New Zealand citizens do not get automatic New Zealander permanent residency or New Zealander permanent citizenship in Australia. They have a Special Category visa 444 (SCV) that means they can live, study and work in Australia for as long as they like. If they want to live in Australia for a few years and eventually return to New Zealand, the SCV you receive on arrival may suit you okay. If you intend to live in Australia permanently, however, it the BEST IDEA is to for a consider becoming an Australian Permanent resident or citizen NOW like never before.
HOW CAN NEW ZEALANDER VISA HOLDERS BECOME PERMANENT RESIDENTS OF AUSTRALIA?
What New Zealand citizens in Australia need to do to become an Australian citizen depends on when they arrived in Australia:
On or before 26 February 2001 – They are an eligible New Zealand citizen, they can get citizenship in Australia (please check your eligibility with us).
After 26 February 2001 – They must first become an Australian permanent resident and then can apply for citizenship.
BENEFITS OF NEW ZEALANDER VISA HOLDER BECOMING PERMANENT RESIDENCES
Although the SCV lets New Zealander visa holder live and work in Australia indefinitely, it is a temporary, unprotected visa. New Zealand citizens who have arrived in Australia since 26 February 2001 on SCVs are considered non-protected SCV holders and have restricted eligibility to social security benefits. This means that if a New Zealander visa holder cannot find work or you get sick, you won’t be able to access any unemployment or sickness benefits. If your child or another family member has a disability, you won’t be entitled to allowances like the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Or you can’t access study loans, or benefits like Australians do. COVID-19 is an unfortunate but realistic example proving that.
So, the key benefits of becoming an Australian permanent resident rather than living in Australia on the unprotected SCV are:
- You can apply for unemployment or sickness benefits
- You can sponsor family members who want to apply for permanent residency
- Your children access study loans /allowances and study under the HECS program
NEW ZEALANDER PERMANENT VISA PATHWAYS
Not all New Zealander visa holders will qualify for permanent residency or Australian citizenship. However, we have listed a couple of options here that may apply to you:
- Skilled Independent 189 (New Zealand) Stream – the most popular pathway
- Partner visa – if you are in a genuine relationship with your spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
- Business visa – if you run a business in Australia, we can check your eligibility
WE WANT TO GRAB YOUR ATTENTION TO 189 NEW ZEALAND STREAM VISA.
Key criteria for the 189 New Zealand Stream visa:
- Arrangements for the 189 New Zealand Stream visa will give permanent residence status
- The pathway is for SCV holders who were usually resident in Australia on or before 19 February 2016 and who, at the time of lodging an application, have resided in Australia for at least five years
- To be eligible, you must meet the minimum income threshold ($53,900) for each of the four completed financial years before you apply for this visa
- It would be best if you fit the mandatory health and character checks
New Zealand citizens who are granted this visa will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after a period of 12 months (in addition to 5 years as a suitable New Zealand SCV holder).
If you are a New Zealand visa holder, get in touch with our trusted registered Migration Agents at No Borders Migration to maximise your chances of becoming an Australian permanent resident or citizen. Book your Free Consultation Now on 07 3876 4000 or email us on [email protected] to assess your eligibility.