What is the 461 visa?
The New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa or commonly known as, the 461 visa, is a temporary visa that allows you to live and work in Australia for five years.
You may be eligible for the Australian visa subclass 461 if you are a family member of a New Zealand (NZ) citizen.
Who can get the 461 visa?
To be eligible for the subclass 461 visa you must demonstrate the following:
- You are not a New Zealand citizen.
- You are a member of the family unit of a New Zealand citizen.
- Your NZ citizen family member is not an Eligible NZ citizen.
- Your NZ citizen family member is living in Australia on a Special Category visa (SCV) subclass 444, OR
- will be traveling to Australia with you and will be granted the subclass 444 visa on arrival.
Family Members/Unit of a New Zealand citizen
To be considered as a “family unit” of a NZ citizen for the Australian visa subclass 461, you must be related to them as one of the following:
- Partner of a New Zealand citizen
You can be married, but your marriage must be legal under the Australia law.
You can be in a de facto relationship with your partner and can be the same or opposite sex. Your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 6 months before this application is lodged (this is shorter than the Partner visa).
Whether you are married or in a de facto relationship with the New Zealand citizen, you must prove:
- Your relationship is genuine and continuing
- Your partner is at least 18 years of age when the application is lodged (there are some exceptions)
- If you are in a de facto relationship you must not be related by family
- You and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others, and
- You live together or do not live apart on a permanent basis
- Eligible child
To include a child as migrating with you in the visa subclass 461 application, the child must:
- Be your child or a step-child from a current or previous relationship (in certain circumstances);
- No be married, engaged to be married, or have a de facto partner; AND must be:
a) Under 18 years of age, OR
b) Over 18 years old but not yet turned 13, and be dependent on you or your partner, OR
c) Over 23 years old and is unable to earn a living to support themselves due to physical or cognitive limitations and be dependent on you or your partner, OR
d) A dependent child of you or your partner’s child/step-child who is eligible under a, b or c above.
Your child or stepchild is considered to be dependent if they continue to be wholly or substantially dependent on you for their basic needs e.g. food, clothing, and shelter.
You and any dependents must meet Australia’s health requirements in order to be granted a visa.
The health examinations you need will depend on your personal circumstances including:
- your period of stay,
- your country of citizenship,
- your time spent in another country during the last five years, and
- your intended activities in Australia
You will not be eligible to apply for the Australian national health scheme (Medicare) unless your country of passport has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. Therefore, you are responsible for all yours and any of your dependents health costs while you are in Australia.
To be granted a visa you and any dependents must meet certain character requirements.
You and any dependents will be required to provide police clearances from each country that you have lived in for 12 months or more during the last 10 years after you turned 16 years of age.
You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian government or have arranged to repay all outstanding debts to the Australian government before the 461 visa can be granted.
The Benefits of the 461 visa
The subclass 461 visa:
- is valid for 5 years
- lets you live in Australia
- lets you work and study in Australia with no restrictions
- permits unlimited travel to and from Australia
If you are applying in Australia:
- You must be in Australia when you lodge the application and when the visa is granted.
If you are applying outside Australia:
- You must be outside Australia when you lodge the application and when the visa is granted.
Subclass 461 visa Cost
The 461 visa cost of the application can change from time to time. For an up to date application fee, see HERE.
Please note that additional application charge applies for dependents that are:
- 18 years old and over
- Under 18 years old.
Subclass 461 visa Processing Time
Processing time for the subclass 461 visa (and all other visas) may change from time to time. See a more accurate estimated processing time HERE.
How Can Crux Migration Help
You can book a consultation with our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents (formally known as Crux Migration). We will go through more specific requirements with you, tailoring your application according to your circumstances to ensure a smooth 461 visa application.
Subclass 461 visa FAQ:
An eligible New Zealand citizen is a person who is defined as a ‘protected SCV’ holder under the Social Security Act 1991.
Protected SCV holders are those who arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport and were:
- in Australia on 26 February 2001;
- in Australia for at least 12 months in the 2 years immediately before 26 February 2001; OR
- assessed as protected SCV holders before 26 February 2004
You may be able to apply for another 461visa even if you are no longer a member of the family unit of the person in relation to whom you were granted the subclass 461 visa.