Direct Australian Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens

Direct Australian Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens

Written by Julie Williams | MARN 9903637 | Published 26 April 2023

New Direct Pathway to Australian Citizenship for Eligible New Zealand Citizens

On Saturday, 22 April 2023, the Australian Government made an announcement for a new direct pathway to Australian citizenship for eligible New Zealand citizens.

New Zealanders who enter Australia on a New Zealand passport do so under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement and are issued a Special Category Visa (‘SCV’), Subclass 444, upon arrival.   This visa is a temporary visa.

From 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for four years or more will be eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship. They will no longer need to first apply for and be granted a permanent visa. These changes apply to New Zealand citizens holding a SCV who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001.

From 1 July 2023

  • Long-term New Zealand citizens resident in Australia will have their period of permanent residence backdated for citizenship purposes
  • All New Zealand citizens holding an SCV will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes
  • New Zealand citizens granted an SCV before 1 July 2022 will have their period of permanent residence for citizenship purposes backdated to 1 July 2022
  • New Zealand citizens granted an SCV for the first time on or after 1 July 2022 will be considered a permanent resident for citizenship purposes from the date of their SCV grant
  • Provisions will also apply to New Zealand citizens who are overseas but held an SCV immediately before last leaving Australia

Children of SCV holders

  • From 1 July 2023, any child born in Australia on or after 1 July 2022 to an SCV holder may automatically acquire Australian citizenship at birth
  • From 1 July 2023, children who meet these circumstances can apply for​ evidence of citizenship.

Australian citizenship applications until 1 July 2023

These provisions will not apply to citizenship applications submitted prior to 1 July 2023. Applications submitted before this date must meet the current requirements at that application before this date, and you do not meet the eligibility requirements.

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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