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New Zealand Citizen

Australia has evolved as one of the best and stable economies globally and is a highly attractive destination for an individual to stay. A significant number of skilled migrants come to Australia every year in search of jobs. Australia offers an excellent education system. It is quite common for New Zealand citizens to choose Australian universities and educational institutes for pursuing tertiary education and vocational training to gain skills and be job-ready for the future. Visiting family, friends, or holidaying in Australia is another common reason New Zealanders frequent Australia.

A Special Category Visa under the Australian visa system is granted to most New Zealand citizens on arrival in Australia, enabling them to study, visit, stay and work in Australia indefinitely under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.

The Australian Government supports and encourages initiatives to strengthen New Zealand ties and to honour their Trans-Tasman economic relations. A lot of progress has been made, New Zealanders in Australia can now access the education sector, explore the job market, apply for student loans, and the Australian Government has also devised a pathway to citizenship for eligible New Zealanders in Australia.

New Zealand citizens are not required to apply for a visa before coming to Australia. They are usually granted a Subclass 444 Special Category Visa (SCV) on arrival. Unlike other non-citizens, New Zealand citizens do not require to obtain a visa before arrival in Australia. This visa category was established under the Universal Visa System in Australia under the Migration Rules 1994.

As per these rules, to grant an SCV, New Zealand citizens on arrival in Australia are automatically granted a temporary entry visa, without applying, provided they meet the health and character requirements as specified by the Department. Though the SCV is classified as a temporary visa, an SCV holder must not follow any time-bound stipulation or limitation for being in Australia. An SCV holder can stay in Australia indefinitely, provided they remain a New Zealand citizen. If their citizenship changes, they need to apply for a different visa category to stay lawfully in the country. The SCV Subclass 444 visa holders do not get the same rights and privileges as Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

To be eligible for an SCV, an applicant must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a New Zealand citizen.
  • Must have a valid New Zealand passport.
  • Meet health and character requirements.

All New Zealand citizens are eligible for an SCV, except:

  • Those who have significant health issues.
  • Those with serious criminal records, i.e., being sentenced to a year’s imprisonment or more, combined in total.
  • Those who are the existing holders of any temporary or permanent Australian visas
  • Those who reach Australia using a different passport (e.g., a person who is holding dual nationality). In such a scenario, an SCV can be obtained by submitting a valid New Zealand passport with the Department.
  • Those who visit Australia for specified purposes, such as visiting forces and foreign diplomats, are normally granted a special purpose visa.

This visa category is valid from the date it is granted and ends when the holder departs the country. Hence, subclass 444 visa holders cannot travel to another country as this temporary visa expires when they leave the country. If they wish to come back again, a new subclass 444 visa application form needs to be filed. A subclass 444 visa is digitally linked to the eligible New Zealand citizen’s passport and is not labelled separately on the passport.

A holder of an SCV subclass 444 can later apply for permanent residency (on being eligible) through the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) (New Zealand) Stream.

An SCV holder may face a visa cancellation by the Minister if they are found indulging in any criminal behaviour. SCV holders sentenced to imprisonment in Australia can be immediately deported on release.

Subclass 444 visa allows its holder to-

  • Stay in Australia.
  • Study in Australia.
  • Work in Australia, in their respective field of interest.
  • To apply for permanent residence, if eligible.

The shared information is exclusive but not exhaustive, and the applicants are advised to take the help of qualified migration agents to go through the complete eligibility requirements before applying.

Contact Us

E-help is a migration firm providing all the available relocation solutions to Australia. We provide due assistance in all kinds of immigration matters. We take pride in providing visa assistance based on the need of our clients.

Here at E-Help, we understand how overwhelming and necessary a migration process can be. We make it our mission to remove the stress and worry surrounding your visa application. Since the visa application process involves a lot of paperwork, we will help you prepare and organize your numerous documents before submission. Get in touch with our highly professional visa consultants/ immigration agents now. To book an appointment, contact us or dial us at +61 7 3172 4965.

If you find yourself eligible for this visa category, but you are unaware of the process to get started, call E-Help at +61 7 3172 4965 to get assistance from the most knowledgeable and experienced team of visa immigration agents/ consultants. From gathering required documentation to preparing a strong immigration case, we cover all the aspects of the visa application process diligently to ensure you receive no disappointments. Our visa consultants/ immigration agents will be more than happy to assist you in your range of questions on visa eligibility requirements and processing.

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