Are you a New Zealander who plans to visit a long-unseen family in Australia? Maybe you wish to take up the education at one of the best Australian universities or have received a professional chance in Sydney, Melbourne, or another top city of the country-continent?
If you are wondering whether you can enter Australia not carrying a visa to accomplish one of these objectives, we’ve got the answer to all your questions. Keep on reading and find out what are the visa details and conditions for New Zealand nationals before you set off for your Australian trip!
Australian visa for New Zealand citizens – Information
New Zealanders and Australians are authorized to cross the borders of each other’s country visa-free with the aim of visiting someone, living, working, or studying there. In such cases, they can enter the country not holding a prior entry permit. New Zealanders are the only nation in the world that have such an agreement with Australia. The majority of New Zealand citizens are allowed to go to Australia unlimitedly. Nevertheless, there are some restrictions on entry concerning health conditions and character requirements.
- Those holding an NZ permanent residence must obtain a visa if they want to enter the Australian territory.
- Eligible NZ citizens can be granted a Special Category Visa the moment they arrive in Australia.
- If you have a criminal past or TB, you’ll have to provide an entry permit to Australia that can be obtained from the Australian High Commission.
- Those who are not NZ citizens and wish to move or travel in Australia have to get a visa – it applies to a.o. NZ permanent residents who are not entitled to be issued an SCV.
- Travelers holding citizenship of one of the European countries can receive the Australian eVisitor visa, while the citizens of 8 other countries, e.g., Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia, can be granted the Australia ETA. Both these visa types are online travel permits allowing to visit Australia for leisure or business reasons. (see more about ETA Australia).
Special Category Visa (subclass 444)
SCV is a visa issued only to New Zealanders. As long as they hold an SCV and remain NZ citizens, they can visit Australia, study, stay or perform work there. They can apply for a Special Category Visa when they arrive in Australia and submit a completed IPC (Incoming Passenger Card) and a valid NZ passport.
SCV HOLDERS MAY:
- enter Australia and stay in the country provided that he/she is still an NZ citizen
- visit family and friends, take up a job and education in Australia
- request a permanent visa – applies to authorized New Zealand citizens
- stay in the country until the intended departure date – SCV’s validity date ends on the day its holder leaves Australia
How to apply for a Special Category visa from New Zealand?
In general, New Zealanders apply for SCV on arrival to Australia.
Nevertheless, there are some situations when it is possible to apply for visa subclass 444 within Australia, e.g.:
- you became an NZ citizen and passport holder after you arrived in Australia,
- you crossed the Australian borders on a passport that was not an NZ passport,
- you entered Australia holding another temporary visa,
- you had a baby born in Australia holding NZ citizenship.
In the above-mentioned cases, you will be entitled to submit an application to arrange an appointment by filling the online form available on the governmental website.
How much does an Australian Special Category visa cost?
The Australian Special Category visa (subclass 444) is issued free of charge.
Application Form for Special Category visa subclass 444
You should follow these steps to obtain your SCV:
- First of all, check if you are a holder of a valid New Zealand passport. If you have plans to get a new one as its validity date ends soon, you should renew your passport and only then apply for an SCV.
- Submit your valid passport and IPC (see the online form here).
- If you apply within Australia, the Department of Home Affairs will contact you to inform you about the appointment date and required supplementary documentation you may need to submit. You should obtain the information to your email address provided in the IPC.
- If you apply at the airport, you will obtain your SCV right away there.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Special Category visa From New Zealand?
- Application upon arrival – application is processed at the airport; the time depends on the number of applicants willing to obtain an SCV.
- Application inside Australia – it can take a bit longer; every application is processed according to individual circumstances.
Requirements and Documents for subclass 444 visa for New Zealanders
Eligibility for a visa subclass 444 is thoroughly checked, and New Zealand citizens must meet the following requirements:
- be a holder of NZ passport or NZ emergency travel document
- not be a holder of a visa with a ‘no further stay’ condition
- not be classified as a behavior concern non-citizen: i.e., a person that committed a crime (s) resulting in a death sentence or imprisonment for at least 1 year, a citizen with a record of deportation from Australia or any other country in the past (see more details on this website)
- citizens suffering from TB will need to provide more information on their treatment
Documents required for subclass 444 visa:
- valid New Zealand passport
- completed IPC containing a declaration of health condition and information on the criminal past
Important note: if you go to Australia with other family members, each of them needs to complete a separate incoming passenger card to apply for an individual SCV.
Apply online for Subclass 444 Visa CLICK TO APPLY ONLINE