Fibre broadband technician Akash Padhya returned to marry his wife Payal in an arranged marriage last year.
But after seven months of waiting for an Immigration New Zealand decision on her partnership visitor visa application, Padhya says it's putting a strain on their relationship.
Information released under the Official Information Act (OIA) revealed 295 partnership visitor visa applications had been lodged at INZ's Mumbai office in the four months from December last year to March.
However, just 46 had been decided by INZ Mumbai as of October 1 and 91 by all INZ offices.
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Padhya, 26, from Lower Hutt, said the uncertainty is causing both him and his wife, also 26, "stress, anxiety and depression".
"I've not been able to focus on work or even driving, and my wife has been crying and is now suffering from depression," he said.
"We thought getting a visitor visa was quite a straightforward process, but we don't know even if an officer has been allocated to our case because there is no update from Immigration."
As of September 12, the date of the oldest unallocated partnership visitor visa application at INZ Mumbai was one that was lodged on February 25.
INZ had eight trained immigration officers in its Mumbai office, as of September 7, who were able to assess partnership visas. It had a further 23 officers in training at the time.
Five additional immigration officers were due to start assessing partnership applications from September 16, and 18 more from September 23.
Jeannie Melville, INZ's national manager education and tourism, said partnership visas accepted in INZ Mumbai may not necessarily be decided by the officers based there.
"The applications can be allocated and decided by a different INZ office," she said.
Melville told the Herald in August that procedural changes had been made in May to improve processing times in Mumbai.
These included moving the processing of all offshore student applications except for Vietnam and India to Palmerston North.
Padhya who first came to New Zealand on a student visa four years ago said he was also worried about how INZ viewed arranged marriages.
"In India, most people still believe in arranged marriage, it is our cultural tradition and works really well," he said.
"For us who are in this situation, meeting INZ's requirement of living together for 12 months is impossible to meet."
Padhya, who now holds a work visa, said he was making daily video calls to try to keep his wife's hopes alive, but finds it tough when almost every time he sees her crying.
His wife had resigned from her work as a secretary in India thinking she would be joining him in New Zealand.
INZ's website said 90 per cent of visas for partners of workers were processed within three months.
"I feel bad and worried that she is feeling so lonely and depressed, but I don't know what I can do," Padhya said.
Last month INZ said it would prioritise partnership visa applications only if it had the backing of NZ citizen or resident partners.
All new partnership visa applications from the Mumbai office will also now be handled in Hamilton.