Options for New Zealand Citizens
New Zealand and Australia are close neighbours and have many things in common including language, British colonial history, liberal democracies, and more.
In recent decades both Australia and New Zealand have experienced significant population growth through immigration.
Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement
Under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, Australian citizens and New Zealand citizens can travel freely between the two countries to live and work as often and as long as they please. The only limitations are health and character requirements.
Under the Arrangement New Zealanders arriving in Australia are most commonly granted a Special Category Visa (subclass 444 visa) on arrival, and each 444 visa extinguishes on departure from Australia. New Zealand citizens are not granted 444 visas on arrival if they hold a permanent resident visa for Australia or they are a dual citizen.
Immediate Family Members who are not New Zealand Citizens
Immediate family members of New Zealand citizens with a third citizenship can also apply for visas to live and work unrestricted in Australia under the subclass 461 visa category. The 461 visas are granted for 5 year periods.
However, if a New Zealand citizen is a permanent resident of Australia or a dual citizen, he/she is required to sponsor their non-New Zealand citizen family members to the same visas Australians do, such as Partner visas or Child visas.
Second Class Citizens?
New Zealand citizens in Australia on 444 visas do not have the same rights as Australian permanent residents or Australian citizens, for example; limited social security entitlements, limited Medicare benefits, and lack of access to subsidised university courses.
For these reasons, many New Zealanders who are long-term resident in Australia seek to become permanent residents, and may eventually become dual Australian-New Zealand citizens.
There are several pathways available to New Zealanders to become Australian permanent residents.
Subclass 189 New Zealand citizen stream visa
New Zealand citizens who were already “usually resident” in Australia on 19 February 2016 and have continued to be usually resident in Australia can apply for the concessional New Zealand citizen stream of subclass 189 permanent residence visa.
Requirements include minimum taxable income in each of the 5 years before applying, as well as health and character.
The main applicant can include their immediate family in the application even if the family members do not meet the income and residence rules or if they are not New Zealand citizens.
Employer Sponsored visas
New Zealand citizens or their family members holding subclass 461 visas can be sponsored on a concessional basis by their employer to subclass 186 or 187 permanent resident visas, or the subclass 494 PR pathway visa.
Eligible New Zealand Citizens
New Zealand citizens who were in Australia on 26 February 2001 are considered “protected Special Category Visa holders” and have the same rights as permanent residents.
There are special exemptions for New Zealanders who were absent from Australia on that exact day but had already established residence in Australia before that date.
New Zealand citizens who entered Australia before 1 September 1994 were considered to be “exempt non-citizens” under the old Migration regulations.
New Zealanders who were in Australia before 1 September 1994 may be considered Australian permanent residents depending on their exact circumstances and can make an application to confirm their permanent resident status.
Children born to New Zealand citizens while in Australia
Most people born in Australia before 20 August 1986 are Australian citizens by birth. There are exceptions which include children of diplomats.
From 20 August 1986, any child born in Australia with at least one parent who was an Australian permanent resident or Australian citizen at the time of birth, is an Australian citizen by birth. Children in these circumstances can apply for evidence of Australian citizenship to confirm their status and access their birthrights.
It is possible that some New Zealand citizen parents who had children in Australia may not realise they were Australian permanent residents at the time their child was born.
Also, a child born in Australia and who then is “ordinarily resident” in Australia up until their 10th birthday becomes an Australian citizen by action of law (no application required) on their 10th birthday. Exceptions include children of Diplomats.
Children who do become Australian citizens by action of law on their 10th birthdays can apply for evidence of Australian citizenship to confirm their status.
Citizenship by Conferral
Australian permanent residents who meet residence and character requirements are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. Passing a multiple choice test is required in most cases.
Australian citizens have rights and privileges greater than Australian permanent residents, but also accept the obligations of citizenship.
Career Up can help
Career Up has extensive experience assisting New Zealand citizens and their families with all of the visas and issues mentioned above, and more. Contact us today to book an appointment.
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Please note this blog post is not legal advice or visa advice.
Read our disclaimer for further details; https://careerup.com.au/visa/disclaimer/