I am an American visiting my boyfriend in Dunedin since February 12, 2017. We would like to make my visit permanent, but I will need to return home in the next month or two to finish up at my job, clear out a storage unit and tie up things back home. He is a NZ born resident, owns his own home and is self employed. I would eventually like to find a job once I have met the requirements. I would love some answers to a few questions.
1. Should we be completing forms 1018 and 1017 and when submitting do I need to include my original passport?
2. Should we start the visa application process now or wait until I return after finishing up my business back home?
3. We were told that I would have to be residing with him for six months before he could apply for sponsorship of my visa, does the six months have to be consecutive if I need to return home?