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New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa

New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa

New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa

Subclass 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship Visas are for those New Zealand Citizens who reside in Australia on SC 444 “Special Category Visas” to bring family members including spouses and de facto spouses from Philippines to reside with them and to live a similar life to what they are leading in Australia.

Standard partner visas (Subclass 300, 309, or 820) from Philippines require a sponsor who is an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or an Eligible New Zealand Citizen. Eligible New Zealand Citizens are NZ Citizens who settled in Australia before laws changed on 26 January 2001. After this time, New Zealanders in Australia no longer enjoyed visa-free status and open access to social security and Medicare. Those who settled in Australia from NZ after this date were issued with a Subclass 444 Special Category Visa on arrival, and were able to work and reside in Australia but without the various Australian Government social support services.

Those New Zealand Citizen Subclass 444 holders may bring their Filipina wives, de facto partners and children to live with them in Australia with the successful application for a Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa. This is a 5 year temporary visa, which may be renewed when required inside Australia without having to leave.

New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa Process

Note that there is no “fiancee visa” option for New Zealand Citizens in Australia. The applicant must be a “family member”, which includes  spouses, ie wives and de facto partners and most definitely does not include fiancees. So in most cases the applicant will need to marry their Filipina lady before applying.

And note too that this is a temporary visa, with no option to becoming a permanent resident of Australia or to apply for Australian Citizenship either. The visa may be renewed every five years before it expires, and this may be done inside Australia without needing to leave the country.

The visa holder will have full work, study and travel rights. The Filipina visa holder may not apply for Medicare though, and is required to organise private medical insurance as part of the application and needs to maintain that coverage throughout their stay in Australia.

It is possible to apply for dependent children as secondary applicants on a Subclass 461 visa.

The visa application is simpler than a full partner visa application, however it requires a similar level of evidence to prove the existence of a genuine and committed relationship. De facto partners need to also show similar levels of evidence of leading a shared-life and a lifetime commitment to each other to the exclusion of all others.

Note also that the Subclass 461 NZ Family Visa (abbreviated) is considerably cheaper (dated 2018) in Visa Application Charges than are the standard partner visas.

Please use the free ASSESSMENT FORM to see if we can help you.


Information contained in this page is of a general nature. Informative, yes, but not a formula for preparing visa applications and should not be relied on as such. The devil is in the detail, rest assured. Australian migration law is complicated and Departmental decisions are inflexible and often final. Readers and future visa applicants and sponsors are advised to rely on professionals to ensure a happy outcome.

NZ Family Relationship Visa Pros And Cons

NZ Family Relationship Visa pros and cons

  • Cheap Government fees compared to a partner visa
  • Less complicated visa than a partner visa application
  • May apply as spouse by marriage or by de facto relationship
  • Can include dependent children
  • Can apply as a same-sex couple if legally married on application
  • Can be renewed inside Australia without needing to leave the country
  • Full work rights
  • Multiple entry
  • May be applied-for offshore or onshore
  • Eligible for bridging visa if applied-for onshore
  • 5 years temporary stay only
  • No Medicare coverage
  • Must maintain private health insurance throughout the visa period
  • No easy Citizenship pathway from this visa
  • No “fiancée visa” pathway, ie. must be married or in an existing de facto relationship before applying
  • Of no value to uncommitted couples

NZ Family Relationship Visa FAQ

Can I bring her over as my fiancée?
No sorry. There is no provision for fiancée’s under this visa. You need to be married, or in an established de facto relationship.
Does she need to return to Philippines after 5 years?
No. She needs to apply for a further 5 year visa, but may do so inside Australia.
We’re in a de facto relationship. Do we need to be married?
Not if the de facto relationship is genuine and continuing and already established.
Can she work and get Medicare?
She may work, yes. She can’t get Medicare. She must maintain private health insurance.
Can’t I apply for a normal partner visa for her?
Not unless you’re an Eligible New Zealand Citizen, ie. you settled in Australia before January 2001 when the laws changed.
Is this a visa for NZ as well?
No, Australian visa only.
Can we include kids?
Yes, dependent children may be included as secondary applicants, as long as there is no objection from another biological parent with custody over the child or children.

Have An NZ Family Relationship Visa Question Not Answered Above?

NZ Family Relationship Visa ask a question

Now, over to you the client (or potential client)! We value our clients opinions, and we believe in keeping all well-informed. What would YOU like to ask about NZ family relationship visa? What do YOU think needs a bit more explanation? Ask below, and Jeff Harvie RMA will answer your question for you and for others wondering the same thing.


  1. joseph

    hi.. just wondering how to renew my visa 461 . im 25 years old. what is the requirements?

    • Jeff Harvie

      You should complete one of our online visa assessment forms if you want a new Subclass 461, Joseph. We are professional Registered Migration agents, please note. We don’t give out free advice about how to do it by yourself.

  2. Ken

    Hi This is Kenneth Smith here, I am married to a Filipina I want to Kate her to New Zealand with me as a Partnership VISA, now what are my requirements?. Thanks Ken

    • Jeff Harvie

      I don’t deal in visas to New Zealand, sorry. The article you’re looking at is about getting a visa to Australia. If this is what you want, I imagine we can help you. You need to go to the main page (top right) and click on the link for a free visa assessment.

      Note that we don’t just hand out generic lists of requirements. Firstly, there IS no “standard list”. And secondly, you need to sign up as our client first. Happy to help you after that.

  3. Kate

    Hi Jeff!
    This post is very informative – thank you.
    Me and my partner are currently preparing all our documents to apply for the 461 visa (he holds 444). We are currently waiting on receiving our civil partnership certificate which will arrive on the 8th of July. My current visa (600) is due to end on 17th of July, so do you think if we send our application to Sydney office via express post on the 8th will it be enough time for them to acknowledge our application and grant me a bridging visa before the 17th. Very worried that this is not enough time and unsure wether we should post the application earlier, without the civil partnership certificate and just the receipt explaining our situation? I do understand that this is a risk and we won’t be able to ‘just upload’ more evidence later on as this visa is done via post

    Many thanks from Kate

  4. Dane

    Hi Jeff,

    I Have heard from people around me (whom have applied for partnership visa’s) That if your partner arrives on a tourist visa, and you apply for the partner visa while they are in Australia, they are granted a bridging visa and they may stay until the decision of the partner visa is decided. If this is true, does this also apply for the New Zealand Family visa?

    Salamat! Dane

    • Jeff Harvie

      They can, and yes it does apply. Please complete one of our online visa assessment forms. There’s a link at the top right hand corner.

  5. Rudy Leak-Packer

    I need to renew my 461 visa soon but since our last application my husband (NZ citizen) has now become a PR of Australia can I still apply for the 461

    • Jeff Harvie

      No you cannot. You can only apply as the family member of a Subclass 444 holder. He is no longer a 444 holder.

  6. Junaliza Briz

    I was applying my 461 visa last 2020 and had my minor son as my secondary applicant. Ny son was offshore and im on shore in Australia. I was given a BVA visa while my secondary was invalid application since he is offshore. My question is, what can i do with this? How to apply him? Because i read i can add my dependent child for my 461 visa but the problem is he is offshore. Please help me and give advice what should i do?

  7. Clifford Newmarch

    Hi steve, can my fiancee come to Australia on a 600 tourist sponser visa and if we marry apply for the 461 visa while she is in australia. I have heard sponsored tourist visas have 8503 no further stay meaning she would not get a bridging visa while they process the 461. Meaning she would have to fly back to philippines after we marry ?


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Further Reading

Want to read more about NZ Family Relationship Visa from the Philippines? Check out some of our NZ family relationship visa BLOG posts below.

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