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Monday, April 22, 2024

New Zealand Citizens Get Fast Track to Australian Citizenship

Eligibility criteria such as income and health tests will be scrapped, however, standard assessments such as character tests and English language competency will still apply.

The limitations placed on New Zealanders living in Australia has been a sore point in the bilateral relationship between Australia and New Zealand. This disparity is further highlighted by the fact that Australians living in New Zealand who intend to settle there have access to a range of welfare benefits and voting rights after residing in New Zealand for one year. They are also able to apply directly for citizenship if they have lived in the country for five years and pass basic eligibility requirements.

‘This is a fair change for New Zealanders living in Australia and brings their rights more in line with Australians living in New Zealand.’ [1] – Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.

New Zealand Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins has stated that Australia’s implementation of the Special Category visa for New Zealand citizens residing in Australia placed them in a state of suspended temporariness. The announcement of the direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealanders goes a long way to remedying what can be considered an unfair situation and help further strengthen ties with New Zealand.

The rule change will be retrospective, meaning any New Zealand citizens who have lived in Australia since 2001 will be able to apply for Australian citizenship without having to obtain permanent residency first. In addition, from 1st July 2023, children born in Australia to Special Category visa holders will automatically acquire Australian citizenship at birth rather than having to wait until they reach 10 years of age as per the previous agreement.

If you would like to learn more about migration or have a migration related inquiry, contact the Visa Solutions Australia team. Book a consultation.


[1] https://www.9news.com.au/national/australian-citizenship-fasttracked-aussie-citizenship-to-be-offered-to-new-zealanders-living-here/d6286911-f1ff-4bdf-9775-6d7e236a6221


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