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.