'm sure all of you have experienced, I feel like I understand all of the visa jargon and then I read a piece of information that throws everything I thought I knew out of the water. I would appreciate anyone's help in translating the jargon and giving me a direct piece of information. Also, currently, we have been together for 3 years and qualify as "de facto" partners under the visa definitions. However, would I be a part of his visa or do I need to apply for my own visa? Would this differ if we chose to marry before applying?