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Permanent Residency and Citizenship in Australia for New Zealand Citizens

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Australia and New Zealand have always had very close ties. Over many decades, thousands of New Zealanders have lived and brought up their families in Australia. However, the ability to obtain permanent residency status and citizenship can be complex.

Every New Zealander who travels to Australia is granted a Special Category visa (SCV) subclass 444 when they arrive in Australia. This is a temporary visa. This allows them to remain and work in Australia but does not necessarily lead to permanent residency or citizenship.

Having permanent residence means you have a current permanent visa that permits you to live in Australia indefinitely.

Applying for Australian citizenship

To be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship you must:

  • have been in Australia on 26 February 2001 on a SCV, or if absent on that day have spent a period/periods totalling 12 months in Australia on an SCV in the two years immediately before 26 February 2001; or
  • have a Centrelink certificate issued prior to 26 February 2004 stating that you were residing in Australia at a particular date; or
  • be a permanent resident.

For those people who are not currently permanent residents or can not automatically qualify as being in Australia on 26 February 2001 or for period of 12 months in the two years before that date there are options to become a permanent resident with a view to citizenship.

These options include transitionary employment visa where you have worked for an employer for a certain period of time and they are prepared to sponsor you, or where you can show you have earned a certain income for a period of five years.

If you are a New Zealand citizen wanting to become an Australian citizen, please contact our team today to discuss your migration options. Our team of Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers can assist you with preparing your citizenship application and ensuring your chance at permanent residency in Australia.


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