Subclass 461 (New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship) visa

We specialise in subclass 461 visas and cannot stress enough how important it is to seek professional support and advice when dealing with this visa.

The big issues are often hidden and very subtle, but the consequences and impact of not managing this visa appropriately can be absolutely devastating and costly to families and their loved ones.

This visa is a temporary visa that allows a person to stay, work and study in Australia for 5 years from the date the visa is granted.

It also allows the holder to travel to and from Australia as many times as they want in that 5 year period.

To be eligible for this visa you must:

  • Not be a New Zealand citizen at the time of your application
  • Must meet certain criteria
  • You must also be aware that your New Zealand family member must NOT be an eligible New Zealand citizen!!

Cost of the visa starts at $385.00 and family members cost $195.00 if over 18 years old and $95 for those under 18 years old who make a combined application.

Processing times vary and change frequently but can be checked through the Global Processing Times link.

The subclass 461 visa can be applied for in Australia or outside Australia provided it meets certain eligibility criteria.

You can combine your application with other members of the family unit but you cannot add family members after the visa has been lodged.

Each member of the family unit will be assessed individually.

WARNING about the subclass 461 visa!

Very little warning or education is provided about 461 visa holders about the risks around this visa.

In our experience, many 461 visa holders have not engaged the help of a professional such as a registered migration agent to assist them with this visa. Often opting to do the application themselves.

However, the dangers and risks often don’t appear until a person’s 461 visa has expired and they applicant has either forgotten to re-apply within the 5 year period or made an invalid application.


If you or somebody you know is having difficulty with their 461 visa, it is crucial to seek professional help as soon as possible.

We also highly recommend that 461 visa holders seek professional advice and guidance for future reference.

This information is not intended to be or taken as migration advice as each case varies in complexities and circumstances. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.

See our Facebook Post with further details:

(New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (subclass 461) visa)

There is not enough information on social media or elsewhere so we will keep pushing this out there hoping people get the right help before it’s too late.

The big problem is these 461 visas are often applied for and granted without the support of a professional registered migration agent. It often gives applicants a false sense of achievement believing the process was easy, but the problems don’t usually appear until 5, 10 or 15yrs later!


The 461 visas are temporary visas granted to immediate family members of certain (not all) New Zealand citizens.

These visas, once granted come with certain conditions and must be renewed every 5 years.

HOWEVER, these visas are lethal to the visa applicant and their families if they are not careful and the cost to try to remedy the problems can become incredibly expensive and could have been easily avoided.

We deal with a number of serious cases of 461 visas, often from people who were unsuspecting of the strict processes and rules.


❎Some key examples of problems we see on a regular basis:

❌One of the problems is applicants are not renewing their visas within the legislated time frame of 5 years.

❌Another problem is, applicants posting it to the wrong Department of Home Affairs office.

❌Another problem is criteria may have changed and the applicant is unaware they are no longer eligible for a new 461 visa.

❌Another problem is applicants are leaving it up to family members to do their applications on their behalf and the family members not understanding the seriousness of the legislative requirements (because they are not trained in Migration law!).

❌Another problem is the applicants are not communicating and responding to requests from the Department of Home Affairs within the specified time frames of requesting documents.

And the list goes on and on…….


If you are doing your own applications and renewals please heed our warning. Lots can go wrong with these visas and the consequences are often irreversible and/or incredibly expensive to fix – even then, there are no guarantees!

We encourage all 461 visa holders and their families to seek professional advice and support, no matter how much you think you know about it. There are just too many traps.


✅Our most common recommendations are as follows:

1. Ensure you reapply for your new 461 long before it expires. My advice, lodge at least 6-12mths in advance!

2. Ensure you post it to the correct address!:

Send your application along with all accompanying documents
by post to:

New Zealand Family Relationship visa application
GPO Box 9984

3. Ensure you provide all necessary information if the Department request further information within the specified time frame (usually 28 days).

4. Ensure you notify the Department of any delays in providing documentation or medical examinations by quoting your Application ID details and requesting an extension of time by sending an email to:


5. Make sure you receive written confirmation of your visa being lodged long before it expires. This will usually arrive in your email and if done right, you should receive a Bridging Visa A which will replace your current 461 once it expires.

6. Check the Conditions on your visa and ensure you abide by them fully eg. Condition 8501 – Health Insurance must be kept up to date at all times

7. Always ensure you update your contact details, change of address, email address, phone number, passport with the Department of Home Affairs by completing a Form 1022.

8. Check the eligibility criteria to ensure you are still eligible. Note: Family members of Eligible New Zealand citizens (aka Protected SCV holders) are no longer eligible to apply for or renew their visas as the criteria has changed.

If you don’t understand what an ‘Eligible New Zealand citizen’ is, see the link on our website:…/eligible-nz-citizens/

9. If you run into problems, seek professional advice as soon as possible!!

10. Get professional support from a qualified registered migration agent who has experience with these visas.

11. Always keep a copy of your application and all the documentation you send and receive to the Department of Home Affairs.


We have come to specialise in these complex cases which are largely misunderstood. If you are having issues, please contact us for support as soon as possible.

Free call back service:

Consultation/Assessment service (fees apply):

First step to getting help is to reach out to us

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