Visas in Australia that may be available New Zealanders

Currently, there are more than 90 various visa subclasses.


Each has their own set of criteria and range in purpose. Visas are divided into four groups known as; 


1. Permanent visas

2. Temporary visas

3. Bridging visas

4. Protection and humanitarian visas


Every lawful non-citizen in Australia holds a visa class of some kind, regardless of when and how they entered Australia. 



Before being granted a visa, all visa applicants need to meet eligibility criteria. This can include character and health requirements.



New Zealanders are unique in the simple fact that most have never applied for a visa to live in Australia. Rather, they came either before passports were needed in 1981, or arrived on their New Zealand passports.


All New Zealanders who have not applied for a visa are granted a visa that has is automated called a Special Category Visa, subclass TY444, regardless of how long they have been living in Australia.


As a result, New Zealanders are often confused when they discover they do indeed hold a visa, but not only that, the Special Category Visa, subclass TY-444 is a temporary visa that ceases to exist each time they leave Australia and is re-issued each time they re-enter Australia.


Because the SCV is an indefinite temporary visa, there is no process or pathway that converts an SCV into a permanent visa, ever. For example, a NZ infant arrives and is granted an SCV. This child can live their whole life in Australia and remain a temporary visa holder for the entire time - even if they were fortunate enough to live to 100 years old!

Some New Zealanders are defined as Eligible New Zealand Citizens, also known as Protected Special Category Visa holders.


This group of New Zealanders do not need to apply for a permanent visa if they wish to apply for Australian citizenship. These New Zealanders are also able to receive Centrelink payments. However, technically under law, they are still deemed temporary residents, the only difference is they have special rights and entitlements to apply for Citizenship and Centrelink.


The dilemma is citizenship cannot be obtained without first holding a permanent visa or meeting strict criteria. 

resident return visa

RRV is a visa that can only be applied for by a current or past Permanent Residents.

Skilled visa

The Subclass 189 visa contains a New Zealand stream and it is available to certain New Zealanders who meet the criteria.

Skilled visa


The Subclass 189 visa contains a special exemption that can be applied for by single parents who are unable to leave Australia for specified reasons.

child sponsor visa

The Subclass 802 visa is used by permanent visa holders to sponsor a family member who is their child. Age and criteria restrictions apply.


17 Ormerod Street


SA 5271

SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Virtual Office)

271 Flinders Street


SA 5000

QUEENSLAND (Virtual Office)

Westfield Chermside

Level 2, 395 Hamilton Road


QLD 4032 

NEW SOUTH WALES (Virtual Office)

3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Road


NSW 2009





P.O. Box 1210


SA 5271


Tel: +61 8 8322 3605

Mob: +61 433 485 556

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MARN: 1797713


Member of the Migration Institute of Australia: 17820


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As a registered migration agent, Māori living in Australia, and dual citizen of both New Zealand and Australia,

I acknowledge and pay my respects first and foremost, to the Traditional Owners both past and present, of this land.

© 2017 by Erina Morunga

Registered Migration Agent

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