If you are a New Zealand citizen in Australia on a Special Category Visa (Subclass 444), you may be able to apply for citizenship.
Have you been in Australia since before 26 February 2001?
If you entered Australia before the 26th February 2001 on a 444 visa and you have lived in Australia since, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship. You may also be eligible if you weren’t in Australia on the 26th February 2001, if you had lived in Australia for at least 12 months in the two year period before this date. You will still need to make sure you meet all other relevant citizenship criteria.
What if I moved to Australia after the 26th February 2001?
If you only moved to Australia after February 2001, you are unlikely to be eligible for citizenship straight away as the 444 visa is only a temporary visa. To be eligible for citizenship, you must live in Australia for four years, with at least one year as a permanent resident. As such, to move forward to citizenship you will first need to become a permanent resident.
If you visited Australia before 01 September 1994, you may be eligible to apply for a Resident Return Visa. You will have to show good evidence for any gaps in living in Australia for more than 5 years. For more information – see our previous blog article here.
If you did not visit prior to September 1994, you will need to apply for a permanent residency visa based on your circumstances. For example, if you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen or settled permanent resident, you may look at a partner visa. If you have an employer willing to sponsor you, you may be eligible for employment visas such as the Employer Nomination Scheme or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas.
If you’d like to discuss your situation and options, or would like help with your application, please contact our migration team.