Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa

Quite possibly the best and most flexible temporary visa in the world, is Subclass 461.


  • Based on a relationship with a NZ Citizen who is eligible for, or currently holds, a Special Category Visa Subclass 444.
  • 5 year open work visa that allows multiple travel
  • Can be renewed (Roll-Over), even if the relationship with the NZ citizen ends
  • Temporary visa – does not automatically lead to residency
  • Holders of 461 visas can be exempt from some residence criteria in Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visas.


Subclass 461 is possibly one of the best, if not the best, temporary resident visa in the world. The visa was designed at the time of the Trans-Tasman agreement – Australian Permanent Residents were the chance to automatically gain NZ residency on arrival. However, NZ Permanent Residents are not eligible for the same in Australia. Therefore, subclass 461 was born.

The benefits of this visa are endless. For the price, it is one of the most cost-effective work visa option. It also does not have an initial arrival date meaning you can apply for it and have 5 years to travel to Australia. In the meantime, it is the greatest visitor type visa as it allows multiple travel.



Special Category Visa Holder

The NZ citizen who you are claiming to be a Member of a Family Unit (MoFU) of must be eligible or hold a Special Category Visa Subclass 444. Therefore, they cannot be:

  • An Australian citizen, or
  • Australian Permanent Resident, or
  • considered an Eligible NZ citizen

The must also be eligible for a Special Category Visa. Therefore, they cannot be considered Behaviour or Health Concern Non-Citizen (BCNC or HCNC).

The NZ citizen can be in or outside Australia at the time of application lodgement.



As a partner, you will need to provide evidence that you are a genuine and ongoing relationship with a NZ citizen. Relationships should generally be at least 6 months in duration. However, 12 months is a much stronger timeframe. Relationships under 6 months can still meet criteria if they are registered with their local State in Australia.

If you are a dependent child, you may need to provide evidence of your dependency if you are aged between 18 and 22. Children over 23 can be included but only if they are unable to earn a living to support themselves due to physical or cognitive limitations.


Health and Character

Some applications will be required to complete a Medical and Xray, where some low-risk countries may not.

Police certificates will need to be provided for anyone included in the application over the age of 16 for countries where they have spent 12 months or more in the last 10 years, since turning 16.

When a 461 application is lodged while the NZ citizen is outside of Australia, they may be requested to provide police certificates from countries where they have spent 12 months or more since turning 16 years of age. This is to ensure that they are not considered to be BCNC.


Health Insurance

If you are not covered by the reciprocal health agreement Australia has with some countries, you will require health insurance for the entire time you are in Australia. You will need to prove that you have held insurance in order to renew (Roll-Over) your 461 visa.


Processing times can be lengthy for the 461. There are no work rights issued on a Bridging Visa A to someone who arrives as the holder of a Visitor visa and applies for their 461 while in Australia. Also, your are unlikely to be able to gain a Subclass 600 Visitor visa while you have an offshore lodged 461 application in the queue to be processed.

Please note that you must meet 461 criteria at the time of lodgement. Therefore, any additional relationship evidence you accumulate after the application is lodged will not be considered.


VisaAide specialises in subclass 461. If you want professional, up to date advice, please book some time to speak with us.




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