Partner Visas for Kiwi’s Living in Australia – Here’s What You Need To Know

The New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461) is specifically designed for family members and partners of New Zealand citizens who are residents in, or are about to become residents in Australia. This visa category may be used by New Zealand citizens who are not eligible to sponsor their foreign fiancée, partner or spouse for permanent residency in Australia.

New Zealand citizens are automatically granted a special category temporary visa (subclass 444) when they enter Australia which allows them to live and work in here. As your foreign partner would not have this automatic right, the subclass 461 is the equivalent. Unlike the 444 visa, the subclass 461 visa is not granted automatically – you must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to gain temporary resident status in Australia.

This visa will allow you to sponsor a partner or family member to live in Australia if you are:

  • a New Zealand citizen, or
  • either
    – hold a Special Category visa (subclass 444) and are living in Australia, or
    – are eligible to hold a Special Category visa (subclass 444) and is accompanying you to Australia.

The applicants must be related to the New Zealand citizen as either:

  • your partner
  • your (or their partner’s) dependent child
  • the dependent child of your (or your partner’s) dependent child
  • your (or your partner’s) relative who:
    – does not have a partner
    – usually lives in you.

How long does this visa last?

If you receive a positive decision on your visa application, your partner will be able to work, study, and live in Australia for 5 years from the date the visa is granted.

Can I sponsor more than one person in the same application?

Yes. You can use the one application to sponsor your partner as well as other eligible family members.

Do I need to be inside or outside Australia when applying?

If the application is made offshore, the visa can only be issued if the applicant will be accompanied to Australia by you, as the sponsoring New Zealand citizen, unless they are already in Australia on the subclass 444 visa. By the same token, if the application is submitted in Australia, the family unit must be in the country when the decision is made.

Do I still need to provide evidence of our relationship?

Yes. Just like the other partner visa subclasses in Australia, you will need to provide evidence of your genuine and continuing relationship to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Do character and health requirements apply to this visa?

Yes. Your partner and/or eligible family members will need to meet the same health and character requirements as any other Australian partner visa application.

If you would like more information about the subclass 461 visa or an assessment on your eligibility, please contact a member of our migration team.

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