Subclass 461 Visa:

The New Zealand Citizen
Family Relationship Visa

The Subclass 461 visa is one of the best temporary visas for Australia – and our immigration consultants at VisaAide specialise in applications for it.

Overview of the Subclass 461 visa

  • The Subclass 461 visa is for people who aren’t New Zealand citizens, but are in a relationship with (or a member of a family unit) of an NZ citizen who holds a Special Category Visa Subclass 444.
  • It’s a five-year open work visa that allows unlimited travel to and from Australia within that time period.
  • Can be renewed (roll-over), even if the relationship with the NZ citizen ends.
  • Temporary visa – it does not automatically lead to residency.
  • Holders of this Australia 461 visa can be exempt from some residence criteria in Subclass 186 Employer Nomination visas.


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

The benefits of this visa are endless. For the price, it is one of the most cost-effective work visa options. It also doesn’t have an initial arrival date, meaning you can apply for it and have five years to travel to Australia

Do you need help with your Subclass 461 visa?

We specialise in applications for this Australian visa – contact us for up-to-date advice.

Requirements for a Subclass 461 visa

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:

They 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 in a genuine and on-going relationship with a New Zealand citizen. Relationships should generally be at least six months in duration. However, 12 months is a much stronger timeframe. Relationships under six months could potentially meet criteria, especially if they are registered with their local State in Australia.

If you are a dependent child or stepchild, 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 x-ray, where some people from 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 Australian visa 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’re 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 Subclass 461 visa.

Visa processing information

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, in most cases, you’re 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.

It’s important to 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

Do you need help with your Subclass 461 visa?

We specialise in applications for this Australian visa – contact us for up-to-date advice.