Special Category Visa (SCV)
When the SCV was introduced on the 1st September 1994, New Zealanders were not formally informed. Nor is the IPC an obvious visa application form because it does not have any information on it to show that it is a visa application form like all other visa application forms. Nor is there a visa grant letter given to New Zealand citizens at the time of processing through immigration clearance. As a result, we have a large population of New Zealand citizens who are unaware of their immigration status and furthermore the potential risks and dangers their immigration status can pose.
New Zealand citizens are exempted from applying for a visa to travel to Australia and provided certain criteria are met, issued a Special Category Visa (SCV), subclass TY444. To be granted the TY444 visa, the applicant must present a New Zealand passport AND neither a behaviour concern non-citizen (BCNC)* nor a health concern non-citizen (HCNOC)**.
The TY444 ceases to exist each time a New Zealand citizen leaves Australia and a new TY444 is reissued upon each entry back into Australia, regardless of whether the person lives in Australia permanently or not.
New Zealand citizens that don’t hold a TY444 visa will either hold an absorbed person visa or have applied for and been granted a permanent visa such as a Resident Return Visa/subclass 155 , Skilled Independent visa/subclass 189, Partner visa/subclass 801, Child sponsor visa/subclass 820 or a variety of other permanent visas they may have applied for and been granted. Either way, a New Zealand citizen who holds a permanent visa will usually be aware of it because they have had to go through a stringent process to apply, paid a visa application fee and will have a Visa Grant Notification in the form of a letter issued to them.
* If you have had criminal convictions, been deported, excluded or removed from any country, including Australia you may be considered a BCNC.
** If you have untreated tuberculosis you may be considered a HCNC.