On 22nd April 2023, the Australian government announced that they have opened a new direct pathway of Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens.
This will make it much easier for New Zealand citizens living in Australia to apply for Australian citizenship. New Zealand citizens would not have to take the long pathway of Australian Permanent residency (Australian PR) and then become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.
Eligibility Criteria for Australian Citizenship for New Zealand citizens:
- New Zealand citizens who live in Australia for a period of 4 years will be able to apply for Australian citizenship without having to become Australian permanent residents first.
- New Zealand citizens in this pathway will be eligible if they hold a subclass 444 Visa (SCV) and arrived in Australia after 26th February 2001.
- For New Zealand citizens who have been long-term residents in Australia will be able to apply for Australian citizenship by backdating the period of their permanent residence for Australian citizenship purposes. This will help them fulfill the 12-month permanent residence criteria under the general residence requirement. An applicant meets the general residence requirement for Australian citizenship by conferral purposes under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 if they are lawfully present in Australia for 4 years including 12 months as an Australian Permanent resident immediately before the Australian citizenship application.
- From 11 July 2023 all New Zealand citizens holding a SCV (Subclass 444 Visa) will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes.
- New Zealand citizens who were granted a 444 visa before 1st July 2022 will be counted as Australian Permanent Residents (Australian PR) from 1st July 2022.
- All citizenship applications submitted before 1st July 2023 will not have these provisions applied.
Source: This information is taken from the Department of Home Affairs website.
Subclass 444 SCV Visa
What is a Subclass 444 SCV Visa?
A Subclass 444 Special Category Visa (SCV) is an Australian temporary visa that allows a New Zealand citizen to visit, stay, work and study in Australia.
What is the Visa 444 processing time?
A subclass 444 visa is processed at the airport when a New Zealand citizen arrives in Australia. If a 444 visa is applied for in Australia the processing time depends upon individual circumstances and is generally longer.
What is the Visa 444 Cost?
There is no fee for subclass 444 Visa for New Zealand citizens.
What is the Subclass 444 (SCV) Visa expiry?
A Subclass 444 Special Category Visa (SCV) ceases every time a New Zealand citizen departs Australia. They are issued a new 444 Visa when they arrive back in Australia.
Does a New Zealand citizen get a subclass 444 SCV Visa label on their passport?
A Subclass 444 Special Category Visa (SCV) label is only linked to the passport and no visa label is pasted on the New Zealand passport.
Can you include your family members on a subclass 444 Visa (SCV)?
A Subclass 444 SCV Visa is applied individually. Each member of the family needs to apply for a separate Subclass 444 SCV Visa.
Disclaimer: The above information is not tailored to personal circumstances.
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