Australian Migration Agent

New Zealand Citizens Obtaining Permanent Residence in Australia

New Zealand citizens can live and work in Australia so long as they remain New Zealand citizens. This circumstance often works well and for a long while, but it is not without its limitations. Essentially a New Zealand citizen that has arrived after the 26th of February 2001 is a temporary resident, and as a result of this status, some of these limitations can include:-

  • Increase in tuition fees for children
  • Limited access to Centrelink and other government benefits
  • No voting rights

 This can be complicated further if you have a spouse or partner who is neither an Australian or New Zealand citizen.

 New Zealand citizens often want to become Australian citizens and feel that they have limited or no options to progress to become an Australian citizen. To become an Australian citizen, one must first become a Permanent Resident and meet the residential requirements for citizenship. For many New Zealand citizens who may have lived in Australia for many years, they may be able to meet the residence requirement for citizenship 12 months after becoming a permanent resident.

Over the recent years, many changes have been made or introduced, and in some cases, giving good concessions to New Zealand citizens to enable them to progress to become a permanent resident . Some of these pathways and concessions include:-

  • Pathways for permanent employer sponsored visas where a New Zealand citizen has worked for that employer for at least 2 years.
  • Concessions for New Zealand citizens who own their own businesses in Australia
  • Concessions for New Zealand citizens who may have lived in Australia, or even visited for a short period of time (even as a child), prior to September 1994.

 Some of these concessions extend to the New Zealand spouse or partner who may be in Australia on a 461 New Zealand relative visa.

 Additional Pathway to Permanent Residence

In addition, from July 2017 New Zealand citizens who have been living and working in Australia and have met some specific criteria may be able to apply for the 189 Skilled visa. The criteria includes demonstrating earnings at specified levels. Full details and legislation is still to be released.

Contact us to arrange a consultation to discuss your visa requirements.  Please note that we do charge a nominal fee for a consultation.

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We charge a reasonable fee for migration advice relating to Australia visas & visa compilation assistance. We are not affiliates of the Department of Immigration & Border Protection - they can be contacted for free advice.