Subclass 444 SCV Visa for NZ citizens

Subclass 444 SCV or Special Category Visa for NZ
New Zealand passport holders are granted unrestricted visa on arrival

Subclass 444 SCV Visa or Special Category Visa Class TY Subclass 444 visa is for New Zealand passport holders granted on arrival in Australia

New Zealand passport holders who are not of a character or health concern and upon presentation of their passport at immigration clearance in an airport or seaport will automatically be granted a Subclass 444 SCV visa.

New Zealand passport holders are exempted from the need to hold a visa to travel to Australia but will be issued with a Subclass 444 SCV visa on arrival.

How to apply for a Subclass 444 SCV

If you are not an Australian permanent resident (cl 1219(3)(c)) or hold any other visa when you arrived at an Australian airport or seaport you are required to complete an incoming passenger card (cl 1219(1) is Sch 1) at the immigration clearance (cl 1219(3)(a)(ii)). You then present your NZ passport to an officer or clearance authority (cl 1219(3)(b)), you are taken to have applied for a Subclass 444 SCV.

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Must not have criminal history or record

You may be denied a Special Category Subclass 444 visa if you are of a character concern ( (behaviour concern non-citizen or BCNC not satisfying s 32(2)(a)(ii) ) and have been previously denied entry into another country or you have been convicted of a crime and was sentenced to death or to imprisonment for at least 12 months or has been convicted of 2 or more crimes and was jailed for a period that added up to at least 12 months.

You will be notified that you are an unlawful non-citizen and would be held in immigration detention (under s 189(1)) pending removal from Australia.

Applying to the AAT to review refusal to grant Subclass 444 SCV

If you apply to the AAT to review the refusal to grant you a Subclass 444 SCV, it is likely the Tribunal will invite you to comment on its preliminary view that it had no jurisdiction because you have not been immigration cleared. If you have not been immigration cleared, you are considered not to be physically present in the migration zone when the application for review was made. The AAT does not have jurisdiction because you had  not been immigration cleared (s 338(2)(c)).

In addition, the delegate’s decision (known as primary decision -s 476(4) – a privative clause decision is defined in s 474) not to grant you a Subclass 444 SCV is not a Part 5 reviewable decision (s 338). In short, the delegate’s decision is not a Part 5 reviewable decision (s 476(2)(a)) and the AAT cannot accept your application.

Applying to the FCCA to review decision to refuse a visa

As the delegate’s decision to refuse you a Subclass 444 SCV does not come within the definition of a ‘primary decision’, s 476(2)(a) does not apply. You may appeal to the FCCA under s 476(1) to hear and determine the application. Click here to learn more about applying to the FCCA.

To be successfully, you must allege that the delegate had made a jurisdiction error in refusing you a Subclass 444 SCV on character grounds (s 501).

Health Concern

You must not be of a health concern, for example, suffered from tuberculosis that is not controlled by medication and you refused to sign an undertaking to contact the Health Undertaking Service within 1 week of entering Australia. Otherwise, the Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs) may still grant you a Subclass 444 SCV visa if it does not warrant your exclusion from Australia.

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If you holds an ePassport, you may clear immigration through the automated border processing SmartGate and you will be granted your Special Category Subclass 444 visa electronically as you have applied for the visa by answering the health and character questions and marking a declaration when you inserted your passport into the ePassport kiosk. If you are manually cleared, your application for a Subclass 444 SCV visa is your completed incoming passenger card or IPC.

If you have been granted an Australian permanent visa or another substantive visa, you cannot be granted a Special Category Subclass 444 visa . This is to prevent you from suffering potential hardship or disadvantage because granting you this visa may be less advantageous or less favourable for you. All non-citizens may only hold 1 valid visa (except for Subclass 988 Maritime Crew visa, click here to learn more) as granting of a visa will cause the last visa to cease.

Subclass 444 SCV visa is a temporary visa allowing you to work and to reside in Australia while you are a New Zealand citizen. There is no expiry date or visa cease date (example, “do not enter by date”), however, your visa will cease when you depart Australia, or you ceased to be a New Zealand citizen. There are no visa conditions attached to this visa. You may apply for a permanent visa if you meet the visa grant criteria. Click here to learn more about Subclass 189 and Subclass 190.

If you travel on another country passport and you were granted a temporary visa or you acquired New Zealand citizenship while in Australia, you may ask the Department of Immigration to change your status to a Subclass 444 SCV visa holder.

Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you to understand your immigration status (click here to find out how an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent can help you) or click here for more information. You may also refer to our FAQs for answers regarding visa application or visa cancellation by clicking here.

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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter

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