Exciting New Australian Citizenship Pathway for New Zealanders

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New Zealanders have been long awaiting the ANZAC Day announcement which includes a new pathway for Australian citizenship.

Beginning 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.

These changes apply to New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001

This is a change from the current procedures where New Zealand citizens first needed to apply for and be granted a permanent visa.

The Australian Government announced the following changes to go into effect from 1 July 2023:

  • 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.

The above provisions will apply to New Zealand citizens in Australia. It will also apply to New Zealand citizens who are overseas, but held an SCV immediately before last leaving Australia.

It is important to note that this new change will not apply to citizenship applications submitted before 1 July 2023.

If you submit your citizenship application before 1 July 2023, and you do not meet the eligibility requirements, the Department of Home Affairs will refuse your application and you will not be entitled to a refund. 

This means that eligible New Zealanders need to wait and not go rushing to apply today. 

Instead, if you think you are eligible for citizenship, you can contact our office for confirmation and we can begin preparing your application, ready to lodge on 1 July 2023. 

During the waiting time, we may recommend you gather police clearance certificates from countries where you have lived for over 12 months within the past ten years and prepare all other documentation necessary for the application.

If you are a New Zealander who has had a child sometime after 1 July 2022, this news could impact your child’s citizenship as well.

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. If you have any questions regarding your child’s citizenship, contact our team of migration lawyers and agents today.

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