NZ Citizen Family Relationship Visa to Australia

As most New Zealanders will know, they are entitled to what is called a Special Category visa (subclass 444) upon arrival in Australia (without any prior application), as long as they:

  • are a New Zealand citizen (note that permanent residency of NZ  is not sufficient);
  • present a valid New Zealand passport;
  • present a completed incoming passenger card; and
  • meet specific health and character requirements.

Note that “behaviour concern non-citizens” might not be able to obtain such a Subclass 444 visa and could be refused entry. Such persons include those who have convictions for crimes that resulted in sentences of imprisonment of up to (cumulatively) one year, those who have previously been removed from Australia or those who have been previously removed or deported from another country.


But what of the families of New Zealand citizens who are not NZ citizens and are unable to obtain a Special Category-subclass 444 visa?

There is a visa called a New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461), which allows for persons who are not New Zealand citizens, to live in Australia on a temporary basis, with a NZ citizen family member, who either holds a subclass 444 visa, or is eligible to receive one and is travelling to Australia with them.

The visa allows New Zealand citizen family members to work and/or study in Australia and travel in and out of Australia for 5 years. It needs to be renewed after that time, as it is not a permanent residency visa.

Family members (who will be able to receive this visa) of a New Zealand citizen, will include:

  • their partner
  • their or their partner’s dependent child
  • a dependent child of their or their partner’s dependent child
  • their or their partner’s relative who does not have a partner, usually lives in the New Zealand citizens household and is dependent upon the New Zealand citizen. Please note that dependency has a particular meaning.

Health and character requirements need to be met. In addition you will need to be responsible for all health costs here (unless your home country has a reciprocal agreement regarding health care, with Australia) and therefore you must hold private health insurance with an Australian fund for the full term of the visa.

You may apply for this visa either inside or outside of Australia, but if you apply from inside, you’ll need to be in Australia when the visa is granted, and if you apply from outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

This visa is not as easily obtained as an SCV visa under subclass 444. You do need to produce a lot more evidence. It is wise to consult us as to what evidence and documents need to be presented.

Start typing and press Enter to search