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Aussie Wife with Kiwi Parents / Protected SCV status

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Hi All,

I am applying for 309. My Aussie (by birth) wife has Kiwi Parents who have been living in Australia since the 70s.

Because they entered prior to Feb 2001 they never had to obtain permanent residency. I understand they have something called protected Special category visa (SCV) which gives them all of the benefits of permanent residency without having to go through the official process (eg healthcare, unemployment benefit etc). I believe they have the ability to apply for PR but they are not obliged to (and they haven't).

Me and my wife are filling out the application for 309 and have to declare the visa status of her family members and none seem an obvious fit for the circumstances. Options are:

- Australian Citizen (clearly does not apply to them)

- Permanent Resident (strictly speaking no but they have quasi PR by virtue of their protected SCV)

- Temporary Resident (they've been in Aus for 40+ years but are they considered temporary whilst living on kiwi passports without formal PR?

- Student (no)

- Other (maybe but this seems to be the status for people without any Aussie status)

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Possibly answering my own question - this is the best info I can find:

Aus Gov link below states that a SCV for a Kiwi is considered temporary. No specific mention of protected SCV status being any different, which I suspect means it’s also considered ‘temporary’.


The SCV is classed as a temporary visa, and temporary visa holders do not have the same rights and benefits as Australian citizens or permanent residents. To access such rights, temporary migrants, including those from New Zealand, must obtain permanent visas. In contrast, on entering New Zealand, all Australian citizens and permanent residents are automatically granted residence visas, and may apply for permanent residence after having held a residence visa continuously for two years.

Prior to 2001, New Zealand citizens in Australia on SCVs could access social security and obtain Australian citizenship without first becoming permanent residents. In February 2001, Australia entered into a new bilateral social security arrangement with New Zealand and amended citizenship laws for New Zealand citizens. Under these changes, all New Zealand citizens who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001 and who want to access certain social security payments, obtain citizenship or sponsor family members for permanent residence may only do so after applying for, and being granted, permanent residence through the migration program. 

Transitional arrangements were put in place for New Zealanders in Australia at the time of the amendments. This means that New Zealanders who were already in Australia as SCV holders on 26 February 2001 may continue to apply for citizenship, sponsor family members for permanent residence and access social security payments without being granted permanent visas.”

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If you wife is Australian I don't think this is an issue, as you say you answered your own question, put temporary.  Similar to Irish citizens in the UK they have a right to be there as long as they like, but they are not PR or citizens.

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PR (100) Planning to move to Perth September 2021

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Have now found yet more rules apply for NZ folks that arrived prior to 1994. Apparently my wife's parents visa status is 'Exempt non-citizen and considered a Permanent resident'. Explainer here:


Beware though as there can be quirks and exceptions e.g. if the person has lived abroad for any length of time since first arrival.

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