Subclass 461

NZ Citizen Family Relationship Visa - Subclass 461

Subclass 461 visa enables who individuals who are not an New Zealand citizen but is a member of a family unit of a New Zealand citizen to live, study and work in Australia for up to five years. 

With this visa, you have:

  1. An indirect pathway to Permanent Residency in Australia
  2. Combine your application with other family members
  3. Unlimited working rights

How do I prove my relationship
to the department?

There are 4 main aspects of the relationship that the Department of Home Affairs will consider when assessing any partner visa application:

Financial aspect of relationship

Under this section, you can provide facts and evidence of your financial commitment to each other.

Nature of household

In this section, you can provide evidence of any joint responsibility for the care and support of children, your living arrangements and sharing of the responsibility for housework. 

Social aspect of relationship

In this section, you can outline important social aspects of your relationship, including opinion of your family, friends and acquaintances about the nature of your relationship.

Nature of commitment

In this section, you can outline significant events in your lives during which you have relied on each other for support and future plans together.

Temporary Visa Eligibility

To be eligible for this visa, you must:

  • Not be an Australian or New Zealand citizen
  • Must be in a relationship with a new Zealand Citizen
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Have adequate health insurance; and
  • Must not have a no further stay condition in your visa.

You must belong to the below three categories to be granted a visa. If you are:  

  • A member of the family unit of a New Zealand citizen, who is not an eligible New Zealand citizen and who either:
    • is in Australia as the holder of a Subclass 444 visa, or will be travelling with you to Australia and will be granted a Subclass 444


  • In Australia, you must:
    • Hold a Subclass 461 visa, or you do not hold a substantive visa and the last substantive visa you held was a Subclass 461 visa.
    • You are no longer a member of the family unit of the person in relation to whom you were previously granted a Subclass 461 visa.
    • You have not become a member of the family unit of any other person (whether or not you are still a member of the family unit of that other person).


  • You are outside Australia and you meet all of the below:
    • You either:
      • have been in Australia as the holder of a Subclass 461 visa for at least 2 years in the past 5 years immediately before you made your visa application, or
      • have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties with Australia that are of benefit to Australia and you have not been away from Australia for a continuous period of 5 years or more immediately before applying for this visa (unless you have compelling reasons for your absence).
      • You held a Subclass 461 visa when you last left Australia.
      • You are no longer a member of the family unit of the person in relation to whom you were previously granted a Subclass 461 visa.
      • You have not become a member of the family unit of another person (whether or not you are still a member of the family unit of that other person).

Something else ?


    We are happy to answer
    any queries you may have

    Can I apply for PR after this visa, directly?

    Although there are no direct pathways for permanent residency, you may pursue the below options to become a permanent resident in Australia. This includes:

    1. Apply for General Skilled Migration
    2. Apply for a Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa
    3. Apply for a Partner Visa, if your NZ Citizen Partner becomes a Permanent Resident
    4. Apply for a Business/Investor Visa, if eligible. 
    Can my NZ partner sponsor me for Partner Visa? Is he/she an eligible NZ citizen?

    If your NZ partner arrived in on or before 26 February 2001 (or lived there for at least 12 months before), they are likely to be an ‘eligible New Zealander’. This means that they hold Australian permanent residency and can sponsor you for a partner visa. 

    Who are eligible NZ Citizens?

    Your family member is considered an eligible New Zealand citizen if they are a protected special category visa holder and they:

    • Arrived in Australia on February 26, 2001, or
    • Arrived in Australia for 12 months two years before this date, or
    • They are a protected individual under the Social Security Act 1991.
    Should I be outside Australia for my visa to be granted?

    If you applied for the visa outside Australia, you must typically be outside Australia at the time your visa is granted.

    Can I extend this visa?

    To extend this visa, you can apply for another New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461).

    Does a 461 visa lead to PR?

    No, subclass 461 visa does not directly lead to permanent residency. 

    Can I apply for another 461 visa if my relationship breaks down?

    If your relationship with your New Zealand partner breaks down, you can still apply for a further five year 461, provided you are not in a new relationship.

    Can I include my family in the visa application?

    You can include your child/step-child or your partner’s child/step-child in you visa application at the time of lodgement. You can’t add family members to a Subclass 461 visa application after it is lodged.

    461 Concessions during COVID-19


    The Department is now prioritising Subclass 461 visa. 

    The Department request that applicants ensures that their application includes:

    • Documentary evidence of the relationship with the New Zealand citizen family member. 
    • A completed Form 80.
    • Updated Police Clearance. 


    If your application contains the above, you can contact the Department to say you have provided all required documentation and your application is ready for assessment.

    You can do this by sending an email to [email protected]. In your email, include your file reference number and the words ‘Assessment Ready’ in the subject line.

    As you can only lodge the application on paper (i.e. not via ImmiAccount), the Department will send you a letter to arrange a health examination where required.

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