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Special Category (subclass 444) Visas

When a New Zealand citizen enters Australia on a valid New Zealand passport, they will automatically be granted a Special Category (subclass 444) Visa at the airport, upon arrival in Australia, provided that they do not have any character or health concerns for non-citizens or have a no further stay visa condition on a previous visa.

A Special Category (subclass 444) Visa allows New Zealand citizens to visit, study, stay and work in Australia indefinitely. However, these visa holders are required to continue to meet the relevant character requirements while in Australia in addition to remaining a New Zealand citizen.

However, it is important to note that a Special Category (subclass 444) Visa is not a permanent residency visa, and does not necessarily provide a direct pathway to Australian citizenship.

While in Australia on a Special Category (subclass 444) Visa, an individual may be entitled to the following:

  • Medicare
  • family assistance payments
  • rest assistance
  • age pension
  • disability pension or carer pension
  • student loans
orphan relative visa

Please note however, a Protected Special Category (subclass 444) Visa holder may be entitled to additional benefits to the above.

If you are a New Zealand citizen and wish to apply for Australian permanent residency, or otherwise want to determine your most suitable pathway to Australian citizenship, there may be various options available, dependant on your particular circumstances and skills. For example, the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) Visa specifically has a stream for New Zealand citizens who meet the appropriate requirements.

Alternatively, eligible New Zealand citizens are entitled to apply for Australian citizenship without obtaining permanent residency first. An eligible New Zealand citizen in this instance is an individual who arrived in Australia with a New Zealand passport and they were here on 26 February 2001, were here for 12 months in the two years prior to 26 February 2001 or have been assessed as a Protected Special Category Visa holder and have been issued with a Centrelink certificate clarifying that you were living in Australia at the aforementioned time. For further information regarding Australian citizenship, please click here.

For further information regarding various visas, please feel free to explore the information on the All Access Migration Website, or alternatively please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss what options may be most suitable for yourself.

Enquire about Special Category (subclass 444) Visas

Brisbane Office

1300 245 756

50 McDougall Street,
Milton, Brisbane, QLD, 4064
Australia

Gold Coast Office

1300 245 756

Levels 5 & 9, Corporate Centre One,
2 Corporate Court,
Bundall, QLD, 4217
Australia

Sydney Office

1300 245 756

Level 6,
15 Castlereagh Street,
Sydney, NSW, 2000
Australia

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