In 1994 Amendments were made to Australia’s Immigration Act to confirm the legal requirement for all non-citizens lawfully in Australia to hold visas. This therefore extended to New Zealand Citizens to live and work in Australia. As a result, the Special Category Visa (SCV) was introduced for New Zealand citizens. In practical terms, this is not a visa as such, since New Zealand Citizens continue to need only a valid New Zealand passport to obtain a SCV.

The most common purpose of this visa is to allow partners of New Zealand Passport holders (SCV) to join their New Zealand spouse to live and work in Australia. However, this visa category can also apply to the New Zealand Citizen sponsoring:

  • their (or their partner’s) dependent child
  • the dependent child of their (or their partner’s) dependent child
  • their (or their partner’s) relative who meets all of the following:

– is widowed, divorced, separated or has never married or entered a de facto relationship

– is usually resident in the Special Category visa holder’s household

– is dependent on the Special Category visa holder.

Over 36,000 New Zealand Citizens arrive in Australia to settle per year. The 461 Visa category is intended to allow non-New Zealand spouses/dependents to join their New Zealand family relation in Australia.

This Visa enables you to:

  • Live and work in Australia as temporary residents for up to 5 years
    – Take advantage of significant tax benefits such as the Living Away From Home Allowance
    – Study in AustraliaThe 461 does not lead to Permanent Residence in Australia however there are ways in which you are able to apply for PR once resident i.e. via an employer sponsored route.

The basic requirements for this visa is as follows:

  • You are dependent on a New Zealand passport holder (SCV) as either their spouse (either married or living together for at least 6 months) or their dependent child or relative
  • You may be required to hold private health insurance with a fund in Australia if you are the citizen of a country that does not have a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia

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