If you want to immigrate to Australia from New Zealand, you should know that, compared to other nationalities, the Australian authorities provide a more relaxed legal procedure. For instance, persons who relocate to Australia and who are New Zealand (NZ) citizens, holders of NZ passports, will not have to apply for a NZ to Australia visa.
The requirements to apply for a visa can be imposed in certain situations, but as a general rule, NZ citizens can enter the Australian territory with almost no restrictions. Still, one may have to apply for a NZ to Australia visa in the case in which the relocation in this country is done on a permanent basis.
Considering that there are multiple legal scenarios that can fall under the rules for immigration to Australia, we invite you to address to our lawyer for in-depth legal advice. You must also be aware that there is a legal distinction between persons who are NZ citizens and those who are residents; the latter will have to apply for visa.
Table of Contents
How can New Zealand citizens immigrate to Australia?
Arriving in Australia is actually quite simple for persons leaving New Zealand, as long as they are citizens of the latter country. There aren’t any formalities that should be met if the following three conditions are fulfilled by the NZ citizen: is a NZ citizen and a NZ passport holder, does not have tuberculosis and does not have a criminal conviction.
If these are met, the person who will relocate to Australia will not have to take any previous measures prior to the arrival in the country. On site, the NZ passport holder will receive a Special Category Visa prescribed by the Subclass 444, which will automatically grant specific rights. The NZ to Australia visa has the following characteristics:
- it is issued as a temporary visa that can be used for immigration to Australia;
- the holder can enjoy multiple benefits, as such it can be used for traveling purposes, for study or work;
- in order to obtain the visa, you simply have to present the NZ passport and complete a standard form, the Incoming Passenger Card;
- the visa will be available for the entire duration of the stay;
- this NZ to Australia visa can be issued multiple times to NZ citizens arriving here.
How many NZ citizens live in Australia?
New Zealand and Australia have very good relations, established on political levels, social and economic. This is why one can find numerous NZ citizens who move in Australia and vice-versa, and this is also given by the country’s relative close geographical location, as well as various signed treaties that grant the citizens and permanent residents of both countries the right to free movement. Below, we present you few important aspects:
- NZ citizens do not need to apply for a NZ to Australia visa prior to their arrival, under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, signed in 1973, which grants the right to free movement (travel, work, study) for both nationalities;
- the number of NZ citizens who move to Australia is constantly growing – in 2013-2014, there were 27,274 NZ citizens who had permanent residency here;
- by the end of 2015, the number of NZ citizens who arrived here expanded at a fast pace, reaching 634,560 persons, but most of them arrived for short-term purposes in this country;
- the need to have a NZ to Australia visa for NZ citizens represents mainly a formality due to the Australian immigration laws, which stipulated that starting with 1 September 1994 all non-Australian citizens have to hold a valid visa upon arrival;
- on 26 February 2001, new regulations were imposed for the holders of Special Category Visa (SCV) – those who received the visa prior to this date can claim social security benefits in Australia, while those who received it after this date can claim it only in specific situations.
New Zealand passport holders can benefit from a simpler access to Australian citizenship compared to most of other nationalities. The procedure to relocate as a New Zealander starts by applying for the Special Category Visa (Subclass 444).
This visa type has the advantage that does not impose a time limit for staying in Australia for the visa holder. However, for citizenship other rules have to be observed.
Our immigration lawyer in Australia can offer more details with regards to this special status, which is known as the protected SCV holder.
Please mind that the SCV visa is a temporary visa, but it can open the legal pathway to permanent residency in Australia or to citizenship, if this is of interest for the NZ national.
Although the SCV visa does represent a visa for residence in Australia on a permanent basis, it provides many rights and benefits that are normally not granted to other temporary residents. Such rights can refer to:
- financial assistance for various family payments;
- medicare benefits;
- assistance for rent;
- loans for students;
- pension benefits;
- pensions for persons with various disabilities.
Permanent residency for NZ citizens in Australia
The NZ to Australia visa can open the possibility of obtaining the permanent residency or citizenship, as prescribed by the Department of Home Affairs. The legal procedure you should follow will depend based on the moment when you arrived in this country. Here, our Australia migration lawyer can provide in-depth information.
For more details on the NZ to Australia visa, please contact our lawyer. You can also refer to our attorney for advice on how to relocate here with your family members and what the steps you should follow are when applying for permanent residency.