Citizens of New Zealand are not required to obtain visas for entry into Australia. However, to stay, study, and work in Australia on a long-term basis, they must obtain a special permit known as visa 444, categorized as a special category visa.
What Is a Special Category Visa 444 for Australia?
This visa is exclusively granted to New Zealand citizens upon their entry into Australia. In many instances, the visa is granted automatically, although there is also the option to apply for it, depending on individual circumstances.
Who Is Eligible for a 444 Visa?
To be eligible for a visa subclass 444, you must meet the following criteria:
1. You are a New Zealand citizen holding a valid NZ passport.
2. You do not have the “no further stay rule” applied to your current Australian visa.
3. You are not classified as a behavior concern non-citizen due to failing the character requirements.
4. You have not been previously removed from Australia.
5. You have not been deported or removed from another country.
6. You are not categorized as a health concern non-citizen for failing the health requirements.
In terms of health requirements, if you declare that you have tuberculosis, you will be contacted for additional information, and you may be required to submit a separate visa application before entering Australia.
What Documents Do You Need to Submit for a 444 Visa?
If you possess a valid passport, the sole document required is the one issued to you by New Zealand.
Do You Need to Apply for a 444 Visa?
Upon entering Australia, your special category visa is automatically linked to your New Zealand passport. Ensure that you complete your passenger card accurately, disclosing any health issues or past criminal activities.
For specific situations, you may need to apply for a visa 444. Schedule your visa application appointment by filling out your e-Incoming Passenger Card before arriving in Australia. Following the processing of your request by the Department of Foreign Affairs, you will receive notification of the date, time, and location for your appointment. If additional information is required, you will be informed accordingly.
Monitor your visa 444 status on VEVO (visa entitlement verification online) for seamless access to Australia’s services and to confirm your legal status in the country whenever necessary.
How Long Can I Stay With a 444 Visa?
You have the option to remain in Australia indefinitely with a visa 444. If you submit an application for this visa after your entry into Australia, it becomes valid on the day it is granted, as opposed to the automatic visa, which is effective from the moment you arrive in the country.
The validity of a visa 444 ceases when you exit Australia, and each time you re-enter the country, a new visa is granted from the beginning.
How Long Does It Take to Get a 444 Visa?
Is it Possible to Include Family Members in My 444 Visa Application?
Unfortunately, family members cannot be included in your 444 visa application. Each family member must individually complete their passenger cards upon entering Australia to obtain the 444 visa.
What if My Family Member is Not a New Zealand Citizen?
If you are entering Australia with a family member who is not a New Zealand citizen, they may be eligible for a New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa (Subclass 461). This visa is temporary, and an application fee is required for the 461 visa.
What is the Cost of a 444 Visa?
The 444 visa is free of charge. There are no additional fees for family members entering Australia with you.
Can I Work with an Australia Visa 444?
Yes, as an eligible New Zealand citizen, you have unrestricted access to the workforce in Australia with a 444 visa.
Can I Study with an Australia Visa 444?
Absolutely, you are free to pursue studies while in Australia under a 444 visa.
Do I Have Access to Medicare with a 444 Visa?
Yes, the 444 visa provides complete access to Medicare services in Australia.
Do I Need to Apply for a New 444 Visa if My New Zealand Passport Expires?
You do not need to apply for a new 444 visa, as it is automatically linked to your passport upon entry to Australia. However, you cannot enter Australia with an expired passport. If your passport is invalid, you must apply for a new one before entering Australia.
Benefits of an Australia 444 Visa
As a 444 visa holder, you can avail yourself of various Australian services, including:
2. Family Assistance Payments
3. Student Loans
4. Rent Assistance
5. Age Pension
6. Disability Pension
7. Carer Payment
However, please note that 444 visa holders cannot vote, join the Australian armed forces, or work in governmental positions. Protected special category visa holders may enjoy additional benefits such as increased social security payments, access to the National Disability Scheme, youth allowance, and Austudy (financial assistance for students).