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New Zealand Family photo by lake for Emigrate-to-Australia Special Category Visa Rules

Credit: Caleb Jones
Special Category Visa Rules for New Zealand families

Emigrate-to-Australia explains Special Category Visa rules

In a significant development for Special Category Visa (SCV) holders, the backdating of permanent residence makes a profound impact. Namely this applies to applicants with children born to SCV holders. Commencing from 1 July 2023, any child born in Australia on or after 1 July 2022 to an SCV holder may automatically acquire Australian citizenship at birth. Subsequently, as of the same date, children meeting these circumstances can apply for evidence of citizenship.



Subclass 461 Visa Holders: For eligible family members of SCV holders, application for the New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa remains open. This visa allows family members to establish and strengthen their ties while residing in Australia.

Family members who already possess a Subclass 461 visa can rest assured that they will continue to hold this visa for the remaining period of its validity. In fact this could extend up to 5 years. We advise applicants to refer to the grant letter. Alternatively, the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system for detailed information on visa conditions. In particular, please take note of the expiration date!  However, family members of SCV holders who acquire Australian citizenship will undergo a change in their visa eligibility. Following the date of citizenship acquisition, they will no longer be eligible to apply for a Subclass 461 visa.

New Zealand citizens successfully winning Australian citizenship through the new direct pathway can explore the Department’s website. Here, they will discover various visa options to sponsor their family members. Among the relevant visa options are Partner and Child visas, providing avenues for family members to remain in Australia.
Impacted family members of New Zealand citizens obtaining Australian citizenship through this pathway are encouraged to thoroughly explore their visa options. Navigating the evolving landscape of immigration policies requires a comprehensive understanding of the available pathways and their implications.


As the citizenship landscape undergoes transformation, families must make informed decisions about their future in Australia. By using a knowledgeable MARA registered agent such as Emigrate-to-Australia, a smoother pathway will follow. Therefore, exploring diverse visa options means families await a seamless transition to a future in this beautiful, vibrant country.

For further information

For more information contact Greg Veal at [email protected] on +44 207 427 5975

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