461 Visa Relationship Requirements

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How Long Do You Need To Be Together For a 461 Visa.

Normally proof of a 12 month, genuine and ongoing relationship, similar to being married, is required for the Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship five year visa.

The relationship period is stated as having to be met at ‘time of application’.

Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa.

This visa is for a person who is not a New Zealand citizen, but is a member of a family unit* of a New Zealand citizen.
It lets you live and work in Australia for five years.

Provide either: your current marriage certificate and documents to demonstrate you are in a genuine and ongoing relationship, or. enough documents to prove you have been in a de facto relationship with your partner for at least 12 months before you apply.
immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/…/visa-listing/new-zealand-citizen-family-relationship-temporary-461

* Family Unit.

For visa purposes, you are a member of the main applicant’s family unit if you are:

  • the main applicant’s spouse or de facto partner
  • the main applicant’s child, or their partner’s child, who is not engaged, married or in a de facto relationship and is:
    • aged under 18 years, or
    • aged 18 to 23 years and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant’s partner, or
    • aged 23 years or older and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant’s partner due to a partial or total physical or mental disability
  • the dependent child of the child above
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The information we give is based on personal experiences, reading and formulation of available statistics.
Some Visa Applicants might find an Experienced Australian Migration Agent of great assistance.

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17 thoughts on “461 Visa Relationship Requirements”


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  2. Hi.

    I’ve heard a lot of people say that Newzealand citizens processing times for their applications are quite a bit faster compared to Australian citizens. Is this true? I’m a Newzealand citizen living in Australia and from what I’ve seen – Newzealand have dealt with the covid-19 situation much faster and have reopened offices earlier compared to Australia!

    1. A five year 461 visa, for a partner of a New Zealand citizen while in Australia, is often faster than a 309 partner visa for the partner of an Australian or New Zealand citizen.

      But they are very different visas.

      Permanent resident visas take longer than temporary ones to process.

      The 461 visa will NOT lead to permanent residency in Australia, while the 309 or 820 partner visa does.

      A 461 visa holder, that wants PR, would also have to apply for the 820, 309, or other skilled Permanent visa, at some stage.


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  4. Hi.

    Just wondering that I’ve heard that New zealand citizens have a bit more of a faster processing time than Australians citizens living in Australia. Is this true? Considering how New zealand has dealt with the pandemic much faster, reopened offices quicker and overall have quicker processing times for visa applications compared to Australia, I believe this is true.


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  6. hi there,

    trying to find some information on how long a 461 visa would take if we applied for my husband in oman. we are married and expecting a baby in 4 weeks. i am living in australia. we applied in november 2019, i know it’s not long but just wondering what processing times were looking like? thanks in advance 🙂

    1. The last ones I saw, with Nationality, took:
      2.7 months. South Africa
      6.0 months. Philippines
      9.9 months. Turkey
      15.3 months. Pakistan
      18.1 months. India

      It seems to vary a lot.

      1. Was is it really less than three months for the shortest nationality, ie South Africa?

        Looking at the Home Affairs website and their processing times, it currently states 75% in 25 (that’s twenty five) months and 90% in 33 months.

        We submitted my husband’s 461 last month (he’s British and we submitted in London) and had no hopes of hearing anything for AGES yet. Perhaps it may not be quite as bad as I am anticpating…. or given COVID, it may now be even worse than I was expecting.

        1. That “75% in 25 (that’s twenty five) months and 90% in 33 months.” actually means:
          75% in under 25 months, ie: between 1 day and 25 months
          and 90% take under 33 months ie: between 1 day and 33 months

          This means that 10% took 33 months or more.
          15% took between 25 and 33 months
          and 75% took between 1 day and 25 months. (I doubt if any actually take 1 day.. but you get the meaning, they can be much less than 25 months.)

          The slowest of the first 75% did take 25 months, in the period covered by those times (March 2020). And the other examples I gave, between 2.7 months and 18.1 months, were all in the same under 25 months group.

          However, as you say, COVID might make things worse.

          But, I keep wondering if Immigration are not working on some groups of visas, those with no connection to Australia, will they spend more time on visas for partners of Australians etc, who are permitted entry.

          Fingers crossed.

          1. Thanks for the reply.

            It would be so helpful to understand their logic for how the visas are processed and in what order (eg your comment on connections to Oz) but I suspect that will forever remain one of life’s frustrating mysteries!

            1. At the moment it depends on the staff in the local embassies, whether they can work or not, and how many staff are not able to work.

              Obviously some visas will not be processed at the moment, if there is no chance of them being allowed to travel, due to the travel restrictions.

              Those who are permitted to travel, having an Australian partner, are still being processed, and some being much faster at the moment from some of those I have seen.

              Overall, many processing times are down to individual applications, with differences in the time that security checks, etc., can take.

              There are so many variables that can affect processing times.

              I saw one where the applicant, who had been waiting a long time, chased up the application, and was told that immigration were still waiting for them to supply something. The applicant hadn’t realised it was needed.
              Once sorted, the visa was finalised relatively quickly.

        1. Not much information on the 461 visa for Afghan nationals. However, I would guess that the wait will be long.

          In the 3 months of June to August, only 37 subclass 461s were granted, for all nationalities. (That was an average of 12 per month.)

          This compares to three months pre COVID, August to November 2019 where 528 subclass 461s were granted, for all nationalities. (That was an average of 176 per month.)

          This indicates that only prioritised applications for the 461 are being finalised at the moment, with the rest presumably being held back until the Coronavirus situation is resolved to a point that inward travel can be opened up again.

          The PM has recently (15 Nov) said that the priority is to get Australian citizens back home and with strict flight caps and mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, quarantine resources are stretched to the limit.

          That will delay any ability to be bringing international students, and other visa applicants to Australia soon because we must use every available quarantine place to get Australians home.

          “This is a question of priorities and our priorities must be to look after Australian citizens and residents first”.

          1. Thank you for your quick response. I appreciate it as it is so difficult to find detailed information online regarding this.

            I understand that covid-19 plays a huge role in all of this.
            The difference pre & post covid is clear from the statistics you’ve noted and they are granted far fewer applications at the moment.

            However, I would like to ask if you know if bringing a spouse is considered a priority in these rules and regulations? What is being prioritized first? Surely, spouse is considered priority.

            Our visa has only been processed for 9 months and I believe the average is 18-20 months.
            You stated it will be a “long wait” but would you be able to you provide an estimation for how it would have been pre covid and the difference now with covid?

            From your other responses and posts that I’ve read, you mentioned India applicants took about 18.1 months and I’ve assumed Afghanistan would be just the same or maybe just a bit more than that.

            Sounds like a lot questions but would appreciate the response.

            Kind regards

            1. You ask: “What is being prioritised first?”

              For a spouse visa, a spouse, or partner, is compulsory, not a priority.

              There are currently about 92,000 spouse applications in the pipeline, in the normal partner visa route.

              A priority is often mentioned as the spouse having specialist work skills that are needed by Australia, or children being seperated from a parent, due to Covid.

              A partner is sometimes given priority if they are only separated due to COVID, but even then, that is quite common, with some Australians being separated in different states due to lockdowns.

              1. When you say:
                “For a spouse visa, a spouse, or partner, is compulsory, not a priority.”

                Does that indicate that the spouse visa, partner etc are on top of the list and the priorities you have mentioned thereby come afterwards?

                Kind regards

                1. I think it will vary depending on how the case officer views it.

                  I would assume that Australian Citizens come first, for admission ti Australia, with Permanent Residents as a high priority too.
                  Probably a partner of an Australian Citizen next, with a partner of a Permanent Resident, also high priority.

                  They have confirmed that a fiancee of an Australian citizen does NOT get priority.

                  Temporary visa holders were advised to return home if they could when all this started.

                  However, if they feel that Covid is the only reason that the couple are being kept apart, they might try to help. But if the couple were apart for a while prior to COVID, they may consider the situation relatively unchanged.

                  They may have specific rules, but they may also have room to use judgement on deciding who to prioritise.

                  1. Thank you so much for your response. Got a few things clarified. Hope these questions help out anyone else who is in the same boat as me!

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