The purpose of this visa is to allow non-New Zealand citizens to travel to and live in Australia with a New Zealand citizen family member who is a Special Category visa holder.
The Special Category (subclass 444) visa is a temporary visa automatically granted to New Zealand citizens who arrive in Australia who do not hold a permanent visa.
Who is this visa for?
This visa is for family members of Special Category visa holders who are not eligible for a Special Category visa because they are not New Zealand citizens.
What does this visa let me do?
This visa allows you to live and work in Australia for a period of up to five (5) years.
How does this visa work?
This visa requires that you are sponsored by your relative or their partner in Australia. This visa allows non-New Zealand citizens to travel to and live in Australia with a New Zealand citizen family member who is a Special Category visa holder.
All family members must apply for their own visa as a family member of the Special Category visa holder. You can make a combined application on the one form.
Visa validity period
This is a temporary visa and it is valid for up to five years.
Renewing your visa
You can renew your visa, even if your relationship with the Special Category visa holder has ended provided that:
- you have maintained Australian residency; you must have been in Australia for a total of at least two years in the last five years
- you continue to meet standard health and character requirements
- you do not become the member of a family of another person (other than another Special Category visa holder)
- if you are currently outside Australia, you held this visa when you left Australia
Visa application process
Active Migration Australia will assess each application individually and provide extensive checklists consisting of instructions to help you successfully complete the forms required.
How to lodge an application
Where you lodge your completed visa application depends on where you are at the time of lodgement. Active Migration Australia will lodge the application with the correct processing centre.
You are eligible for this visa if you are a member of the family of a person who is either:
- in Australia as the holder of a Special Category (subclass 444) visa
- outside Australia, and
- will be accompanying you to Australia
- on entry, will be the holder of a Special Category visa
You must be related to the Special Category visa holder as one of the following:
- their partner
- 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
You can be either in Australia or outside Australia when you apply for this visa.
If you lodge your application in Australia, you must be in Australia at the time that a decision is made on your visa application.
If you lodge your application outside Australia, you must be outside Australia at the time that a decision is made on your visa application. You must be accompanied to Australia by the Special Category visa holder unless they are already in Australia on a Special Category (subclass 444) visa.
You must meet health requirements for this visa.
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. Your case officer will advise you if this is required.
You must meet character requirements for this visa.
Australian Values Statement
If you are aged 18 years or over, you are required to sign an Australian values statement. The statement is included in your visa application form and all applicants aged 18 years and over will need to sign on it. This is required to confirm that they will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. Before signing this statement you are required to read, or you might have been explained about the book ‘Life in Australia book’.
The Life in Australia book provides more information on the values that Australians share and their way of life.
Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 461
You are required to abide by all Australian laws as a temporary resident.