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Subclass 444 – Special Category Visa (New Zealand Citizens)

This visa is granted to New Zealand citizens on arrival to Australia. It is part of a reciprocal agreement allowing free travel between Australia and New Zealand for citizens of those countries.

Please note that if you are the child or partner of a New Zealand citizen but are not yourself a New Zealand citizen, you are not eligible for a subclass 444 visa but you may be eligible for a subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa .

 

Application Process

You do not need to apply for a subclass 444 visa. You will be granted the visa upon arrival to Australia as long as you appear to fulfil the eligibility criteria.

 

Eligibility Criteria for Subclass 444 Visa

The eligibility criteria are that you are a New Zealand Citizen, that if you have untreated tuberculosis you agree to undertake treatment for it, and that you can satisfy the following character criteria:

  1. You have been sentenced to imprisonment for more than one year
  2. You have been found guilty of committing a crime while of unsound mind
  3. You have been acquitted of a crime on the grounds of unsound mind
  4. You have been removed or deported from any country
  5. You have been excluded from a country other than Australia because you:
  1. Produced a fake passport
  2. Were reasonably refused entry because you weren’t a genuine visitor
  3. You were considered to be a threat to national security of that country
  4. You failed to produce a passport to authorities in circumstances when it would have been reasonable to do so

Some exceptions and waivers may apply. Contact our office on 08 6161 9239 to book a consultation to discuss your specific situation.

 

Are you an “Eligible New Zealand citizen”?

This phrase refers to a New Zealand citizen who:

  1. Was in Australia holding a subclass 444 visa on 26 February 2001; or
  2. Was in Australia holding a subclass 444 visa for at least 1 year in the period of 26 February 1999 to 26 February 2001; or
  3. Has been issued a certificate from Centrelink stating that they are an eligible New Zealand citizen (for example, if they could show they were on their way to settle in Australia before 26 February 2001 but were not in Australia on that day specifically).

If you are an eligible New Zealand citizen, you are able to sponsor family members for permanent residency in Australia as if you were an Australian permanent resident. Contact our team on 08 6161 9239 for more information about how this process works.

 

Common Problems for Applicants

  1. Although this visa will let you stay indefinitely in Australia with no restriction on studying or working, it is not a permanent residency visa. You will not be eligible for citizenship unless you become a permanent resident.
  2. You cannot sponsor family members for permanent residency unless you are an Eligible New Zealand Citizen (as outlined above)
  3. If you leave Australia, your visa will cease and you will need to receive a new visa on re-entry.

Subclass 444 Visa Application FAQ

Where can I apply from?

You can be inside or outside Australia to apply for this visa. You will usually receive this visa while in immigration on the way to Australia.

Where can I receive the visa?

You can be inside or outside Australia to receive this visa.

What family members can I include?

You cannot include family members on this visa. Non-NZ citizen family members must be sponsored on a subclass 461 visa.

Can the health requirement be waived for this visa?

The standard health criteria do not apply to this visa.

How long does this visa last for?

This is a temporary visa which lasts indefinitely as long as you remain in Australia.