New Zealand citizens are able to travel to Australia and remain here indefinitely with full work rights.
Changes in 2001 made it more difficult for New Zealanders in Australia to attain citizenship. As of 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens living in Australia for four years or more will have a direct pathway to Australian citizenship.
Obtaining Australian citizenship gives New Zealand citizens a much more secure status in Australia and access to a range of government benefits.
Subclass 444 – Special Category Visa
If you are a New Zealand citizen, you would generally receive a Special Category Subclass 444 on arrival to Australia.
Whilst this visa allows you to remain in Australia indefinitely with full work rights it is considered a temporary visa.
If you are convicted of a serious offence as a Subclass 444 holder requiring imprisonment of at least 12 months, it may result in potentially being barred from further entry into Australia and either be put in immigration detention or barred.
Settled In Australia Prior to 26 February 2001
If you were present in Australia prior to 25 February 2001, you are considered an “Eligible” New Zealand citizen. In this case, you will have the same rights as an Australian permanent resident, can apply for Australian citizenship and have the ability to sponsor relatives.
Permanent Residency Pathways
The Subclass 189 New Zealand stream has permanently closed, as there is no longer a requirement, from 1 July 2023, for New Zealand citizens to have to apply for Australian permanent residency.
New Zealand Family Members
New Zealand citizens, who are not Australian citizens, can obtain a Subclass 461 New Zealand Family Relationship visa for their partners and children. This is a five-year temporary visa with full work rights with the possibility of renewal.
Family members of New Zealand citizens who gain Australian citizenship, will no longer be eligible for a further Subclass 461 visa and will need to explore, at the time, other visa options such as a Partner Visa.
Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.Book a Consultation